Oxidative enzymes are one of many key players in plant tolerance responses and defense signaling pathways. This study evaluated gene expression of four buffalograss transcripts (two peroxidases, a catalase, and a GRAS (gibberellic acid insensitive [GAI], repressor of GAI, and scarecrow) and total peroxidase activity in response to western chinch bug (Blissus occiduus Barber) feeding in susceptible and resistant buffalograsses (Buchloë dactyloides (Nuttall) Engelmann). Basal levels of all four transcripts were consistently higher in the resistant buffalograss when compared with the susceptible genotype, which suggests important physiological differences exist between the two buffalograsses. The four defense-related transcripts also showed differential expression between infested and control plants for both the resistant and susceptible buffalograsses. Differences in total peroxidase activity were also detected between control and infested plants, and basal peroxidase activity was higher in the resistant genotype. Overall, this study indicates that elevated basal levels of specific peroxidases, catalases, and GRAS may be an effective buffalograss defense strategy against chinch bug feeding and other similar biotic stresses.
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