Effects of Elevated CO₂and Temperature on Pathogenicity Determinants and Virulence of Potato virus X/Potyvirus-Associated Synergism

Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 2015 Dec;28(12):1364-73. doi: 10.1094/MPMI-08-15-0178-R. Epub 2015 Dec 3.


Infections of plants by multiple viruses are common in nature and may result in synergisms in pathologies. Several environmental factors influence plant-virus interactions and act on virulence and host defense responses. Mixed viral infections may be more frequent under environmental conditions associated with global warming. Here, we address how changes in the two main parameters behind global warming, carbon dioxide concentrations ([CO₂]) and temperature, may affect virulence of Potato virus X (PVX)/potyvirus-associated synergism compared with single infections in Nicotiana benthamiana. Elevated [CO₂] resulted in attenuated virulence of single infection by PVX, which correlated with a lower accumulation of virus. In contrast, virulence of PVX/potyvirus-associated synergism was maintained at elevated [CO₂]. On the other hand, elevated temperature decreased markedly both virulence and virus titers in the synergistic infection. We also show that the HR-like response elicited by transient coexpression of PVX P25 together with the potyviral helper component-proteinase protein was significantly enhanced by elevated temperature, whereas it was reduced by elevated [CO₂]. Both proteins are main pathogenicity determinants in PVX-associated synergisms. These findings indicate that, under environmental conditions associated with global warming, virulence of PVX/potyvirus-associated synergisms is expected to vary relative to single infections and, thus, may have pathological consequences in the future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carbon Dioxide / metabolism*
  • Potexvirus / pathogenicity*
  • Temperature*
  • Virulence


  • Carbon Dioxide