Beet necrotic yellow vein virus (BNYVV) and Beet soil-borne mosaic virus (BSBMV) are closely related species, but disease development induced in their host sugar beet displays striking differences. Beet necrotic yellow vein virus induces excessive lateral root (LR) formation, whereas BSBMV-infected roots appear asymptomatic. A comparative transcriptome analysis was performed to elucidate transcriptomic changes associated with disease development. Many differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were specific either to BNYVV or BSBMV, although both viruses shared a high number of DEGs. Auxin biosynthesis pathways displayed a stronger activation by BNYVV compared to BSBMV-infected plants. Several genes regulated by auxin signalling and required for LR formation were exclusively altered by BNYVV. Both viruses reprogrammed the transcriptional network, but a large number of transcription factors involved in plant defence were upregulated in BNYVV-infected plants. A strong activation of pathogenesis-related proteins by both viruses suggests a salicylic acid or jasmonic acid mediated-defence response, but the data also indicate that both viruses counteract the SA-mediated defence. The ethylene signal transduction pathway was strongly downregulated which probably increases the susceptibility of sugar beet to Benyvirus infection. Our study provides a deeper insight into the interaction of BNYVV and BSBMV with the economically important crop sugar beet.
Keywords: Benyvirus; auxin; pathogenesis related protein; plant hormone; resistance; salicylic acid; transcriptome.