Arthropod-Plant Interactions

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 401–413 | Cite as

Interactive effects of aphid feeding and virus infection on host gene expression and volatile compounds in salt-stressed soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merr.

  • Alma G. Laney
  • Pengyin Chen
  • Kenneth L. Korth
Original Paper


Saline soils are becoming an important limiting factor in production agriculture. Soybean cultivars [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] differ in their ability to tolerate salt stress with those that cannot limit ion uptake into leaves being salt sensitive. Those that can partially limit ion uptake into leaves are generally more salt tolerant. Soybean mosaic virus (SMV) is an important viral pathogen of soybean worldwide and is commonly transmitted by the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines Matsumura. In this study, we investigate the interaction of salt stress in soybean with SMV infection and infestation by the soybean aphid by measuring aphid populations in a no-choice assay, gene expression levels, and the induction of volatile organic compounds using static headspace GC–MS analysis. Salt stress and SMV infection both reduced total aphid populations, though SMV did not reduce the total number of aphids per gram of fresh weight. Aphid suppression of a calcium EF hand gene and OPR1 was lost when salt-sensitive soybean plants were salt stressed and when salt-tolerant plants were subjected to all three stressors. The relative levels of SMV in aphid-infested soybeans were increased by salt stress in the salt-sensitive cultivar, whereas SMV levels decreased in the salt-tolerant cultivar. Static headspace collection of volatile organic compounds revealed that salt stress and SMV infection had suppressive activities on aphid-induced terpenes. These results suggest that although salt stress has a negative impact on aphid population size, the changes in volatiles and SMV levels could alter the incidence of SMV in salt-stressed fields.


Plant Agriculture Insect 



We wish to thank Lacy D. Nelson for her technical assistance and Kate Martin for critically reviewing the manuscript. We also thank Matt O’Neal from Iowa State University for kindly providing soybean aphids to start our colony. The authors also thank two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on improving the manuscript. Support was provided by the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board, the Arkansas Center for Plant Powered Production, and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Hatch Project 1011326.

Supplementary material

11829_2017_9590_MOESM1_ESM.docx (25 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 24 KB)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant Pathology, Division of AgricultureUniversity of ArkansasFayettevilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences, Division of AgricultureUniversity of ArkansasFayettevilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Entomology and Plant PathologyNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  4. 4.Division of Plant Sciences, Fisher Delta Research CenterUniversity of MissouriPortagevilleUSA

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