Genetics and evolution of insect resistance in Arabidopsis.
The genetic and molecular tools available in Arabidopsis allow identification of insect resistance genes. Many functional aspects of pest recognition and signal transduction are conserved in the defensive physiology of a broad range of plant species. Therefore, studies of insect resistance in Arabidopsis may be extended to functional genomics studies in many plant species of agricultural and ecological importance. Because of public concerns for field release of genetically modified organisms, naturally occurring genetic variation for resistance to insect herbivores will be valuable in plant breeding. Combined studies employing QTL mapping and candidate resistance genes are necessary to find and understand the genes responsible for variation in resistance. We review experiments showing that plant populations contain high levels of genetic variation for defensive physiology and disease and insect resistance, and that this variation can be manipulated to alter resistance and its components in a predictable fashion. In Arabidopsis, we can map the genes controlling physiological variation, and estimate the importance of regulatory or enzyme-encoding loci. Finally, we review functional genomics approaches for identification of insect resistance genes in Arabidopsis.
Insect Plant Interactions and Inducible Plant Defense
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