The western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis [Pergande]) is one of the most important insect herbivores of cultivated plants. However, no pesticide provides complete control of this species, and insecticide resistance has emerged around the world. We previously reported the important role of jasmonate (JA) in the plant's immediate response to thrips feeding by using an Arabidopsis leaf disc system. In this study, as the first step toward practical use of JA in thrips control, we analyzed the effect of JA-regulated Arabidopsis defense at the whole plant level on thrips behavior and life cycle at the population level over an extended period. We also studied the effectiveness of JA-regulated plant defense on thrips damage in Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis).
Thrips oviposited more on Arabidopsis JA-insensitive coi1-1 mutants than on WT plants, and the population density of the following thrips generation increased on coi1-1 mutants. Moreover, thrips preferred coi1-1 mutants more than WT plants. Application of JA to WT plants before thrips attack decreased the thrips population. To analyze these important functions of JA in a brassica crop plant, we analyzed the expression of marker genes for JA response in B. rapa. Thrips feeding induced expression of these marker genes and significantly increased the JA content in B. rapa. Application of JA to B. rapa enhanced plant resistance to thrips, restricted oviposition, and reduced the population density of the following generation.
Our results indicate that the JA-regulated plant defense restricts thrips performance and preference, and plays an important role in the resistance of Arabidopsis and B. rapa to thrips damage.
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
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.
A principal question in MAPKinase (MAPK/MPK) cascade signalling is how similar components dictate different specificity in the information-processing machineries from yeast to humans and plants. In Arabidopsis, how MPK3/6 modulates distinct outputs in diverse signal transduction pathways remains elusive. By combining systematic cellular and genetic screens, here we uncover a previously unexpected MKK9–MPK3/MPK6 cascade promoting ethylene-insensitive 3 (EIN3)-mediated transcription in ethylene signalling. The mkk9 mutant exhibits a broad spectrum of moderate ethylene-insensitive phenotypes, and translocated MKK9 governs nuclear signalling downstream of receptors. Breaking a linear model and conventional MAPK signalling, ethylene inactivates the negative regulator constitutive triple response 1 (CTR1, a Raf-like MAPK kinase kinase (MAPKKK) to activate the positive MKK9–MPK3/6 cascade. The bifurcate and antagonistic CTR1 and MKK9 pathways are both critical in determining ethylene-signalling specificity through two MAPK phosphorylation sites with opposite effects on EIN3 stability. The results suggest a new paradigm for linking intertwined MAPK cascades to control quantitative responses and specificity in signalling networks.
Insect pests that attempt to feed on the caterpillar-resistant maize genotype Mp708 encounter a potent, multipronged defense system that thwarts their invasion. First, these plants are on “constant alert” due to constitutively elevated levels of the phytohormone jasmonic acid that signals the plant to activate its defenses. The higher jasmonic acid levels trigger the expression of defense genes prior to herbivore attack so the plants are “primed” and respond with a faster and stronger defense. The second defense is the rapid accumulation of a toxic cysteine protease called Mir1-CP in the maize whorl in response to caterpillar feeding. When caterpillars ingest Mir1-CP, it damages the insect's midgut and retards their growth. In this article, we discuss a third possible defense strategy employed by Mp708. We have shown that foliar caterpillar feeding causes Mir1-CP and defense gene transcripts to accumulate in its roots. We propose that caterpillar feeding aboveground sends a signal belowground via the phloem that results in Mir1-CP accumulation in the roots. We also postulate that the roots serve as a reservoir of Mir1-CP that can be mobilized to the whorl in response to caterpillar assault.
