Characterization of a viral synergism in the monocot Brachypodium distachyon reveals distinctly altered host molecular processes associated with disease. Academic Article uri icon


  • Panicum mosaic virus (PMV) and its satellite virus (SPMV) together infect several small grain crops, biofuel, and forage and turf grasses. Here, we establish the emerging monocot model Brachypodium (Brachypodium distachyon) as an alternate host to study PMV- and SPMV-host interactions and viral synergism. Infection of Brachypodium with PMV+SPMV induced chlorosis and necrosis of leaves, reduced seed set, caused stunting, and lowered biomass, more than PMV alone. Toward gaining a molecular understanding of PMV- and SPMV-affected host processes, we used a custom-designed microarray and analyzed global changes in gene expression of PMV- and PMV+SPMV-infected plants. PMV infection by itself modulated expression of putative genes functioning in carbon metabolism, photosynthesis, metabolite transport, protein modification, cell wall remodeling, and cell death. Many of these genes were additively altered in a coinfection with PMV+SPMV and correlated to the exacerbated symptoms of PMV+SPMV coinfected plants. PMV+SPMV coinfection also uniquely altered expression of certain genes, including transcription and splicing factors. Among the host defenses commonly affected in PMV and PMV+SPMV coinfections, expression of an antiviral RNA silencing component, SILENCING DEFECTIVE3, was suppressed. Several salicylic acid signaling components, such as pathogenesis-related genes and WRKY transcription factors, were up-regulated. By contrast, several genes in jasmonic acid and ethylene responses were down-regulated. Strikingly, numerous protein kinases, including several classes of receptor-like kinases, were misexpressed. Taken together, our results identified distinctly altered immune responses in monocot antiviral defenses and provide insights into monocot viral synergism.

published proceedings

  • Plant Physiol

author list (cited authors)

  • Mandadi, K. K., & Scholthof, K.

citation count

  • 57

complete list of authors

  • Mandadi, Kranthi K||Scholthof, Karen-Beth G

publication date

  • November 2012