© 2015 Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Many secondary metabolites have insecticidal efficacy against pests and may be affected by abiotic stress. However, little is known of how plants may respond to such stress as pertains the growth and development of pests. The objective of this study was to determine if and how salt stress on cotton plants affects the population dynamics of aphids. The NaCl treatment (50mM, 100mM, 150mM and 200mM) increased contents of gossypol in cotton by 26.8-51.4%, flavonoids by 22.5-37.6% and tannic by 15.1-24.3% at 7-28 d after salt stress. Compared with non-stressed plants, the population of aphids on 150 and 200 mM NaCl stressed plants was reduced by 46.4 and 65.4% at 7d and by 97.3 and 100% at 14 days after infestation. Reductions in aphid population were possibly attributed to the elevated secondary metabolism under salt stress. A total of 796 clones for aphids transcriptome, 412 clones in the positive- library (TEST) and 384 clones in the reverse-library (Ck), were obtained from subtracted cDNA libraries and sequenced. Gene ontology (GO) functional classification and KEGG pathway analysis showed more genes related to fatty acid and lipid biosynthesis, and fewer genes related to carbohydrate metabolism, amino acid metabolism, energy metabolism and cell motility pathways in TEST than in Ck library, which might be the reason of aphids population reduction. A comparative analysis with qRT-PCR indicated high expression of transcripts CYP6A14, CYP6A13, CYP303A1, NADH dehydrogenase and fatty acid synthase in the TEST group. However, CYP307A1 and two ecdysone-induced protein genes were down regulated. The results indicate that genes of aphids related to growth and development can express at a higher level in reaction to the enhanced secondary metabolism in cotton under salinity stress. The expression of CYP307A1 was positively correlated with the population dynamics of aphids since it was involved in ecdysone synthesis.
Wang, Q., Eneji, A. E., Kong, X., Wang, K., & Dong, H. (2015). Salt stress effects on secondary metabolites of cotton in relation to gene expression responsible for aphid development. PLoS ONE, 10(6). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0129541