Mechanisms and evolution of plant resistance to aphids

Züst, Tobias; Agrawal, Anurag A. (2016). Mechanisms and evolution of plant resistance to aphids. Nature Plants, 2(1), p. 15206. Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/nplants.2015.206

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Aphids are important herbivores of both wild and cultivated plants. Plants rely on unique mechanisms of recognition, signalling and defence to cope with the specialized mode of phloem feeding by aphids. Aspects of the molecular mechanisms underlying aphid-plant interactions are beginning to be understood. Recent advances include the identification of aphid salivary proteins involved in host plant manipulation, and plant receptors involved in aphid recognition. However, a complete picture of aphid-plant interactions requires consideration of the ecological outcome of these mechanisms in nature, and the evolutionary processes that shaped them. Here we identify general patterns of resistance, with a special focus on recognition, phytohormonal signalling, secondary metabolites and induction of plant resistance. We discuss how host specialization can enable aphids to co-opt both the phytohormonal responses and defensive compounds of plants for their own benefit at a local scale. In response, systemically induced resistance in plants is common and often involves targeted responses to specific aphid species or even genotypes. As co-evolutionary adaptation between plants and aphids is ongoing, the stealthy nature of aphid feeding makes both the mechanisms and outcomes of these interactions highly distinct from those of other herbivore-plant interactions. © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Züst, Tobias


500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)




Nature Publishing Group




Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

04 Apr 2016 14:34

Last Modified:

04 Apr 2016 14:34

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Jasmonic acid, Plant ecology, Plant evolution, Secondary metabolism, Structural variation




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