Planthopper "adaptation" to resistant rice varieties: Changes in amino acid composition over time

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Journal Article
Journal of Insect Physiology, 2011, 57 (10), pp. 1375 - 1384
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The brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens, shows considerable geographic and temporal variability in its response to varieties of cultivated rice. N. lugens has repeatedly " adapted" to resistant rice varieties; however, the physiological changes underlying planthopper adaptation are poorly understood. Endosymbionts within planthoppers, such as yeast-like endosymbionts (YLS) could play a role as they produce essential amino acids for planthoppers. We used a full factorial study to determine how natal rice variety, exposed rice variety, YLS presence, and the number of reared generations affected nymphal development, planthopper total nitrogen content, and planthopper hydrolyzed amino acid profiles. Nymphal development was strongly influenced by a four-way interaction between the exposed rice variety, natal rice variety, number of reared generations, and YLS presence. While symbiosis improved nymphal performance in the 8th generation, it appeared to be a drain on nymphs in the 11th generation, when the aposymbiotic nymphs actually showed higher performance than the symbiotic nymphs. This suggests that the symbiotic relationship may be acting beneficially in one generation while acting as a drain during another generation. Aposymbiotic planthoppers reared for 11 generations had a higher proportional concentration of rare amino acids than those reared for 8 generations, indicating that the planthopper itself appears to improve its ability to acquire rare amino acids. Therefore, the change in amino acid composition of planthoppers suggests an underlying change in protein expression or amino acid metabolism over time. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
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