Insect feeding retards plant growth and decreases crop productivity. Plants respond to insect feeding at the molecular, cellular and physiological levels. The roles of the plant hormones jasmonic acid (JA), ethylene (ET) and salicylic acid (SA) in plant responses to insect feeding have been studied. However, these studies are focused on the plant responses to feeding by well-studied caterpillar type insects or aphid pests. In contrast, we have focused on a minute insect pest, the western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis). Analyses of the responses of hormone-related mutants of Arabidopsis (i.e., JA-insensitive mutant coi1-1, ET-insensitive mutants ein2-1 and ein3-1, and SA-deficient mutant eds16-1) and transcriptome-based comparative analyses indicate the central role of JA in plant responses to thrips feeding. Our work clearly shows that JA signaling, but not JA/ET signaling, is involved in plant tolerance to thrips feeding. We intend to examine the utility and suitability of the Arabidopsis-thrips system in studies of plant responses to insect feeding.
Arabidopsis thaliana; ethylene; Frankliniella occidentalis; insect feeding; jasmonate; western flower thrips
The prey preference of polyphagous predators plays an important role in suppressing different species of pest insects. In this study the prey preference of the predatory mite, Amblyseius swirskii (Athias-Henriot) (Acari: Phytoseiidae) was examined between nymphs of the twospotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch (Acari: Tetranychidae) and first instar larvae of the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), as well as between active and chrysalis spider mite protonymphs and active and chrysalis spider mite deutonymphs. The study was done in the laboratory on bean leaf discs at 25 ± 1° C and 70 ± 5% RH. Amblyseius swirskii had a clear preference for thrips compared to both spider mite protonymphs and deutonymphs. About twice as many thrips as spider mites were consumed. Amblyseius swirskii did not show a preference between active and chrysalis stages of spider mites.
polyphagous; biological control
Pyrethrins are active ingredients extracted from pyrethrum flowers (Tanacetum cinerariifolium), and are the most widely used botanical insecticide. However, several thrips species are commonly found on pyrethrum flowers in the field, and are the dominant insects found inside the flowers. Up to 80 % of western flower thrips (WFT, Frankliniella occidentalis) adults died within 3 days of initiating feeding on leaves of pyrethrum, leading us to evaluate the role of pyrethrins in the defense of pyrethrum leaves against WFT. The effects of pyrethrins on WFT survival, feeding behavior, and reproduction were measured both in vitro and in planta (infiltrated leaves). The lethal concentration value (LC50) for pyrethrins against WFT adults was 12.9 mg/ml, and pyrethrins at 0.1 % (w/v) and 1 % (w/v) had significantly negative effects on feeding, embryo development, and oviposition. About 20-70 % of WFT were killed within 2 days when they were fed chrysanthemum leaves containing 0.01-1 % pyrethrins. Chrysanthemum leaves containing 0.1 % or 1 % pyrethrins were significantly deterrent to WFT. In a no-choice assay, the reproduction of WFT was reduced significantly when the insects were fed leaves containing 0.1 % pyrethrins, and no eggs were found in leaves containing 1 % pyrethrins. Our results suggest that the natural concentrations of pyrethrins in the leaves may be responsible for the observed high mortality of WFT on pyrethrum.
Pyrethrum; Pyrethrins; Western flower thrips; Frankliniella occidentalis; Natural pesticide; toxicity; Tanacetum cinerariifolium; Crop pest
It has been shown that many insects have Enterobacteriaceae bacteria in their gut system. The western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis Pergande [Thysanoptera: Thripidae], has a symbiotic relation with Erwinia species gut bacteria. To determine if other Thripidae species have similar bacterial symbionts, the onion thrips, Thrips tabaci, was studied because, like F. occidentalis, it is phytophagous. Contrary to F. occidentalis, T. tabaci is endemic in Europe and biotypes have been described. Bacteria were isolated from the majority of populations and biotypes of T. tabaci examined. Bacteria were present in high numbers in most individuals of the populations studied. Like F. occidentalis, T. tabaci contained one type of bacterium that clearly outnumbered all other types present in the gut. This bacterium was identified as an Erwinia species, as was also the case for F. occidentalis. However, its biochemical characteristics and 16S rDNA sequence differed from the bacteria present in F. occidentalis.
