Special Issue "Plant Immunity to Virus Infections 2021"

A special issue of Viruses (ISSN 1999-4915). This special issue belongs to the section "Viruses of Plants, Fungi and Protozoa".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Feng Qu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Plant Pathology, The Ohio State University, Wooster, Ohio, USA
Interests: plant antiviral defenses; including RNA silencing and resistance gene-mediated defense
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Following the success of the Plant Immunity to Virus Infections, we are editing a 2021 edition of this popular topic for submissions. Plant antiviral defense mechanisms have always been a field of unabated research interest, as they offer both the thrill of basic research discovery and the promise of improved control of crop virus diseases.

Thanks to the relentless pursuit by generations of plant virologists, we now know that plant viruses encounter a wide array of host defenses, including RNA silencing, immunity conferred by single dominant (e.g., resistance genes or R genes) or recessive (e.g., eukaryotic translational initiation factors) plant genes, protein or virion destruction by autophagy and/or proteasome, and defense augmentation through plant hormones and reactive oxygen species. Strikingly, nearly all of the defense mechanisms are counteracted by viruses with a steadily evolving arsenal of defense-mitigating or -evading tools.

With this Special Issue, I hope to highlight the latest progress in the field of plant immunity to virus infection by inviting plant virologists worldwide to tell their most exciting stories in the form of original research articles, reviews, or opinion/hypothesis essays. Contributions from all branches of this field are equally and enthusiastically appreciated. 

Dr. Feng Qu
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Viruses is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • plant anti-viral defense
  • resistance gene
  • RNA silencing
  • autopahgy
  • defense regulation by plant hormones
  • crop virus diseases

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Three Strains of Tobacco etch virus Distinctly Alter the Transcriptome of Apical Stem Tissue in Capsicum annuum during Infection
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 741; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13050741 - 23 Apr 2021
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Abstract
Tobacco etch virus (TEV; genus Potyvirus) is flexuous rod shaped with a single molecule of single-stranded RNA and causes serious yield losses in species in the Solanaceae. Three TEV strains (HAT, Mex21, and N) are genetically distinct and cause different disease [...] Read more.
Tobacco etch virus (TEV; genus Potyvirus) is flexuous rod shaped with a single molecule of single-stranded RNA and causes serious yield losses in species in the Solanaceae. Three TEV strains (HAT, Mex21, and N) are genetically distinct and cause different disease symptoms in plants. Here, a transcriptomic RNA sequencing approach was taken for each TEV strain to evaluate gene expression of the apical stem segment of pepper plants during two stages of disease development. Distinct profiles of Differentially Expressed Genes (DEGs) were identified for each TEV strain. DEG numbers increased with degree of symptom severity: 24 from HAT, 1190 from Mex21, and 4010 from N. At 7 days post-inoculation (dpi), when systemic symptoms were similar, there were few DEGs for HAT- and Mex21-infected plants, whereas N-infected plants had 2516 DEGs. DEG patterns from 7 to 14 dpi corresponded to severity of disease symptoms: milder disease with smaller DEG changes for HAT and Mex21 and severe disease with larger DEG changes for N. Strikingly, in each of these comparisons, there are very few overlapping DEGs among the TEV strains, including no overlapping DEGs between all three strains at 7 or 14 dpi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Immunity to Virus Infections 2021)
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Article
Maize AKINβγ Proteins Interact with P8 of Rice Black Streaked Dwarf Virus and Inhibit Viral Infection
Viruses 2020, 12(12), 1387; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12121387 - 04 Dec 2020
Viewed by 729
Abstract
Rice black streaked dwarf virus (RBSDV) is an important agent causing maize rough dwarf disease, whereas the host factors responding to RBSDV infection are poorly understood. To uncover the molecular interactions between RBSDV and maize, a yeast two-hybrid screen of a maize cDNA [...] Read more.
Rice black streaked dwarf virus (RBSDV) is an important agent causing maize rough dwarf disease, whereas the host factors responding to RBSDV infection are poorly understood. To uncover the molecular interactions between RBSDV and maize, a yeast two-hybrid screen of a maize cDNA library was carried out using the viral P8 protein as a bait. ZmAKINβγ-1 and ZmAKINβγ-2 (βγ subunit of Arabidopsis SNF1 kinase homolog in maize) possessing high sequence similarities (encoded by two gene copies) were identified as interaction partners. Their interactions with P8 were confirmed in both Nicotiana benthamiana cells and maize protoplasts by bimolecular fluorescence complementation assay. The accumulation levels of ZmAKINβγ mRNAs were upregulated at the stage of the viral symptoms beginning to appear and then downregulated. ZmAKINβγs are putative regulatory subunits of the SnRK1 complex, a core regulator for energy homeostasis. Knockdown of ZmAKINβγs in maize regulated the expression levels of the genes involved in sugar synthesis or degradation, and also the contents of both glucose and sucrose. Importantly, downregulation of ZmAKINβγs expressions facilitated the accumulation of RBSDV in maize. These results implicate a role of ZmAKINβγs in the regulation of primary carbohydrate metabolism, and in the defense against RBSDV infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Immunity to Virus Infections 2021)
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Review

