Tobacco rattle virus (TRV)-Mediated Silencing of Nicotiana benthamiana ARGONAUTES (NbAGOs) Reveals New Antiviral Candidates and Dominant Effects of TRV-NbAGO1. Academic Article uri icon


  • The objective of this study was to determine the contribution of different ARGONAUTE proteins in Nicotiana benthamiana (NbAGOs) to the defense against silencing sensitive GFP-expressing viral constructs based on Tomato bushy stunt virus (TBSV) (Tombusvirus), Sunn-hemp mosaic virus (Tobamovirus), and Foxtail mosaic virus (Potexvirus). Upon Tobacco rattle virus (TRV)-mediated down-regulation of NbAGO1, 4, 5, or 6, no effects were noted on susceptibility to any virus construct, whereas knockdown of NbAGO2 specifically prevented silencing of P19-defective TBSV (TGdP19). Down-regulation of a new gene referred to as NbAGO5L showed some reduced silencing for TGdP19 but not for the other two virus constructs, whereas silencing of NbAGO7 gave rise to a subtle increase in susceptibility to all three viruses. Co-infiltrating different TRV-NbAGO constructs simultaneously did not enhance virus susceptibility. However, an unexpected finding was that whenever the TRV-NbAGO1 construct was present, this compromised silencing of genes targeted by co-infiltrated constructs, as shown upon co-infiltration of TRV-NbAGO1 with either TRV-NbAGO2 or TRV-Sul (targeting Magnesium chelatase I). Only after a prolonged period (approximately 2 months) did TRV-Sul-mediated systemic bleaching occur in these co-infected plants, suggesting that TRV-NbAGO1 hinders the silencing ability of other TRV-NbAGO constructs. In conclusion, this study revealed new antiviral NbAGOs and dominant effects of silencing NbAGO1.

published proceedings

  • Phytopathology

author list (cited authors)

  • Odokonyero, D., Mendoza, M. R., Moffett, P., & Scholthof, H. B.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Odokonyero, Denis||Mendoza, Maria R||Moffett, Peter||Scholthof, Herman B

publication date

  • August 2017