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Liu J.,State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology | Liu J.,Huazhong Agricultural University | Liu J.,Laboratory of Key Laboratory of Plant Pathology of Hubei Province | Zhang X.J.,Huazhong Agricultural University | And 14 more authors.
BMC Genomics | Year: 2015

Background: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have functions in diverse biological processes such as growth, signal transduction, disease resistance, and stress responses in plants. Thermotherapy is an effective approach for elimination of viruses from fruit trees. However, the role of miRNAs in this process remains elusive. Previously, we showed that high temperature treatment reduces the titers of Apple stem grooving virus (ASGV) from the tips of in vitro-grown Pyrus pyrifolia plants. In this study, we identified high temperature-altered pear miRNAs using the next generation sequencing technology, and futher molecularly characterized miRNA-mediated regulaton of target gene expression in the meristem tip and base tissues of in vitro-grown, ASGV-infected pear shoots under different temperatures. Results: Using in vitro-grown P. pyrifolia shoot meristem tips infected with ASGV, a total of 22,592,997 and 20,411,254 clean reads were obtained from Illumina high-throughput sequencing of small RNA libraries at 24°C and 37°C, respectively. We identified 149 conserved and 141 novel miRNAs. Seven conserved miRNAs and 77 novel miRNAs were differentially expressed at different temperatures. Target genes for differentially expressed known and novel miRNAs were predicted and functionally annotated. Gene Ontology (GO) analysis showed that high-ranking miRNA target genes were involved in metabolic processes, responses to stress, and signaling, indicating that these high temperature-responsive miRNAs have functions in diverse gene regulatory networks. Spatial expression patterns of the miRNAs and their target genes were found to be expressed in shoot tip and base tissues by qRT-PCR. In addition, high temperature reduced viral titers in the shoot meristem tip, while negatively regulated miRNA-mediated target genes related to resistance disease defense and hormone signal transduction pathway were up-regulated in the P. pyrifolia shoot tip in response to high temperature. These results suggested that miRNAs may have important functions in the high temperature-dependent decrease of ASGV titer in in vitro-grown pear shoots. Conclusions: This is the first report of miRNAs differentially expressed at 24°C and 37°C in the meristem tip of pear shoots infected with ASGV. The results of this study provide valuable information for further exploration of the function of high temperature-altered miRNAs in suppressing viral infections in pear and other fruit trees. © 2015 Liu et al.


Wang L.,State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology | Wang L.,Huazhong Agricultural University | Wang L.,Laboratory of Key Laboratory of Plant Pathology of Hubei Province | Jiang J.,State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology | And 17 more authors.
Journal of Virology | Year: 2014

Botryosphaeria dothidea is an important pathogenic fungus causing fruit rot, leaf and stem ring spots and dieback, stem canker, stem death or stool mortality, and decline of pear trees. Seven double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs; dsRNAs 1 to 7 with sizes of 3,654, 2,773, 2,597, 2,574, 1,823, 1,623, and 511 bp, respectively) were identified in an isolate of B. dothidea exhibiting attenuated growth and virulence and a sectoring phenotype. Characterization of the dsRNAs revealed that they belong to two dsRNA mycoviruses. The four largest dsRNAs (dsRNAs 1 to 4) are the genomic components of a novel member of the family Chrysoviridae (tentatively designated Botryosphaeria dothidea chrysovirus 1 [BdCV1]), a view supported by the morphology of the virions and phylogenetic analysis of the putative RNA-dependent RNA polymerases (RdRps). Two other dsRNAs (dsRNAs 5 and 6) are the genomic components of a novel member of the family Partitiviridae (tentatively designated Botryosphaeria dothidea partitivirus 1 [BdPV1]), which is placed in a clade distinct from other established partitivirus genera on the basis of the phylogenetic analysis of its RdRp. The smallest dsRNA, dsRNA7, seems to be a noncoding satellite RNA of BdPV1 on the basis of the conservation of its terminal sequences in BdPV1 genomic segments and its cosegregation with BdPV1 after horizontal transmission. This is the first report of a chrysovirus and a partitivirus infecting B. dothidea and of a chrysovirus associated with the hypovirulence of a phytopathogenic fungus. © 2014, American Society for Microbiology.


