Antibiosis and tolerance but not antixenosis to the grain aphid, Sitobion avenae (Hemiptera: Aphididae), are essential mechanisms of resistance in a wheat cultivar.Bull Entomol Res. 2015 Aug; 105(4):448-55.BE
Continuous ingestion of the phloem sap of plants by aphids can remove a significant amount of photoassimilates. Based on our earlier works, we hypothesized that due to the reduced aphid feeding time caused by antibiosis, wheat plants may achieve growth tolerance to aphids. We tested this hypothesis using three wheat cultivars, XY22 (Xiaoyan22), AK58 (Bainongaikang58) and XN979 (Xinong979) and the grain aphid, Sitobion avenae. In the choice test, S. avenae did not show any preference among the three wheat cultivars. However, S. avenae had a lower body weight and a lower intrinsic rate of increase when feeding on XY22 than on AK58 and XN979. The electrical penetration graph results indicated that S. avenae had significantly shorter mean and total phloem ingestion periods on XY22 than on AK58 or XN979. The aphids required a similar time to reach the phloem sap on the three wheat cultivars, but required more time to establish sustained phloem ingestion on XY22. These results suggest that the resistance factors of XY22 may be phloem based. Moreover, XY22 suffered less biomass loss in response to aphid infestation compared with XN979, suggesting that XY22 also had a better growth tolerance to S. avenae than XN979. Wheat resistance level to S. avenae was partially correlated with plant photosynthetic rates, and peroxidase activities. These results confirmed that the limitation in aphid feeding from plant phloem in wheat cultivar XY22 was related to antibiosis but not antixenosis, which caused XY22 tolerance to S. avenae.