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Virus infection and resistance to viruses in wild populations of Arabidopsis thaliana
Research Areas
  • Plants and animal biology and ecology
It is often assumed that plant virus infection damages host plants, and that plants and viruses co-evolve. Evidence for plant-virus co-evolution derives mostly from agricultural ecosystems in which the virus population varies in response to human manipulation of the host, and relates only to the virus partner of the system. However, the analysis of host-pathogen co-evolution requires the study of systems in which the host and the pathogen may evolve in response of the selection exerted by the other population. To develop such a system we have focussed on a wild plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, which is the model plant for plant molecular genetics and, increasingly so, for plant ecology. We aimed to test if virus infection occurred in wild Arabidopsis populations and if the following conditions necessary for co-evolution to occur were met in the system: i) the outcome of the host-pathogen interaction depends on the combination of host and pathogen genotypes involved, ii) there is genetic variation in the relevant host and pathogen traits (e.g., resistance, tolerance, infectivity, virulence) and iii) there are reciprocal effects of the relevant traits of the interaction on the fitness of host and pathogen. Natural infection by five viruses differing in life history (Cucumber mosaic virus, CMV; Cauliflower mosaic virus, CaMV; Turnip crinkle virus, TCV; Turnip mosaic virus, TuMV, and Turnip yellow mosaic virus, TYMV) was analysed during four years in six arabidospisis populations in different habitats in central Spain. Virus prevalence varied largely between years and within the year, but not between population sites. CMV was the most prevalent virus, followed by CaMV and TuMV, but infection by CMV and CaMV was most consistently detected over sites and years. Values of incidence were high, between 30 and 100%. Joint analyses of incidence and plant demography showed that virus infection was maximal when plants were young, either at the vegetative stage or at the early reproductive stage. Thus, field surveys suggest a potential effect of virus infection on the host population dynamics. Twenty randomly chosen genotypes from two populations were genotyped on the basis of 73 SNPs plus 20 SSR, and analysed for their resistance/susceptibility to infection by the most prevalent viruses. Two isolates of each virus were used in these assays, one well characterised isolate, and one isolate from field-infected Arabidopsis plants. Results show that Arabidopsis genotypes varied largely in resistance to the different virus, and indicate different selection dynamics for resistance to the different virus species and genotypes. Our results, thus, indicate that the two first conditions above are met, and suggest that virus infection might have a role in determining the genetic structure of the host plant.
II Reunión de la Red Nacional de Virología de Plantas REVIPLANT
Puerto de Santa María (Cádiz, España)
Start Date
End Date
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Libro de Resúmenes REVIPLANT
  • Autor: Nuria Montes Casado (UPM)
  • Autor: Fernando Garcia-Arenal Rodriguez (UPM)
  • Autor: Aurora Fraile Perez (UPM)
  • Autor: Jesus Israel Pagan Muñoz (UPM)
Research Group, Departaments and Institutes related
  • Creador: Grupo de Investigación: Patología Vegetal
  • Centro o Instituto I+D+i: Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas, CBGP
S2i 2020 Observatorio de investigación @ UPM con la colaboración del Consejo Social UPM
Cofinanciación del MINECO en el marco del Programa INNCIDE 2011 (OTR-2011-0236)
Cofinanciación del MINECO en el marco del Programa INNPACTO (IPT-020000-2010-22)