signaling; maize; herbivory; aboveground; belowground; communication; defense; roots; foliar
Ethylene-Insensitive3 (EIN3) is a transcription factor that works in the ethylene signaling pathway in Arabidopsis. We isolated a tobacco cDNA encoding an EIN3 homolog as a sequence-specific DNA-binding protein. The encoded protein TEIL (tobacco EIN3-like) shares 60% identity in amino acid sequence with EIN3. The DNA-binding domain was localized in the N-terminal half, which shows 92% identity in amino acid sequence with the corresponding region of EIN3, suggesting a conserved function in DNA-binding specificity. TEIL was indeed functionally similar to EIN3 because, like EIN3-overexpressing plants, transgenic Arabidopsis seedlings overexpressing TEIL cDNA exhibited constitutive triple response phenotypes. Random binding site selection analysis revealed that the consensus binding sequence for TEIL is AYGWAYCT, where Y and W represent A or C and A or T, respectively. A reporter plasmid containing the TEIL binding sites showed a 7- to 10-fold higher activation relative to that containing a mutated TEIL-binding sequence in tobacco protoplasts. A further 2- to 3-fold increase in activation was observed when a plasmid for TEIL overproduction was co-transfected, indicating that TEIL is a transcriptional activator. Moreover, nuclear extracts from ethylene-treated leaves showed an increase in DNA-binding activity specific to the TEIL-binding sequence, despite the level of the transcripts being unchanged. These observations suggest that TEIL functions as a transcription activator with a relatively redundant DNA-binding specificity, and its function may be regulated at least in part by modulation of the DNA-binding activity through ethylene signaling.
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.
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
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
The Russian wheat aphid, Diuraphis noxia (Kurdjumov), is an invasive insect pest that causes serious yield losses in bread wheat, Triticum aestivum L., durum wheat, T. turgidum L and barley, Hordeum vulgare L. Successful management of D. noxia has been achieved through resistant varieties via plant antixenosis (aphid non-preference), antibiosis (reduced aphid growth or fecundity), tolerance (plant compensatory growth after aphid feeding), or a combination of each. Previous phenotyping experiments revealed that plants of the variety Stoneham resist D. noxia damage via tolerance. In the present study, genes involved in upstream regulation of jasmonic acid (JA), salicylic acid (SA), ethylene (ET), auxin (AUX) and abscisic acid (ABA) biosynthetic pathways were monitored using qRT-PCR in Stoneham and susceptible Otis barley plants after D. noxia biotype 2 feeding. Results indicate that D. noxia tolerance in Stoneham plants is related to greater constitutive expression of JA-, ET- and AUX-biosynthetic pathway genes than in susceptible Otis plants, suggesting the possibility of immediate plant adjustments due to the stress of D. noxia feeding. There was limited induction of genes in the ET-(ACCS) and IAA (TDC) pathways in Stoneham tissues after D. noxia feeding. JA pathway genes upregulated in Otis tissues after D. noxia infestation failed to successfully defend Otis plants. AUX and ABA transcripts in Otis may be associated with developmental collapses resulting from source and sink adjustment failures.
Diuraphis noxia; barley; biotypes; qRT-PCR; resistance; tolerance
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.
Phloem-feeding aphids deprive plants of assimilates, but mostly manage to avoid causing the mechanical tissue damage inflicted by chewing insects. Nevertheless, jasmonate signalling that is induced by infestation is important in mediating resistance to phloem feeders. Aphid attack induces the jasmonic acid signalling pathway, but very little is known about the specific impact jasmonates have on the expression of genes that respond to aphid attack.
We have evaluated the function that jasmonates have in regulating Arabidopsis thaliana responses to cabbage aphid (Brevicoryne brassicae) by conducting a large-scale transcriptional analysis of two mutants: aos, which is defective in jasmonate production, and fou2, which constitutively induces jasmonic acid biosynthesis. This analysis enabled us to determine which genes' expression patterns depend on the jasmonic acid signalling pathway. We identified more than 200 genes whose expression in non-challenged plants depended on jasmonate levels and more than 800 genes that responded differently to infestation in aos and fou2 plants than in wt. Several aphid-induced changes were compromised in the aos mutant, particularly genes connected to regulation of transcription, defence responses and redox changes. Due to jasmonate-triggered pre-activation of fou2, its transcriptional profile in non-challenged plants mimicked the induction of defence responses in wt. Additional activation of fou2 upon aphid attack was therefore limited. Insect fitness experiments revealed that the physiological consequences of fou2 mutation contributed to more effective protection against B. brassicae. However, the observed resistance of the fou2 mutant was based on antibiotic rather than feeding deterrent properties of the mutant as indicated by an analysis of aphid feeding behaviour.
