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ARS Home » Plains Area » El Reno, Oklahoma » Oklahoma and Central Plains Agricultural Research Center » Peanut and Small Grains Research Unit » Research » Research Project #435333

Research Project: Molecular Basis of Host Plant Resistance to Aphids in Sorghum

Location: Peanut and Small Grains Research Unit

Project Number: 3070-21000-010-001-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 15, 2018
End Date: Sep 14, 2023

The objectives of this project are to identify and characterize sorghum genes resistance to sugarcane aphids (SCA) and/or greenbug and to explore and define the signaling pathways involved in regulation of host plant resistance to the virulent aphids.

Interaction between host plants and aphids is more sophisticated and complicated, which has showed at both cellular and molecular levels. We have recently developed gene expression profiles from sorghum plants in response to aphid infestation. Functional annotation of those differentially expressed genes revealed that many of the induced genes are associated with cell maintenance and cell wall fortification, and other actively expressed genes are related to signal transduction pathways. To advance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of sorghum resistance to aphids, this project will (1) analyze some R-genes including NB-LRR proteins to confirm their function as an immune receptor in host plant and aphid interaction through genomic and molecular experiments; (2) to examine the involvement of salicylic acid (SA) signaling pathway in regulation of aphid resistance in sorghum using biochemistry approach; and (3) to assess the effect of altered cell walls of bmr sorghum, particularly lignin content and composition, on plant defense against aphid attack. It is anticipated that the resultant information generated from this project will offer new insights into the molecular mechanisms in the sorghum and aphid interactions, which will contribute to effective control and management of cereal aphids of the field crops.