Entomology, Department of


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PLANT SIGNALING & BEHAVIOR 2016, VOL. 11, NO. 8, e1212800 (3 pages)


U.S. Government Work


The vasculature of plants act as a channel for transport of signal(s) that facilitate long-distance intraplant communication. In maize, Maize insect resistance1-Cysteine Protease (Mir1-CP), which has homology to papain-like proteases, provides defense to different feeding guilds of insect pests. Furthermore, accumulation of Mir1-CP in the vasculature suggests that Mir1-CP can potentially function as a phloemmobile protein. In a recent study, we provided evidence that Mir1-CP can curtail the growth of phloemsap sucking insect, corn leaf aphid (CLA; Rhopalosiphum maidis). Our current study further examined whether aboveground feeding by CLA can induce resistance to subsequent herbivory by belowground feeding western corn rootworm (WCR; Diabrotica virgifera virgifera). Aboveground feeding by CLA systemically induced the accumulation of Mir1-CP in the roots. Furthermore, foliage feeding by CLA provided enhanced resistance to subsequent herbivory by below ground feeding of WCR. Taken together, our previous findings and results presented here indicate that long-distance transport of Mir1-CP is critical for providing enhanced resistance to insect attack in maize.

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