A meta-analysis reveals the commonalities and differences in Arabidopsis thaliana response to different viral pathogens

Autores UPV
Revista PLoS ONE


Understanding the mechanisms by which plants trigger host defenses in response to viruses has been a challenging problem owing to the multiplicity of factors and complexity of interactions involved. The advent of genomic techniques, however, has opened the possibility to grasp a global picture of the interaction. Here, we used Arabidopsis thaliana to identify and compare genes that are differentially regulated upon infection with seven distinct (+)ssRNA and one ssDNA plant viruses. In the first approach, we established lists of genes differentially affected by each virus and compared their involvement in biological functions and metabolic processes. We found that phylogenetically related viruses significantly alter the expression of similar genes and that viruses naturally infecting Brassicaceae display a greater overlap in the plant response. In the second approach, virus-regulated genes were contextualized using models of transcriptional and protein-protein interaction networks of A. thaliana. Our results confirm that host cells undergo significant reprogramming of their transcriptome during infection, which is possibly a central requirement for the mounting of host defenses. We uncovered a general mode of action in which perturbations preferentially affect genes that are highly connected, central and organized in modules. © 2012 Rodrigo et al.