Wang L.,State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology | Wang L.,Huazhong Agricultural University | Wang L.,Laboratory of Key Laboratory of Plant Pathology of Hubei Province | He Y.,State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology | And 17 more authors.
Virus Research | Year: 2013

Symptoms of chlorosis along leaf edges (chlorosis-edge), along leaf veins (chlorosis-vein) and yellowing on peach leaves have been observed for a long history in the field, while the pathological factor(s) responsible for these symptoms remained unknown. Peach latent mosaic viroid (PLMVd) was detected in the leaves collected from three unique phenotypic peach trees showing above mentioned symptoms. The obtained PLMVd isolates were subjected to population structure analyses and biological assays to evaluate their pathogenicity on peach seedlings in an effort to elucidate the relationship between the PLMVd and the symptoms observed on peach trees in China. In addition, molecular features of PLMVd isolates were analyzed to obtain some insight into the structure-function relationships of this viroid. The results revealed that the symptoms of chlorosis-edge and yellowing were indeed incited by PLMVd, and a direct link between the nucleotide polymorphisms and the symptoms of yellowing and chlorosis-edge was established, i.e. residue U338 responsible for the yellowish symptom and C338 responsible for the chlorosis-edge symptom. This study provides an additional proof to endorse a previous proposal that PLMVd pathogenicity determinants reside in L11. The illustrative etiology of the disease, visualization of the symptoms progression and identification of the unique single nucleotide polymorphism possibly involved in the symptom induction will significantly increase understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms of PLMVd and will help in designing control strategies for the resulting disease. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Liu J.,State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology | Liu J.,Laboratory of Key Laboratory of Plant Pathology of Hubei Province | Zhang X.,Shihezi University | Yang Y.,State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology | And 8 more authors.
Virology Journal | Year: 2016

Background: Heat treatment (known as thermotherapy) together with in vitro culture of shoot meristem tips is a commonly used technology to obtain virus-free germplasm for the effective control of virus diseases in fruit trees. RNA silencing as an antiviral defense mechanism has been implicated in this process. To understand if high temperature-mediated acceleration of the host antiviral gene silencing system in the meristem tip facilitates virus-derived small interfering RNAs (vsiRNA) accumulation to reduce the viral RNA titer in the fruit tree meristem tip cells, we used the Apple stem grooving virus (ASGV)-Pyrus pyrifolia pathosystem to explore the possible roles of vsiRNA in thermotherapy. Results: At first we determined the full-length genome sequence of the ASGV-Js2 isolate and then profiled vsiRNAs in the meristem tip of in vitro-grown pear (cv. 'Jinshui no. 2') shoots infected by ASGV-Js2 and cultured at 24 and 37 °C. A total of 7,495 and 7,949 small RNA reads were obtained from the tips of pear shoots cultured at 24 and 37 °C, respectively. Mapping of the vsiRNAs to the ASGV-Js2 genome revealed that they were unevenly distributed along the ASGV-Js2 genome, and that 21- and 22-nt vsiRNAs preferentially accumulated at both temperatures. The 5'-terminal nucleotides of ASGV-specific siRNAs in the tips cultured under different temperatures had a similar distribution pattern, and the nucleotide U was the most frequent. RT-qPCR analyses suggested that viral genome accumulation was drastically compromised at 37 °C compared to 24 °C, which was accompanied with the elevated levels of vsiRNAs at 37 °C. As plant Dicer-like proteins (DCLs), Argonaute proteins (AGOs), and RNA-dependent RNA polymerases (RDRs) are implicated in vsiRNA biogenesis, we also cloned the partial sequences of PpDCL2,4, PpAGO1,2,4 and PpRDR1 genes, and found their expression levels were up-regulated in the ASGV-infected pear shoots at 37 °C. Conclusions: Collectively, these results showed that upon high temperature treatment, the ASGV-infected meristem shoot tips up-regulated the expression of key genes in the RNA silencing pathway, induced the biogenesis of vsiRNAs and inhibited viral RNA accumulation. This study represents the first report on the characterization of the vsiRNA population in pear plants infected by ASGV-Js2, in response to high temperature treatment. © 2016 The Author(s).

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