Effects of DICER-like proteins 2, 3 and 4 on cucumber mosaic virus and tobacco mosaic virus infections in salicylic acid-treated plants Academic Article uri icon


  • Salicylic acid (SA)-mediated resistance and RNA silencing are both important plant antiviral defence mechanisms. To investigate overlap between these resistance phenomena, we examined the ability of mutant Arabidopsis thaliana plants lacking DICER-like (DCL) endoribonucleases 2, 3 and 4 to exhibit SA-induced defence. We found that in dcl2/3/4 triple mutant plants, treatment with exogenous SA stimulated resistance to two positive-sense RNA viruses: cucumber mosaic virus and tobacco mosaic virus. We conclude that DCLs 2, 3 and 4, which are the predominant DCL endoribonucleases involved in silencing of positive-sense RNA viruses, are not required for effective SA-induced resistance to these viruses. However, the findings do not exclude RNA silencing from making a contribution to SA-mediated resistance in wild-type plants.

publication date

  • December 1, 2009