Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » West Lafayette, Indiana » Crop Production and Pest Control Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #308723

Research Project: Identification and Analysis of Host Resistance and Hessian Fly Response in Wheat

Location: Crop Production and Pest Control Research

Title: A massive expansion of effector genes underlies gall-formation in the wheat pest Mayetiola destructor

item ZHAO, CHAOYANG - Purdue University
item ESCALANTA, LUCIO - Purdue University
item CHEN, HANG - Kansas State University
item BENATTI, THIAGO - Purdue University
item Johnson, Alisha
item Schemerhorn, Brandi
item Williams, Christie
item Shukle, Richard
item Chen, Ming-Shun

Submitted to: Current Biology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/23/2014
Publication Date: 3/2/2015
Citation: Zhao, C., Escalanta, L.N., Chen, H., Benatti, T.R., Qu, J., Chellapilla, S., Waterhouse, R.M., Wheeler, D., Andersson, M.N., Bao, R., Batterton, M., Behura, S.K., Blankenburg, K.P., Caragea, D., Carolan, J.C., Coyle, M., El-Bouhssini, M., Francisco, L., Friedrich, M., Gill, N., Grace, T., Grimmelikhuijzen, C.J., Han, Y., Hauser, F., Herndon, N., Holder, M., Ioannidis, P., Jackson, L., Javaid, M., Jhangiani, S.N., Johnson, A.J., Kalra, D., Korchina, V., Kovar, C.L., Lara, F., Lee, S.L., Liu, X., Lofstedt, C., Mata, R., Mathew, T., Muzny, D.M., Nagar, S., Nazareth, L.V., Okwuonu, G., Ongeri, F., Perales, L., Peterson, B.F., Pu, L., Robertson, H.M., Schemerhorn, B.J., Scherer, S.E., Shreve, J.T., Simmons, D., Subramanyam, S., Thornton, R.L., Xue, K., Weissenberger, G.M., Williams, C.E., Worley, K.C., Zhu, D., Zhu, Y., Harris, M.O., Shukle, R.H., Werren, J.H., Zdobnov, E.M., Chen, M., Brown, S.J., Stuart, J.J., Richards, S. 2015. A massive expansion of effector genes underlies gall-formation in the wheat pest Mayetiola destructor. Current Biology. 25:613-620. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.12.057.

Interpretive Summary: The Hessian fly, arguably the most important insect pest of wheat, is of great importance to wheat breeders, researchers and farmers worldwide. In this multi-year, multi-country project, the Hessian fly genome was sequenced and analyzed. Within the genome, it was found that nearly 5% of the genes discovered appear to code for proteins that could affect the fly’s ability overcome resistance within the plant. These genes appear to be active in the salivary glands of the Hessian fly. The impact of this research is vast, allowing for additional virulence reservoirs within the fly as well as allowing breeders the ability to screen wheat more effectively to defend against Hessian fly infestation.

Technical Abstract: The mechanisms arthropods use to induce plant gall formation are poorly understood. However, there is growing evidence that effector proteins are involved. To examine this hypothesis, we sequenced the genome of the Hessian fly (Mayetiola destructor, M. des), an obligate plant parasitic gall midge and a destructive pest of wheat (Triticum spp.). We find a huge reservoir of potential effector proteins: nearly 5% (978) of the 20,163 gene models discovered matched putative effector gene transcripts present in the M. des larval salivary gland, and 466 additional putative effectors were discovered among the gene models that have no sequence similarities to other organisms. The largest family of genes (family SSGP-71) has at least 426 members that encode proteins, found in saliva, with an insect derived ubiquitin-E3-ligase architecture, previously observed among bacterial plant pathogen effectors. Mutations in two different SSGP- 71 genes are tightly associated with the elicitation of H6- and H9- directed effector-targeted immunity. The candidate H6-resistance eliciting protein interacts with wheat SKP protein invivo. These results identify effector proteins and point to the mode of action for arthropod induced plant gall formation.