Transcriptomic and genomic analysis provides new insights in molecular and genetic processes involved in zucchini ZYMV tolerance

BMC Genomics. 2022 May 16;23(1):371. doi: 10.1186/s12864-022-08596-4.


Background: Cucurbita pepo is highly susceptible to Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV) and the resistance found in several wild species cannot be considered as complete or broad-spectrum resistance. In this study, a source of tolerance introgressed in C. pepo (381e) from C. moschata, in True French (TF) background, was investigated 12 days post-inoculation (DPI) at transcriptomic and genomic levels.

Results: The comparative RNA-sequencing (RNA-Seq) of TF (susceptible to ZYMV) and 381e (tolerant to ZYMV) allowed the evaluation of about 33,000 expressed transcripts and the identification of 146 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in 381e, mainly involved in photosynthesis, transcription, cytoskeleton organization and callose synthesis. By contrast, the susceptible cultivar TF triggered oxidative processes related to response to biotic stimulus and activated key regulators of plant virus intercellular movement. In addition, the discovery of variants located in transcripts allowed the identification of two chromosome regions rich in Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs), putatively introgressed from C. moschata, containing genes exclusively expressed in 381e.

Conclusion: 381e transcriptome analysis confirmed a global improvement of plant fitness by reducing the virus titer and movement. Furthermore, genes implicated in ZYMV tolerance in C. moschata introgressed regions were detected. Our work provides new insight into the plant virus recovery process and a better understanding of the molecular basis of 381e tolerance.

Keywords: Cucurbita pepo; Molecular markers; Plant recovery; Plant virus; RNA-seq; Transcriptome.

MeSH terms

  • Cucurbita* / genetics
  • Genomics
  • Plant Diseases / genetics
  • Plant Viruses* / genetics
  • Potyvirus* / genetics
  • Transcriptome

Supplementary concepts

  • Zucchini yellow mosaic virus