symbiosis; 16S rDNA; bacterial taxonomy; Erwinia; Pantoea agglomerans; API 20E; insect gut
Hyperaccumulation, the rare capacity of certain plant species to accumulate toxic trace elements to levels several orders of magnitude higher than other species growing on the same site, is thought to be an elemental defense mechanism against herbivores and pathogens. Previous research has shown that selenium (Se) hyperaccumulation protects plants from a variety of herbivores and pathogens. Selenium hyperaccumulating plants sequester Se in discrete locations in the leaf periphery, making them potentially more susceptible to some herbivore feeding modes than others. In this study we investigate the protective function of Se in the Se hyperaccumulators Stanleya pinnata and Astragalus bisulcatus against two cell disrupting herbivores, the western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis) and the two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae).
Astragalus bisulcatus and S. pinnata with high Se concentrations (greater than 650 mg Se kg-1) were less subject to thrips herbivory than plants with low Se levels (less than 150 mg Se kg-1). Furthermore, in plants containing elevated Se levels, leaves with higher concentrations of Se suffered less herbivory than leaves with less Se. Spider mites also preferred to feed on low-Se A. bisulcatus and S. pinnata plants rather than high-Se plants. Spider mite populations on A. bisulcatus decreased after plants were given a higher concentration of Se. Interestingly, spider mites could colonize A. bisulcatus plants containing up to 200 mg Se kg-1 dry weight, concentrations which are toxic to many other herbivores. Selenium distribution and speciation studies using micro-focused X-ray fluorescence (μXRF) mapping and Se K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy revealed that the spider mites accumulated primarily methylselenocysteine, the relatively non-toxic form of Se that is also the predominant form of Se in hyperaccumulators.
This is the first reported study investigating the protective effect of hyperaccumulated Se against cell-disrupting herbivores. The finding that Se protected the two hyperaccumulator species from both cell disruptors lends further support to the elemental defense hypothesis and increases the number of herbivores and feeding modes against which Se has shown a protective effect. Because western flower thrips and two-spotted spider mites are widespread and economically important herbivores, the results from this study also have potential applications in agriculture or horticulture, and implications for the management of Se-rich crops.
The western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande), is an invasive species and the most economically important pest within the insect order Thysanoptera. F. occidentalis, which is endemic to North America, was initially detected in Kunming in southwestern China in 2000 and since then it has rapidly invaded several other localities in China where it has greatly damaged greenhouse vegetables and ornamental crops. Controlling this invasive pest in China requires an understanding of its genetic makeup and migration patterns. Using the mitochondrial COI gene and 10 microsatellites, eight of which were newly isolated and are highly polymorphic, we investigated the genetic structure and the routes of range expansion of 14 F. occidentalis populations in China. Both the mitochondrial and microsatellite data revealed that the genetic diversity of F. occidentalis of the Chinese populations is lower than that in its native range. Two previously reported cryptic species (or ecotypes) were found in the study. The divergence in the mitochondrial COI of two Chinese cryptic species (or ecotypes) was about 3.3% but they cannot be distinguished by nuclear markers. Hybridization might produce such substantial mitochondrial-nuclear discordance. Furthermore, we found low genetic differentiation (global FST = 0.043, P<0.001) among all the populations and strong evidence for gene flow, especially from the three southwestern populations (Baoshan, Dali and Kunming) to the other Chinese populations. The directional gene flow was further supported by the higher genetic diversity of these three southwestern populations. Thus, quarantine and management of F. occidentalis should focus on preventing it from spreading from the putative source populations to other parts of China.
Western flower thrip (Frankliniella occidentalis) is a major global pest of agricultural products. It directly damages crops through feeding, oviposition activity or transmission of several plant viruses. We describe a Taqman real-time quantitative PCR detection system, which can rapidly identify F. occidentalis from thrips larvae to complement the traditional morphological identification. The data showed that our detection system targeted on the ribosomal RNA gene regions of F. occidentalis has high sensitivity and specificity. The rapid method can be used for on-site testing of samples at ports-of-entry in the future.
