The vasculature of plants act as a channel for transport of signal(s) that facilitate long-distance intraplant communication. In maize, Maize insect resistance1-Cysteine Protease (Mir1-CP), which has homology to papain-like proteases, provides defense to different feeding guilds of insect pests. Furthermore, accumulation of Mir1-CP in the vasculature suggests that Mir1-CP can potentially function as a phloem-mobile protein. In a recent study, we provided evidence that Mir1-CP can curtail the growth of phloem-sap sucking insect, corn leaf aphid (CLA; Rhopalosiphum maidis). Our current study further examined whether aboveground feeding by CLA can induce resistance to subsequent herbivory by belowground feeding western corn rootworm (WCR; Diabrotica virgifera virgifera). Aboveground feeding by CLA systemically induced the accumulation of Mir1-CP in the roots. Furthermore, foliage feeding by CLA provided enhanced resistance to subsequent herbivory by belowground feeding of WCR. Taken together, our previous findings and results presented here indicate that long-distance transport of Mir1-CP is critical for providing enhanced resistance to insect attack in maize.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science