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Plant defense against aphids, the pest extraordinaire

Nalam, Vamsi, Louis, Joe, Shah, Jyoti
Plant science 2019 v.279 pp. 96-107
Aphidoidea, antibiosis, antixenosis, fecundity, plant pests, plant viruses, resistance genes, sap, sieve elements, stylets, viral diseases of plants
Aphids are amongst the most damaging pests of plants that use their stylets to penetrate the plant tissue to consume large amounts of phloem sap and thus deprive the plant of photoassimilates. In addition, some aphids vector important viral diseases of plants. Plant defenses targeting aphids are broadly classified as antibiosis, which interferes with aphid growth, survival and fecundity, and antixenosis, which influences aphid behavior, including plant choice and feeding from the sieve elements. Here we review the multitude of steps in the infestation process where these defenses can be exerted and highlight the progress made on identifying molecular factors and mechanisms that contribute to host defense, including plant resistance genes and signaling components, as well as aphid-derived effectors that elicit or attenuate host defenses. Also discussed is the impact of aphid-vectored plant viruses on plant-aphid interaction and the concept of tolerance, which allows plant to withstand or recover from damage resulting from the infestation.