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Publication - Professor Gary Foster

    The effects of surface structure mutations in Arabidopsis thaliana on the polarization of reflections from virus-infected leaves


    Maxwell, DJ, Partridge, JC, Roberts, N, Boonham, N & Foster, G, 2017, ‘The effects of surface structure mutations in Arabidopsis thaliana on the polarization of reflections from virus-infected leaves’. PLoS ONE, vol 12.


    The way in which light is polarized when reflected from leaves can be
    affected by infection with plant viruses. This has the potential to
    influence viral transmission by insect vectors due to altered visual
    attractiveness of infected plants. The optical and topological
    properties of cuticular waxes and trichomes are important determinants
    of how light is polarized upon reflection. Changes in expression of
    genes involved in the formation of surface structures have also been
    reported following viral infection. This paper investigates the role of
    altered surface structures in virus-induced changes to polarization
    reflection from leaves. The percentage polarization of reflections from Arabidopsis thaliana cer5, cer6 and cer8 wax synthesis mutants, and the gl1 leaf hair mutant, was compared to those from wild-type (WT) leaves. The cer5 mutant leaves were less polarizing than WT on the adaxial and abaxial surfaces; gl1 leaves were more polarizing than WT on the adaxial surfaces. The cer6 and cer8 mutations did not significantly affect polarization reflection. The impacts of Turnip vein clearing virus (TVCV) infection on the polarization of reflected light were significantly affected by cer5 mutation, with the reflections from cer5 mutants being higher than those from WT leaves, suggesting that changes in CER5
    expression following infection could influence the polarization of the
    reflections. There was, however, no significant effect of the gl1 mutation on polarization following TVCV infection. The cer5 and gl1 mutations did not affect the changes in polarization following Cucumber mosaic virus
    (CMV) infection. The accumulation of TVCV and CMV did not differ
    significantly between mutant and WT leaves, suggesting that altered
    expression of surface structure genes does not significantly affect
    viral titres, raising the possibility that if such regulatory changes
    have any adaptive value it may possibly be through impacts on viral

    Full details in the University publications repository