Analysis of transcriptional profiles of wt, aos and fou2 plants revealed that the expression of more than 200 genes is dependent on jasmonate status, regardless of external stimuli. Moreover, the aphid-induced response of more than 800 transcripts is regulated by jasmonate signalling. Thus, in plants lacking jasmonates many of the defence-related responses induced by infestation in wt plants are impaired. Constant up-regulation of jasmonate signalling as evident in the fou2 mutant causes reduction in aphid population growth, likely as a result of antibiotic properties of fou2 plants. However, aos mutation does not seem to affect aphid performance when the density of B. brassicae populations on plants is low and aphids are free to move around.
aphid; gene expression; infestation; jasmonic acid signalling; microarrays; plant defence; EPG
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.
Multiple transcriptome and proteome studies indicated that the micronutrient deficiency stress caused by lack of iron results in increased molecular responses for the mobilization and uptake of iron and also in altered metabolic adaptation and stress responses. Recently, we identified the ethylene-regulated transcription factors ETHYLENE INSENSITIVE3 (EIN3) and EIN3-LIKE1 (EIL1) as protein interaction partners of the Fe deficiency response regulator and transcription factor FER-LIKE FE DEFINCY-INDUCED TRANSCRPTION FACTOR1 (FIT). EIN3/EIL1 contribute to high level gene expression of FIT downstream genes and also promote FIT protein abundance. Transcriptome analyses showed that more genes were differentially regulated in ein3 eil1 mutants versus wild type upon iron deficiency than upon sufficient iron supply. Moreover, several of the differentially expressed genes are implicated in photo-oxidative stress responses in leaves. We therefore speculated that by enhancing Fe uptake through interaction with FIT and by re-organizing the photo-oxidative stress responses, EIN3/EIL1 might contribute to decreasing photo-oxidative stress that may occur under light conditions in response to Fe deficiency. Here, we present an additional analysis of our previously published transcriptome data of ein3 eil1 and wild type between sufficient iron supply and iron deficiency, respectively.
ethylene; FIT; iron deficiency; root; transcriptome
Plants cannot avoid being attacked by an almost infinite number of microorganisms and insects. Consequently, they arm themselves with molecular weapons against their attackers. Plant defense responses are the result of a complex signaling network, in which the hormones jasmonic acid (JA), salicylic acid (SA) and ethylene (ET) are the usual suspects under the magnifying glass when researchers investigate host-pest interactions. However, Green Leaf Volatiles (GLVs), C6 molecules, which are very quickly produced and/or emitted upon herbivory or pathogen infection by almost every green plant, also play an important role in plant defenses. GLVs are semiochemicals used by insects to find their food or their conspecifics. They have also been reported to be fundamental in indirect defenses and to have a direct effect on pests, but these are not the only roles of GLVs. These volatiles, being probably one of the fastest weapons exploited, are also able to directly elicit or prime plant defense responses. Moreover, GLVs, via crosstalk with phytohormones, mostly JA, can influence the outcome of the plant’s defense response against pathogens. For all these reasons GLVs should be considered as co-protagonists in the play between plants and their attackers.
secondary metabolites; green leaf volatiles; phytohormones; pathogen; plant-to-plant communication; priming; indirect defenses
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.
Brassinosteroids (BRs) play crucial roles in plant development and also promote tolerance to a range of abiotic stresses. Although much has been learned about their roles in plant development, the mechanisms by which BRs control plant stress responses and regulate stress-responsive gene expression are not fully known. Since BR interacts with other plant hormones, it is likely that the stress tolerance conferring ability of BR lies in part in its interactions with other stress hormones.
Using a collection of Arabidopsis mutants that are either deficient in or insensitive to abscisic acid (ABA), ethylene (ET), jasmonic acid (JA) and salicylic acid (SA), we studied the effects of 24-epibrassinloide (EBR) on basic thermotolerance and salt tolerance of these mutants. The positive impact of EBR on thermotolerance in proportion to wild type was evident in all mutants studied, with the exception of the SA-insensitive npr1-1 mutant. EBR could rescue the ET-insensitive ein2 mutant from its hypersensitivity to salt stress-induced inhibition of seed germination, but remained ineffective in increasing the survival of eto1-1 (ET-overproducer) and npr1-1 seedlings on salt. The positive effect of EBR was significantly greater in the ABA-deficient aba1-1 mutant as compared to wild type, indicating that ABA masks BR effects in plant stress responses. Treatment with EBR increased expression of various hormone marker genes in both wild type and mutant seedlings, although to different levels.
