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J Chem Ecol. 2007 Dec;33(12):2171-94. Epub 2007 Nov 16.

Gene expression of different wheat genotypes during attack by virulent and avirulent Hessian fly (Mayetiola destructor) larvae.

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  • 1Department of Entomology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA.


Wheat and its relatives possess a number of resistance (R) genes specific for the Hessian fly (HF) [Mayetiola destructor (Say)]. HF populations overcome R gene resistance by evolving virulence. Virulent HF larvae manipulate the plant to produce a nutritionally enhanced feeding tissue and, probably, also suppress plant defense responses. Using two wheat R genes, H9 and H13, and three HF strains (biotypes) differing in virulence for H9 and H13, we conducted a genome-wide transcriptional analysis of gene expression during compatible interactions with virulent larvae and incompatible interactions with avirulent larvae. During both types of interactions, a large number of genes (>1,000) showed alterations in gene expression. Analysis of genes with known functions revealed that major targets for differential regulation were genes that encoded defense proteins or enzymes involved in the phenylpropanoid, cell wall, and lipid metabolism pathways. A combination of the enhancement of antibiosis defense, the evasion of nutrient metabolism induction, and the fortification and expansion of the cell wall are likely the collective mechanism for host-plant resistance observed during incompatible interactions. To overcome this resistance, virulent larvae appeared to suppress antibiosis defense while inducing nutrient metabolism, weakening cell wall, and inhibiting plant growth.

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