Frankliniella occidentalis; real-time quantitative PCR; plant quarantine
It is generally assumed that the choice of oviposition sites in arthropods is affected by the presence of food for the offspring on the one hand and by predation risk on the other hand. But where should females oviposit when the food itself poses a predation risk for their offspring? Here, we address this question by studying the oviposition behaviour of the predatory mite Amblyseius swirskii in reaction to the presence of its counterattacking prey, the western flower thrips Frankliniella occidentalis. We offered the mites a choice between two potential oviposition sites, one with and one without food. We used two types of food: thrips larvae, which are predators of eggs of predatory mite but are consumed by older predator stages, and pollen, a food source that poses no risk to the predators. With pollen as food, the predators preferred ovipositing on the site with food. This might facilitate the foraging for food by the immature offspring that will emerge from the eggs. With thrips as food, female predators preferred ovipositing on the site without thrips. Predators that oviposited more on the site with thrips larvae killed more thrips larvae than females that oviposited on the site without food, but this did not result in higher oviposition. This suggests that the females killed thrips to protect their offspring. Our results show that predators display complex anti-predator behaviour in response to the presence of counter-attacking prey.
Phytoseiids; Thrips; Oviposition site selection; Role reversals; Predator–prey interactions; Counterattacking prey; Amblyseius swirskii
Anthophilous flower thrips in the genus Frankliniella (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) exploit ephemeral plant resources and therefore must be capable of successfully locating appropriate hosts on a repeated basis, yet little is known of interspecific and intraspecific variation in responses to host plant type and nutritional quality. Field trials were conducted over two seasons to determine if the abundance of males and females of three common Frankliniella species, F. occidentalis (Pergande), F. tritici (Fitch) and F. bispinosa (Morgan), their larvae, and a key predator, Orius insidiosus (Say) (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) were affected by host plant type and plant nutritional quality. Two host plants, pepper, Capsicum annuum L. (Solanales: Solanaceae) and tomato, Solanum lycopersicum L. that vary in suitability for these species were examined, and their nutritional quality was manipulated by applying three levels of nitrogen fertilization (101 kg/ha, 202 kg/ha, 404 kg/ha). F. occidentalis females were more abundant in pepper than in tomato, but males did not show a differential response. Both sexes of F. tritici and F. bispinosa were more abundant in tomato than in pepper. Larval thrips were more abundant in pepper than in tomato. Likewise, O. insidiosus females and nymphs were more abundant in pepper than in tomato. Only F. occidentalis females showed a distinct response to nitrogen fertilization, with abundance increasing with fertilization. These results show that host plant utilization patterns vary among Frankliniella spp. and should not be generalized from results of the intensively studied F. occidentalis. Given the different pest status of these species and their differential abundance in pepper and tomato, it is critical that scouting programs include species identifications for proper management.
fertilization; flower thrips; Frankliniella occidentalis; Frankliniella tritici; Frankliniella bispinosa; host selection; Orius insidiosus; pepper; tomato
In ecological systems, indirect interactions between plant pathogens and phytophagous arthropods can arise when infestation by a first attacker alters the common host plant so that although a second attacker could be spatially or temporally separated from the first one, the former could be affected. The induction of plant defense reactions leading to the production of secondary metabolites is thought to have an important role since it involves antagonistic and/or synergistic cross-talks that may determine the outcome of such interactions. We carried out experiments under controlled conditions on young rose plants in order to assess the impact of these indirect interactions on life history traits of three pests: the necrotrophic fungus Botrytis cinerea Pers.: Fr. (Helotiales: Sclerotiniaceae), the aphid Rhodobium porosum Sanderson (Hemiptera: Aphididae) and the thrips Frankliniella occidentalis Pergande (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Our results indicated (i) a bi-directional negative interaction between B. cinerea and R. porosum, which is conveyed by decreased aphid growth rate and reduced fungal lesion area, as well as (ii) an indirect negative effect of B. cinerea on insect behavior. No indirect effect was observed between thrips and aphids. This research highlights several complex interactions that may be involved in structuring herbivore and plant pathogen communities within natural and managed ecosystems.
