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J Chem Ecol. 2001 Jan;27(1):53-68.

Ethylene production and peroxidase activity in aphid-infested barley.

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Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile Santiago, Chile.


The purpose of this work was to investigate whether ethylene is involved in the oxidative and defensive responses of barley to the aphids Schizaphis graminum (biotype C) and Rhopalophum padi. The effect of aphid infestation on ethylene production was measured in two barley cultivars (Frontera and Aramir) that differ in their susceptibility to aphids. Ethylene evolution was higher in plants infested for 16 hr than in plants infested for 4 hr in both cultivars. Under aphid infestation, the production of ethylene was higher in cv. Frontera than in Aramir, the more aphid susceptible cultivar. Ethylene production also increases with the degree of infestation. Maximum ethylene evolution was detected after 16 hr when plants were infested with 10 or more aphids. Comparing the two species of aphids, Schizaphis graminum induced more ethylene evolution than Rhopalosiphum padi. Infestation with S. graminum increased hydrogen peroxide content and total soluble peroxidase activity in cv. Frontera, with a maximum level of H2O2 observed after 20 min of infestation and the maximum in soluble peroxidase activity after 30 min of infestation. When noninfested barley seedlings from cv. Frontera were exposed to ethylene, an increase in hydrogen peroxide and in total peroxidase activity was detected at levels similar to those of infested plants from cv. Frontera. When noninfested plants were treated with 40 ppm of ethylene, the maximum levels of H2O2 and soluble peroxidase activity were at 10 and 40 min, respectively. Ethylene also increased the activity of both cell-wall-bound peroxidases types (ionically and covalently bound), comparable with infestation. These results suggest that ethylene is involved in the oxidative responses of barley plants induced by infestation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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