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    RESEARCH:  4. Resistant Varieties


Blueberry aphids transmit
blueberry scorch virus


Many plants constitutively produce secondary compounds that provide protection against insect herbivores. In addition, plants may respond to insect feeding damage by inducing defenses that reduce the survivorship, performance, and preference of the insect herbivores. The plant hormone, jasmonic acid (JA), induces resistance against several insects. Most studies on inducible resistance in agricultural crops have been conducted with annual plants.

My team is studying constitutive and inducible resistance in the perennial blueberries. Host-plant resistance against aphids is under evaluation in the susceptible commercial blueberry, Vaccinium corymbosum, and the resistant Vaccinium darrowi, as well as in the offspring resulting from crosses between the two species. Constitutive resistance and the plant response to JA treatment will be measured by aphid performance and phenolic concentrations. Blueberry aphids are a major pest in commercial blueberries because they are vectors of blueberry scorch virus.

Current Collaborators

  - Nick Vorsa (Rutgers University)
  - Jennifer Cicalese-Johnson (Rutgers University)
  - Jennifer Thaler (Cornell University)

Relevant Publications

Rodriguez-Saona, C. 2011. Herbivore-induced blueberry volatiles and intra-plant signaling. J. Vis. Exp. 58: e3440, DOI: 10.3791/3440 (2011).

Rodriguez-Saona, C., Rodriguez-Saona, L., and Frost, C. 2009. Herbivore-induced volatiles in the perennial shrub, Vaccinium corymbosum, and their role in inter-branch signaling. J. Chem.
Ecology 35: 163-175.

Rodriguez-Saona, C., Vorsa, N., Singh, A., Johnson-Cicalese, J., Szendrei, Z., Mescher, M., and Frost, C.J. 2011. Tracing the history of plant traits under domestication in cranberries: potential consequences on anti-herbivore defences. J. Exp. Bot. 62: 2633-2644.

Rodriguez-Saona, C., Musser, R.O., Vogel, H., Hum-Musser, S.M., and Thaler, J.S. 2010. Molecular, biochemical, and organismal analyses of tomato plants simultaneously attacked by herbivores from two different feeding guilds. J. Chem. Ecol.  36: 1043-1057.

Rodriguez-Saona, C. and Thaler, J.S. 2005. Herbivore-induced responses and patch heterogeneity affect abundance of arthropods on plants. Ecol. Entomol. 30: 156-163.

Rodriguez-Saona, C. and Thaler, J.S. 2005. The jasmonate pathway alters herbivore feeding behavior: Consequences for plant defenses. Entomol. Exp. et Appl. 115: 125-134.

Rodriguez-Saona, C., S.J. Crafts-Brandner, P.W. Paré, and T.J. Henneberry. 2001. Exogenous
methyl jasmonate induces volatile emissions in cotton plants. J. Chem. Ecol. 27: 679-695.

Rodriguez-Saona, C. and J. T. Trumble. 2000. Secretory avocado idioblast oil cells: Evidence of their defensive role against non-adapted insect herbivores. Entomol. Exp. et Appl. 94: 183-194.
Rodriguez-Saona, C., J.G. Millar, D.F. Maynard, and J.T. Trumble. 1998. Novel antifeedant and insecticidal compounds from avocado idioblast cell oil. J. Chem. Ecol. 24: 867-890.

Rodriguez-Saona, C., J.G. Millar, and J.T. Trumble. 1997. Growth inhibition, insecticidal, and feeding deterrent effects of (12Z, 15Z)-1-acetoxy-2-hydroxy-4-oxo-heneicosa-12,15-diene, a compound
from avocado fruit, to Spodoptera exigua. J. Chem. Ecol. 23(7): 1819-1831.

Rodriguez-Saona, C., and J.T. Trumble. 1996. Toxicity, growth, and behavioral effects of an oil extracted from idioblast cells of the avocado fruit on the generalist herbivore beet armyworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). J. Econ. Entomol. 89(6): 1571-1576.