Submitted to: Annual International Plant & Animal Genome Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/5/2005
Publication Date: 1/14/2006
Citation: Huang, Y. 2006. Genomic approaches to study sorghum-insect interactions and host defense responses [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the XIV Annual International Plant & Animal Genome Conference, January 14-18, 2006, San Diego, California. p. 22.
Technical Abstract: Greenbug aphid, a phloem-feeding insect, establishes compatible interactions with many plants; thus it has been one of the most destructive pests of cereal crops, including sorghum, wheat and barley. The interactions between aphids and their hosts are complex and dynamic, but the genetic mechanisms underlying both host-pest interactions and the host defense remain poorly understood. Our research has focused the interactions of sorghum and greenbug at the molecular level to explore the fundamental information to help design crops that will be highly resistant to aphid attack. In our lab, gene expression profiling has been employed to comprehensively examine gene activity during the plant defense response that is triggered when a plant is attacked by aphid or encounters elicitor molecules (e.g. aphid saliva). A variety of functional analysis tools are also being used to associate gene sequences with key signal or metabolic networks that regulate interactions between the host plants and the important pest aphids. The data obtained from the aphid-induced gene expression profile analysis are making an important contribution to improve our understanding how different pathways and biological processes interact or crosstalk during such interactions. Overall, these studies are providing new insights into the complex pathways governing host defense responses.