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  1. Potyviral genomes encode just 11 major proteins and multifunctionality is associated with most of these proteins at different stages of the virus infection cycle. Some potyviral proteins modulate phytohormones and protein degradation pathways and have either pro- or anti-viral/insect vector functions. Our previous work demonstrated that the potyviral protein 6K1 has an antagonistic effect on vectors when expressed transiently in host plants, suggesting plant defenses are regulated. However, to our knowledge the mechanisms of how 6K1 alters plant defenses and how 6K1 functions are regulated are still limited. Here we show that the 6K1 from Turnip mosaic virus (TuMV) reduces the abundance of transcripts related to jasmonic acid biosynthesis and cysteine protease inhibitors when expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana relative to controls. 6K1 stability increased when cysteine protease activity was inhibited chemically, showing a mechanism to the rapid turnover of 6K1 when expressed in trans. Using RNAseq, qRT-PCR, and enzymatic assays, we demonstrate TuMV reprograms plant protein degradation pathways on the transcriptional level and increases 6K1 stability at later stages in the infection process. Moreover, we show 6K1 decreases plant protease activity in infected plants and increases TuMV accumulation in systemic leaves compared to controls. These results suggest 6K1 has amore »pro-viral function in addition to the anti-insect vector function we observed previously. Although the host targets of 6K1 and the impacts of 6K1-induced changes in protease activity on insect vectors are still unknown, this study enhances our understanding of the complex interactions occurring between plants, potyviruses, and vectors.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  2. null (Ed.)
    We report the biological and structural characterization of umbravirus-like associated RNAs (ulaRNAs), a new category of coat-protein dependent subviral RNA replicons that infect plants. These RNAs encode an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) following a −1 ribosomal frameshift event, are 2.7–4.6 kb in length, and are related to umbraviruses, unlike similar RNA replicons that are related to tombusviruses. Three classes of ulaRNAs are proposed, with citrus yellow vein associated virus (CYVaV) placed in Class 2. With the exception of CYVaV, Class 2 and Class 3 ulaRNAs encode an additional open reading frame (ORF) with movement protein-like motifs made possible by additional sequences just past the RdRp termination codon. The full-length secondary structure of CYVaV was determined using Selective 2’ Hydroxyl Acylation analyzed by Primer Extension (SHAPE) structure probing and phylogenic comparisons, which was used as a template for determining the putative structures of the other Class 2 ulaRNAs, revealing a number of distinctive structural features. The ribosome recoding sites of nearly all ulaRNAs, which differ significantly from those of umbraviruses, may exist in two conformations and are highly efficient. The 3′ regions of Class 2 and Class 3 ulaRNAs have structural elements similar to those of nearly all umbraviruses, and allmore »Class 2 ulaRNAs have a unique, conserved 3′ cap-independent translation enhancer. CYVaV replicates independently in protoplasts, demonstrating that the reported sequence is full-length. Additionally, CYVaV contains a sequence in its 3′ UTR that confers protection to nonsense mediated decay (NMD), thus likely obviating the need for umbravirus ORF3, a known suppressor of NMD. This initial characterization lays down a road map for future investigations into these novel virus-like RNAs.« less