These results together indicate that the redox-sensitive protein NPR1 (NONEXPRESSOR OF PATHOGENESIS-RELATED GENES1), a master regulator of SA-mediated defense genes, is likely a critical component of EBR-mediated increase in thermotolerance and salt tolerance, but it is not required for EBR-mediated induction of PR-1 (PATHOGENESIS-RELATED1) gene expression; that BR exerts anti-stress effects independently as well as through interactions with other hormones; that ABA inhibits BR effects during stress; and that BR shares transcriptional targets with other hormones.
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
In a screen for delayed floral organ abscission in Arabidopsis, we have identified a novel mutant of CORONATINE INSENSITIVE 1 (COI1), the F-box protein that has been shown to be the jasmonic acid (JA) co-receptor. While JA has been shown to have an important role in senescence, root development, pollen dehiscence and defense responses, there has been little focus on its critical role in floral organ abscission. Abscission, or the detachment of organs from the main body of a plant, is an essential process during plant development and a unique type of cell separation regulated by endogenous and exogenous signals. Previous studies have indicated that auxin and ethylene are major plant hormones regulating abscission; and here we show that regulation of floral organ abscission is also controlled by jasmonic acid in Arabidopsis thaliana. Our characterization of coi1-1 and a novel allele (coi1-37) has also revealed an essential role in apical dominance and floral meristem arrest. In this study we provide genetic evidence indicating that delayed abscission 4 (dab4-1) is allelic to coi1-1 and that meristem arrest and apical dominance appear to be evolutionarily divergent functions for COI1 that are governed in an ecotype-dependent manner. Further characterizations of ethylene and JA responses of dab4-1/coi1-37 also provide new information suggesting separate pathways for ethylene and JA that control both floral organ abscission and hypocotyl growth in young seedlings. Our study opens the door revealing new roles for JA and its interaction with other hormones during plant development.
The majority of plant viruses rely on insect vectors for transmission. Insects with piercing-sucking mouthparts are the most common and efficient vectors because, they are able to inject viruses into specific plant tissues. Acquisition and inoculation of viruses occurs during specific vector feeding behaviors, and feeding behavior varies greatly among insects with piercing-sucking mouthparts. In this review we provide an overview of the feeding behavior of the major insect vectors with piercing sucking mouthparts: aphids, whiteflies, mealybugs, hoppers, and thrips. We briefly review the different mechanisms of plant virus transmission by these insects, and discuss how each mechanism requires a vector that engages in specific feeding behaviors, and how differences in feeding behavior among these insects can determine which viruses they are capable of transmitting. We also discuss recent findings indicating that plant viruses can directly modify their vector's behavior in a way that enhances transmission to a host plant.
electrical penetration graph; feeding behavior; vector; virus acquisition; virus inoculation
Plant defenses against insect herbivores and necrotrophic pathogens are differentially regulated by different branches of the jasmonic acid (JA) signaling pathway. In Arabidopsis, the basic helix-loop-helix leucine zipper transcription factor (TF) MYC2 and the APETALA2/ETHYLENE RESPONSE FACTOR (AP2/ERF) domain TF ORA59 antagonistically control these distinct branches of the JA pathway. Feeding by larvae of the specialist insect herbivore Pieris rapae activated MYC2 transcription and stimulated expression of the MYC2-branch marker gene VSP2, while it suppressed transcription of ORA59 and the ERF-branch marker gene PDF1.2. Mutant jin1 and jar1-1 plants, which are impaired in the MYC2-branch of the JA pathway, displayed a strongly enhanced expression of both ORA59 and PDF1.2 upon herbivory, indicating that in wild-type plants the MYC2-branch is prioritized over the ERF-branch during insect feeding. Weight gain of P. rapae larvae in a no-choice setup was not significantly affected, but in a two-choice setup the larvae consistently preferred jin1 and jar1-1 plants, in which the ERF-branch was activated, over wild-type Col-0 plants, in which the MYC2-branch was induced. In MYC2- and ORA59-impaired jin1-1/RNAi-ORA59 plants this preference was lost, while in ORA59-overexpressing 35S:ORA59 plants it was gained, suggesting that the herbivores were stimulated to feed from plants that expressed the ERF-branch rather than that they were deterred by plants that expressed the MYC2-branch. The feeding preference of the P. rapae larvae could not be linked to changes in glucosinolate levels. Interestingly, application of larval oral secretion into wounded leaf tissue stimulated the ERF-branch of the JA pathway, suggesting that compounds in the oral secretion have the potential to manipulate the plant response toward the caterpillar-preferred ERF-regulated branch of the JA response. Our results suggest that by activating the MYC2-branch of the JA pathway, plants prevent stimulation of the ERF-branch by the herbivore, thereby becoming less attractive to the attacker.
