Open Access Research

Changes in the gene expression profile of Arabidopsis thaliana after infection with Tobacco etch virus

Patricia Agudelo-Romero1, Pablo Carbonell1, Francisca de la Iglesia1, Javier Carrera1, Guillermo Rodrigo1, Alfonso Jaramillo2, Miguel A Pérez-Amador1 and Santiago F Elena1*

Author Affiliations

1 Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas-UPV, 46022, València, Spain

2 Laboratoire de Biochimie, École Polytechnique, 91128, Palaiseau, France

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Virology Journal 2008, 5:92  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-5-92

Published: 7 August 2008

Abstract

Background

Tobacco etch potyvirus (TEV) has been extensively used as model system for the study of positive-sense RNA virus infecting plants. TEV ability to infect Arabidopsis thaliana varies among ecotypes. In this study, changes in gene expression of A. thaliana ecotype Ler infected with TEV have been explored using long-oligonucleotide arrays. A. thaliana Ler is a susceptible host that allows systemic movement, although the viral load is low and syndrome induced ranges from asymptomatic to mild. Gene expression profiles were monitored in whole plants 21 days post-inoculation (dpi). Microarrays contained 26,173 protein-coding genes and 87 miRNAs.

Results

Expression analysis identified 1727 genes that displayed significant and consistent changes in expression levels either up or down, in infected plants. Identified TEV-responsive genes encode a diverse array of functional categories that include responses to biotic (such as the systemic acquired resistance pathway and hypersensitive responses) and abiotic stresses (droughtness, salinity, temperature, and wounding). The expression of many different transcription factors was also significantly affected, including members of the R2R3-MYB family and ABA-inducible TFs. In concordance with several other plant and animal viruses, the expression of heat-shock proteins (HSP) was also increased. Finally, we have associated functional GO categories with KEGG biochemical pathways, and found that many of the altered biological functions are controlled by changes in basal metabolism.

Conclusion

TEV infection significantly impacts a wide array of cellular processes, in particular, stress-response pathways, including the systemic acquired resistance and hypersensitive responses. However, many of the observed alterations may represent a global response to viral infection rather than being specific of TEV.