University of Cambridge > > Plant Sciences Research Seminars > Cucumber mosaic virus influences plant defences against insects and fitness of its transmission vector

Cucumber mosaic virus influences plant defences against insects and fitness of its transmission vector

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Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) has the broadest host range of any plant virus, being able to infect over 1200 plant species. It is transmitted in a non-persistent manner by aphids and thus vector control is a key component of control strategies against this virus. The 2b protein of CMV is well characterised as a suppressor of plant defences against viral infection, including RNA silencing. It is a multifunctional protein that is also a symptom determinant as well as playing a crucial role in local and systemic movement of the virus through its hosts. Recent evidence from our lab suggests that there may be an additional role for 2b as a mediator of aphid transmission of CMV . A microarray study which used transgenic plants that constitutively expressed the 2b protein behind a 35S promoter indicated that 2b perturbs the methyl-jasmonate (MeJA) defence pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana. This pathway is highly conserved and is induced in response to wounding and herbivory. Upon induction of this pathway there is a significant upregulation of a large number of anti-insect genes and compounds. There is a large body of evidence that shows that MeJA treatment can induce aphid resistance in a variety of different species. Work presented here investigates the effect of CMV -infection and the 2b protein on aphids through monitoring of aphid feeding behaviour and performance and finds that CMV induces resistance to aphids in infected plants.

This talk is part of the Plant Sciences Research Seminars series.

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