plant defense signaling; jasmonic acid; plant–insect interactions; hormone crosstalk; Pieris rapae
Plant Ca2+ signals are involved in a wide array of intracellular signaling pathways after pest invasion. Ca2+-binding sensory proteins such as Ca2+-dependent protein kinases (CPKs) have been predicted to mediate the signaling following Ca2+ influx after insect herbivory. However, until now this prediction was not testable.
To investigate the roles CPKs play in a herbivore response-signaling pathway, we screened the characteristics of Arabidopsis CPK mutants damaged by a feeding generalist herbivore, Spodoptera littoralis. Following insect attack, the cpk3 and cpk13 mutants showed lower transcript levels of plant defensin gene PDF1.2 compared to wild-type plants. The CPK cascade was not directly linked to the herbivory-induced signaling pathways that were mediated by defense-related phytohormones such as jasmonic acid and ethylene. CPK3 was also suggested to be involved in a negative feedback regulation of the cytosolic Ca2+ levels after herbivory and wounding damage. In vitro kinase assays of CPK3 protein with a suite of substrates demonstrated that the protein phosphorylates transcription factors (including ERF1, HsfB2a and CZF1/ZFAR1) in the presence of Ca2+. CPK13 strongly phosphorylated only HsfB2a, irrespective of the presence of Ca2+. Furthermore, in vivo agroinfiltration assays showed that CPK3-or CPK13-derived phosphorylation of a heat shock factor (HsfB2a) promotes PDF1.2 transcriptional activation in the defense response.
These results reveal the involvement of two Arabidopsis CPKs (CPK3 and CPK13) in the herbivory-induced signaling network via HsfB2a-mediated regulation of the defense-related transcriptional machinery. This cascade is not involved in the phytohormone-related signaling pathways, but rather directly impacts transcription factors for defense responses.
Mining the apple genome identified four EIN3 BINDING F-BOX
genes, two developmentally regulated and two constitutively expressed. One
(EBF1) was found to reduce the activity of three apple
Background and aims
Fruit ripening in Malus× domestica
(apple) is controlled by ethylene. Work in model species has shown that
following the detection of ethylene, the ETHYLENE INSENSITIVE 3 (EIN3)
transcription factor is stabilized, leading to an increase in transcript
accumulation of ethylene-responsive genes, such as
POLYGALACTURONASE1 (PG1). In the
absence of ethylene, the EIN3 BINDING F-box (EBF) proteins rapidly degrade
EIN3 via the ubiquitination/SCF (Skp, Cullin, F-Box) proteasome pathway. In
this study, we aim to identify and characterize the apple
EBF genes, and test their activity against apple
EIN3-like proteins (EILs).
The apple genome sequence was mined for EBF-like genes. The
expression of EBF-like genes was measured during fruit
development. Using a transient assay in Nicotiana
benthamiana leaves, the activity of three apple EILs was tested
against the PG1 promoter, with and without ethylene and
Four EBF-like genes in apple were identified and grouped
into two sub-clades. Sub-clade I genes had constant expression over fruit
development while sub-clade II genes increased in expression at ripening.
EBF1 was shown to reduce the transactivation of the apple
PG1 promoter by the EIL1, EIL2 and EIL3 transcription
factors in the presence of ethylene.
The apple EBF1 gene identified here is likely to be a
functionally conserved EBF orthologue, modulating EIL
activity in apples. The activity of EBF1 suggests that it is not specific to
a single EIL, instead acting as a global regulator of apple EIL
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
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.