University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Plant Sciences Research Seminars > The contributions of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase 6 and alternative oxidase in resistance to potato virus X

The contributions of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase 6 and alternative oxidase in resistance to potato virus X

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RNA -dependent RNA polymerase 6 (RDR6) is a component of the antiviral RNA silencing machinery. In Nicotiana benthamiana RDR6 is important in the maintenance of basal resistance against several viruses, including Potato virus X (PVX). Work in the Baulcombe group showed that RDR6 helps to limit PVX systemic movement and invasion of apical zone in infected plants. Alternative oxidase (AOX) is the sole enzyme of the alternative respiratory pathway. It regulates reactive oxygen species in mitochondria and plays a role downstream of salicylic acid (SA) in resistance to viruses. Previous work in my lab showed that altering alternative respiratory pathway capacity by either overexpressing AOX or expressing a mutant gene, AOX -E, affects basal and SA-induced resistance to PVX in N. benthamiana plants. It was concluded that changes in mitochondrial reactive oxygen species contributes to defensive signalling and the induction of resistance to viruses by SA and to the maintenance of basal resistance to PVX . Thus, there are at least two defense mechanisms that contribute to the maintenance of defense against PVX , and perhaps other viruses. To further examine the roles of RDR6 and AOX in resistance to viruses, I generated double-transgenic N. benthamiana plants that have down-regulated RDR6 gene expression and that either overexpress AOX (to enhance alternative respiratory pathway capacity and down-regulate reactive oxygen species generation) or express AOX -E (to decrease alternative respiratory pathway capacity and increase signaling mediated by reactive oxygen species). My studies so far have shown that RDR6 -mediated resistance and the resistance mechanism(s) controlled by AOX -regulated signalling are both important in resistance to PVX .

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

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