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Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) causes severe losses of tomato crops worldwide. To cope dynamically with such a threat, plants deploy strategies acting at the molecular and the epigenetic levels. We found that tomato symptoms progress in a specific-genotype-manner upon TSWV infection. Susceptible genotypes showed within the Auxin Response Factor (ARF8) promoter coupled to enhanced expression of miRNA167a, reduced ARF8 gene and decreased levels of the hormone auxin. This constitutes a deliberate attempt of TSWV to disrupt plant growth to promote spread in sensitive cultivars. Epigenetic regulation through the level of cytosine methylation and the miR167a-ARF8 module are part of a complex network modulating auxin-triggered synthesis and shaping tomato responses to TSWV. Furthermore, modulation of miR167a-ARF8 regulatory module could be applied in tomato-resistance breeding programs. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Sirine Werghi, Frederic Aparicio Herrero, Hatem Fakhfakh, Faten Gorsane. Auxin drives tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) resistance through epigenetic regulation of auxin response factor ARF8 expression in tomato. Gene. 2021 Dec 15;804:145905

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PMID: 34411646

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