Tritrophic interactions among Macrosiphum euphorbiae aphids, their host plants and endosymbionts: investigation by a proteomic approach

J Insect Physiol. 2010 Jun;56(6):575-85. doi: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2009.12.001. Epub 2009 Dec 16.


The Mi-1.2 gene in tomato confers resistance against certain clones of the potato aphid (Macrosiphum euphorbiae). This study used 2D-DIGE coupled with protein identification by MALDI-TOF-MS to compare the proteome patterns of avirulent and semivirulent potato aphids and their bacterial endosymbionts on resistant (Mi-1.2+) and susceptible (Mi-1.2-) tomato lines. Avirulent aphids had low survival on resistant plants, whereas the semivirulent clone could colonize these plants. Eighty-two protein spots showed significant quantitative differences among the four treatment groups, and of these, 48 could be assigned putative identities. Numerous structural proteins and enzymes associated with primary metabolism were more abundant in the semivirulent than in the avirulent aphid clone. Several proteins were also up-regulated in semivirulent aphids when they were transferred from susceptible to resistant plants. Nearly 25% of the differentially regulated proteins originated from aphid endosymbionts and not the aphid itself. Six were assigned to the primary endosymbiont Buchnera aphidicola, and 5 appeared to be derived from a Rickettsia-like secondary symbiont. These results indicate that symbiont expression patterns differ between aphid clones with differing levels of virulence, and are influenced by the aphids' host plant. Potentially, symbionts may contribute to differential adaptation of aphids to host plant resistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aphids / chemistry
  • Aphids / microbiology
  • Aphids / physiology*
  • Bacterial Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / analysis
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Two-Dimensional
  • Insect Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / parasitology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / chemistry
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / parasitology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Proteomics*
  • Rickettsia / chemistry
  • Rickettsia / physiology
  • Symbiosis / physiology*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Insect Proteins
  • Plant Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/EU779951