Nicotiana benthamiana, A Popular Model for Genome Evolution and Plant–Pathogen Interactions

  • Marina A. Pombo
  • Hernan G. Rosli
  • Noe Fernandez-Pozo
  • Aureliano BombarelyEmail author
Part of the Compendium of Plant Genomes book series (CPG)


Nicotiana benthamiana originates from northern Australia and belongs to the Suaveolentes section. It is used extensively as a model organism for many types of research, including plant–pathogen interactions, RNA interference, and functional genomics. Recent publications that used N. benthamiana as a model for plant–pathogen interactions focused mainly on bacteria, viruses, oomycete, and fungi. Two different N. benthamiana whole genome assemblies were published in 2012. These assemblies have been improved and structurally annotated in later versions but are still incomplete. The lineage most widely used in research originates from a population that has retained a loss-of-function mutation in Rdr1 (RNA-dependent RNA polymerase 1) that makes it highly susceptible to viruses. In this chapter, we review some of the techniques used in N. benthamiana to study plant–pathogen interactions, including virus-induced gene silencing, transient protein expression by agroinfiltration, stable genetic manipulation, and transcriptomics analysis, and discuss some of the results. Descriptions and links to some of the most relevant online resources for N. benthamiana are also provided.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marina A. Pombo
    • 1
  • Hernan G. Rosli
    • 1
  • Noe Fernandez-Pozo
    • 2
  • Aureliano Bombarely
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Instituto de Fisiología Vegetal, INFIVE, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, CONICETBuenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Faculty of BiologyUniversity of MarburgMarburgGermany
  3. 3.School of Plant and Environmental SciencesVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA
  4. 4.Dipartimento Di Bioscienze, Universita Degli Studi Di MilanoMilanItaly

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