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1.  The ethylene response factor Pti5 contributes to potato aphid resistance in tomato independent of ethylene signalling 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2014;66(2):559-570.
This study demonstrated that the ethylene response factor Pti5 contributes to antibiotic defences against aphids, whereas ethylene contributes to antixenotic but not antibiotic aphid resistance.
Ethylene response factors (ERFs) comprise a large family of transcription factors that regulate numerous biological processes including growth, development, and response to environmental stresses. Here, we report that Pti5, an ERF in tomato [Solanum lycopersicum (Linnaeus)] was transcriptionally upregulated in response to the potato aphid Macrosiphum euphorbiae (Thomas), and contributed to plant defences that limited the population growth of this phloem-feeding insect. Virus-induced gene silencing of Pti5 enhanced aphid population growth on tomato, both on an aphid-susceptible cultivar and on a near-isogenic genotype that carried the Mi-1.2 resistance (R) gene. These results indicate that Pti5 contributes to basal resistance in susceptible plants and also can synergize with other R gene-mediated defences to limit aphid survival and reproduction. Although Pti5 contains the ERF motif, induction of this gene by aphids was independent of ethylene, since the ACC deaminase (ACD) transgene, which inhibits ethylene synthesis, did not diminish the responsiveness of Pti5 to aphid infestation. Furthermore, experiments with inhibitors of ethylene synthesis revealed that Pti5 and ethylene have distinctly different roles in plant responses to aphids. Whereas Pti5 contributed to antibiotic plant defences that limited aphid survival and reproduction on both resistant (Mi-1.2+) and susceptible (Mi-1.2–) genotypes, ethylene signalling promoted aphid infestation on susceptible plants but contributed to antixenotic defences that deterred the early stages of aphid host selection on resistant plants. These findings suggest that the antixenotic defences that inhibit aphid settling and the antibiotic defences that depress fecundity and promote mortality are regulated through different signalling pathways.
PMCID: PMC4286409  PMID: 25504643
Basal resistance; ERF; EREBP; insect resistance; Macrosiphum euphorbiae; Mi-1.2.
2.  Mi-1.2, an R gene for aphid resistance in tomato, has direct negative effects on a zoophytophagous biocontrol agent, Orius insidiosus  
Journal of Experimental Botany  2014;66(2):549-557.
This paper reports that even specific targeted forms of pest resistance in plants can have non-target effects, and may not always be compatible with biological control for integrated pest management.
Mi-1.2 is a single dominant gene in tomato that confers race-specific resistance against certain phloem-feeding herbivores including aphids, whiteflies, psyllids, and root-knot nematodes. Few prior studies have considered the potential non-target effects of race-specific resistance genes (R genes), and this paper evaluates the compatibility of Mi-mediated resistance in tomato with a beneficial zoophytophagous predator, Orius insidiosus (Say). In addition to preying on aphids and other pests, this piercing–sucking insect also feeds from the xylem, epidermis, and/or mesophyll, and oviposits within plant tissues. Comparison of O. insidiosus confined to isogenic tomato plants with and without Mi-1.2 revealed that immatures of O. insidiosus had lower survival on resistant plants even when the immatures were provisioned with prey that did not feed on the host plant. Molecular gut content analysis confirmed that adults and immatures of O. insidiosus feed on both resistant (Mi-1.2+) and susceptible (Mi-1.2–) genotypes, and bioassays suggest that resistance does not affect oviposition rates, plant sampling, or prey acceptance by O. insidiosus adults. These results demonstrate a direct negative impact of R-gene-mediated host plant resistance on a non-target beneficial species, and reveal that Mi-mediated resistance can impact organisms that do not feed on phloem sap. Through laser capture microdissection and RT-PCR, Mi-1.2 transcripts were detected in the epidermis and mesophyll as well as the phloem of tomato plants, consistent with our observations that Mi-mediated resistance is active outside the phloem. These results suggest that the mode of action and potential ecological impacts of Mi-mediated resistance are broader than previously assumed.
PMCID: PMC4286404  PMID: 25189594
Biological control; host plant resistance; insect resistance; integrated pest management; Mi-1; Mi-1.2; mesophyll feeding; natural enemy; plant defence; R gene; xylem feeding.
3.  The Effects of Root-knot Nematode Infection and Mi-mediated Nematode Resistance in Tomato on Plant Fitness 
Journal of Nematology  2011;43(2):82-89.
The Mi-1.2 resistance gene in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) confers resistance against several species of root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.). This study examined the impact of M. javanica on the reproductive fitness of near-isogenic tomato cultivars with and without Mi-1.2 under field and greenhouse conditions. Surprisingly, neither nematode inoculation or host plant resistance impacted the yield of mature fruits in field microplots (inoculum=8,000 eggs/plant), or fruit or seed production in a follow-up greenhouse bioassay conducted with a higher inoculum level (20,000 eggs/plant). However, under heavy nematode pressure (200,000 eggs/plant), greenhouse-grown plants carrying Mi-1.2 had more than ten-fold greater fruit production than susceptible plants and nearly forty-fold greater estimated lifetime seed production, confirming prior reports of the benefits of Mi-1.2. In all cases Mi-mediated resistance significantly reduced nematode reproduction. These results indicated that tomato can utilize tolerance mechanisms to compensate for moderate levels of nematode infection, but that the Mi-1.2 resistance gene confers a dramatic fitness benefit under heavy nematode pressure. No significant cost of resistance was detected in the absence of nematode infection.
PMCID: PMC3380456  PMID: 22791916
costs and benefits of resistance; Meloidogyne javanica; Mi-1; Mi-1.2; nematode resistance; plant reproductive fitness; R gene; root-knot nematode; Solanum lycopersicum; tomato
4.  Exploring the impact of wounding and jasmonates on ascorbate metabolism 
Vitamin C (ascorbate, AsA) is the most abundant water-soluble antioxidant in plants. Ascorbate provides the first line of defense against damaging reactive oxygen species (ROS), and helps protect plant cells from many factors that induce oxidative stress, including wounding, ozone, high salinity, and pathogen attack. Plant defenses against these stresses are also dependent upon jasmonates (JAs), a class of plant hormones that promote ROS accumulation. Here, we review evidence showing that wounding and JAs influence AsA accumulation in various plant species, and we report new data from Arabidopsis and tomato testing the influence of JAs on AsA levels in wounded and unwounded plants. In both species, certain mutations that impair JA metabolism and signaling influence foliar AsA levels, suggesting that endogenous JAs may regulate steady-state AsA. However, the impact of wounding on AsA accumulation was similar in JA mutants and wild type controls, indicating that this wound response does not require JAs. Our findings also indicate that the effects of wounding and JAs on AsA accumulation differ between species; these factors both enhanced AsA accumulation in Arabidopsis, but depressed AsA levels in tomato. These results underscore the importance of obtaining data from more than one model species, and demonstrate the complexity of AsA regulation.
PMCID: PMC2880922  PMID: 20346686
Ascorbate; vitamin C; jasmonate; ROS; wounding; Arabidopsis; tomato

Results 1-4 (4)