The circadian clock is an internal timer that enables organisms to synchronize biological processes with daily environmental challenges to distribute resources during the most beneficial times of the day. In plants, the transport of sugars and amino acids occurs via the vascular tissue. Aphids are major insect pests that can access plant vascular tissue using their slender mouthparts. Aphids then consume massive amounts of sugars and amino acids, resulting in loss of yield. Both plants and aphids have circadian rhythms, but it is unknown if the outcome of their interaction is influenced by the day and night regime. The goal of our project is to understand better the diurnal synchronization between plants and their aphid pests. We will focus on two organisms: wheat, an important crop worldwide, and bird cherry-oat aphid, a major pest on wheat and other cereals. We will generate massive transcriptomic and metabolic information of each organism and integrate it to understand the dynamics of this interaction. Moreover, we will manipulate the expression of three effector genes that encode proteins released by aphids upon feeding. Overall, our study will provide insights into the emerging field of circadian clock regulation in plant-insect interactions, and it will provide new avenues for further crop improvement.
|Effective start/end date||1/10/20 → 30/09/25|
- United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF)