Ethylene contributes to potato aphid susceptibility in a compatible tomato host


Author for correspondence:
Isgouhi Kaloshian
Tel: +1 951 827 3913


  • • Resistance to potato aphid (Macrosiphum euphorbiae) in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is conferred by Mi-1. Early during both compatible and incompatible interactions, potato aphid feeding induces the expression of ethylene (ET) biosynthetic genes. Here, we used genetic and pharmacologic approaches to investigate the role of ET signaling in basal defense and Mi-1-mediated resistance to potato aphid in tomato.
  • • The effect of potato aphid infestation on ET biosynthesis in susceptible and resistant plants was assessed. Aphid bioassays were performed using plants impaired in ET biosynthesis or perception using virus-induced gene silencing, the Never ripe (Nr) mutant, and 1-methylcyclopropene (MCP) treatment.
  • • A burst of ET was observed after aphid feeding in both resistant and susceptible plants, correlated with an increase in the expression of ET biosynthetic genes. However, impairing ET signaling or biosynthesis did not compromise Mi-1-mediated resistance but it did decrease susceptibility to potato aphid in a compatible host.
  • • ET may not play a significant role in Mi-1-mediated resistance to potato aphids in tomato but modulates the host basal defense, enhancing its susceptibility to the aphid.