3 years ago

Deep sequencing of mycovirus-derived small RNAs from Botrytis species

María A. Ayllón, Livia Donaire
RNA silencing is an ancient regulatory mechanism operating in all eukaryotic cells. In fungi, it was first discovered in Neurospora crassa, although its potential as a defence mechanism against mycoviruses was first reported in Cryphonectria parasitica and, later, in several fungal species. There is little evidence of the antiviral potential of RNA silencing in the phytopathogenic species of the fungal genus Botrytis. Moreover, little is known about the RNA silencing components in these fungi, although the analysis of public genome databases identified two Dicer-like genes in B. cinerea, as in most of the ascomycetes sequenced to date. In this work, we used deep sequencing to study the virus-derived small RNA (vsiRNA) populations from different mycoviruses infecting field isolates of Botrytis spp. The mycoviruses under study belong to different genera and species, and have different types of genome [double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), (+)single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) and (–)ssRNA]. In general, vsiRNAs derived from mycoviruses are mostly of 21, 20 and 22 nucleotides in length, possess sense or antisense orientation, either in a similar ratio or with a predominance of sense polarity depending on the virus species, have predominantly U at their 5′ end, and are unevenly distributed along the viral genome, showing conspicuous hotspots of vsiRNA accumulation. These characteristics reveal striking similarities with vsiRNAs produced by plant viruses, suggesting similar pathways of viral targeting in plants and fungi. We have shown that the fungal RNA silencing machinery acts against the mycoviruses used in this work in a similar manner independent of their viral or fungal origin.

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

DOI: 10.1111/mpp.12466

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