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Multiple Phytohormone Signals Control the Transcriptional Response to Soybean Aphid Infestation in Susceptible and Resistant Soybean Plants

January 2013 , Volume 26 , Number  1
Pages  116 - 129

Matthew E. Studham1 and Gustavo C. MacIntosh1,2

1Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Program, and 2Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology; Iowa State University, Ames 50011, U.S.A.

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Accepted 7 September 2012.

The soybean aphid (Aphis glycines) is a major phloem-feeding pest of soybean (Glycine max). A. glycines feeding can cause the diversion of photosynthates and transmission of plant viruses, resulting in significant yield losses. In this study, we used oligonucleotide microarrays to characterize the long-term transcriptional response to soybean aphid colonization of two related soybean cultivars, one with the Rag1 aphid-resistance gene and one aphid-susceptible cultivar (without Rag1). Transcriptome profiles were determined after 1 and 7 days of aphid infestation. Our results revealed a susceptible response involving hundreds of transcripts, whereas only one transcript changed in the resistant response to aphids. This nonexistent resistance response might be explained by the fact that many defense-related transcripts are constitutively expressed in resistant plants, whereas these same genes are activated in susceptible plants only during aphid infestation. Analysis of phytohormone-related transcripts in the susceptible response showed different hormone profiles for the two time points, and suggest that aphids are able to suppress hormone signals in susceptible plants. A significant activation of abscissic acid, normally associated with abiotic stress responses, at day 7, might be a decoy strategy implemented by the aphid to suppress effective salicylic acid- and jasmonate-related defenses.

© 2013 The American Phytopathological Society