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Functional & Integrative Genomics

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 207–213 | Cite as

(E)-β-Farnesene synthase genes affect aphid (Myzus persicae) infestation in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum)

  • Xiudao Yu
  • Huw D. Jones
  • Youzhi MaEmail author
  • Genping Wang
  • Zhaoshi Xu
  • Baoming Zhang
  • Yongjun Zhang
  • Guangwei Ren
  • John A. Pickett
  • Lanqin XiaEmail author
Short Communication

Abstract

Aphids are major agricultural pests which cause significant yield losses of the crop plants each year. (E)-β-farnesene (EβF) is the alarm pheromone involved in the chemical communication between aphids and particularly in the avoidance of predation. In the present study, two EβF synthase genes were isolated from sweet wormwood and designated as AaβFS1 and AaβFS2, respectively. Overexpression of AaβFS1 or AaβFS2 in tobacco plants resulted in the emission of EβF ranging from 1.55 to 4.65 ng/day/g fresh tissues. Tritrophic interactions involving the peach aphids (Myzus persicae), predatory lacewings (Chrysopa septempunctata) demonstrated that the transgenic tobacco expressing AaβFS1 and AaβFS2 could repel peach aphids, but not as strongly as expected. However, AaβFS1 and AaβFS2 lines exhibited strong and statistically significant attraction to lacewings. Further experiments combining aphids and lacewing larvae in an octagon arrangement showed transgenic tobacco plants could repel aphids and attract lacewing larvae, thus minimizing aphid infestation. Therefore, we demonstrated a potentially valuable strategy of using EβF synthase genes from sweet wormwood for aphid control in tobacco or other economic important crops in an environmentally benign way.

Keywords

Sweet wormwood (E)-β-Farnesene synthase Transgenic tobacco Aphid Lacewing 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This project are partly funded by the Research Initiative on Development of Disease and Insect Resistance Transgenic Wheat Plants (2008ZX08002-001) supported by the Chinese Government and Natural Science Foundation of China. Rothamsted Research receives grant-aided support from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) of the UK.

Supplementary material

10142_2011_244_MOESM1_ESM.docx (57 kb)
Fig. S1 Tritrophic interactions involving peach aphids, predatory lacewing, and transgenic tobacco plants expressing AaβFS1and AaβFS2. The average number of aphid or lacewing and SE of three replicates were presented. C blank vector control, 14 positive transgenic lines S1-3-4, S1-4-5, S2-1-2, and S2-3-6, respectively. Data were analyzed with a two-sided binominal test on numbers (*P < 0.05). a The setup used for testing repellence of aphid and attraction of predator. All insects were placed in the midpoint circle at the start of each assay. b Habitat selection of aphid among AaβFS1, AaβFS2 transgenic lines and control lines. c Attraction assay of starved lacewing to the volatiles of AaβFS1 and AaβFS2 lines. The number of lacewings was counted after 15, 30, 45, and 60 min, respectively. d Evaluation of aphid control efficiency of AaβFS1 and AaβFS2 lines by mixing 400 alate aphids and ten lacewings in the setup (DOCX 57 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiudao Yu
    • 1
  • Huw D. Jones
    • 2
  • Youzhi Ma
    • 1
    Email author
  • Genping Wang
    • 1
  • Zhaoshi Xu
    • 1
  • Baoming Zhang
    • 1
  • Yongjun Zhang
    • 3
  • Guangwei Ren
    • 4
  • John A. Pickett
    • 2
  • Lanqin Xia
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Crop Science/The National Key Facility for Crop Gene Resources and Genetic ImprovementChinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS)BeijingChina
  2. 2.Rothamsted ResearchHarpendenUK
  3. 3.Institute of Crop ProtectionChinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS)BeijingChina
  4. 4.Institute of Tobacco ResearchChinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS)QingdaoChina

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