A highly infective plant-associated bacterium influences reproductive rates in pea aphids
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Sch Plant Sci
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CitationA highly infective plant-associated bacterium influences reproductive rates in pea aphids 2016, 3 (2):150478 Royal Society Open Science
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Rights© 2016 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
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AbstractPea aphids, Acyrthosiphon pisum, have the potential to increase reproduction as a defence against pathogens, though how frequently this occurs or how infection with live pathogens influences this response is not well understood. Here we determine the minimum infective dose of an environmentally common bacterium and possible aphid pathogen, Pseudomonas syringae, to determine the likelihood of pathogenic effects to pea aphids. Additionally, we used P. syringae infection to investigate how live pathogens may alter reproductive rates. We found that oral bacterial exposure decreased subsequent survival of aphids in a dose-dependent manner and we estimate that ingestion of less than 10 bacterial cells is sufficient to increase aphid mortality. Pathogen dose was positively related to aphid reproduction. Aphids exposed to low bacterial doses showed decreased, although statistically indistinguishable, fecundity compared to controls. Aphids exposed to high doses reproduced significantly more than low dose treatments and also more, but not significantly so, than controls. These results are consistent with previous studies suggesting that pea aphids may use fecundity compensation as a response to pathogens. Consequently, even low levels of exposure to a common plant-associated bacterium may therefore have significant effects on pea aphid survival and reproduction.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsAgriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive grant USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture [2014-67012-21733]