Phloem feeding involves unique biological interactions between the herbivore and its host plant. The economic importance of aphids, whiteflies, and other phloem-feeding insects as pests has prompted research to isolate sources of resistance to piercing-sucking insects in crops. However, little information exists about the molecular nature of plant sensitivity to phloem feeding. Recent discoveries involving elicitation by plant pathogens and chewing insects and limited studies on phloem feeders suggest that aphids are capable of inducing responses in plants broadly similar to those associated with pathogen infection and wounding. Our past work showed that compatible aphid feeding on leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana induces localized changes in levels of transcripts of genes that are also associated with infection, mechanical damage, chewing herbivory, or resource allocation shifts. We used microorray and macroarray gene expression analyses of infested plants to better define the response profile of A. thaliana to M. persicae feeding. The results suggest that genes involved in oxidative stress, calcium-dependent signaling, pathogenesis-related responses, and signaling are key components of this profile in plants infested for 72 or 96 h. The use of plant resistance to aphids in crops will benefit from a better understanding of induced responses. The establishment of links between insect elicitation, plant signaling associated with phloem feeding, and proximal resistance mechanisms is critical to further research progress in this area. Arch. Insect Biochem. Physiol. 51:182-203, 2002.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science