The grain aphid Sitobion avenae (F.) is a major pest of wheat, acting as a virus vector as well as causing direct plant damage. Commonly grown wheat varieties in the UK have only limited resistance to this pest. The present study was carried out to investigate the potential of a diploid wheat line (ACC20 PGR1755), reported as exhibiting resistance to S. avenae, to serve as a source of resistance genes. The diploid wheat line was confirmed as partially resistant, substantially reducing the fecundity, longevity and growth rate of the aphid. Proteomic analysis showed that approximately 200 protein spots were reproducibly detected in leaf extracts from both the resistant line and a comparable susceptible line (ACC5 PGR1735) using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and image comparison software. Twenty-four spots were significantly up-regulated (>2-fold) in the resistant line after 24 h of aphid feeding (13 and 11 involved in local and systemic responses, respectively). Approximately 50 % of all differentially expressed protein spots were identified by a combination of database searching with MS and MS/MS data, revealing that the majority of proteins up-regulated by aphid infestation were involved in metabolic processes (including photosynthesis) and transcriptional regulation. However, in the resistant line only, several stress response proteins (including NBS-LRR-like proteins) and oxidative stress response proteins were identified as up-regulated in response to aphid feeding, as well as proteins involved in DNA synthesis/replication/repair. This study indicates that the resistant diploid line ACC20 PGR1755 may provide a valuable resource in breeding wheat for resistance to aphids.
Keywords: Aphid resistance; Biotic stress; Diploid wheat; Oxidative stress; Stress response; Wheat proteomics.