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Global Transcriptomic Analysis Reveals Insights into the Response of ‘Etrog’ Citron (Citrus medica L.) to Citrus Exocortis Viroid Infection

1
National Citrus Engineering Research Center, Citrus Research Institute, Southwest University, Chongqing 400712, China
2
Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China
3
Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Ghazi University, Dera Ghazi Khan 32200, Pakistan
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2019, 11(5), 453; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11050453
Received: 31 March 2019 / Revised: 11 May 2019 / Accepted: 15 May 2019 / Published: 17 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viroid-2018: International Conference on Viroids and Viroid-Like RNAs)
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Abstract

Citrus exocortis viroid (CEVd) is the causal agent of citrus exocortis disease. We employed CEVd-infected ‘Etrog’ citron as a system to study the feedback regulation mechanism using transcriptome analysis in this study. Three months after CEVd infection, the transcriptome of fresh leaves was analyzed, and 1530 differentially expressed genes were detected. The replication of CEVd in citron induced upregulation of genes encoding key proteins that were involved in the RNA silencing pathway such as Dicer-like 2, RNA-dependent RNA polymerase 1, argonaute 2, argonaute 7, and silencing defective 3, as well as those genes encoding proteins that are related to basic defense responses. Many genes involved in secondary metabolite biosynthesis and chitinase activity were upregulated, whereas other genes related to cell wall and phytohormone signal transduction were downregulated. Moreover, genes encoding disease resistance proteins, pathogenicity-related proteins, and heat shock cognate 70 kDa proteins were also upregulated in response to CEVd infection. These results suggest that basic defense and RNA silencing mechanisms are activated by CEVd infection, and this information improves our understanding of the pathogenesis of viroids in woody plants. View Full-Text
Keywords: Citrus exocortis viroid (CEVd); ‘Etrog’ citron; differentially expressed genes; transcriptome; RNA silencing; innate immunity Citrus exocortis viroid (CEVd); ‘Etrog’ citron; differentially expressed genes; transcriptome; RNA silencing; innate immunity
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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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Wang, Y.; Wu, J.; Qiu, Y.; Atta, S.; Zhou, C.; Cao, M. Global Transcriptomic Analysis Reveals Insights into the Response of ‘Etrog’ Citron (Citrus medica L.) to Citrus Exocortis Viroid Infection. Viruses 2019, 11, 453.

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