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Increases in Genistein in Medicago sativa Confer Resistance against the Pisum Host Race of Acyrthosiphon pisum

State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Pest Insects and Rodents, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
College of Life Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2019, 10(4), 97;
Received: 29 January 2019 / Revised: 19 March 2019 / Accepted: 21 March 2019 / Published: 1 April 2019
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Interspecific interaction with host plants have important consequences for the host race formation of herbivorous insects. Plant secondary metabolites, particularly those that are involved in host races specializing on plants, warrant the theory of host specialization. Acyrthosiphon pisum comprises various host races that adapt to different Fabaceae plants, which provides an ideal system for determining the behavioral and physiological mechanisms underlying host-adaptive diversification. The current study evaluated the effects of host transfer on population fitness, feeding behavior and the transcriptome-wide gene expression of the two host races of A. pisum, one of which was originally from Medicago sativa and the other from Pisum sativum. The results showed that the Pisum host race of A. pisum had a lower population abundance and feeding efficiency than the Medicago host race in terms of a longer penetration time and shorter duration times of phloem ingestion when fed on M. sativa. In contrast, few differences were found in the population abundance and feeding behavior of A. pisum between the two host races when fed on P. sativum. Meanwhile, of the nine candidate phenolic compounds, only genistein was significantly affected by aphid infestation; higher levels of genistein were detected in M. sativa after feeding by the Pisum host race, but these levels were reduced relative to uninfested controls after feeding by the Medicago host race, which suggested that genistein may be involved in the specialization of the aphid host race on M. sativa. Further exogenous application of genistein in artificial diets showed that the increase in genistein reduced the survival rate of the Pisum host race but had little effect on that of the Medicago host race. The transcriptomic profiles indicated that the transcripts of six genes with functions related to detoxification were up-regulated in the Pisum host race relative to the Medicago host race of A. pisum. These results suggested that the inducible plant phenolics and associated metabolic process in aphids resulted in their differential adaptations to their Fabaceae host. View Full-Text
Keywords: aphid; genistein; host race; Medicago sativa; plant secondary metabolites; transcriptome aphid; genistein; host race; Medicago sativa; plant secondary metabolites; transcriptome

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Yuan, E.; Yan, H.; Gao, J.; Guo, H.; Ge, F.; Sun, Y. Increases in Genistein in Medicago sativa Confer Resistance against the Pisum Host Race of Acyrthosiphon pisum. Insects 2019, 10, 97.

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