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(E)‐β‐farnesene synthase gene affects aphid behavior in transgenic Medicago sativa

Xuemin Wang, Yuhao Gao, Zhihong Chen, Jindong Li, Jianping Huang, Jiangbo Cao, Miaomiao Cui, Liping Ban
Pest management science 2019 v.75 no.3 pp. 622-631
Acyrthosiphon pisum, Medicago sativa, alarm pheromones, alfalfa, crops, enzymes, gene overexpression, genes, genetic vectors, leaves, parasitoids, pest management, plasma membrane, predators, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, transgenic plants
BACKGROUND: Pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum Harris) is one of the major pests in alfalfa crops, causing significant yield losses. (E)‐β‐farnesene (EβF), an alarm pheromone released by pea aphid, is generic to many species of aphids, and is used to minimize potential danger from predators and parasitoids by avoiding the source of the pheromone. RESULTS: In this study, EβF synthase gene was constructed into a plant expression vector, and overexpressed in alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), with expression among transgenic lines confirmed by qRT‐PCR. Subcellular localization analysis showed that EβF synthase gene was expressed in the plasma membrane and nucleus of the leaf. GC/MS of extraction from transgenic alfalfa indicated emission of EβF ranging from 5.92 to 13.09 ng day⁻¹ g⁻¹ fresh tissue. Behavior assays in Y‐olfactometers demonstrated that transgenic alfalfa expressing AaEβF gene could repel pea aphids, with aphids taking a significantly longer time to select a transgenic line compared with the control line (P < 0.01). CONCLUSION: We have demonstrated a potentially valuable strategy of using EβF synthase genes for aphid control in alfalfa. © 2018 Society of Chemical Industry