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A Plant-Feeding Nematode Indirectly Increases the Fitness of an Aphid

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  • Grace A. Hoysted
  • Catherine J. Lilley
  • Katie J. Field
  • Michael Dickinson
  • Susan E Hartley
  • Peter E. Unwin


Publication details

JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
DateAccepted/In press - 19 Oct 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 3 Nov 2017
DatePublished (current) - 3 Nov 2017
Number of pages10
Early online date3/11/17
Original languageEnglish


Plants suffer multiple, simultaneous assaults from above and below ground. In the laboratory, pests and/or pathogen attack are commonly studied on an individual basis. The molecular response of the plant to attack from multiple organisms and the interaction of different defense pathways is unclear. The inducible systemic responses of the potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) host plant were analyzed to characterize the plant-mediated indirect interactions between a sedentary, endoparasitic nematode (Globodera pallida), and a phloem-sucking herbivore (Myzus persicae). The reproductive success of M. persicae was greater on potato plants pre-infected with G. pallida compared to control plants. Salicylic acid (SA) increased systemically in the leaves of potato plants following nematode and aphid infection singly with a corresponding increase in expression of SA-mediated marker genes. An increase in jasmonic acid associated with aphid infection was suppressed when plants were co-infected with nematodes. Our data suggests a positive, asymmetric interaction between a sedentary endoparasitic nematode and a sap-sucking insect. The systemic response of the potato plant following infection with G. pallida indirectly influences the performance of M. persicae. This work reveals additional secondary benefits of controlling individual crop pests.

Bibliographical note

©2017 Hoysted, Lilley, Field, Dickinson, Hartley and Urwin.

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