ViPS Invited Seminar March 2022

Jean-Luc Gallois, INRA, Avignon, France

Date: 16th March 2022

Time: 13:00

Title: Resistance to viruses by loss-of-susceptibility: from natural variation to edited genes

Location: Auditorium 2, Viikki C building, Latokartanonkaari 5, and remotely via Zoom

Host: Kristiina Mäkinen

Abstract: eIF4E translation initiation factors have emerged as major susceptibility factors for RNA viruses. Natural eIF4E-based resistance alleles are found in many species and are mostly variants that maintain the translation function of the protein. eIF4E genes represent therefore targets for engineering viral resistance, and gene-editing technologies can be used to make up for the lack of natural resistance alleles in some crops. However, redundancy among eIF4E genes can restrict the efficient use of knockout alleles in breeding. Using Arabidopsis, we previously showed how gene-editing technologies can be used to design de novo functional alleles, using knowledge about the natural evolution of eIF4E genes in different species, to drive resistance to viruses without affecting plant physiology. Here, we will also present how this knowledge can be applied to a crop, tomato, using CRISPR-Cas9 base editing. We will show that there is a trade-off to find between resistance and functionality, and discuss these results in the light of resistance durability.

Jean-Luc's research focuses on developing genetic resistances to viruses in plants.

To successfully infect plants, viruses have to hijack host factors. Those can be turned into genetic resistances by making them unavailable to the pathogens. We aim at characterizing plant susceptibility factors in plants and develop genetic resistances to viruses of agricultural importance. We are particularly interested in assessing how genome editing technologies can be used to copy mutations across species and develop resistances.

Read more about Jean-Luc's work

Related publications:

Kuroiwa, K., Thenault, C., Nogué, F., Perrot, L., Mazier, M.,  Gallois, J.-L. (2022) CRISPR-based knock-out of eIF4E2 in a cherry tomato background successfully recapitulates resistance to pepper veinal mottle virus. Plant Science, Volume 316, doi: 10.1016/j.plantsci.2021.111160

Zafirov, D, Giovinazzo, N, Bastet, A, Gallois, J‐L. (2021) When a knockout is an Achilles’ heel: Resistance to one potyvirus species triggers hypersusceptibility to another one in Arabidopsis thaliana. Mol Plant Pathol. doi: 10.1111/mpp.13031. 22: 334– 347.

Bastet A, Zafirov D, Giovinazzo N, Guyon-Debast A, Nogué F, Robaglia C, Gallois JL. (2019) Mimicking natural polymorphism in eIF4E by CRISPR-Cas9 base editing is associated with resistance to potyviruses. Plant Biotechnol J. 17(9):1736-1750. doi: 10.1111/pbi.13096.

Bastet, A., Robaglia, C. and Gallois, J.L. (2017) eIF4E Resistance: Natural Variation Should Guide Gene Editing. Trends Plant Sci, 22, 411-419. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2017.01.008

Gauffier C, Lebaron C, Moretti A, Constant C, Moquet F, Bonnet G, Caranta C, Gallois JL. (2016) A TILLING approach to generate broad-spectrum resistance to potyviruses in tomato is hampered by eIF4E gene redundancy. Plant J. 85(6):717-29. doi: 10.1111/tpj.13136.