Interplay between abiotic (drought) and biotic (virus) stresses in tomato plants

Ritesh Mishra, Moshik Shteinberg, Doron Shkolnik, Ghandi Anfoka, Henryk Czosnek, Rena Gorovits*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


With climate warming, drought becomes a vital challenge for agriculture. Extended drought periods affect plant–pathogen interactions. We demonstrate an interplay in tomato between drought and infection with tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV). Infected plants became more tolerant to drought, showing plant readiness to water scarcity by reducing metabolic activity in leaves and increasing it in roots. Reallocation of osmolytes, such as carbohydrates and amino acids, from shoots to roots suggested a role of roots in protecting infected tomatoes against drought. To avoid an acute response possibly lethal for the host organism, TYLCV down-regulated the drought-induced activation of stress response proteins and metabolites. Simultaneously, TYLCV promoted the stabilization of osmoprotectants' patterns and water balance parameters, resulting in the development of buffering conditions in infected plants subjected to prolonged stress. Drought-dependent decline of TYLCV amounts was correlated with HSFA1-controlled activation of autophagy, mostly in the roots. The tomato response to combined drought and TYLCV infection points to a mutual interaction between the plant host and its viral pathogen.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)475-488
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular Plant Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Molecular Plant Pathology published by British Society for Plant Pathology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • begomovirus
  • drought
  • osmoprotective metabolites
  • plant–virus interaction


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