5 years ago

Virulence determines beneficial trade-offs in the response of virus-infected plants to drought via induction of salicylic acid

Sonia Osorio, Francisco Tenllado, María Luisa Pérez-Bueno, José G. Vallarino, Matilde Barón, Tomás Canto, Carmen Cutrona, Francisco J. Toro, Bong-Nam Chung, Emmanuel Aguilar
It has been hypothesized that plants can get beneficial trade-offs from viral infections when grown under drought conditions. However, experimental support for a positive correlation between virus-induced drought tolerance and increased host fitness is scarce. We investigated whether increased virulence exhibited by the synergistic interaction involving Potato virus X (PVX) and Plum pox virus (PPV) improves tolerance to drought and host fitness in Nicotiana benthamiana and Arabidopsis thaliana. Infection by the pair PPV/PVX and by PPV expressing the virulence protein P25 of PVX conferred an enhanced drought-tolerant phenotype compared with single infections with either PPV or PVX. Decreased transpiration rates in virus-infected plants were correlated with drought tolerance in N. benthamiana but not in Arabidopsis. Metabolite and hormonal profiles of Arabidopsis plants infected with the different viruses showed a range of changes that positively correlated with a greater impact on drought tolerance. Virus infection enhanced drought tolerance in both species by increasing salicylic acid accumulation in an abscisic acid-independent manner. Viable offspring derived from Arabidopsis plants infected with PPV increased relative to non-infected plants, when exposed to drought. By contrast, the detrimental effect caused by the more virulent viruses overcame potential benefits associated with increased drought tolerance on host fitness.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/pce.13028

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