Genome-wide identification of viral and host transcripts targeted by viral siRNAs in Vitis vinifera


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In plants, RNA silencing is a surveillance mechanism against invading viruses. It involves the production of virus-derived small interfering RNAs (vsiRNAs), which guide the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) to inactivate viruses. vsiRNAs may also promote the silencing of host mRNAs in a sequence-specific manner. In this work, vsiRNAs derived from two grapevine-infecting viruses (Grapevine fleck virus and Grapevine rupestris stem pitting-associated virus) were selected from cDNA libraries of short RNAs and were cross-referenced with the remnants of both cleaved host transcripts and viral RNAs from a degradome dataset. We identified dozens of host transcripts targeted by vsiRNAs. Among them, several encode putative proteins involved in ribosome biogenesis and in biotic and abiotic stresses. Moreover, we identified vsiRNAs which explain the cleavage sites in viral genomes. A consistent fraction of vsiRNAs did not apparently account for cleavage, suggesting that only a low percentage of vsiRNAs are involved in the antiviral response.