Wheat Mds-1 encodes a heat-shock protein and governs susceptibility towards the Hessian fly gall midge.Nat Commun. 2013; 4:2070.NC
Gall midges induce formation of host nutritive cells and alter plant metabolism to utilize host resources. Here we show that the gene Mayetiola destructor susceptibility-1 on wheat chromosome 3AS encodes a small heat-shock protein and is a major susceptibility gene for infestation of wheat by the gall midge M. destructor, commonly known as the Hessian fly. Transcription of Mayetiola destructor susceptibility-1 and its homoeologs increases upon insect infestation. Ectopic expression of Mayetiola destructor susceptibility-1 or induction by heat shock suppresses resistance of wheat mediated by the resistance gene H13 to Hessian fly. Silencing of Mayetiola destructor susceptibility-1 by RNA interference confers immunity to all Hessian fly biotypes on normally susceptible wheat genotypes. Mayetiola destructor susceptibility-1-silenced plants also show reduced lesion formation due to infection by the powdery mildew fungus Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici. Modification of susceptibility genes may provide broad and durable sources of resistance to Hessian fly, B. graminis f. sp. tritici, and other pests.