Aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae) saliva, when injected into host plants during feeding, causes physiological changes in hosts that facilitate aphid feeding and cause injury to plants. Comparing salivary constituents among aphid species could help identify which salivary products are universally important for general aphid feeding processes, which products are involved with specific host associations, or which products elicit visible injury to hosts. We compared the salivary proteins from five aphid species, namely, Diuraphis noxia (Kurdjumov), D. tritici (Gillette), D. mexicana (Baker), Schizaphis graminum (Rondani), and Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris). A 132-kDa protein band was detected from the saliva of all five species using sodium dodecyl sulfate Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Alkaline phosphatase activity was detected from the saliva of all five species and may have a universal role in the feeding process of aphids. The Diuraphis species cause similar visible injury to grass hosts, and nine electrophoretic bands were unique to the saliva of these three species. S. graminum shares mutual hosts with the Diuraphis species, but visible injury to hosts caused by S. graminum feeding differs from that of Diuraphis feeding. Only two mutual electrophoretic bands were visualized in the saliva of Diuraphis and S. graminum. Ten unique products were detected from the saliva of A. pisum, which feeds on dicotyledonous hosts. Our comparisons of aphid salivary proteins revealed similarities among species which cause similar injury on mutual hosts, fewer similarities among species that cause different injury on mutual hosts, and little similarity among species which feed on unrelated hosts.
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