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    Mixed viral infections are common in fields and frequently exacerbate disease severity via synergistic interactions among individual viral genomic components leading to major crop loss. Two predominant species of tomato-infecting begomoviruses, Tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus (ToLCNDV) and Tomato leaf curl Gujarat virus (ToLCGuV), are known to cause severe leaf curl disease of tomato in India. Previously, we have demonstrated asymmetric synergism between these two distinct begomovirus species during mixed infection in solanaceous hosts. In the present study, we have identified the underlying proteins that positively regulate asymmetric synergism and their effect on plant defense machinery. During co-infection, the AC2 and AV2 of ToLCGuV enhanced ToLCNDV DNA accumulation in Nicotiana benthamiana as well as in their natural host, tomato. Furthermore, we found that AC2 and AV2 of ToLCNDV and AV2 of ToLCGuV play a critical role in suppression of post transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) machinery. Taken together, AC2 and AV2 encoded proteins of ToLCGuV are the crucial viral factors promoting asymmetric synergism with ToLCNDV. KEY POINTS: • Begomoviral suppressors play vital roles in viral synergism. • AC2 and AV2 of ToLCGuV asymmetrically enhance ToLCNDV accumulation. • AC2 and AV2 of ToLCNDV and ToLCGuV AV2 are major PTGS suppressors.


    Saumik Basu, Ashish Kumar Singh, Divya Singh, Sanjeeb Kumar Sahu, Supriya Chakraborty. Role of viral suppressors governing asymmetric synergism between tomato-infecting begomoviruses. Applied microbiology and biotechnology. 2021 Feb;105(3):1107-1121

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    PMID: 33417040

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