Open Access Research

Infection of Beet necrotic yellow vein virus with RNA4-encoded P31 specifically up-regulates pathogenesis-related protein 10 in Nicotiana benthamiana

Wen-Qi Wu1, Hui-Yan Fan1, Ning Jiang1, Ying Wang1, Zong-Ying Zhang1, Yong-Liang Zhang1, Xian-Bing Wang1, Da-Wei Li1, Jia-Lin Yu1 and Cheng-Gui Han12*

Author Affiliations

1 State Key Laboratory of Agrobiotechnology and the Ministry of Agriculture Key Laboratory for Plant Pathology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China

2 Department of Plant Pathology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China

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Virology Journal 2014, 11:118  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-11-118

Published: 24 June 2014



Beet necrotic yellow vein virus (BNYVV) is the infectious agent of sugar beet rhizomania, which consists of four or five plus-sense RNAs. RNA4 of BNYVV is not essential for virus propagation in Nicotiana benthamiana but has a major effect on symptom expression. Early reports showed that RNA4-encoded P31 was associated with severe symptoms, such as curling and dwarfing, in N. benthamiana.


We discovered that the pathogenesis-related protein 10 (PR-10) gene can be up-regulated in BNYVV-infected N. benthamiana in the presence of RNA4 and that it had a close link with symptom development. Our frame-shift, deletion and substitution analysis showed that only the entire P31 could induce PR-10 up-regulation during BNYVV infection and that all the tryptophans and six cysteines (C174, C183, C186, C190, C197 and C199) in the cysteine-rich P31 had significant effects on PR-10 expression. However, P31 could not interact directly with PR-10 in yeast.


Our data demonstrated that only integrated P31 specifically induced PR-10 transcription, which coincided closely with the appearance of severe symptoms in BNYVV-infected N. benthamiana, although they could not interact directly with each other in yeast.

Beet necrotic yellow vein virus; RNA4; P31; Pathogenesis-related protein 10; Nicotiana benthamiana