Relationship between symptoms and gene expression induced by the infection of three strains of Rice dwarf virus. uri icon


  • Background: Rice dwarf virus (RDV) is the causal agent of rice dwarf disease, which often results in severe yield losses of rice in East Asian countries. The disease symptoms are stunted growth, chlorotic specks on leaves, and delayed and incomplete panicle exsertion. Three RDV strains, O, D84, and S, were reported. RDV-S causes the most severe symptoms, whereas RDV-O causes the mildest. Twenty amino acid substitutions were found in 10 of 12 virus proteins among three RDV strains.
  • Conclusions/Significance: Gene responses to RDV infection were regulated differently depending on the gene groups regulated and the strains infecting. It seems that symptom severity is associated with the degree of gene response in defense-related and development- and morphogenesis-related processes. The titer levels of RDV in plants and the amino acid substitutions in RDV proteins could be involved in regulating such gene responses.
  • Methodology/Principal Findings: We analyzed the gene expression of rice in response to infection with the three RDV strains using a 60-mer oligonucleotide microarray to examine the relationship between symptom severity and gene responses. The number of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) upon the infection of RDV-O, -D84, and -S was 1985, 3782, and 6726, respectively, showing a correlation between the number of DEGs and symptom severity. Many DEGs were related to defense, stress response, and development and morphogenesis processes. For defense and stress response processes, gene silencing-related genes were activated by RDV infection and the degree of activation was similar among plants infected with the three RDV strains. Genes for hormone-regulated defense systems were also activated by RDV infection, and the degree of activation seemed to be correlated with the concentration of RDV in plants. Some development and morphogenesis processes were suppressed by RDV infection, but the degree of suppression was not correlated well with the RDV concentration.

publication date

  • 2011
  • 2011