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Open AccessArticle

Pospiviroid Infection of Tomato Regulates the Expression of Genes Involved in Flower and Fruit Development

1
Campus Juriquilla, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, Querátaro Qro 76300, Mexico
2
Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del IPN, Unidad Irapuato, Irapuato, Guanajuato 36821, Mexico
3
United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2018, 10(10), 516; https://doi.org/10.3390/v10100516
Received: 22 May 2018 / Revised: 11 September 2018 / Accepted: 14 September 2018 / Published: 21 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viroid-2018: International Conference on Viroids and Viroid-Like RNAs)
Viroids are unencapsidated, single-stranded, covalently-closed circular, highly structured, noncoding RNAs of 239–401 nucleotides that cause disease in several economically important crop plants. In tomato (Solanum lycopersicum cv. Rutgers), symptoms of pospiviroid infection include stunting, reduced vigor, flower abortion, and reduced size and number of fruits, resulting in significant crop losses. Dramatic alterations in plant development triggered by viroid infection are the result of differential gene expression; in our study, we focused on the effect of tomato planta macho viroid (TPMVd) and Mexican papita viroid (MPVd) infection on gene networks associated with the regulation of flower and fruit development. The expression of several of the genes were previously reported to be affected by viroid infection, but two genes not previously studied were included. Changes in gene expression of SlBIGPETAL1 (bHLH transcription factor) and SlOVA6 (proline-like tRNA synthetase) are involved in petal morphology and fertility, respectively. Expression of SlOVA6 was down-regulated in flowers of TPMVd- and MPVd-infected plants, while expression of SlBIGPETAL1 was up-regulated in flowers. Up-regulation of SlBIGPETAL1 and down-regulation of SlOVA6 were positively correlated with symptoms such as reduced petal size and flower abortion. Expression analysis of additional tomato genes and a prediction of a global network association of genes involved in flower and fruit development and impacted by viroid infection may further elucidate the pathways underlying viroid pathogenicity. View Full-Text
Keywords: viroid pathogenicity; tomato planta macho viroid; Mexican papita viroid; tomato fruit development; hormone regulation; RNA-mediated gene regulation; flower development viroid pathogenicity; tomato planta macho viroid; Mexican papita viroid; tomato fruit development; hormone regulation; RNA-mediated gene regulation; flower development
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Aviña-Padilla, K.; Rivera-Bustamante, R.; Kovalskaya, N.Y.; Hammond, R.W. Pospiviroid Infection of Tomato Regulates the Expression of Genes Involved in Flower and Fruit Development. Viruses 2018, 10, 516.

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