Transcriptome analysis provides insights into the delayed sticky disease symptoms in Carica papaya
Global gene expression analysis indicates host stress responses, mainly those mediated by SA, associated to the tolerance to sticky disease symptoms at pre-flowering stage in Carica papaya.
Carica papaya plants develop the papaya sticky disease (PSD) as a result of the combined infection of papaya meleira virus (PMeV) and papaya meleira virus 2 (PMeV2), or PMeV complex. PSD symptoms appear only after C. papaya flowers. To understand the mechanisms involved in this phenomenon, the global gene expression patterns of PMeV complex-infected C. papaya at pre-and post-flowering stages were assessed by RNA-Seq. The result was 633 and 88 differentially expressed genes at pre- and post-flowering stages, respectively. At pre-flowering stage, genes related to stress and transport were up-regulated while metabolism-related genes were down-regulated. It was observed that induction of several salicylic acid (SA)-activated genes, including PR1, PR2, PR5, WRKY transcription factors, ROS and callose genes, suggesting SA signaling involvement in the delayed symptoms. In fact, pre-flowering C. papaya treated with exogenous SA showed a tendency to decrease the PMeV and PMeV2 loads when compared to control plants. However, pre-flowering C. papaya also accumulated transcripts encoding a NPR1-inhibitor (NPR1-I/NIM1-I) candidate, genes coding for UDP-glucosyltransferases (UGTs) and several genes involved with ethylene pathway, known to be negative regulators of SA signaling. At post-flowering, when PSD symptoms appeared, the down-regulation of PR-1 encoding gene and the induction of BSMT1 and JA metabolism-related genes were observed. Hence, SA signaling likely operates at the pre-flowering stage of PMeV complex-infected C. papaya inhibiting the development of PSD symptoms, but the induction of its negative regulators prevents the full-scale and long-lasting tolerance.
KeywordsCarica papaya Papaya meleira virus Transcriptome Plant–virus interaction Defense responses SA signaling
This work was supported by the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Espírito Santo, FAPES, Grants #48497231 and #59899549/12. A.A.R. Fernandes, P.M.B. Fernandes and José A. Ventura were granted with the research productivity award from the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, CNPq, Grant #303902/2013-2, #304719/2014-5 and #307752/2012-7, respectively. L.J. Madroñero, T.F.S. Antunes and P.M.V. Abreu acknowledge the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior, CAPES, for their schollarships.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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