Observations of selective feeding of the aphid, Sitobion yakini (eastop) on leaf blades of barley (Hordeum vulgare L)
Abstract (Summary)Penetration of leaves of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) plants grown under normal conditions and those exposed to physiological stress, by the aphid, Sitobion yakini was investigated using light and electron microscope techniques. This was carried out to determine if there was evidence of preferential feeding on either thin- or thick-walled sieve tubes in the barley leaf. Under both stress and non-stress conditions, preliminary results of an electron microscope investigation showed that penetration of the epidermis and mesophyll was largely intercellular, becoming partly intercellular and in part intracellular inside the vascular bundle. A total of 317 stylets and stylet tracks were encountered during the examination of 2000 serial sections. In non-stressed plant material, 293 (92%) terminated in thin-walled sieve tubes and only 24 (8%) in thick-walled sieve tubes. Investigation of 1000 serial sections using stressed plant material showed, that 84 of 89 (94%) stylets and stylet tracks encountered terminated in thin-walled sieve tubes. Furthermore, 90 of 94 (96%) stylets and stylet tracks encountered in 1000 serial sections from the second experiment of control non-stressed plant material (control) terminated in thin-walled sieve tubes. The thin-walled sieve tubes were significantly more visited (probed) by the aphid than the thick-walled sieve tubes. Under stress conditions, 50 of 89 (56%) stylets and stylet tracks which terminated in thin-walled sieve tubes were associated with the small longitudinal bundles. Under normal conditions, 65 of 94 (69%) stylets and stylet tracks which terminated in thin-walled sieve tubes were associated with the small longitudinal bundles. There were no significant differences on the number of probes of sieve elements between the two treatments. These data suggest that the aphid S. yakini feeds preferentially on the thin-walled sieve tubes of the small longitudinal vascular bundles in plants grown under normal conditions and those exposed to physiological stress, such as water stress. This further suggests that the thin-walled sieve tubes in barley leaf blades are more attractive to the aphid and are probably most functional in terms of phloem loading and transport.
School Location:South Africa
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:01/01/2000