Citrus leprosis is the main viral citrus disease in Brazil and is caused by Citrus leprosis virus C (CiLV-C) that is transmitted by Brevipalpus phoenicis mites. The pathogen is considered an unusual virus that does not move systemically in any of it 40 host species, therefore representing an atypical disease and a scientific challenge. In spite of its economical and biological importance, few information about molecular mechanisms involved in this plant-pathogen interaction is available. Preliminary studies indicate changes in salicylic acid pathways and RNA silencing during the infectious process. The available data is not sufficient to consolidate a model of citrus-virus interaction and new studies are necessary to better understand the pathosystem. The use of mite and virus experimental hosts is an efficient strategy to achieve this goal, mainly because the citrus-mite-virus pathosystem represents a biological complexity of difficult experimental control. We propose studying the Arabidopsis thaliana responses to citrus leprosis disease in order to structure a model of plant-pathogen interaction. Global plant gene expression during interaction will be performed using microarray technology. Differentially expressed genes of interest will be selected to transform Arabidopsis plants in functional studies to evaluate the disease progress. CILV-C ORFs will be over expressed in Arabidopsis plants aiming to elucidate the ORF ability in stimulate defense responses. The generated data is important to consolidate a model of plant-virus interaction that will help the understanding of pathosystem and establishment of more economic strategies of disease control.
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