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Open AccessArticle

Transcriptional and Small RNA Responses of the White Mold Fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum to Infection by a Virulence-Attenuating Hypovirus

1
Department of Biology and Microbiology, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57006, USA
2
Department of Agronomy, Horticulture, and Plant Science, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57006, USA
3
United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2018, 10(12), 713; https://doi.org/10.3390/v10120713
Received: 3 October 2018 / Revised: 6 December 2018 / Accepted: 10 December 2018 / Published: 14 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycoviruses)
Mycoviruses belonging to the family Hypoviridae cause persistent infection of many different host fungi. We previously determined that the white mold fungus, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, infected with Sclerotinia sclerotiorum hypovirus 2-L (SsHV2-L) exhibits reduced virulence, delayed/reduced sclerotial formation, and enhanced production of aerial mycelia. To gain better insight into the cellular basis for these changes, we characterized changes in mRNA and small RNA (sRNA) accumulation in S. sclerotiorum to infection by SsHV2-L. A total of 958 mRNAs and 835 sRNA-producing loci were altered after infection by SsHV2-L, among which >100 mRNAs were predicted to encode proteins involved in the metabolism and trafficking of carbohydrates and lipids. Both S. sclerotiorum endogenous and virus-derived sRNAs were predominantly 22 nt in length suggesting one dicer-like enzyme cleaves both. Novel classes of endogenous small RNAs were predicted, including phasiRNAs and tRNA-derived small RNAs. Moreover, S. sclerotiorum phasiRNAs, which were derived from noncoding RNAs and have the potential to regulate mRNA abundance in trans, showed differential accumulation due to virus infection. tRNA fragments did not accumulate differentially after hypovirus infection. Hence, in-depth analysis showed that infection of S. sclerotiorum by a hypovirulence-inducing hypovirus produced selective, large-scale reprogramming of mRNA and sRNA production. View Full-Text
Keywords: hypovirus; small RNA; tRFs; mycovirus hypovirus; small RNA; tRFs; mycovirus
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Lee Marzano, S.-Y.; Neupane, A.; Domier, L. Transcriptional and Small RNA Responses of the White Mold Fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum to Infection by a Virulence-Attenuating Hypovirus. Viruses 2018, 10, 713.

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