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Temporal variation of RAPD–PCR phenotype composition of the grain aphid Sitobion avenae (Hemiptera: Aphididae) on wheat: the role of hydroxamic acids

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 March 2007

C.C. Figueroa*
Laboratorio de Química Ecológica, Departamento de Ciencias Ecológicas, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Casilla 653, Santiago, Chile
R. Loayza-Muro
Laboratorio de Química Ecológica, Departamento de Ciencias Ecológicas, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Casilla 653, Santiago, Chile
H.M. Niemeyer
Laboratorio de Química Ecológica, Departamento de Ciencias Ecológicas, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Casilla 653, Santiago, Chile
*Fax: (562) 2717503 E-mail:


Hydroxamic acids (Hx) contained in wheat are active mutagens which play an important role in the defence of the plant against aphids. Random amplified polymorphic DNA–polymerase chain reaction (RAPD–PCR) dominant markers were used to assess genetic variability in the aphid Sitobion avenae (Fabricius) in relation to hydroxamic acid levels in their host-plants. Colonies of aphids belonging to a single RAPD–PCR profile were grown on different host-plants differing in their Hx content under greenhouse conditions. The RAPD–PCR phenotypic pattern showed the appearance of two new RAPD–PCR variants after four to five generations of exposure to wheat cv. Chagual (high Hx levels), one after exposure to wheat cv. Huayún (low Hx levels), and none after exposure to oat (lacking Hx). Differential appearance of new RAPD–PCR aphid phenotypes also occurred on field-grown wheat. While the overall phenotypic ‘richness’ diminished during the season, the number of RAPD–PCR phenotypes decreased on cv. Huayún and increased on cv. Chagual. The preferential appearance in the field and in the greenhouse of new RAPD–PCR phenotypes of S. avenae on cv. Chagual is discussed on the basis of mutagenesis induced by hydroxamic acids and by the products of their transformation within the aphid. Aphid abundance is interpreted in terms of antixenosis and antibiosis by hydroxamic acids. The appearance on cv. Chagual of phenotypes first detected on cv. Huayún was accounted for by intercrop migrations.

Review Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2002

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