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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Mississippi State, Mississippi » Crop Science Research Laboratory » Corn Host Plant Resistance Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #332909

Research Project: Genetic Improvement of Maize with Enhanced Resistance to Aflatoxin and Insects

Location: Corn Host Plant Resistance Research

Title: A maize inbred exhibits resistance against western corn root worm, Diabrotica vergifera vergifera

Author
item DUQUE, LINA - Pennsylvania State University
item LOADES, KENNETH - Pennsylvania State University
item TOOKER, JOHN - Pennsylvania State University
item BROWN, KATHLEEN - Pennsylvania State University
item Williams, William - Paul
item LUTHE, DAWN - Pennsylvania State University

Submitted to: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/27/2017
Publication Date: 12/20/2017
Citation: Duque, L.C., Loades, K.W., Tooker, J.F., Brown, K.M., Williams, W.P., Luthe, D.S. 2017. A maize inbred exhibits resistance against western corn root worm, Diabrotica vergifera vergifera. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 4:1109-1123. Https://doi.org/10.1007/s10886-017-0904-2.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10886-017-0904-2

Interpretive Summary: Plants respond to insect infestations with a variety of natural defenses. Resistance traits against insects such as western corn rootworm that feed on the roots of corn plants are not well understood in non-transgenic corn. Using biomechanical, molecular and biochemical analyses, and laser ablation tomography, we studied the responses of two maize inbred lines, Mp708 and Tx601. Previous studies indicated that these two lines differ in resistance to fall armyworm , western corn rootworm, and corn leaf aphid. Our results confirm that Mp708 is resistant to western corn rootworm and has a multifaceted resistance mechanism that includes increased cutting resistance in nodal roots, compensatory root growth during infestation, endogenous and induced expression of known herbivore-defense genes, including ribosomal inhibitor protein 2 , terpene synthase 23, and maize insect resistance cysteine protease-1, as well high constitutive and inducible levels of jasmonic acid and production of caryophyllene. These findings will facilitate the use of Mp708 as a model to explore the wide variety of mechanisms and traits involved in plant defense responses to herbivory by insects with several different feeding habits. The results also indicate that Mp708 can be useful in developing corn hybrids with resistance to western corn rootworm.

Technical Abstract: Plants respond to insect infestations with a suite of natural defenses that vary depending on their genetic and phenotypic traits. Insect resistance traits against root herbivores like western corn rootworm (WCR, Diabrotica virgifera) are not well understood in non-transgenic maize. Using biomechanical, molecular and biochemical analyses, and laser ablation tomography, we studied the responses to western corn rootworm infestation of Mp708 and Tx601, two American maize inbreds. Previous studies indicated that these two lines differed in resistance to fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda), WCR, and corn leaf aphid (CLA, Rhopalosiphum maidis). Our data confirm that Mp708 is resistant to WCR and has a multifaceted resistance mechanism that includes increased cutting resistance in nodal roots, compensatory root growth during infestation, endogenous and induced expression of known herbivore-defense genes, including ribosomal inhibitor protein 2 (rip2), terpene synthase 23 (tps23) and maize insect resistance cysteine protease-1 (mir1), as well high constitutive and inducible levels of MIR1-CP protein, jasmonic acid and production of (E)-ß-caryophyllene. These findings will facilitate the use of Mp708 as a model to explore the wide variety of mechanisms and traits involved in plant defense responses to herbivory by insects with several different feeding habits.