The green peach aphid (GPA), Myzus persicae (Sülzer), is a widespread phloem-feeding insect that significantly influences the yield and visual quality of peach [ Prunus persica (L.) Batsch]. Single dominant gene ( Rm3)-based resistance provides effective management of this invasive pest, although little is known about the molecular responses of plants to GPA feeding.
To illustrate the molecular mechanisms of monogenic resistance in peach to young tissue-infecting GPAs, aphid-resistant/aphid-susceptible peach lines from a segregating population with Rm3/rm3 and rm3/rm3 genotypes were infested with GPAs for 3 to 72 h. Transcriptome analysis of the infested tissues identified 3854 differentially expressed genes (DEGs). Although the majority of the DEGs in the resistant line also responded to aphid attack in the susceptible line, the overall magnitude of change was greater in the resistant line than in the susceptible line. The enriched gene ontology of the 3854 DEGs involved in plant defence responses included redox situation, calcium-mediated signalling, transcription factor (e.g., WRKY, MYB, and ERF), MAPK signalling cascade, phytohormone signalling, pathogenesis-related protein, and secondary metabolite terms. Of the 53 genes annotated in a 460 kb interval of the rm3 locus, seven genes were differentially expressed between the aphid-resistant and aphid-susceptible peach lines following aphid infestation.
Together, these results suggest that the Rm3-dependent resistance relies mainly on the inducible expression of defence-related pathways and signalling elements within hours after the initiation of aphid feeding and that the production of specific secondary metabolites from phenylpropanoid/flavonoid pathways can have major effects on peach-aphid interactions.