Soybean mosaic virus (SMV) infection causes massive yield loss in soybean
(Glycine max). Scientists led by Hongli He of Northeast Normal University in
China compared the gene expressions in an SMV-resistant soybean and a
susceptible cultivar. The team found that a subgroup of Gibberellic Acid
Stimulated Transcript (GAST) genes were downregulated in the SMV susceptible
plants, but not the resistant plants.
Analysis revealed that one of the GAST genes, GmSN1, was closely related to
Snakin-1, a potato microbial disease resistance gene. When overexpressed in
Arabidopsis and soybean, GmSN1 enhanced turnip mosaic virus resistance in
Arabidopsis plants, and SMV resistance in soybean. Further analysis revealed
that the expression of GmAKT2, a gene known to enhance soybean-SMV
resistance when overexpressed, was elevated in the transgenic soybean.
This study suggests that GmSN1 is capable of enhancing virus resistance in
plants by affecting the expression of immune response genes.