Different strains of the same virus differentially alter typical plant developmental traits, including secondary cell wall deposition

CBGP researchers from the ‘Plant Virus Biotechnology’ group, together with groups from Valencia (Spain) and Vancouver (Canada) describe for the first time the impact of viral infections on the formation of the secondary cell wall.


Plants are living organisms showing mostly a post-embryonic developmental pattern, thus providing plant viruses with the potential to alter typical developmental traits in comparison with organisms with an embryonic development, such as mammals. So far, this aspect of virus-plant interactions has received scarce attention. This work approaches the study of how two different strains of Turnip mosaic virus, a potyvirus, alters two typical developmental traits, the elongation and upright growth of the inflorescence, and flower formation and fertility. The results indicate that the two viral strains are able to interfere with both traits, but with differences between them, both qualitative and quantitative. In addition, it describes for the first time how a viral infection is able to alter the deposition of the secondary cell wall in specialized inflorescence and floral cells.

This work derives from a fructiferous collaboration between the CBGP group ‘Plant Virus Biotechnology’, led by Dr. Fernando Ponz, and two other groups from different centers, the IBMCP (Valencia, Spain), led by Dr. Concha Gómez Mena, and the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada), led by Dr. Lacey Samuels.


Original Paper:

López-González, S., Gómez-Mena, C., Sánchez, F., Schuetz, M., Lacey Samuels, A., Ponz, F. 2021. The Effects of Turnip Mosaic Virus Infections on the Deposition of Secondary Cell Walls and Developmental Defects in Arabidopsis Plants Are Virus-Strain Specific. Frontiers in Plant Science 12, 2221. DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2021.741050