Disrupting Buchnera aphidicola, the endosymbiotic bacteria of Myzus persicae, delays host plant acceptance
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- Machado-Assefh, C.R., Lopez-Isasmendi, G., Tjallingii, W.F. et al. Arthropod-Plant Interactions (2015) 9: 529. doi:10.1007/s11829-015-9394-8
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Myzus persicae Sulzer, like almost all aphids, associates with the endosymbiotic bacterium, Buchnera aphidicola. Although the accepted function of B. aphidicola is to complete the aphid diet with nutrients such as essential amino acids and vitamins, there is evidence that the bacteria may participate in the plant–insect interaction. Moreover, bacterial proteins with potential effector action on the metabolism of the host plant have been identified in the saliva of M. persicae. However, the possible involvement of B. aphidicola in relation to host plant acceptance by aphids needs further investigation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect that the disruption of the B. aphidicola–M. persicae symbiosis has on aphid feeding behaviour and on the expression of aphid salivary genes. The antibiotic rifampicin was administrated to adult aphids through artificial diets to disrupt the bacterial primary endosymbionts. Comparisons were made with control aphids, feeding from diet without rifampicin, as well as normal aphids fed on radish plants. Differences were found in the feeding behaviour of aposymbiotic aphids, which had delayed host acceptance and problems during stylet penetration into host plants. It was also found that B. aphidicola disruption down-regulated the expression of the Mp63 salivary protein gene. Together, these results indicate that B. aphidicola plays a role in plant–aphid interactions. The validity of the use of artificial diets in plant–aphid studies is also discussed.