The black pecan aphid, Melanocallis caryaefoliae (Davis) (Hemiptera: Aphididae), is a foliar feeder of pecan, Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch (Juglandaceae). The pest causes chlorosis of leaflet lamina, physiological damage to foliage and trees, and commonly limits the profitability of commercial pecan orchard enterprises. However, key aspects of this host-pest interaction are poorly understood. We report here the effects of M. caryaefoliae feeding on the foliar activity of oxidative (i.e., catalase, lipoxygenase [LOX]-1 and 3, and peroxidase) andhydrolytic (i.e., esterase) enzymes in relation to the degree of aphid resistance among pecan varieties. The 2-yr study showed that M. caryaefoliae-infested foliage exhibited elevated peroxidase activity only in susceptible (‘Desirable’, ‘Sumner’, and ‘Schley’), but not in resistant (‘Cape Fear’, ‘Gloria Grande’, and ‘Money Maker’) genotypes. Susceptible genotypes also exhibited more severe leaf chlorosis in response to M. caryaefoliae feeding than the resistant genotypes; however, the aphid feeding did not influence catalase or esterase activity in all varieties, except the increase of esterase activity in Desirable and Gloria Grande. Melanocallis caryaefoliae feeding also influences activity of two lipoxygenase isozymes, with LOX3 being more frequently induced than LOX1. Foliar LOX3 activity was more frequently induced by M. caryaefoliae feeding in the moderately resistant ‘Oconee’ and highly resistant Money Maker and Cape Fear than in the susceptible genotypes. Therefore, the elevation of peroxidase is likely to be associated with aphid susceptibility and contributed to the severe leaf chlorosis, whereas the increase of LOX3 activity might be associated with aphid resistance in pecan. These findings contribute to our understanding of the etiology of M. caryaefoliae-elicited leaf chlorosis on pecan foliage. Such information may also be used to develop enzyme markers for identifying black pecan aphid resistance and/or susceptibility in pecan germplasm.
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Vol. 102 • No. 3