A Secreted MIF Cytokine Enables Aphid Feeding and Represses Plant Immune Responses: Current Biology

Aphids attack virtually all plant species and cause serious crop damages in agriculture [ 1 ]. Despite their dramatic impact on food production, little is known about the molecular processes that allow aphids to exploit their host plants. To date, few aphid salivary proteins have been identified that are essential for aphid feeding, and their nature and function remain largely unknown [ 2–4 ]. Here, we show that a macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is secreted in aphid saliva. In vertebrates, MIFs are important pro-inflammatory cytokines regulating immune responses [ 5, 6 ]. MIF proteins are also secreted by parasites of vertebrates, including nematodes, ticks, and protozoa, and participate in the modulation of host immune responses [ 7–9 ]. The finding that a plant parasite secretes a MIF protein prompted us to question the role of the cytokine in the plant-aphid interaction. We show here that expression of MIF genes is crucial for aphid survival, fecundity, and feeding on a host plant. The ectopic expression of aphid MIFs in leaf tissues inhibits major plant immune responses, such as the expression of defense-related genes, callose deposition, and hypersensitive cell death. Functional complementation analyses in vivo allowed demonstrating that MIF1 is the member of the MIF protein family that allows aphids to exploit their host plants. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a cytokine that is secreted by a parasite to modulate plant immune responses. Our findings suggest a so-far unsuspected conservation of infection strategies among parasites of animal and plant species.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.cell.com

Les pucerons ont développé un mécanisme inhibant les défenses immunitaires de la plante. Des chercheurs de l’Inra et du CNRS (Institut de Recherche sur la Biologie de l’Insecte, UMR 7261, CNRS/Université François-Rabelais, Parc Grandmont, 37200 Tours, France) ont mis en évidence que le puceron utilise  l’un de ses propres mécanismes de défense pour attaquer et réprimer les réponses immunitaires des végétaux.

See on Scoop.itAgroSup Dijon Veille Scientifique AgroAlimentaire – Agronomie


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