The January 2013 issue of Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions (volume 26, number 1) is now online. Why do I mention this? You may recall the cover photos of the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines, from my post Life at 8X—soybean aphid—one of a series of posts I’ve done featuring insects photographed at 8X life-size.
MPMI is a publication of The American Phytopathological Society, and I have Dr. Gustavo MacIntosh at Iowa State University to thank for the appearance of these photos on the cover of this Special Focus Issue. Dr. MacIntosh is Associate Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology and studies hormone-based defense mechanisms in soybeans. In a paper appearing in this special issue, Dr. MacIntosh and co-author Matthew Studham published the results of a study that suggests soybean aphids are able to “short-circuit” soybean defense mechanisms, making it easier for other pests (e.g., soybean cyst nematode) to colonize infested plants as well. Their study revealed large differences in transcription profiles of soybean varieties with and without an endogenous resistance gene (Rag1) in response to aphid infestation and suggested that the aphids are able to circumvent the defense response in susceptible plants by triggering activation of abscissic acid (normally associated with abiotic stress responses) as a “decoy” strategy (Studham & MacIntosh 2013). Plants infested with aphids have been shown to also become more susceptible to soybean cyst nematode—even varieties with genetic resistance to nematodes (McCarville et al. 2012). Dr. MacIntosh saw my photos when I posted them here and asked permission to submit them as candidates for the cover of the MPMI issue in which his paper was to appear.
Dr. Macintosh hopes that his research will enable the development of soybean varieties that will be more resistant to aphids and other pests.
McCarville, M. T., M. O’Neal, G. L. Tylka, C. Kanobe & G. C. MacIntosh. 2012. A nematode, fungus, and aphid interact via a shared host plant: implications for soybean management. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 143(1):55–66 [DOI: 10.1111/j.1570-7458.2012.01227.x].
Studham, M. E. & G. C. MacIntosh. 2013. Multiple Phytohormone Signals Control the Transcriptional Response to Soybean Aphid Infestation in Susceptible and Resistant Soybean Plants. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 26(1):116–129 [DOI: 10.1094/MPMI-05-12-0124-FI].
Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2012