Fatty Acid Desaturases in the Chloroplast and Endoplasmic Reticulum Promote Susceptibility to the Green Peach Aphid Myzus persicae in Arabidopsis thaliana. Academic Article uri icon


  • Fatty acid desaturases (FADs) in plants influence levels of susceptibility to multiple stresses, including insect infestations. In this study, populations of the green peach aphid (Myzus persicae) on Arabidopsis thaliana were reduced by mutations in three desaturases: AtFAB2/SSI2, which encodes a chloroplastic stearoyl-[acyl-carrier-protein] 9-desaturase, and AtFAD7 or AtFAD3, which encode -3 FADs in the chloroplast and endoplasmic reticulum (ER), respectively. These data indicate that certain FADs promote susceptibility to aphids and that aphids are impacted by desaturases in both the chloroplast and ER. Aphid resistance in ssi2, fad3, and fad7, singly or in combination, might involve altered signaling between these subcellular compartments. C18:1 levels are depleted in ssi2, whereas C18:2 accumulation is enhanced in fad3 and fad7. In contrast, fad8 has higher than normal C18:2 levels but also high C18:1 and low C18:0 and does not impact aphid numbers. Potentially, aphids may be influenced by the balance of multiple fatty acids (FAs) rather than by a single species, with C18:2 promoting aphid resistance and C18:1 promoting susceptibility. Although the fad7 mutant also accumulates higher-than-normal levels of C16:2, this FA does not contribute to aphid resistance because a triple mutant line that lacks detectable levels of C16:2 (fad2fad6fad7) retains comparable levels of aphid resistance as fad7. In addition, aphid numbers are unaffected by the fad5 mutation that inhibits C16:1 synthesis. Together, these results demonstrate that certain FADs are important susceptibility factors in plant-aphid interactions and that aphid resistance is more strongly associated with differences in C18 abundance than C16 abundance.[Formula: see text] Copyright 2021 The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International license.

published proceedings

  • Mol Plant Microbe Interact

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Li, J., Galla, A., Avila, C. A., Flattmann, K., Vaughn, K., & Goggin, F. L.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Li, Jiamei||Galla, Aravind||Avila, Carlos A||Flattmann, Kaitlin||Vaughn, Kaleb||Goggin, Fiona L

publication date

  • June 2021