Transgenic down-regulation of ARGONAUTE2 expression in Nicotiana benthamiana interferes with several layers of antiviral defenses. Academic Article uri icon


  • The present study aimed to analyze the contribution of Nicotiana benthamiana ARGONAUTE2 (NbAGO2) to its antiviral response against different viruses. For this purpose, dsRNA hairpin technology was used to reduce NbAGO2 expression in transgenic plants as verified with RT-PCR. This reduction was specific because the expression of other NbAGOs was not affected, and did not cause obvious developmental defects under normal growth conditions. Inoculation of transgenic plants with an otherwise silencing-sensitive GFP-expressing Tomato bushy stunt virus (TBSV) variant resulted in high GFP accumulation because antiviral silencing was compromised. These transgenic plants also exhibited accelerated spread and/or enhanced susceptibility and symptoms for TBSV mutants defective for P19 or coat protein expression, other tombusviruses, Tobacco mosaic virus, and Potato virus X; but not noticeably for Foxtail mosaic virus. These findings support the notion that NbAGO2 in N. benthamiana can contribute to antiviral defense at different levels.

published proceedings

  • Virology

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Odokonyero, D., Mendoza, M. R., Alvarado, V. Y., Zhang, J., Wang, X., & Scholthof, H. B.

citation count

  • 28

complete list of authors

  • Odokonyero, Denis||Mendoza, Maria R||Alvarado, Veria Y||Zhang, Jiantao||Wang, Xiaofeng||Scholthof, Herman B

publication date

  • December 2015