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Microarray analysis of the interaction between the aphid Rhopalosiphum padi and host plants reveals both differences and similarities between susceptible and partially resistant barley lines


The bird cherry-oat aphid (Rhopalosiphum padi L.) is an important pest on cereals causing plant growth reduction without specific leaf symptoms. Breeding of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) for R. padi resistance shows that there are several resistance genes, reducing aphid growth. To identify candidate sequences for resistance-related genes, we performed microarray analysis of gene expression after aphid infestation in two susceptible and two partially resistant barley genotypes. One of the four lines is a descendant of two of the other genotypes. There were large differences in gene induction between the four lines, indicating substantial variation in response even between closely related genotypes. Genes induced in aphid-infested tissue were mainly related to defence, primary metabolism and signalling. Only 24 genes were induced in all lines, none of them related to oxidative stress or secondary metabolism. Few genes were down-regulated, with none being common to all four lines. There were differences in aphid-induced gene regulation between resistant and susceptible lines. Results from control plants without aphids also revealed differences in constitutive gene expression between the two types of lines. Candidate sequences for induced and constitutive resistance factors have been identified, among them a proteinase inhibitor, a serine/threonine kinase and several thionins.

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We would like to thank Svalöf Weibull AB for supply of barley seeds and Ms. K. Larsson, Ms. L. Mohase, Mr. N. Richerioux and Ms I. Cierlik for technical assistance. This work was supported by the Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (Mistra) via the PlantComMistra program and Formas, the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning.

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Correspondence to Gabriele Delp.

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Communicated by K. Shirasu.

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Delp, G., Gradin, T., Åhman, I. et al. Microarray analysis of the interaction between the aphid Rhopalosiphum padi and host plants reveals both differences and similarities between susceptible and partially resistant barley lines. Mol Genet Genomics 281, 233–248 (2009).

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  • Hordeum vulgare
  • Plant/insect interactions
  • Rhopalosiphum padi
  • Aphid resistance
  • Transcriptional profiling