Molecular basis of plant gene expression during aphid invasion: Wheat Pto- and Pti-like sequences are involved in interactions between wheat and Russian wheat aphid (Homoptera : Aphididae)

Elena V. Boyko
C. Michael Smith
Vankatappa K. Thara
Jon M. Bruno

Abstract

The Russian wheat aphid, Diuraphis noxia (Mordvilko) (Homoptera: Aphididae), is a major pest of bread wheat, Triticum aestivum L. (em Thell), in most wheat-growing areas worldwide. Aphid-resistant cultivars are used to combat this pest, but very little is known about the molecular basis of resistance. In this study, differential gene expression in D. noxia biotype I-resistant wheat plants containing the Dnx gene and D. noxia biotype 1 feeding on Dnx plants was investigated using suppressive subtraction hybridization. The derived subtracted cDNA library includes sequences similar to Pto and PHI, genes involved in gene-for-gene recognition of and resistance to bacterial speck disease in tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum (L.). Pto- and Pti1-like sequences contain an activation domain with conserved amino acid residues crucial for avr protein recognition and binding by Pto, and avr-Pto phosphorylation of Pti1. Wheat defense signaling is represented by sequences putatively involved in producing sterols, jasmonates, Ca2+, and abscisic and gibberellic acids. We suggest that reductions in populations of D. noxia fed Dnx plants are related to the expression of sequences involved in defensive chemical production, cellular transport, and exocytosis. Dnx plant tolerance of D. noxia feeding is proposed to be based on the expression of sequences putatively involved in self-defense against reactive oxygen species and toxins, and proteolysis; DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis; chloroplast and mitochondrial function; carbohydrate metabolism; and maintenance of cell homeostasis. D. noxia unsuccessfully counter Dnx by expressing sequences putatively involved in detoxification; proteolysis; DNA, RNA, protein, and lipid synthesis; carbohydrate metabolism; and mitochondrial function.