Plant Growth Retardation and Conserved miRNAs Are Correlated to Hibiscus Chlorotic Ringspot Virus Infection

Abstract

Virus infection may cause a multiplicity of symptoms in their host including discoloration, distortion and growth retardation. Hibiscus chlorotic ringspot virus (HCRSV) infection was studied using kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.), a non-wood fiber-producing crop in this study. Infection by HCRSV reduced the fiber yield and concomitant economic value of kenaf. We investigated kenaf growth retardation and fluctuations of four selected miRNAs after HCRSV infection. Vegetative growth (including plant height, leaf size and root development) was severely retarded. From the transverse and radial sections of the mock and HCRSV-infected kenaf stem, the vascular bundles of HCRSV-infected plants were severely disrupted. In addition, four conserved plant developmental and defence related microRNAs (miRNAs) (miR165, miR167, miR168 and miR171) and their respective target genes phabulosa (PHB), auxin response factor 8 (ARF8), argonaute 1 (AGO1) and scarecrow-like protein 1 (SCL1) displayed variation in expression levels after HCRSV infection. Compared with the mock inoculated kenaf plants, miR171 and miR168 and their targets SCL1 and AGO1 showed greater fluctuations after HCRSV infection. As HCRSV upregulates plant SO transcript in kenaf and upregulated AGO1 in HCRSV-infected plants, the expression level of AGO1 transcript was further investigated under sulfite oxidase (SO) overexpression or silencing condition. Interestingly, the four selected miRNAs were also up- or down-regulated upon overexpression or silencing of SO. Plant growth retardation and fluctuation of four conserved miRNAs are correlated to HCRSV infection.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085476

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Gao2013PlantGR, title={Plant Growth Retardation and Conserved miRNAs Are Correlated to Hibiscus Chlorotic Ringspot Virus Infection }, author={Ruimin Gao and Zi Yi Wan and S. Wong}, booktitle={PloS one}, year={2013} }