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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2023, Vol. 22 Issue (8): 2426-2440    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2023.02.032
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Characterization of volatile organic compounds in grafted tomato plants upon potyvirus necrotic infection
Roberta SPANÒ1, Mariarosaria MASTROCHIRICO1, Francesco LONGOBARDI2#, Salvatore#br# CERVELLIERI3, Vincenzo LIPPOLIS3, Tiziana MASCIA1#

1 Department of Soil, Plant and Food Sciences, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, Via Amendola 165/A, Bari 70126, Italy

2 Department of Chemistry, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, Via Orabona 4, Bari 70126, Italy

3 National Research Council (CNR), Institute of Sciences of Food Production (ISPA), Via Amendola 122/O, Bari 70126, Italy

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A headspace solid-phase microextraction-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (HS-SPME/GC-MS) method was used to study the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) associated with the differential immune response of tomato plants infected with the recombinant strain of potato virus Y (PVYC-to), necrogenic to tomato.  Analysis was carried out in UC82 (UC), a virus susceptible tomato variety, comparing the same UC plants grafted or not onto a virus tolerant tomato ecotype, Manduria (Ma); the three types of samples used for the GC-MS analysis were mock-inoculated UC/Ma plants, UC/Ma+PVYC-to and UC+PVYC-to plants; the VOCs obtained were 111.  Results from symptomatic PVYC-to-infected UC plants showed a VOCs composition enriched in alcohols, fatty acid derivates, benzenoids, and salicylic acid derivatives, while in mock-inoculated UC/Ma plants VOCs were mainly characterized by methyl ester compounds.  The VOC profile was in line with RNAseq data analyses, denoting that PVYC-to viral RNA accumulation and disease symptoms induce the specific transcriptional activation of genes involved in VOCs biosynthesis.  Furthermore, principal component analysis highlighted that VOCs of PVYC-to-infected and mock-inoculated grafted plants were much closer each other than that of symptomatic PVYC-to-infected non-grafted UC plants.  These results suggest that VOCs profiles of tomato plants are related to the viral RNA accumulation, disease intensity and graft-derived tolerance to PVYC-to infection.

Keywords:  tomato        potyvirus        VOCs        defense        grafted plants  
Received: 01 September 2022   Accepted: 26 January 2023

This study was carried out within the Agritech National Research Center, Italy, and received funding from the European Union NextGenerationEU (PIANO NAZIONALE DI RIPRESA E RESILIENZA (PNRR) – MISSIONE 4 COMPONENTE 2, INVESTIMENTO 1.4 – D.D. 1032 17/06/2022, CN00000022). 

About author:  Roberta SPANÒ, E-mail:; #Correspondence Francesco LONGOBARDI, Tel: +39-0805442042, E-mail:; Tiziana MASCIA, Tel: +39-0805442913, E-mail:

Cite this article: 

Roberta SPANÒ, Mariarosaria MASTROCHIRICO, Francesco LONGOBARDI, Salvatore CERVELLIERI, Vincenzo LIPPOLIS, Tiziana MASCIA. 2023. Characterization of volatile organic compounds in grafted tomato plants upon potyvirus necrotic infection. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 22(8): 2426-2440.

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