Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » Hard Winter Wheat Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #376577

Research Project: Genetic Improvement of Biotic and Abiotic Stress Tolerance and Nutritional Quality in Hard Winter Wheat

Location: Hard Winter Wheat Genetics Research

Title: Analyzing molecular basis of heat-induced loss-of-wheat resistance to hessian fly (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) Infestation using RNA-sequencing

item ZHU, LIECENG - Fayetteville State University
item YUAN, JIAZHENG - Fayetteville State University
item O'NEAL, JORDAN - Fayetteville State University
item BROWN, DARIA - Fayetteville State University
item Chen, Ming-Shun

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/9/2020
Publication Date: 4/25/2020
Citation: Zhu, L., Yuan, J., O'Neal, J., Brown, D., Chen, M. 2020. Analyzing molecular basis of heat-induced loss-of-wheat resistance to hessian fly (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) Infestation using RNA-sequencing. Journal of Economic Entomology. 113(3):1504–1512.

Interpretive Summary: Hessian fly is one of the most destructive pests of wheat. It has been managed mainly by using wheat cultivars with genetic resistance. However, most resistance genes against Hessian fly are not effective at higher temperatures. We studied gene expression levels at different temperatures in two different resistant wheat lines. We found that heat stress changes gene expression and may impair the ability of wheat plants to respond by synthesis of defensive compounds or strengthening cell walls. A better understanding of the molecular basis for the loss of resistance under heat stress may lead to more stable and durable resistance strategies.

Technical Abstract: Heat stress compromises wheat resistance to Hessian fly (HF, Mayetiola destructor (Say)) (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) infestation. The objective of this research is to analyze the molecular basis of heat-induced loss of wheat resistance to HF infestation using RNA Sequencing (RNA-seq). To this end, two resistant wheat cultivars Molly and Caldwell containing the resistance genes H13 and H6, respectively, were infested with an avirulent HF biotype GP and treated with different temperatures to examine the impact of heat stress on their resistance phenotypes Tissue samples collected from HF feeding sites in Molly plants were subjected to RNA-seq analysis to determine the effect of heat stress on transcript expression of genes in wheat plants. Our results indicate that resistance to HF infestation in Caldwell is more sensitive to heat stress than that in Molly, and that heat stress down-regulates most genes involved in primary metabolism and biosynthesis of lignin and cuticular wax, but up-regulate most or all genes involved in auxin and 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA) signaling pathways. Our results and previous reports suggest that heat stress may impair the processes in wheat plants that produce and mobilize chemical resources needed for synthesizing defensive compounds, weaken cell wall and cuticle defense, decrease OPDA signaling, but increase auxin signaling, leading to the suppressed resistance and activation of susceptibility.