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Title: Biomarker discovery from the top down: protein biomarkers for efficient virus transmission by insects (Homoptera: Aphididae) discovered by coupling genetics and 2-D DIGE

item Heck, Michelle
item Howe, Kevin
item Fish, Tara
item SMITH, D. - Cornell University
item MAHONEY, J. - Cornell University
item TAMBORINDEGUY, C. - Cornell University
item Burd, John
item Thannhauser, Theodore - Ted
item Gray, Stewart

Submitted to: Proteomics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/8/2011
Publication Date: 6/1/2011
Citation: Cilia, M., Howe, K.J., Fish, T., Smith, D., Mahoney, J., Tamborindeguy, C., Burd, J.D., Thannhauser, T.W., Gray, S.M. 2011. Biomarker discovery from the top down: protein biomarkers for efficient virus transmission by insects (Homoptera: Aphididae) discovered by coupling genetics and 2-D DIGE. Proteomics. 11:2440-2458.

Interpretive Summary: Yellow dwarf viruses are responsible for significant economic disease loss in all major cereal crops and despite intensive efforts, there are few consumer accepted cultivars with effective virus resistance. Disease management options are limited to various cultural control practices that are aimed at controlling or avoiding aphid vector populations as a way to reduce the spread of the virus into and within the crop. The effectiveness of these cultural control strategies is dependent upon knowing when the potential vectors are present and which of the potential aphid vector species is responsible for the bulk of the virus transmission. Species and populations within a species of aphid can differ drastically in their ability to transmit a single virus. Recently we identified 33 aphid proteins that differ slightly between an aphid population that can transmit virus and an aphid population that is unable to transmit virus. In this study we investigated if these protein differences would be predictive of virus transmission ability in aphid populations collected from various crops growing in different geographic areas. The presence of several of the proteins was correlated with virus transmission. These proteins can be used to develop quick and accurate tests that will identify those aphid populations most able to spread viruses and those that should be targeted for control by pesticide applications. Targeted applications to control specific aphid populations at specific times rather than continuous prophylactic sprays will reduce crop production costs and reduce environmental impacts.

Technical Abstract: Yellow dwarf viruses cause the most economically important virus diseases of cereal crops worldwide and are vectored by aphids. The identification of vector proteins mediating virus transmission is critical to develop sustainable virus management practices and to understand viral strategies for circulative movement in all insect vectors. Previously, we applied 2-D DIGE an aphid F2 population to identify proteins correlated with the transmission phenotype that were stably inherited and expressed in the absence of the virus. Here, we confirmed the involvement of the DIGE candidates in the virus transmission phenotype in previously unstudied aphid populations. We hypothesized that the expression of the most critical proteins for virus transmission could be clinically validated in unrelated, virus transmission-competent, field-collected aphid populations. The expression of all the putative biomarkers were conserved in the field-collected biotypes and nine of these aligned with the virus transmission-competent phenotype. The strong conservation of the expression of the biomarkers in multiple field-collected populations facilitates new and testable hypotheses concerning the genetics and biochemistry of virus transmission. Integration of these biomarkers into current aphid scouting methodologies will enable rational strategies for vector control aimed at judicious use and development of precision pesticides that reduce plant virus infection.