RNA silencing is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism that regulates variety of cellular processes in plants. Argonaute protein (AGO), Dicer-like protein (DCL) and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RDR) are critical components of RNA silencing.


These efficient and indispensable components of the RNAi pathway have not been identified and characterized in pepper. In this study, we identified 12 CaAGO, 4 CaDCL and 6 CaRDR genes in pepper and compared them with those of Arabidopsis, tobacco, potato and tomato. Detailed phylogenetic analyses revealed that each CaAGO, CaDCL and CaRDR protein family were classified into four clades. The tissue specific expression and respond to abiotic or biotic stress were studied. The real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) results demonstrated that CaAGO2, CaAGO10b, CaDCL2 and CaDCL4 were upregulated with cucumber mosaic virus (CMV), potato virus Y (PVY) and tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) infections, whereas they showed difference expression patterns in response to abiotic stress. In addition, we found that many of the candidate genes were induced by phytohormones and HO treatment. Our results provide useful information for further elucidation of gene silencing pathways and RNAi-mediated host immunity in pepper.


See http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/19/4/1038/htm