Changes in properties of wheat leaf cuticle during interactions with Hessian fly

Dylan K. Kosma, Jill A. Nemacheck, Matthew A. Jenks, Christie E. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Infestation of wheat by Hessian fly larvae causes a variety of physical and biochemical modifications of the host plant. Changes occur in cuticle permeability, lipid composition and gene transcript abundance, and these responses differ substantially between resistant and susceptible wheat lines. Staining assays revealed that susceptible plants exhibited a generalized increase in leaf sheath epidermal permeability during infestation; whereas, epidermal permeability was only minimally affected in resistant plants. Furthermore, temporal profiling using gas chromatographic methods revealed that changes in cuticle lipid (wax and cutin) composition correlated well with differing levels of epidermal permeability in susceptible and resistant plants. Temporal analysis of cuticle-associated gene mRNA levels, by quantitative real-time PCR, indicated a relationship between transcript abundance and changes in cuticle lipid profiles of resistant and susceptible plants. Results suggest that conserving cuticle integrity via induction of specific wax constituents and maintenance of cutin amounts, determined by the accumulation of cuticle-associated transcripts, could be important components of wheat resistance to Hessian fly larvae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-43
Number of pages13
JournalPlant Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Hessian fly
  • biotic stress
  • cuticle
  • cutin
  • insect resistance
  • wax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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