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Sylwia Goławska, Robert Krzyżanowski and Iwona Łukasik

Relationship Between Aphid Infestation and Chlorophyll Content in Fabaceae Species

We determined the chlorophyll a and b levels (SPAD readings) in uninfested leaves and in leaves after 7 and 17 days of aphid infestation in four Fabaceae species (Pisum sativum L., Vicia faba L., Trifolium pretense L, Medicago sativa L.). Feeding by pea aphids Acyrthosiphon pisum Harris (Hemiptera: Aphididae) caused significant loss of chlorophyll a and b in the infested plants. Uninfested leaves on both short- and long-infestation plants had significantly higher chlorophyll a and b than infested leaves.

Open access

Iwona Łukasik, Sylwia Goławska and Agnieszka Wójcicka

Effect of Host Plants on Biochemical Markers of Oxidative Stress within Tissues of Pea Aphid

The effect of some species of the Fabaceae family (the pea Pisum sativum L., broad bean Vicia faba L. and vetch V. sativa L.) on biochemical markers of oxidative stress within tissues of the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum Harris (Homoptera, Aphididae), has been studied. The highest concentration of superoxide anion radical (O2 -), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and lipid peroxidation products thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) was recorded for morphs that fed on the broad bean. The opposite tendency was observed for the level of total thiols, that were the highest for insects reared on the pea. Among the studied aphid morphs, the highest concentration of superoxide anion and hydrogen peroxide was noted for the wingless females whereas TBARS content was the highest within the winged migrant tissues. Different results were obtained for the total thiols, where apterae as well as migrants reared on the tested plants, had comparable content of these compounds. Our experiments indicate that oxidative stress may play an important role in interactions between the pea aphid and their host plants.

Open access

Sylwia Goławska, Iwona Łukasik, Agnieszka Wójcicka and Hubert Sytykiewicz

We studied the effect of qualitative and quantitative variation of saponin content in foliar tissues of four European alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) cultivars (Radius, Sapko, Sitel, Radius line 1) on pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum Harris) development, and the effect of aphid infestation on alfalfa saponin content. Aphids (adult apterae, larvae, and adult alatae) were counted on 3-, 6- and 9-month-old plants (before the first, second and third cutting). Thin-layer chromatography was used to detect and estimate the quantity of the following saponins: 3GlcA, 28AraRhaXyl medicagenic acid; 3Glc, 23Ara, 28AraRhaXylApi zanhic acid (zanhic acid tridesmoside); and 3RhaGalGlcA soyasapogenol B (soyasaponin I). Radius, Sapko, and Sitel contained all three saponins but Radius line 1 did not contain zanhic acid tridesmoside or medicagenic acid glycoside. Saponin content was highest in Radius and lowest in Radius line 1. Regardless of the cultivar, saponin content was higher in aphid-infested than uninfested plants. For all sampling dates, aphid numbers were highest on Radius line 1 and lowest on Radius; that is, aphid numbers were inversely related to saponin content. Alfalfa has a herbivoreinduced defense. Saponin levels increase in the foliage of infested alfalfa. Attempts of plant breeders to reduce saponin content in order to increase alfalfa digestibility for livestock might make the plants more susceptible to aphids and other pests.