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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2009

Aphid acceptance of Hordeum genotypes is affected by plant volatile exposure and is correlated with aphid growth

Ninkovic, Velemir; Ahman, Inger M.


Nineteen genotypes of Hordeum vulgare (L.) were screened and characterized as partially resistant or susceptible regarding growth of the bird cherry-oat aphid (Rhopalosiphum padi L.). In a separate test, these same genotypes were treated with volatiles from undamaged plants of barley cultivar Alva. As a result of this treatment, aphid host acceptance (AHA) was significantly affected in seven genotypes, and the magnitude of the effect was positively correlated with aphid growth (AG) in the independent resistance screening test. Changes in AHA induced by volatiles from the same genotype as the volatile receiver were also positively correlated with AG. All the 19 genotypes were also tested as inducers with cultivar Kara as the receiver of volatiles. Five genotypes induced significant reductions in AHA of Kara. The results show that aphids are able to detect changes in responding plants induced by volatiles from another plant. Plant volatile interactions may thus be a component of induced resistance to aphids. These interactions could influence the results of experiments used to select for insect-resistant plants in plant breeding programmes, where normally plant genotypes are mixed at testing.


Rhopalosiphum padi; Aphid; Hordeum; Barley; Allelobiosis; Host resistance; Plant breeding

Published in

2009, Volume: 169, number: 2, pages: 177-185