Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Entomology
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 2007
Publication Date: September 17, 2008
Citation: Alborn, H.T., Schmelz, E.A. 2008. Arthropod-associated plant effectors (AAPEs):elicitors and suppressors of crop defense. In:Capinera, J.L., editor. Encyclopedia of Entomology. 2nd edition. New York, NY: Springer. p. 299-303. Technical Abstract: In response to insect attack, many plants undergo a suite of rapid biochemical changes that serve to directly reduce subsequent feeding damage and also promote the attraction of predators and parasitoids, the natural enemies of crop pests. In many cases, these insect-induced plant defense responses cannot be readily triggered by simple mechanical damage yet are reproducible by applying insect oral secretions to the wound sites. In this review we describe the known classes of elicitors and suppressors of induced plant responses, termed ‘arthropod-associated plant effectors (AAPEs)’, that have been isolated from insects secretions. Functioning at exquisitely low levels, many AAPEs are believed to function as ligands that bind specific plant receptors initiating signal transduction cascades that modulate these defense responses. While numerous examples of plant resistance to pathogens are now understood at this level of molecular recognition, the demonstration of analogous receptor-ligand mediated resistance to insects remains elusive. We propose that AAPEs and their yet to be identified receptors represent the figurative and literal keys to plant resistance to insect pests.