Avirulent genes either directly or indirectly produce elicitors that are recognized by specific receptors of plant resistance genes, leading to the induction of host defense responses such as hypersensitive reaction (HR). HR is characterized by the development of a necrotic lesion at the site of infection which results in confinement of the invader to this area. Artificial chimeras and mutants of cymbidium ringspot (CymRSV) and the pepper isolate of tomato bushy stunt (TBSV-P) tombusviruses were used to determine viral factors involved in the HR resistance phenotype of Datura stramonium upon infection with CymRSV. A series of constructs carrying deletions and frameshifts of the CymRSV coat protein (CP) undoubtedly clarified that an 860-nucleotide (nt)-long RNA sequence in the CymRSV CP coding region (between nt 2666 and 3526) is the elicitor of a very rapid HR-like response of D. stramonium which limits the virus spread. This finding provides the first evidence that an untranslatable RNA can trigger an HR-like resistance response in virus-infected plants, the effectiveness of the resistance response might indicate that other nonhost resistance could also be due to RNA-mediated HR, it is an appealing explanation that RNA-mediated HR has evolved as an alternative defense strategy against RNA viruses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science