Get access

Inhibiting aphid wing development: is immune challenge important?


Jim Hardie, Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, Lees Building, Silwood Park campus, Ascot, Berks SL5 7PY, London, U.K. Tel.: +44 (0) 207 594 2259; fax: +44 (0) 207 594 2339; e-mail:


Aphids show inhibition of wing development when parasitized by hymenopteran parasitoids, especially when parasitism takes place early in the host's development. The present study tests the hypothesis that the aphid itself redirects the resources needed for the development of wings to support the immune response, rather than the parasitoid directly promoting wing inhibition. When the aphid's immune system is challenged with bacterial antigens and a fungal pathogen, neither immune challenge alters wing development, indicating that perhaps there is no redirection by the aphid of resources required for wing development to cover possible costs of mounting an immune response.