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Title: Host factors and virus infection of Arabidopsis thaliana
Author: Handford, M.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2001
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Arabidopsis thaliana is becoming an adaptable model system for the investigation of plant-virus interactions. I used it to study host factors thought to be potentially important in viral infection. The factors investigated were starch metabolism and a translation initiation factor. In a susceptible plant, virus infection is often associated with a localised build up of starch, called a starch lesion, at the infection point. I attempted to study whether or not this early accumulation of starch might be important in affecting the eventual outcome of the infection. I did this by comparing the responses of wild-type and starch mutants of Arabidopsis to virus infection. After inoculation with tobacco mosaic tobamovirus (TMV) or cucumber mosaic cucumovirus (CMV) starch lesions did not form in mutants with specific aberrations in starch synthesis (TC75), breakdown (SZ63) or mobilisation (TC265) or in wild-type plants grown in continuous light. In the case of a mutant strain, YSI/1, of TMV, accumulation of viral coat protein (CP) differed between the lines in that TC75 plants harboured more, and SZ63 and TC265 plants contained less virus than wild-type controls. However, accumulation of wild-type TMV-CP (TMV-U1) was not affected in hosts mutated in starch metabolism. Blocking starch lesion formation by perturbing starch metabolism also had a virus-specific effect on symptom severity and changes in shoot biomass caused by turnip vein-clearing tobamovirus, CMV or cauliflower mosaic caulimovirus. Disease severity in virus-infected plants grown in continuous light was affected in TC75 mutants, but in a day/night regime, the mutations in SZ63 or TC265 plants had no consistent effect on disease severity. For all three viruses, CP accumulation was similar in wild-type and mutant plants. Interactions between wild-type, SZ63 and TC265 plants and the two TMV strains were studied further.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available