Effect of geminivirus infection and Bemisia infestation on accumulation of pathogenesis-related proteins in tomato

C. L. McKenzie, Robert G. Shatters, H. Doostdar, S. D. Lee, Moshe Inbar, Richard T. Mayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The whitefly, Bemisia tabaci biotype B, has been shown to cause pathogenesis-relafed (PR) proteins to accumulate in plants as a result of direct feeding, but their specific role in plant defensive systems is unclear. Our objective was to compare accumulation of tomato PR proteins (ß-1,3-glucanase, chitinase, peroxidase, P2 and P) in response to whitefly, with or without tomato mottle virus (ToMoV) infection. Tomato PR protein response was measured over time in plants divided into three treatments: uninfected controls (with or without whiteflies) and plants infested with viruliferous (ToMoV) whiteflies. Five-to six-leaf plants were infested with ∼5 adult whitefly per leaf. Plants were sampled prior to whitefly infestation and at 14, 28, 42, and 56 days. By 56 days, plants infested with viruliferous whiteflies had significantly more eggs (2.5-fold) and nymphs (4.5-fold) than plants with nonviruliferous whiteflies. A significant increase in the enzymatic activity of all measured PR proteins, as compared to control plants, was only seen in viruliferous whitefly-infested plants. No significant difference was observed in enzyme activities between the uninfected control plants either with or without whiteflies. The greatest differences for all PR proteins assayed were observed 42 days after treatment initiation. Protein blot analyses showed that the differences in PR protein activities among the treatments were due to changes in specific enzyme levels within the plant and were associated with concomitant increases in levels of P2 and P4 PR proteins. Under our experimental conditions, it is clear that PR protein response is much more intense when it is attacked by whiteflies carrying ToMoV than by whitefly alone. Arch. Insect Biochem. Physiol. 49:203-214, 2002. Published 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-214
Number of pages12
JournalArchives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2002


  • Bemisia argentifolii
  • Bemisia tabaci biotype B
  • Induced response
  • Plant defense
  • Tomato mottle virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science
  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry


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