Adaptation to Nicotine Feeding in Myzus persicae
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- Ramsey, J.S., Elzinga, D.A., Sarkar, P. et al. J Chem Ecol (2014) 40: 869. doi:10.1007/s10886-014-0482-5
Lineages of the generalist hemipteran herbivore Myzus persicae (green peach aphid) that have expanded their host range to include tobacco often have elevated nicotine tolerance. The tobacco-adapted M. persicae lineage used in this study was able to reproduce on nicotine-containing artificial diets at concentrations that were 15-fold higher than those that were lethal to a non-adapted M. persicae lineage. Fecundity of the nicotine-tolerant M. persicae lineage was increased by 100 μM nicotine in artificial diet, suggesting that this otherwise toxic alkaloid can serve as a feeding stimulant at low concentrations. This lineage also was pre-adapted to growth on tobacco, exhibiting no drop in fecundity when it was moved onto tobacco from a different host plant. Although growth of the non-tobacco-adapted M. persicae lineage improved after three generations on tobacco, this higher reproductive rate was not associated with increased nicotine tolerance. Myzus persicae gene expression microarrays were used to identify transcripts that are up-regulated in response to nicotine in the tobacco-adapted lineage. Induced expression was found for CYP6CY3, which detoxifies nicotine in M. persicae, other genes encoding known classes of detoxifying enzymes, and genes encoding secreted M. persicae salivary proteins.