Effects of stolbur phytoplasma infection on DNA methylation processes in tomato plants

Authors

  • J. N. Ahmad,

    1. INRA, UMR 1332 de Biologie du Fruit et Pathologie, F-33140 Villenave d’Ornon, France Univ. Bordeaux, UMR 1332 de Biologie du Fruit et Pathologie, F-33140 Villenave d’Ornon, France
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  • C. Garcion,

    1. INRA, UMR 1332 de Biologie du Fruit et Pathologie, F-33140 Villenave d’Ornon, France Univ. Bordeaux, UMR 1332 de Biologie du Fruit et Pathologie, F-33140 Villenave d’Ornon, France
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  • E. Teyssier,

    1. INRA, UMR 1332 de Biologie du Fruit et Pathologie, F-33140 Villenave d’Ornon, France Univ. Bordeaux, UMR 1332 de Biologie du Fruit et Pathologie, F-33140 Villenave d’Ornon, France
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  • M. Hernould,

    1. INRA, UMR 1332 de Biologie du Fruit et Pathologie, F-33140 Villenave d’Ornon, France Univ. Bordeaux, UMR 1332 de Biologie du Fruit et Pathologie, F-33140 Villenave d’Ornon, France
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  • P. Gallusci,

    1. INRA, UMR 1332 de Biologie du Fruit et Pathologie, F-33140 Villenave d’Ornon, France Univ. Bordeaux, UMR 1332 de Biologie du Fruit et Pathologie, F-33140 Villenave d’Ornon, France
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  • P. Pracros,

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    • Present address: INRA, Services Déconcentrés d’Appui à la Recherche (SDAR), F-33140 Villenave d’Ornon, France.

  • J. Renaudin,

    1. INRA, UMR 1332 de Biologie du Fruit et Pathologie, F-33140 Villenave d’Ornon, France Univ. Bordeaux, UMR 1332 de Biologie du Fruit et Pathologie, F-33140 Villenave d’Ornon, France
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  • S. Eveillard

    Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author

E-mail: sandrine.eveillard@bordeaux.inra.fr

Abstract

DNA methylation was investigated as a possible mechanism for regulation of floral gene expression in stolbur phytoplasma-infected tomato buds. Expression of methylase and demethylase genes was found to be globally down-regulated in tomato plants infected with stolbur isolate PO, but not in those infected with isolate C. These results are consistent with the finding that SlDEF, a gene orthologous to arabidopsis APETALA3 which is involved in petal formation, was down-regulated in stolbur PO-infected buds and remained unaffected in stolbur C-infected buds, and with the fact that the two stolbur phytoplasma isolates C and PO induce distinct symptoms. Because of variations between the different cell-types of the flower buds, the DNA methylation status of SlDEF could not be clearly established. However, the finding that treatment of stolbur PO-infected plants with 5-azacytidine partially restored SlDEF gene expression strongly suggests that DNA methylation is involved in down-regulation of floral development genes in stolbur PO-infected tomatoes.

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