Submitted to: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/12/2002
Publication Date: 7/1/2002
Citation: Williams, C.E., Collier, C.C., Nemacheck, J., Liang, C., Cambron, S.E. 2002. A lectin-like wheat gene responds systemically to attempted feeding by avirulent first-instar hessian fly larvae. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 28(7):1411-1428. Interpretive Summary: Little is known about the mechanisms involved in making a plant resistant to insect attack. Similar genes may be involved in resistance to many diseases and pests. By knowing more about plant/insect interactions we would be able to develop strategies for improving plant resistance. We cloned a gene that is involved in resistance of wheat to the Hessian fly. This gene is related to other genes implicated in plant resistance to insects, diseases and environmental stresses. Other scientists will benefit from this information as they piece together the steps involved as a plant mounts its defenses. By comparing our gene with similar genes, we can begin to determine the function of these genes in plant defense.
Technical Abstract: Through gene-for-gene interactions, wheat plants respond to specific biotypes of Hessian fly upon the initiation of larvae feeding. Plants containing the H9 resistance gene responded to avirulent biotype L larvae with a rapid increase in expression of Hessian fly-induced mRNA in the leaf. Expression of Hfr-1 mRNA (Hessian fly response) increased for two days before returning to pre-infestation levels by day five, correlating with the onset of resistance. No induction of Hfr-1 mRNA was seen in plants infested with virulent larvae. Both the kinetics of expression and the sequence of the cDNA clone suggested a defense related function. The Hfr-1 DNA sequence was present in approximately one copy per genome in hexaploid wheat.