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.
- osmoprotective metabolites
- plant–virus interaction