Resistance or tolerance: an examination of aphid (Sitobion yakini) phloem feeding on Betta and Betta-Dn wheat (Triticum aestivum )

De Wet, L.R. and Botha, C.E.J. (2007) Resistance or tolerance: an examination of aphid (Sitobion yakini) phloem feeding on Betta and Betta-Dn wheat (Triticum aestivum ). South African Journal of Botany, 73 (1). pp. 35-39. ISSN 0254-6299

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Engineering pest resistance into crops is important. However, the mechanisms of resistance are not clearly understood. In this study, we examined the effects of aphid feeding on Russian wheat aphid-resistant and -susceptible cultivars of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.); Betta-Dn and Betta, respectively, by the grass aphid, Sitobion yakini (Eastop). These cultivars were grown with or without aphid colonies. In each case, we examined the plants specifically for the formation of wound callose associated with the phloem, using aniline blue and fluorescence microscopy. We observed that aphid feeding stimulated the formation of wound callose in the susceptible cultivar, but that callose was comparatively reduced in the resistant cultivar of wheat. In a separate series of experiments, the xenobiotic, 5, 6-carboxyfluorescein diacetate was applied to attached sink leaves, distal to feeding aphids. When leaf segments were examined four hours after application, little evidence of phloem transport of the fluorescent cleavage product, 5, 6-carboxyfluorescein (5, 6-CF), was evident below known aphid-probed sieve tubes. Low levels or absence of 5, 6-CF indicates that either the aphids have successfully redirected sap to themselves, or that the phloem is no longer functional. In contrast, 5, 6-CF transport was evident below sites of aphid probing in Betta-Dn, suggesting that the phloem was still capable of long-distance transport. In addition, callose deposition was reduced in Betta-Dn leaf phloem and it is surmised that transport was not as affected by aphid feeding in the resistant cultivar. This indicates that the ‘resistant’ wheat cultivar may in fact be tolerant to aphid feeding by successfully overcoming the nutrient drain that feeding aphids imposed on the phloem transport system.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Aphid feeding, 5, 6-carboxyfluorescein transport, callose formation, resistance, tolerance
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Botany
ID Code:952
Deposited By: Ms Vivien Botha
Deposited On:17 Mar 2008
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:19

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