A better understanding of virus resistance mechanisms can offer more effective strategies to control virus diseases. Papaya ringspot virus (PRSV), Potyviridae, causes severe economical losses in papaya and cucurbit production worldwide. However, no resistance gene against PRSV has been identified to date. This study aimed to identify candidate PRSV resistance genes using cDNA-AFLP analysis and offered an open architecture and transcriptomic method to study those transcripts differentially expressed after virus inoculation. The whole genome expression profile of Cucumis metuliferus inoculated with PRSV was generated using cDNA-amplified fragment length polymorphism (cDNA-AFLP) method. Transcript derived fragments (TDFs) identified from the resistant line PI 292190 may represent genes involved in the mechanism of PRSV resistance. C. metuliferus susceptible Acc. 2459 and resistant PI 292190 lines were inoculated with PRSV and subsequently total RNA was isolated for cDNA-AFLP analysis. More than 400 TDFs were expressed specifically in resistant line PI 292190. A total of 116 TDFs were cloned and their expression patterns and putative functions in the PRSV-resistance mechanism were further characterized. Subsequently, 28 out of 116 candidates which showed two-fold higher expression levels in resistant PI 292190 than those in susceptible Acc. 2459 after virus inoculation were selected from the reverse northern blot and bioinformatic analysis. Furthermore, the time point expression profiles of these candidates by northern blot analysis suggested that they might play roles in resistance against PRSV and could potentially provide valuable information for controlling PRSV disease in the future
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