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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MOLECULAR AND GENETIC MECHANISMS OF HESSIAN FLY RESISTANCE IN SOFT WINTER WHEAT

Location: Crop Production and Pest Control Research

Title: Effects of antinutrient proteins on Hessian fly (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) larvae

Authors
item Shukle, Richard
item Subramanyam, Subhashree -
item Williams, Christie

Submitted to: Journal of Insect Physiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 21, 2011
Publication Date: January 5, 2012
Citation: Shukle, R.H., Subramanyam, S., Williams, C.E. 2011. Effects of antinutrient proteins on Hessian fly (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) larvae. Journal of Insect Physiology. 58:41-48.

Interpretive Summary: Hessian fly is an important pest of wheat in the southeastern United States. The most effective and economical control of Hessian fly is through deployment of genetically resistant wheat. Unfortunately, the deployment of single dominant resistance genes places a selection pressure on Hessian fly field populations that leads to the appearance of biotypes that can overcome formerly resistant wheat. One strategy to enhance the durability of native resistance genes is to combine them with genes encoding toxic proteins for genetically engineered resistance (i.e. GMO resistance) in wheat. To identify potential genes for resistance a protocol for screening the proteins they produce for effective resistance is required. However, the Hessian fly is an obligate parasite of wheat and related grasses and no protocol for making such toxic proteins accessible to feeding larvae was available. This has been an impediment to the implementation of genetically engineered resistance in wheat. We have development a feeding assay for Hessian fly larvae and have utilized the assay to evaluate a number of toxic proteins for their effectiveness in genetically engineered resistance. Knowledge gained from this study will help breeders and scientists facing the challenge of devising innovative methods to ensure the durability of resistant wheat to prevent yield loss due to Hessian fly infestation. The agricultural community (crop producers and commodity groups) will benefit from improved pest control that increases yield and quality without increasing costs.

Technical Abstract: The most effective and economical control of Hessian fly, Mayetiola destructor (Say), is through deployment of genetically resistant wheat. Unfortunately, the deployment of single dominant resistance genes places a selection pressure on Hessian fly field populations that leads to the appearance of genotypes that can overcome formerly resistant wheat. One strategy to enhance the durability of native resistance genes is to combine them with transgenes for resistance. To identify potential transgenes for resistance a protocol for rapidly screening the proteins they encode for efficacy toward resistance is required. However, the Hessian fly is an obligate parasite of wheat and related grasses and no protocol for making antinutrient or toxic proteins accessible to feeding larvae was available. This has been an impediment to the implementation of transgenic resistance in wheat. We report here the development of an in planta translocation feeding assay for Hessian fly larvae and the evaluation for transgenic resistance of eight lectins and the Bowman-Birk serine proteinase inhibitor. Of the antinutrient proteins evaluated Galanthus nivalis L. agglutinin (GNA), commonly termed snowdrop lectin, was the most efficacious. The effects of GNA on the cytology of the larval midgut as well as transcriptional signatures for selected Hessian fly genes in response to GNA are presented.

Last Modified: 7/30/2014
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