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Crop Biotech Update

OXI1 Kinase Involved in Aphid Resistance in Arabidopsis

May 23, 2018

Plants have long evolved a wide array of defense mechanisms activated through complex signaling pathways. OXI1 kinase is required for activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). Furthermore, changes in the levels of OXI1 appear to be crucial for signaling. Callose deposition also plays a key role in defense. Newcastle University's Tahsin Shoala led a team of researchers to prove that OXI1 plays an important role in the defense against aphids (Myzus persicae).

The Arabidopsis mutant oxi1-2, which has a silenced OXI1, showed significant resistance both in terms of population build-up and the rate of build-up of aphids. Meanwhile, callose synthase GSL5 was found to be upregulated in oxi1-2 in response to aphids.

These results suggest that the aphid resistance in Arabidopsis oxi1-2 mutants is through the induction of callose deposition via MAPKs. A better understanding of the signaling pathways conferring tolerance to biotic stress will help future breeding programs for improving crops.

For more information, read the article in Transgenic Research.