The Fall Armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda Utilizes Specific UDP-Glycosyltransferases to Inactivate Maize Defensive Benzoxazinoids

Israni, B.; Wouters, F.C.; Luck, K.; Seibel, E.; Ahn, S.-J.; Paetz, C.; Reinert, M.; Vogel, H.; Erb, Matthias; Heckel, D.G.; Gershenzon, J.; Vassão, D.G. (2020). The Fall Armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda Utilizes Specific UDP-Glycosyltransferases to Inactivate Maize Defensive Benzoxazinoids. Frontiers in physiology, 11(604754) Frontiers Research Foundation 10.3389/fphys.2020.604754

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The relationship between plants and insects is continuously evolving, and many insects rely on biochemical strategies to mitigate the effects of toxic chemicals in their food plants, allowing them to feed on well-defended plants. Spodoptera frugiperda, the fall armyworm (FAW), accepts a number of plants as hosts, and has particular success on plants of the Poaceae family such as maize, despite their benzoxazinoid (BXD) defenses. BXDs stored as inert glucosides are converted into toxic aglucones by plant glucosidases upon herbivory. DIMBOA, the main BXD aglucone released by maize leaves, can be stereoselectively re-glucosylated by UDP-glycosyltransferases (UGTs) in the insect gut, rendering it non-toxic. Here, we identify UGTs involved in BXD detoxification by FAW larvae and examine how RNAi-mediated manipulation of the larval glucosylation capacity toward the major maize BXD, DIMBOA, affects larval growth. Our findings highlight the involvement of members of two major UGT families, UGT33 and UGT40, in the glycosylation of BXDs. Most of the BXD excretion in the frass occurs in the form of glucosylated products. Furthermore, the DIMBOA-associated activity was enriched in the gut tissue, with a single conserved UGT33 enzyme (SfUGT33F28) being dedicated to DIMBOA re-glucosylation in the FAW gut. The knock-down of its encoding gene reduces larval performance in a strain-specific manner. This study thus reveals that a single UGT enzyme is responsible for detoxification of the major maize-defensive BXD in this pest insect. © Copyright © 2020 Israni, Wouters, Luck, Seibel, Ahn, Paetz, Reinert, Vogel, Erb, Heckel, Gershenzon and Vassão.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Biotic Interactions
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Erb, Matthias

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

1664-042X

Publisher:

Frontiers Research Foundation

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

21 Jan 2021 14:36

Last Modified:

24 Feb 2021 04:35

Publisher DOI:

10.3389/fphys.2020.604754

Uncontrolled Keywords:

benzoxazinoid, DIMBOA, glucosylation, UGT, Spodoptera frugiperda (fall armyworm), detoxification

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/151409

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/151409

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