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Research article2017Peer reviewedOpen access

The Protease Inhibitor CI2c Gene Induced by Bird Cherry-Oat Aphid in Barley Inhibits Green Peach Aphid Fecundity in Transgenic Arabidopsis

Losvik, Aleksandra; Beste, Lisa; Mehrabi, Sara; Jonsson, Lisbeth


Aphids are phloem feeders that cause large damage globally as pest insects. They induce a variety of responses in the host plant, but not much is known about which responses are promoting or inhibiting aphid performance. Here, we investigated whether one of the responses induced in barley by the cereal aphid, bird cherry-oat aphid (Rhopalosiphum padi L.) affects aphid performance in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana L. A barley cDNA encoding the protease inhibitor CI2c was expressed in A. thaliana and aphid performance was studied using the generalist green peach aphid (Myzus persicae Sulzer). There were no consistent effects on aphid settling or preference or on parameters of life span and long-term fecundity. However, short-term tests with apterous adult aphids showed lower fecundity on three of the transgenic lines, as compared to on control plants. This effect was transient, observed on days 5 to 7, but not later. The results suggest that the protease inhibitor is taken up from the tissue during probing and weakly inhibits fecundity by an unknown mechanism. The study shows that a protease inhibitor induced in barley by an essentially monocot specialist aphid can inhibit a generalist aphid in transgenic Arabidopsis.


aphid resistance; serine protease inhibitor; Myzus persicae

Published in

International Journal of Molecular Sciences
2017, Volume: 18, number: 6, article number: 1317
Publisher: MDPI AG

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