ProjectDeciphering the biological relevance of plant alternative splicing landscape remodeling during geminivirus…

Basic data

Deciphering the biological relevance of plant alternative splicing landscape remodeling during geminivirus infection
01/03/2022 to 29/02/2024
Abstract / short description:
Due to their limited coding capacity, viruses have developed efficient strategies to co-opt the host
molecular machinery for their own replication and spread. Studies in mammalian viruses have outlined messenger RNA (mRNA) processing, and specifically alternative splicing (AS), as key host processes hijacked during the infection, favoring viral multiplication, and causing dramatic changes in the host transcriptomic landscape. While recent accumulating evidence indicates that AS in plants changes upon pathogen attack, the relevance of this layer of regulation in plant-virus interactions remains unclear.
Geminiviruses are a large group of plant DNA viruses causing serious problems for agriculture worldwide. Unpublished work in the host laboratory has recently uncovered that i) the geminiviral
replication-associated protein associates with the plant splicing machinery; ii) geminiviral transcripts are spliced; iii) splicing is required for geminiviral replication; and iv) the geminiviral infection drastically impacts the host AS landscape. Therefore, splicing has emerged as a crucial process at the interface between geminiviruses and their host plants. Here, we propose to investigate the biological significance of host AS landscape remodeling during the geminiviral infection, using a multidisciplinary approach combining state-of-the-art next-generation sequencing techniques, viral infection assays, and reverse genetics. Furthermore, selected genes, regulated by splicing during geminivirus-plant interaction, will be further characterized in the experimental (Nicotiana benthamiana) and economically relevant (Solanum lycopersicum) hosts for their role during plant development, and under different biotic or abiotic stresses. We expect that the results of this project will shed light on the relevance of host AS re-shaping for the virus-plant dynamics and may potentially outline the role of AS-regulated genes or processes of major significance for virulence or plant defense against biotic and/or abiotic stresses.

Involved staff


Department of Biology
Faculty of Science
Center for Plant Molecular Biology (ZMBP)
Department of Biology, Faculty of Science

Local organizational units

Center for Plant Molecular Biology (ZMBP)
Department of Biology
Faculty of Science
Plant Biochemistry Research Group at ZMBP
Department of Pharmacy and Biochemistry
Faculty of Science


Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

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