Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Resistant wheat rebuilds cell walls when attacked by Hessian flies

Date:
May 19, 2010
Source:
Purdue University
Summary:
Scientists have found that wheat plants resistant to Hessian fly larvae attack increase production of surface waxes and cutin. In plants susceptible to the larvae, the genes thought to be responsible for cutin production were turned off -- likely by the attacking larvae.

Wheat plants found to be resistant to Hessian fly larvae may be calling in reinforcements to build up rigid defenses.

Christie Williams, a research scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service and a Purdue University associate professor of entomology, found that resistant plants under attack by Hessian fly larvae increased production of surface waxes and cutin, a molecule responsible for rigidity and integrity of epidermal cells. In plants susceptible to the fly larvae, the genes thought to be responsible for cutin production were turned off - likely by the attacking larvae.

"The fly larvae seem to hijack the regulation of certain plant genes and cause the plant to turn off defenses that would keep it from becoming susceptible," said Williams, whose results were published in the early online version of The Plant Journal. "If we could find a way to block the larvae from affecting genes that are responsible for cutin production or find a way to keep that cutin from degrading, the plants might be more resistant."

Hessian fly larvae deposit saliva on wheat at their feeding site, and that ultimately makes the leaf surface permeable. The larvae then lap up the liquid that flows out of the plant's cells.

"We believe that the susceptible plants are becoming permeable because cutin is being degraded and not replenished," Williams said.

The changes in waxes and cutin production were measured through gas chromatography, in which samples from feeding sites were carried by a gas through a liquid column to separate the chemicals.

Jill Nemacheck, a USDA/ARS biological sciences technician at Purdue, said susceptible plants had large decreases in cutin. Resistant plants had slight increases in cutin and large increases in the wax found in the cuticle, or surface layer, of wheat plants.

Williams and Nemacheck also observed that expression of the genes thought to be responsible for cutin and wax production was affected by the fly larvae.

Nemacheck said real-time polymerase chain reactions were used to quantify gene expression. The process uses an enzyme and other reagents to amplify target sequences from the gene of interest to levels that are detectable in order to determine the levels of messenger RNA in the tissue samples. Comparing the amount of messenger RNA in different plant samples is important because messenger RNA carries instructions that tell cells which proteins to produce, such as those responsible for generating cutin or wax. Less messenger RNA in the original tissue samples would indicate lower levels of gene expression, which ultimately determines cutin or wax production.

"The change in gene expression reflected what we observed," Nemacheck said. "In resistant plants, expression of the genes that control wax and cutin production was increased. Susceptible plants had a decrease in the expression of those genes."

Plants were determined to have become permeable through staining the tissue with a red dye that was placed on the larvae feeding sites. Resistant plants that were observed to have increased cutin production had slight red spotting along the leaves from the dye. But those that were susceptible absorbed the dye because cutin was lacking and the dye was able to seep into the plant's cells.

This research was done in collaboration with Matthew Jenks, a Purdue professor of horticulture, and Dylan Kosma, a former Purdue graduate student in horticulture and landscape architecture. Williams' next step is to study how Hessian fly larvae affect the cell walls of susceptible plants.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture funded Williams' research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Purdue University. The original article was written by Brian Wallheimer. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dylan K. Kosma, Jill A. Nemacheck, Matthew A. Jenks, Christie E. Williams. Changes in properties of wheat leaf cuticle during interactions with Hessian fly. The Plant Journal, 2010; no DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2010.04229.x

Cite This Page:

Purdue University. "Resistant wheat rebuilds cell walls when attacked by Hessian flies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100519163842.htm>.
Purdue University. (2010, May 19). Resistant wheat rebuilds cell walls when attacked by Hessian flies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100519163842.htm
Purdue University. "Resistant wheat rebuilds cell walls when attacked by Hessian flies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100519163842.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mich. Boy Unearths 10,000-Year-Old Mastodon Tooth

Mich. Boy Unearths 10,000-Year-Old Mastodon Tooth

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2014) A 9-year-old Michigan boy was exploring a creek when he came across a 10,000-year-old tooth from a prehistoric mastodon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins