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J Chem Ecol. 2007 May;33(5):1041-8. Epub 2007 Apr 3.

Inhibition of proteinase inhibitor transcripts by Leptinotarsa decemlineata regurgitant in Solanum lycopersicum.

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USDA-ARS Insect Biocontrol Laboratory, BARC-West Bldg 011A, Rm214, Beltsville, MD, USA.


One mechanism by which plants defend themselves against insect herbivores is the production of plant proteinase inhibitors, which can inhibit digestion in the midgut, thus affecting growth and survival. In this work, the effect of Colorado potato beetle (CPB) [Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say)] regurgitant on Solanum lycopersicum defenses was investigated. When regurgitant from fourth-instar CPB was applied to wounded S. lycopersicum leaves, the wound-induced transcripts for the proteinase inhibitors pin1 and pin2 were reduced. Boiling the regurgitant abolished its ability to reduce the pin transcripts. Ultrafiltration of the regurgitant demonstrated that it contained a component between 10 and 30 kDa molecular weight that inhibited wound-induced pin1 and pin2 expression, suggesting that it may be a protein. This may represent a mechanism that the CPB has evolved to elude the plant's induced response to infestation.

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