Physiological and biochemical responses of resistant and susceptible wheat to injury by Russian wheat aphid

Lisa D. Franzen, Andrea R. Gutsche, Tiffany M. Heng-Moss, Leon G. Higley, Gautam Sarath, John D. Burd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


We examined the physiological and biochemical responses of resistant ('Halt' and 'Prairie Red') and susceptible ('TAM 107' ) wheat, Triticum aestivum L., to injury by the Russian wheat aphid, Diuraphis noxia (Mordvilko). Photosynthetic capacity was evaluated by measuring assimilation/internal CO 2 (A/C i) curves, chlorophyll fluorescence, chlorophyll, and nonstructural carbohydrate content. Total protein and peroxidase specific activity also were determined. No significant differences were detected in chlorophyll concentration between aphid-infested and control TAM107 plants. The aphid-infested resistant cultivars had similar or significantly higher chlorophyll concentrations compared with their respective control plants. Measurements over time showed that infested Halt plants had delays in photosynthetic senescence, Prairie Red plants had photosynthetic rate changes that were similar to control plants, and TAM 107 plants displayed accelerated photosynthetic senescence patterns. The photochemical and nonphotochemical quenching coefficients were significantly higher in infested Halt plants compared with their respective control plants on day 3. Infested TAM 107 plants had significantly higher photochemical quenching compared with control plants at all times evaluated, and they had significantly higher nonphotochemical quenching on day 3. Through-out the experiment, infested Prairie Red plants exhibited photochemical and nonphotochemical quenching coefficient values that were not significantly different from control plants. Total protein content was not significantly different between aphid-infested and control plants for all cultivars. Differences between physiological responses of infested susceptible and resistant cultivars, particularly temporal changes in photosynthetic activity, imply that resistant Halt and Prairie Red wheat tolerate some impacts of aphid injury on photosynthetic integrity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1692-1703
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of economic entomology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Gas exchange
  • Host plant resistance
  • Photosynthesis
  • Plant-insect interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Insect Science


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