Home / RESEARCH / Research News RESEARCH

The key micronutrient copper orchestrates broad-spectrum virus resistance in rice


Prof. Yi Li published a paper in Science Advances.

Copper is a critical regulator of plant growth and development. However, the mechanisms by which copper responds to virus invasion are unclear. We previously showed that SPL9-mediated transcriptional activation of miR528 adds a previously unidentified regulatory layer to the established ARGONAUTE (AGO18)–miR528–L-ascorbate oxidase (AO) antiviral defense. Here, we report that rice promotes copper accumulation in shoots by inducing copper transporter genes, including HMA5 and COPT, to counteract viral infection. Copper suppresses the transcriptional activation of miR528 by inhibiting the protein level of SPL9, thus alleviating miR528-mediated cleavage of AO transcripts to strengthen the antiviral response. Loss-of-function mutations in HMA5COPT1, and COPT5 caused a significant reduction in copper accumulation and plant viral resistance because of the increased SPL9-mediated miR528 transcription. Gain in viral susceptibility was mitigated when SPL9 was mutated in the hma5 mutant background. Our study elucidates the molecular mechanisms and regulatory networks of copper homeostasis and the SPL9-miR528-AO antiviral pathway.

Original link: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abm0660.