Herbivores can profit from vectoring plant pathogens because the induced defence of plants against pathogens sometimes interferes with the induced defence of plants against herbivores. Plants can also defend themselves indirectly by the action of the natural enemies of the herbivores. It is unknown whether the defence against pathogens induced in the plant also interferes with the indirect defence against herbivores mediated via the third trophic level. We previously showed that infection of plants with Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) increased the developmental rate of and juvenile survival of its vector, the thrips Frankliniella occidentalis. Here, we present the results of a study on the effects of TSWV infections of plants on the effectiveness of three species of natural enemies of F. occidentalis: the predatory mites Neoseiulus cucumeris and Iphiseius degenerans, and the predatory bug Orius laevigatus. The growth rate of thrips larvae was positively affected by the presence of virus in the host plant. Because large larvae are invulnerable to predation by the two species of predatory mites, this resulted in a shorter period of vulnerability to predation for thrips that developed on plants with virus than thrips developing on uninfected plants (4.4 vs. 7.9 days, respectively). Because large thrips larvae are not invulnerable to predation by the predatory bug Orius laevigatus, infection of the plant did not affect the predation risk of thrips larvae from this predator. This is the first demonstration of a negative effect of a plant pathogen on the predation risk of its vector.
Tritrophic interactions; Preference; Prey size; Frankliniella occidentalis; Tomato spotted wilt virus
Changes in plants following insect attack are referred to as induced responses. These responses are widely viewed as a form of defence against further insect attack. In the current study we explore whether it is possible to make generalizations about induced plant responses given the unpredictability and variability observed in insect-plant interactions. Experiments were conducted to test for consistency in the responses of two congeneric thrips, Frankliniella schultzei Trybom and Frankliniella occidentalis Pergrande (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) to cotton seedlings (Gossypium hirsutum Linneaus (Malvales: Malvaceae)) damaged by various insect herbivores. In dual-choice experiments that compared intact and damaged cotton seedlings, F. schultzei was attracted to seedlings damaged by Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), Tetranychus urticae (Koch) (Trombidiforms: Tetranychidae), Tenebrio molitor Linnaeus (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae), F. schultzei and F. occidentalis but not to mechanically damaged seedlings. In similar tests, F. occidentalis was attracted to undamaged cotton seedlings when simultaneously exposed to seedlings damaged by H. armigera, T. molitor or F. occidentalis. However, when exposed to F. schultzei or T. urticae damaged plants, F. occidentalis was more attracted towards damaged plants. A quantitative relationship was also apparent, F. schultzei showed increased attraction to damaged seedlings as the density of T. urticae or F. schultzei increased. In contrast, although F. occidentalis demonstrated increased attraction to plants damaged by higher densities of T. urticae, there was a negative relationship between attraction and the density of damaging conspecifics. Both species showed greater attraction to T. urticae damaged seedlings than to seedlings damaged by conspecifics. Results demonstrate that the responses of both species of thrips were context dependent, making generalizations difficult to formulate.
The western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande), is an invasive species and the most economically important pest within the insect order Thysanoptera. For a better understanding of the genetic makeup and migration patterns of F. occidentalis throughout the world, we characterized 18 novel polymorphic EST-derived microsatellites. The mutational mechanism of these EST-SSRs was also investigated to facilitate the selection of appropriate combinations of markers for population genetic studies. Genetic diversity of these novel markers was assessed in 96 individuals from three populations in China (Harbin, Dali, and Guiyang). The results showed that all these 18 loci were highly polymorphic; the number of alleles ranged from 2 to 15, with an average of 5.50 alleles per locus. The observed (HO) and expected (HE) heterozygosities ranged from 0.072 to 0.707 and 0.089 to 0.851, respectively. Furthermore, only two locus/population combinations (WFT144 in Dali and WFT50 in Guiyang) significantly deviated from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium (HWE). Pairwise FST analysis showed a low but significant differentiation (0.026 < FST < 0.032) among all three pairwise population comparisons. Sequence analysis of alleles per locus revealed a complex mutational pattern of these EST-SSRs. Thus, these EST-SSRs are useful markers but greater attention should be paid to the mutational characteristics of these microsatellites when they are used in population genetic studies.
