Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), a begomovirus, causes large yield losses and breeding for resistance is an effective way to combat this viral disease. The resistance gene Ty-1 codes for an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and has recently been shown to enhance transcriptional gene silencing of TYLCV. Whereas Ty-1 was earlier shown to also confer resistance to a bipartite begomovirus, here it is shown that Ty-1 is probably generic to all geminiviruses. A tomato Ty-1 introgression line, but also stable transformants of susceptible tomato cv. Moneymaker and Nicotiana benthamiana (N. benthamiana) expressing the Ty-1 gene, exhibited resistance to begomoviruses as well as to the distinct, leafhopper-transmitted beet curly top virus, a curtovirus. Stable Ty-1 transformants of N. benthamiana and tomato showed fewer symptoms and reduced viral titres on infection compared to wild-type plants. TYLCV infections in wild-type N. benthamiana plants in the additional presence of a betasatellite led to increased symptom severity and a consistent, slightly lowered virus titre relative to the high averaged levels seen in the absence of the betasatellite. On the contrary, in Ty-1 transformed N. benthamiana viral titres increased in the presence of the betasatellite. The same was observed when these Ty-1-encoding plants were challenged with TYLCV and a potato virus X construct expressing the RNA interference suppressor protein βC1 encoded by the betasatellite. The resistance spectrum of Ty-1 and the durability of the resistance are discussed in light of antiviral RNA interference and viral counter defence strategies.
- beet curly top virus
- RNA interference
- tomato yellow leaf curl virus