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1.  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.
2.  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

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