Frankliniella occidentalis; EST-SSRs; expressed sequence tags; microsatellite; population genetics
Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) is transmitted by Frankliniella occidentalis in a persistent propagative manner. Despite the extensive replication of TSWV in midgut and salivary glands, there is little to no pathogenic effect on F. occidentalis. We hypothesize that the first-instar larva (L1) of F. occidentalis mounts a response to TSWV that protects it from pathogenic effects caused by virus infection and replication in various insect tissues. A partial thrips transcriptome was generated using 454-Titanium sequencing of cDNA generated from F. occidentalis exposed to TSWV. Using these sequences, the L1 thrips proteome that resolved on a two-dimensional gel was characterized. Forty-seven percent of the resolved protein spots were identified using the thrips transcriptome. Real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) analysis of virus titer in L1 thrips revealed a significant increase in the normalized abundance of TSWV nucleocapsid RNA from 2 to 21 h after a 3-h acquisition access period on virus-infected plant tissue, indicative of infection and accumulation of virus. We compared the proteomes of infected and noninfected L1s to identify proteins that display differential abundances in response to virus. Using four biological replicates, 26 spots containing 37 proteins were significantly altered in response to TSWV. Gene ontology assignments for 32 of these proteins revealed biological roles associated with the infection cycle of other plant- and animal-infecting viruses and antiviral defense responses. Our findings support the hypothesis that L1 thrips display a complex reaction to TSWV infection and provide new insights toward unraveling the molecular basis of this interaction.
Studies on bacteria in the gut of insect species are numerous, but their focus is hardly ever on the impact on host performance. We showed earlier that Erwinia bacteria occur in the gut of western flower thrips, most probably acquired during feeding. Here, we investigate whether thrips gain a net benefit or pay a net cost because of these gut bacteria. On a diet of cucumber leaves, the time to maturity is shorter and the oviposition rate is higher in thrips with bacteria than in thrips without (aposymbionts). When fed on cucumber leaves and pollen, aposymbionts develop faster and lay more eggs. So Erwinia bacteria benefit or parasitize their thrips hosts depending on the diet, which is in accordance with theoretical predictions for fitness of organisms engaged in symbiotic interactions. Possibly, the transmission of gut bacteria has not become strictly vertical because of this diet-dependent fitness variability.
Tospoviruses have the ability to infect plants and their insect vectors. Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV), the type species in the Tospovirus genus, infects its most important insect vector, Frankliniella occidentalis, the western flower thrips (WFT). However, no detrimental effects on the life cycle or cytopathological changes have been reported in the WFT after TSWV infection, and relatively few viral particles can be observed even several days after infection. We hypothesized that TSWV infection triggers an immune response in the WFT. Using subtractive cDNA libraries to probe WFT DNA macroarrays, we found that the WFT's immune system is activated by TSWV infection. The activated genes included (i) those encoding antimicrobial peptides, such as defensin and cecropin; (ii) genes involved in pathogen recognition, such as those encoding lectins; (iii) those encoding receptors that activate the innate immune response, such as Toll-3; and (iv) those encoding members of signal transduction pathways activated by Toll-like receptors, such as JNK kinase. Transcriptional upregulation of these genes after TSWV infection was confirmed by Northern analysis, and the kinetics of the immune response was measured over time. Several of the detected genes were activated at the same time that viral replication was first detected by reverse transcription-PCR. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the activation of an insect vector immune response by a plant virus. The results may lead to a better understanding of insects' immune responses against viruses and may help in the future development of novel control strategies against plant viruses, as well as human and animal viruses transmitted by insect vectors.
Segregating plant hybrids often have more ecological and molecular variability compared to parental species, and are therefore useful for studying relationships between different traits, and the adaptive significance of trait variation. Hybrid systems have been used to study the relationship between the expression of plant defense compounds and herbivore susceptibility. We conducted a western flower thrips (WFT) bioassay using a hybrid family and investigated the relationship between WFT resistance and pyrrolizidine alkaloid (PA) variation. The hybrid family consisted of two parental (Jacobaea vulgaris and Jacobaea aquatica) genotypes, two F1 genotypes, and 94 F2 hybrid lines. The J. aquatica genotype was more susceptible to thrips attack than the J. vulgaris genotype, the two F1 hybrids were as susceptible as J. aquatica, and susceptibility to WFT differed among F2 hybrid lines: 69 F2 lines were equally susceptible compared to J. aquatica, 10 F2 lines were more susceptible than J. aquatica and 