Tomato yellow leaf curl disease is one of the most important threats to tomato crops worldwide. One of its
causal agents, Tomato yellow leaf curl Sardinian virus (TYLCSV), is a monopartite member of the genus
Begomovirus from the family Geminiviridae. Due to the few proteins encoded by their viral genome,
geminiviruses rely heavily on host cellular machinery and interact with a wide range of plant proteins to
complete all processes required for infection, such as viral replication, movement and suppression or evasion
of plant defense mechanisms. Therefore, identifying the host proteins involved in viral infection will be an
essential step towards understanding the mechanisms underlying this process.
Using a reverse genetic approach our group identified a series of genes involved in vesicle trafficking, which
affect geminivirus infection. Four of them are essential as their silencing produce a complete abolishment of
TYLCSV infection ( δ-COP, ARF1, CHC1, and CHC2). However, these genes do not affect TYLCSV replication. A
series of experiments using confocal microscopy and viral proteins bound to fluorescent markers have been
carried out to determine the effect of inhibiting vesicle trafficking over the subcellular localization of TYLCSV’s
movement proteins. The biological relevance of vesicle trafficking during geminivirus infection will be
presented and discussed.