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Viruses 2016, 8(7), 205; doi:10.3390/v8070205

The Whitefly Bemisia tabaci Knottin-1 Gene Is Implicated in Regulating the Quantity of Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus Ingested and Transmitted by the Insect

1
Institute of Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture, Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot 76100, Israel
2
Institute of Plant Protection, Department of Entomology, Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel
3
Institute of Insect Sciences, College of Agriculture and Biotechnology, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Thomas Hohn
Received: 18 May 2016 / Revised: 30 June 2016 / Accepted: 19 July 2016 / Published: 22 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Plant Virus—Insect Vector Interactions)
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Abstract

The whitefly Bemisia tabaci is a major pest to agricultural crops. It transmits begomoviruses, such as Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), in a circular, persistent fashion. Transcriptome analyses revealed that B. tabaci knottin genes were responsive to various stresses. Upon ingestion of tomato begomoviruses, two of the four knottin genes were upregulated, knot-1 (with the highest expression) and knot-3. In this study, we examined the involvement of B. tabaci knottin genes in relation to TYLCV circulative transmission. Knottins were silenced by feeding whiteflies with knottin dsRNA via detached tomato leaves. Large amounts of knot-1 transcripts were present in the abdomen of whiteflies, an obligatory transit site of begomoviruses in their circulative transmission pathway; knot-1 silencing significantly depleted the abdomen from knot-1 transcripts. Knot-1 silencing led to an increase in the amounts of TYLCV ingested by the insects and transmitted to tomato test plants by several orders of magnitude. This effect was not observed following knot-3 silencing. Hence, knot-1 plays a role in restricting the quantity of virions an insect may acquire and transmit. We suggest that knot-1 protects B. tabaci against deleterious effects caused by TYLCV by limiting the amount of virus associated with the whitefly vector. View Full-Text
Keywords: gene silencing; insect-plant-virus interaction; geminiviruses; knottin genes gene silencing; insect-plant-virus interaction; geminiviruses; knottin genes
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hariton Shalev, A.; Sobol, I.; Ghanim, M.; Liu, S.-S.; Czosnek, H. The Whitefly Bemisia tabaci Knottin-1 Gene Is Implicated in Regulating the Quantity of Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus Ingested and Transmitted by the Insect. Viruses 2016, 8, 205.

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