15 F2 lines were as resistant as J. vulgaris or were intermediate to the two parental genotypes. Among 37 individual PAs that were derived from four structural groups (senecionine-, jacobine-, erucifoline- and otosenine-like PAs), the N-oxides of jacobine, jaconine, and jacoline were negatively correlated with feeding damage caused by WFT, and the tertiary amines of jacobine, jaconine, jacoline, and other PAs did not relate to feeding damage. Total PA concentration was negatively correlated with feeding damage. Among the four PA groups, only the total concentration of the jacobine-like PAs was negatively correlated with feeding damage. Multiple regression tests suggested that jacobine-like PAs play a greater role in WFT resistance than PAs from other structural groups. We found no evidence for synergistic effects of different PAs on WFT resistance. The relationship between PA variation and WFT feeding damage in the Jacobaea hybrids suggests a role for PAs in resistance to generalist insects.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10886-011-0021-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Hybridization; Jacobaea vulgaris; Jacobaea aquatica; Secondary metabolite diversity; Chemical defense; Frankliniella occidentalis
The jasmonic acid (JA) pathway plays a key role in plant defense responses against herbivorous insects. CORONATINE INSENSITIVE1 (COI1) is an F-box protein essential for all jasmonate responses. However, the precise defense function of COI1 in monocotyledonous plants, especially in rice (Oryza sativa L.) is largely unknown. We silenced OsCOI1 in rice plants via RNA interference (RNAi) to determine the role of OsCOI1 in rice defense against rice leaf folder (LF) Cnaphalocrocis medinalis, a chewing insect, and brown planthopper (BPH) Nilaparvata lugens, a phloem-feeding insect. In wild-type rice plants (WT), the transcripts of OsCOI1 were strongly and continuously up-regulated by LF infestation and methyl jasmonate (MeJA) treatment, but not by BPH infestation. The abundance of trypsin protease inhibitor (TrypPI), and the enzymatic activities of polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and peroxidase (POD) were enhanced in response to both LF and BPH infestation, but the activity of lipoxygenase (LOX) was only induced by LF. The RNAi lines with repressed expression of OsCOI1 showed reduced resistance against LF, but no change against BPH. Silencing OsCOI1 did not alter LF-induced LOX activity and JA content, but it led to a reduction in the TrypPI content, POD and PPO activity by 62.3%, 48.5% and 27.2%, respectively. In addition, MeJA-induced TrypPI and POD activity were reduced by 57.2% and 48.2% in OsCOI1 RNAi plants. These results suggest that OsCOI1 is an indispensable signaling component, controlling JA-regulated defense against chewing insect (LF) in rice plants, and COI1 is also required for induction of TrypPI, POD and PPO in rice defense response to LF infestation.
Jasmonic acid (JA) is a key hormone involved in plant defense responses. The effect of JA treatment of cabbage plants on their acceptability for oviposition by two species of cabbage white butterflies, Pieris rapae and P. brassicae, was investigated. Both butterfly species laid fewer eggs on leaves of JA-treated plants compared to control plants. We show that this is due to processes in the plant after JA treatment rather than an effect of JA itself. The oviposition preference for control plants is adaptive, as development time from larval hatch until pupation of P. rapae caterpillars was longer on JA-treated plants. Total glucosinolate content in leaf surface extracts was similar for control and treated plants; however, two of the five glucosinolates were present in lower amounts in leaf surface extracts of JA-treated plants. When the butterflies were offered a choice between the purified glucosinolate fraction isolated from leaf surface extracts of JA-treated plants and that from control plants, they did not discriminate. Changes in leaf surface glucosinolate profile, therefore, do not seem to explain the change in oviposition preference of the butterflies after JA treatment, suggesting that as yet unknown infochemicals are involved.
Host plant selection; Glucosinolates; Pieris rapae; Pieris brassicae; Cabbage; Performance; Octadecanoid pathway
Through a modeling approach, we investigated weather factors that affect the summer incidence of Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV), a virus vectored exclusively by thrips, in cultivated tobacco. Aspects of thrips and plant biology that affect disease spread were treated as functions of weather, leading to a model of disease incidence informed by thrips and plant biology, and dependent on weather input variables. We found that disease incidence during the summer was influenced by weather affecting thrips activity during the preceding year, especially during a time when thrips transmit TSWV to and from the plant hosts that constitute the virus’ natural reservoir. We identified an interaction between spring precipitation and earlier weather affecting thrips, relating this to virus abundance and transmission intensity as interacting factors affecting disease incidence. Throughout, weather is the basic driver of epidemiology in the system, and our findings allowed us to detect associations between atypically high- or low-incidence years and the local climatic deviations from normal weather patterns, brought about by El Niño Southern Oscillation transitions.
Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa ssp. pekinensis) is a member of one of the most important leaf vegetables grown worldwide, which has experienced thousands of years in cultivation and artificial selection. The entire Chinese cabbage genome sequence, and more than forty thousand proteins have been obtained to date. The genome has undergone triplication events since its divergence from Arabidopsis thaliana (13 to 17 Mya), however a high degree of sequence similarity and conserved genome structure remain between the two species. Arabidopsis is therefore a viable reference species for comparative genomics studies. Variation in the number of members in gene families due to genome triplication may contribute to the broad range of phenotypic plasticity, and increased tolerance to environmental extremes observed in Brassica species. Transcription factors are important regulators involved in plant developmental and physiological processes. The AP2/ERF proteins, one of the most important families of transcriptional regulators, play a crucial role in plant growth, and in response to biotic and abiotic stressors. Our analysis will provide resources for understanding the tolerance mechanisms in Brassica rapa ssp. pekinensis.
In the present study, 291 putative AP2/ERF transcription factor proteins were identified from the Chinese cabbage genome database, and compared with proteins from 15 additional species. The Chinese cabbage AP2/ERF superfamily was classified into four families, including AP2, ERF, RAV, and Soloist. The ERF family was further divided into DREB and ERF subfamilies. The AP2/ERF superfamily was subsequently divided into 15 groups. The identification, classification, phylogenetic reconstruction, conserved motifs, chromosome distribution, functional annotation, expression patterns, and interaction networks of the AP2/ERF transcription factor superfamily were predicted and analyzed. Distribution mapping results showed AP2/ERF superfamily genes were localized on the 10 Chinese cabbage chromosomes. AP2/ERF transcription factor expression levels exhibited differences among six tissue types based on expressed sequence tags (ESTs). In the AP2/ERF superfamily, 214 orthologous genes were identified between Chinese cabbage and Arabidopsis. Orthologous gene interaction networks were constructed, and included seven CBF and four AP2 genes, primarily involved in cold regulatory pathways and ovule development, respectively.
The evolution of the AP2/ERF transcription factor superfamily in Chinese cabbage resulted from genome triplication and tandem duplications. A comprehensive analysis of the physiological functions and biological roles of AP2/ERF superfamily genes in Chinese cabbage is required to fully elucidate AP2/ERF, which provides us with rich resources and opportunities to understand crop stress tolerance mechanisms.
Chinese cabbage; AP2/ERF; Stress tolerance; Gene expression; Interaction network; Protein annotation
Seven citrus orchards on reduced to no pesticide spray programs were sampled for Thysanoptera in central and south central Florida. Inner and outer canopy leaves, fruits, twigs, trunk scrapings, vines and ground cover plants were sampled monthly between January 1995 and January 1996. Thirty-six species of thrips were identified from 2,979 specimens collected from within citrus tree canopies and 18,266 specimens from vines and ground cover plants within the seven citrus orchards. The thrips species included seven predators [Aleurodothrips fasciapennis (Franklin), Karnyothrips flavipes (Jones), K. melaleucus (Bagnall), Leptothrips cassiae (Watson), L. macroocellatus (Watson), L. pini (Watson), and Scolothrips sexmaculatus (Pergande)] 21 plant feeding species [Anaphothrips n. sp., Arorathrips mexicanus (Crawford), Aurantothrips orchidaceous (Bagnall), Baileyothrips limbatus (Hood), Chaetanaphothrips orchidii (Moulton), Danothrips trifasciatus (Sakimura), Echinothrips americanus (Morgan), Frankliniella bispinosa (Morgan), F. cephalica (Crawford), F. fusca (Hinds), F. gossypiana (Hood), Frankliniella sp. (runneri group), Haplothrips gowdeyi (Franklin), Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis (Bouché), Leucothrips piercei (Morgan), Microcephalothrips abdominalis (Crawford), Neohydatothrips floridanus (Watson), N. portoricensis (Morgan), Pseudothrips inequalis (Beach), Scirtothrips sp., and Thrips hawaiiensis (Morgan)]; and eight fungivorous feeding species [Adraneothrips decorus (Hood), Hoplandrothrips pergandei (Hinds), Idolothripinae sp., Merothrips floridensis (Watson), M. morgani (Hood), Neurothrips magnafemoralis (Hinds), Stephanothrips occidentalis Hood and Williams, and Symphyothrips sp.]. Only F. bispinosa, C. orchidii, D. trifasciatus, and H. haemorrhoidalis have been considered economic pests on Florida citrus. Scirtothrips sp. and T. hawaiiensis were recovered in low numbers within Florida citrus orchards. Both are potential pest species to citrus and possibly other crops in Florida. The five most abundant thrips species collected within citrus tree canopies were: A. fasciapennis, F. bispinosa, C. orchidii, K. flavipes, and D. trifasciatus. In comparison, the following five thrips species were most abundant on vines or ground cover plants: F. bispinosa, H. gowdeyi, F. cephalica, M. abdominalis, and F. gossypiana. Fifty-eight species of vines or ground cover plants in 26 families were infested with one or more of 27 species of thrips.
