• 2D DIGE;
  • Plant stress;
  • Tomato;
  • Translation factors;
  • Viroid

Viroids are single-stranded, circular, noncoding RNAs that infect plants, causing devastating diseases. In this work, we employed 2D DIGE, followed by MS identification, to analyze the response of tomato plants infected by Citrus exocortis viroid (CEVd). Among the differentially expressed proteins detected, 45 were successfully identified and classified into different functional categories. Validation results by RT-PCR allowed us to classify the proteins into two expression groups. First group included genes with changes at the transcriptional level upon CEVd infection, such as an endochitinase, a β-glucanase, and pathogenesis-related proteins, PR10 and P69G. All these defense proteins were also induced by gentisic acid, a pathogen-induced signal in compatible interactions. The second group of proteins showed no changes at the transcriptional level and included several ribosomal proteins and translation factors, such as the elongation factors 1 and 2 and the translation initiation factor 5-alpha. These results were validated by 2D Western blot, and possible PTMs caused by CEVd infection were detected. Moreover, an interaction between eukaryotic elongation factor 1 and CEVd was observed by 2D Northwestern. The present study provides new protein-related information on the mechanisms of plant resistance to pathogens.