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Review
From Player to Pawn: Viral Avirulence Factors Involved in Plant Immunity
Viruses 2021, 13(4), 688; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13040688 - 16 Apr 2021
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Abstract
In the plant immune system, according to the ‘gene-for-gene’ model, a resistance (R) gene product in the plant specifically surveils a corresponding effector protein functioning as an avirulence (Avr) gene product. This system differs from other plant–pathogen interaction systems, in which [...] Read more.
In the plant immune system, according to the ‘gene-for-gene’ model, a resistance (R) gene product in the plant specifically surveils a corresponding effector protein functioning as an avirulence (Avr) gene product. This system differs from other plant–pathogen interaction systems, in which plant R genes recognize a single type of gene or gene family because almost all virus genes with distinct structures and functions can also interact with R genes as Avr determinants. Thus, research conducted on viral Avr-R systems can provide a novel understanding of Avr and R gene product interactions and identify mechanisms that enable rapid co-evolution of plants and phytopathogens. In this review, we intend to provide a brief overview of virus-encoded proteins and their roles in triggering plant resistance, and we also summarize current progress in understanding plant resistance against virus Avr genes. Moreover, we present applications of Avr gene-mediated phenotyping in R gene identification and screening of segregating populations during breeding processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Immunity to Virus Infections 2021)

Other

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Brief Report
Induction of Plant Resistance in Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) against Tomato Spotted Wilt Orthotospovirus through Foliar Application of dsRNA
Viruses 2021, 13(4), 662; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13040662 - 12 Apr 2021
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Abstract
Thrips-transmitted tomato spotted wilt orthotospovirus (TSWV) continues to be a constraint to peanut, pepper, tobacco, and tomato production in Georgia and elsewhere. TSWV is being managed by an integrated disease management strategy that includes a combination of cultural practices, vector management, and growing [...] Read more.
Thrips-transmitted tomato spotted wilt orthotospovirus (TSWV) continues to be a constraint to peanut, pepper, tobacco, and tomato production in Georgia and elsewhere. TSWV is being managed by an integrated disease management strategy that includes a combination of cultural practices, vector management, and growing virus-resistant varieties where available. We used a non-transgenic strategy to induce RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated resistance in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) plants against TSWV. Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) molecules for the NSs (silencing suppressor) and N (nucleoprotein) genes were produced by a two-step PCR approach followed by in vitro transcription. When topically applied to tobacco leaves, both molecules elicited a resistance response. Host response to the treatments was measured by determining the time to symptom expression, and the level of resistance by absolute quantification of the virus. We also show the systemic movement of dsRNA_N from the inoculated leaves to younger, non-inoculated leaves. Post-application, viral siRNAs were detected for up to nine days in inoculated leaves and up to six days in non-inoculated leaves. The topical application of dsRNAs to induce RNAi represents an environmentally safe and efficient way to manage TSWV in tobacco crops and could be applicable to other TSWV-susceptible crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Immunity to Virus Infections 2021)
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