Papaya Leaf Curl Virus (PaLCuV) Infection on Papaya (Carica papaya L.) Plants Alters Anatomical and Physiological Properties and Reduces Bioactive Components

Sumit K. Soni, Manoj Kumar Mishra, Maneesh Mishra, Swati Kumari, Sangeeta Saxena, Virendra Shukla, Sudeep Tiwari, Pramod Shirke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Papaya leaves are used frequently for curing scores of ailments. The medicinal properties of papaya leaves are due to presence of certain bioactive/pharmacological compounds. However, the papaya leaf curl virus (PaLCuV), a geminivirus, is a major threat to papaya cultivation globally. During the present investigation, we observed that PaLCuV infection significantly altered the anatomy, physiology, and bioactive properties of papaya leaves. As compared to healthy leaves, the PaLCuV-infected leaves were found to have reduced stomatal density (76.83%), stomatal conductance (78.34%), photosynthesis rate (74.87%), water use efficiency (82.51%), chlorophyll (72.88%), carotenoid (46.63%), osmolality (48.55%), and soluble sugars (70.37%). We also found lower enzymatic activity (superoxide dismutase (SOD), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), and catalase (CAT)—56.88%, 85.27%, and 74.49%, respectively). It was found that the size of guard cells (50%), transpiration rate (45.05%), intercellular CO2 concentration (47.81%), anthocyanin (27.47%), proline content (74.17%), malondialdehyde (MDA) (106.65%), and electrolyte leakage (75.38%) was elevated in PaLCuV-infected leaves. The chlorophyll fluorescence analysis showed that the infected plant leaves had a significantly lower value of maximal quantum yield of photosystem II (PSII (Fv/Fm), photochemical quantum yield of photosystem I (PSI (Y(I)), and effective quantum yield of PSII (Y(II)). However, in non-photochemical quenching mechanisms, the proportion of energy dissipated in heat form (Y(NPQ)) was found to be significantly higher. We also tested the bioactivity of infected and healthy papaya leaf extracts on a Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) model system. It was found that the crude extract of papaya leaves significantly enhanced the life span of C. elegans (29.7%) in comparison to virus-infected leaves (18.4%) on application of 100 µg/mL dose of the crude extract. Our research indicates that the PaLCuV-infected leaves not only had anatomical and physiological losses, but that pharmacological potential was also significantly decreased.

Original languageEnglish
Article number579
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • Anatomy
  • Bioactive properties
  • Carica papaya L
  • PaLCuV
  • Physiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science
  • Ecology


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