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Background: Aphid attack induces defense responses in plants activating several signaling cascades that led to the production of toxic, repellent or antinutritive compounds and the consequent reorganization of the plant primary metabolism. Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) leaf proteomic response against Myzus persicae (Sulzer) has been investigated and analyzed by LC-MS/MS coupled with bioinformatics tools. Results: Infestation with an initially low density (20 aphids/plant) of aphids restricted to a single leaf taking advantage of clip cages resulted in 6 differentially expressed proteins relative to control leaves (3 proteins at 2 days post-infestation and 3 proteins at 4 days post-infestation). Conversely, when plants were infested with a high density of infestation (200 aphids/plant) 140 proteins resulted differentially expressed relative to control leaves (97 proteins at 2 days post-infestation, 112 proteins at 4 days post-infestation and 105 proteins at 7 days post-infestation). The majority of proteins altered by aphid attack were involved in photosynthesis and photorespiration, oxidative stress, translation, protein folding and degradation and amino acid metabolism. Other proteins identified were involved in lipid, carbohydrate and hormone metabolism, transcription, transport, energy production and cell organization. However proteins directly involved in defense were scarce and were mostly downregulated in response to aphids. Conclusions: The unexpectedly very low number of regulated proteins found in the experiment with a low aphid density suggests an active mitigation of plant defensive response by aphids or alternatively an aphid strategy to remain undetected by the plant. Under a high density of aphids, pepper leaf proteome however changed significantly revealing nearly all routes of plant primary metabolism being altered. Photosynthesis was so far the process with the highest number of proteins being regulated by the presence of aphids. In general, at short times of infestation (2 days) most of the altered proteins were upregulated. However, at longer times of infestation (7 days) the protein downregulation prevailed. Proteins involved in plant defense and in hormone signaling were scarce and mostly downregulated.
Florencio-Ortiz, V., Sellés-Marchart, S., & Casas, J. L. (2021). Proteome changes in pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) leaves induced by the green peach aphid (Myzus persicae Sulzer). BMC Plant Biology, 21(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12870-020-02749-x