The mechanisms underpinning plant perception of phloem-feeding insects, particularly aphids, remain poorly characterized. Therefore, the role of apoplastic redox state in controlling aphid infestation was explored using transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) plants that have either high (PAO) or low (TAO) ascorbate oxidase (AO) activities relative to the wild type. Only a small number of leaf transcripts and metabolites were changed in response to genotype, and cell wall composition was largely unaffected. Aphid fecundity was decreased significantly in TAO plants compared with other lines. Leaf sugar levels were increased and maximum extractable AO activities were decreased in response to aphids in all genotypes. Transcripts encoding the Respiratory Burst Oxidase Homolog F, signaling components involved in ethylene and other hormone-mediated pathways, photosynthetic electron transport components, sugar, amino acid, and cell wall metabolism, were increased significantly in the TAO plants in response to aphid perception relative to other lines. The levels of galactosylated xyloglucan were decreased significantly in response to aphid feeding in all the lines, the effect being the least in the TAO plants. Similarly, all lines exhibited increases in tightly bound (1→4)-β-galactan. Taken together, these findings identify AO-dependent mechanisms that limit aphid infestation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science