- •Geminiviruses are plant viruses with circular, single-stranded (ss) DNA genomes that infect a wide range of species and cause important losses in agriculture. Geminiviruses do not encode their own DNA polymerase, and rely on the host cell machinery for their replication.
- •Here, we identify a positive effect of the curtovirus Beet curly top virus (BCTV) on the begomovirus Tomato yellow leaf curl Sardinia virus (TYLCSV) infection in Nicotiana benthamiana plants.
- •Our results show that this positive effect is caused by the promotion of TYLCSV replication by BCTV C2. Transcriptomic analyses of plants expressing C2 unveil an up-regulation of cell cycle-related genes induced on cell cycle re-entry; experiments with two mutated versions of C2 indicate that this function resides in the N-terminal part of C2, which is also sufficient to enhance geminiviral replication. Moreover, C2 expression promotes the replication of other geminiviral species, but not of RNA viruses.
- •We conclude that BCTV C2 has a novel function in the promotion of viral replication, probably by restoring the DNA replication competency of the infected cells and thus creating a favourable cell environment for viral spread. Because C2 seems to have a broad impact on the replication of geminiviruses, this mechanism might have important epidemiological implications.