The plant eukaryotic translation-initiation factors eIF4E and eIF(iso)4E play key roles in infection by plant RNA viruses, especially potyviruses. Mutations in the genes that encode these factors reduce susceptibility to the viruses. In the amphidiploid plant tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.), eIF4E1-S deletion mutants resist Potato virus Y (PVY), but resistance-breaking strains (RB-PVY) have appeared. In an earlier study, we demonstrated that the loss-of-function of eIF(iso)4E-T reduces susceptibility to RB-PVY. Here, we show that simultaneous inhibition of eIF4E1-S and eIF(iso)4E-T synergistically confers enhanced resistance to both PVY and RB-PVY without host growth or development defects. PVY symptoms and accumulation in a tobacco line lacking eIF4E1-S were detected at 14 days post-inoculation (dpi) and RB-PVY symptoms in lines without functional eIF(iso)4E-T were observed at 24 dpi. RB-PVY emerged in a PVY-infected tobacco line lacking eIF4E1-S. In contrast, lines without functional eIF4E1-S and eIF(iso)4E-T were nearly immune to PVY and RB-PVY, and little accumulation of either virus was detected even at 56 dpi. Thus, the lines will be promising for PVY-resistance breeding. This study provides a novel strategy to develop tobacco highly resistant to PVY and RB-PVY, and insights into the mechanisms responsible for high-level resistance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas