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  • Author or Editor: Chris A. Clark x
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Sweet potato virus disease (SPVD) is one of the most devastating diseases affecting sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas), an important food crop in developing countries. SPVD develops when sweetpotato plants are dually infected with sweet potato feathery mottle virus (SPFMV) and sweet potato chlorotic stunt virus (SPCSV). To better understand the synergistic interaction between these viruses, global gene expression was previously studied in the susceptible cultivar Beauregard. In the current study, global gene expression between SPVD-affected plants and virus-tested control plants (VT) were compared in ‘Beauregard’ (Bx) and resistant ‘NASPOT 1’ (Nas) sweetpotato cultivars at 5, 9, 13, and 17 days post inoculation (DPI). Titer levels of SPFMV and SPCSV were significantly lower in inoculated resistant plants (Nas_SPVD) than in susceptible plants (Bx_SPVD) at most of the time points. Chloroplast genes and cell expansion-related genes (including xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolases) were suppressed in Bx_SPVD, while stress-related genes were induced. This trend was not observed in resistant NAS_SPVD. Genes related to protein synthesis (e.g., ribosomal proteins and elongation factor genes) were induced in resistant NAS_SPVD at 5 DPI before returning to levels comparable with NAS_VT plants. At this time (5 DPI), individual viruses could not be detected in NAS_SPVD samples, and no symptoms were observed. Induction of protein synthesis-related genes is common in susceptible plants after virus infection and is generally in proportion to virus accumulation. Our results show that induction of protein synthesis genes also occurs early in the infection process in resistant plants, while virus titers were below the level of detection, suggesting that virus accumulation is not required for induction.

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