Identification of positive and negative regulators of antiviral RNA interference in Arabidopsis thaliana.

Si Liu, Meijuan Chen, Ruidong Li, Wan-Xiang Li, Amit Gal-On, Zhenyu Jia, Shou-Wei Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Virus-host coevolution often drives virus immune escape. However, it remains unknown whether natural variations of plant virus resistance are enriched in genes of RNA interference (RNAi) pathway known to confer essential antiviral defense in plants. Here, we report two genome-wide association study screens to interrogate natural variation among wild-collected Arabidopsis thaliana accessions in quantitative resistance to the endemic cucumber mosaic virus (CMV). We demonstrate that the highest-ranked gene significantly associated with resistance from both screens acts to regulate antiviral RNAi in ecotype Columbia-0. One gene, corresponding to Reduced Dormancy 5 (RDO5), enhances resistance by promoting amplification of the virus-derived small interfering RNAs (vsiRNAs). Interestingly, the second gene, designated Antiviral RNAi Regulator 1 (VIR1), dampens antiviral RNAi so its genetic inactivation by CRISPR/Cas9 editing enhances both vsiRNA production and CMV resistance. Our findings identify positive and negative regulators of the antiviral RNAi defense that may play important roles in virus-host coevolution.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 30 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Chemistry
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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