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Open Access Methodology

High throughput phenotyping for aphid resistance in large plant collections

Xi Chen1, Ben Vosman1*, Richard GF Visser1, René AA van der Vlugt2 and Colette Broekgaarden1

Author Affiliations

1 Wageningen UR, Plant Breeding, PO. Box 386, 6700, AJ, Wageningen, the Netherlands

2 Plant Research International, PO Box 16, 6700, AA, Wageningen, the Netherlands

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Plant Methods 2012, 8:33  doi:10.1186/1746-4811-8-33

Published: 17 August 2012

Abstract

Background

Phloem-feeding insects are among the most devastating pests worldwide. They not only cause damage by feeding from the phloem, thereby depleting the plant from photo-assimilates, but also by vectoring viruses. Until now, the main way to prevent such problems is the frequent use of insecticides. Applying resistant varieties would be a more environmental friendly and sustainable solution. For this, resistant sources need to be identified first. Up to now there were no methods suitable for high throughput phenotyping of plant germplasm to identify sources of resistance towards phloem-feeding insects.

Results

In this paper we present a high throughput screening system to identify plants with an increased resistance against aphids. Its versatility is demonstrated using an Arabidopsis thaliana activation tag mutant line collection. This system consists of the green peach aphid Myzus persicae (Sulzer) and the circulative virus Turnip yellows virus (TuYV). In an initial screening, with one plant representing one mutant line, 13 virus-free mutant lines were identified by ELISA. Using seeds produced from these lines, the putative candidates were re-evaluated and characterized, resulting in nine lines with increased resistance towards the aphid.

Conclusions

This M. persicae-TuYV screening system is an efficient, reliable and quick procedure to identify among thousands of mutated lines those resistant to aphids. In our study, nine mutant lines with increased resistance against the aphid were selected among 5160 mutant lines in just 5 months by one person. The system can be extended to other phloem-feeding insects and circulative viruses to identify insect resistant sources from several collections, including for example genebanks and artificially prepared mutant collections.

Keywords:
Phloem-feeding insect; Myzus persicae; Turnip yellows virus; Arabidopsis thaliana; Activation tag