Differential contributions of plant Dicer-like proteins to antiviral defences against potato virus X in leaves and roots

Andika Ida Bagus, Kazuyuki Maruyama, Liying Sun, Hideki Kondo, Tetsuo Tamada, Nobuhiro Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Members of the plant Dicer-like (DCL) protein family are the critical components of the RNA-silencing pathway that mediates innate antiviral defence. The distinct antiviral role of each individual DCL protein has been established with mostly based on observations of aerial parts of plants. Thus, although the roots are closely associated with the life cycle of many plant viruses, little is known about the antiviral activities of DCL proteins in roots. We observed that antiviral silencing strongly inhibits potato virus X (PVX) replication in roots of some susceptible Solanaceae species. Silencing of the DCL4 homolog in Nicotiana benthamiana partially elevated PVX replication levels in roots. In Arabidopsis thaliana, which was originally considered a non-host plant of PVX, high levels of PVX accumulation in inoculated leaves were achieved by inactivation of DCL4, while in the upper leaves and roots, it required the additional inactivation of DCL2. In transgenic A. thaliana carrying the PVX amplicon with a green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene insertion in the chromosome (AMP243 line), absence of DCL4 enabled high levels of PVX-GFP accumulation in various aerial organs but not in the roots, suggesting that DCL4 is critical for intracellular antiviral silencing in shoots but not in roots, where it can be functionally compensated by other DCL proteins. Together, the high level of functional redundancies among DCL proteins may contribute to the potent antiviral activities against PVX replication in roots. Significance StatementThis study demonstrates the differential contributions of DCL proteins between leaves and roots.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)781-793
Number of pages13
JournalPlant Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2015


  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • Dicer-like protein
  • Nicotiana benthamiana
  • RNA silencing
  • antiviral defence
  • potato virus X
  • root

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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