Interactions between biotype E greenbugs, Schizaphis graminum (Rodani), and two near isogenic lines of the greenbug resistance gene Gb3 of wheat, Triticum aestivum L., were examined for 62 d after infestation. By comparing aphid performance and host responses on control and greenbug-preconditioned plants, we demonstrated that systemic resistance to greenbug herbivory was inducible in the resistant genotype with varying intensities and effectiveness in different parts of the plants. Preconditioning of susceptible plants resulted in modification of within-plant aphid distribution and reduction of cumulative greenbug densities, but it showed no effect on reducing greenbug feeding damage to host plant. Preconditioning of resistant plants altered greenbug population dynamics by reducing the size and buffering the fluctuation of the aphid population. Preconditioning in the first (oldest) leaf of the resistant plant had no phenotypically detectable effect in the stem and induced susceptibility locally in the first leaf within the first 2 d after infestation. The preconditioning-induced resistance reduced greenbug density, delayed aphid density peaks and extended the life of younger leaves in resistant plants. Expression of induced resistance was spatially and temporally dynamic within the plant, which occurred more rapidly, was longer in duration, and stronger in intensity in younger leaves. Host resistance gene-mediated induced resistance was effective in lowering greenbug performance and reducing damage from greenbug herbivory in host plants. Results from this study supported the optimal defense theory regarding within-plant defense allocation.
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Vol. 98 • No. 3