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The effects of plant virus infection on polarization reflection from leaves

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Neil Boonham

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Abstract

© 2016 Maxwell et al.This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Alteration of leaf surface phenotypes due to virus infection has the potential to affect the likelihood of colonisation by insect vectors, or to affect their feeding activities. The aim of this study was to investigate whether viruses that rely on insects for their transmission, and which can be sensitive to the polarization of light, affect the percentage polarization of light reflected from leaves. We also set out to discover whether a correlation exists between the expression of ECERIFERUM (CER) genes involved in cuticular wax synthesis and the polarization of the light reflected from the leaf surfaces. It was found that the aphid-vectored viruses Potato virus Y and Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) caused significant reductions in the percentage polarization of light reflected from the abaxial surfaces of leaves of Nicotiana tabacum, whereas the non-insect-vectored viruses Tobacco mosaic virus and Pepino mosaic virus did not induce this effect. In Arabidopsis thaliana, there was little difference in the impacts of CMV and the non-insect-vectored Turnip vein clearing virus on polarization reflection, with both viruses increasing the percentage polarization of light reflected from the abaxial surfaces of leaves. There was a trend towards increased accumulation of CER6 transcripts in N. tabacum and A. thaliana when infected with aphid-vectored viruses. No significant effect of infection on trichome densities was found in A. thaliana, suggesting that alterations to the formation of cuticular waxes may be the more likely phenotypic change on the leaf surface contributing to the changes in polarization reflection. The possible impacts and adaptive significance of these effects with regard to viral transmission by insects are discussed.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Maxwell DJ, Partridge JC, Roberts NW, Boonham N, Foster GD

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: PLoS ONE

Year: 2016

Volume: 11

Issue: 4

Online publication date: 21/04/2016

Acceptance date: 18/03/2016

ISSN (electronic): 1932-6203

Publisher: Public Library of Science

URL: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0152836

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0152836

PubMed id: 27100188


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