Highly activated RNA silencing via strong induction of dicer by one virus can interfere with the replication of an unrelated virus

Sotaro Chiba, Nobuhiro Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Viruses often coinfect single host organisms in nature. Depending on the combination of viruses in such coinfections, the interplay between them may be synergistic, apparently neutral with no effect on each other, or antagonistic. RNA silencing is responsible for many cases of interference or cross-protection between viruses, but such antagonistic interactions are usually restricted to closely related strains of the same viral species. In this study, we present an unprecedented example of RNA silencing-mediated one-way interference between unrelated viruses in a filamentous model fungus, Cryphonectria parasitica. The replication of Rosellinia necatrix victorivirus 1 (RnVV1; Totiviridae) was strongly impaired by coinfection with the prototypic member of the genus Mycoreovirus (MyRV1) or a mutant of the prototype hypovirus (Cryphonectria hypovirus 1, CHV1) lacking the RNA silencing suppressor (CHV1-Δp69). This interference was associated with marked transcriptional induction of key genes in antiviral RNA silencing, dicer-like 2 (dcl2) and argonaute-like 2 (agl2), following MyRV1 or CHV1-Δp69 infection. Interestingly, the inhibition of RnVV1 replication was reproduced when the levels of dcl2 and agl2 transcripts were elevated by transgenic expression of a hairpin construct of an endogenous C. parasitica gene. Disruption of dcl2 completely abolished the interference, whereas that of agl2 did not always lead to its abolishment, suggesting more crucial roles of dcl2 in antiviral defense. Taken altogether, these results demonstrated the susceptible nature of RnVV1 to the antiviral silencing in C. parasitica activated by distinct viruses or transgene-derived double-stranded RNAs and provide insight into the potential for broad-spectrum virus control mediated by RNA silencing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E4911-E4918
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number35
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2015


  • Argonaute
  • Cryphonectria parasitica
  • Dicer
  • RNA silencing
  • Virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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