Thrips; Terebrantia; Phlaeothripinae; Idolothripinae; Thripidae; Phlaeothripidae
Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV), a member of the Tospovirus genus within the Bunyaviridae, is an economically important plant pathogen with a worldwide distribution. TSWV is transmitted to plants via thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), which transmit the virus in a persistent propagative manner. The envelope glycoproteins, GN and GC, are critical for the infection of thrips, but they are not required for the initial infection of plants. Thus, it is assumed that the envelope glycoproteins play important roles in the entry of TSWV into the insect midgut, the first site of infection. To directly test the hypothesis that GN plays a role in TSWV acquisition by thrips, we expressed and purified a soluble, recombinant form of the GN protein (GN-S). The expression of GN-S allowed us to examine the function of GN in the absence of other viral proteins. We detected specific binding to thrips midguts when purified GN-S was fed to thrips in an in vivo binding assay. The TSWV nucleocapsid protein and human cytomegalovirus glycoprotein B did not bind to thrips midguts, indicating that the GN-S-thrips midgut interaction is specific. TSWV acquisition inhibition assays revealed that thrips that were concomitantly fed purified TSWV and GN-S had reduced amounts of virus in their midguts compared to thrips that were fed TSWV only. Our findings that GN-S binds to larval thrips guts and decreases TSWV acquisition provide evidence that GN may serve as a viral ligand that mediates the attachment of TSWV to receptors displayed on the epithelial cells of the thrips midgut.
Jasmonates (JAs) induce leaf senescence in many plant species. The Arabidopsis F-box protein coronatine insensitive 1 (COI1) is required for various JA-regulated plant responses including plant fertility, defense responses and leaf senescence. However, the molecular basis for COI1-dependent JA-induced leaf senescence remains unknown. In our Plant Physiology paper, we identified a COI1-dependent JA-repressed protein, Rubisco activase (RCA) in Arabidopsis. Further genetic and physiological analyses showed that the COI1-dependent JA repression of RCA correlated with JA-induced leaf senescence, and that loss of RCA led to typical senescence-associated features. Therefore, we suggested that the COI1-dependent JA repression of RCA played an important role in JA-induced leaf senescence. In this addendum, we made a relatively deep discussion on RCA function in JA-induced leaf senescence and JA-mediated defense responses. We also discussed the possible role of JA in plant natural senescence.
arabidopsis; COI1; jasmonate; leaf senescence; RCA
Arabidopsis belongs to the Brassicaceae family and plays an important role as a model plant for which researchers have developed fine-tuned genome resources. Genome sequencing projects have been initiated for other members of the Brassicaceae family. Among these projects, research on Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis) started early because of strong interest in this species. Here, we report the development of a library of Chinese cabbage full-length cDNA clones, the RIKEN BRC B. rapa full-length cDNA (BBRAF) resource, to accelerate research on Brassica species. We sequenced 10 000 BBRAF clones and confirmed 5476 independent clones. Most of these cDNAs showed high homology to Arabidopsis genes, but we also obtained more than 200 cDNA clones that lacked any sequence homology to Arabidopsis genes. We also successfully identified several possible candidate marker genes for plant defence responses from our analysis of the expression of the Brassica counterparts of Arabidopsis marker genes in response to salicylic acid and jasmonic acid. We compared gene expression of these markers in several Chinese cabbage cultivars. Our BBRAF cDNA resource will be publicly available from the RIKEN Bioresource Center and will help researchers to transfer Arabidopsis-related knowledge to Brassica crops.
Arabidopsis; Brassica rapa; full-length cDNA; jasmonic acid; salicylic acid