Scientific reports

Virus altered rice attractiveness to planthoppers is mediated by volatiles and related to virus titre and expression of defence and volatile-biosynthesis genes.

PMID 27924841


Viruses may induce changes in plant hosts and vectors to enhance their transmission. The white-backed planthopper (WBPH) and brown planthopper (BPH) are vectors of Southern rice black-streaked dwarf virus (SRBSDV) and Rice ragged stunt virus (RRSV), respectively, which cause serious rice diseases. We herein describe the effects of SRBSDV and RRSV infections on host-selection behaviour of vector and non-vector planthoppers at different disease stages. The Y-tube olfactometer choice and free-choice tests indicated that SRBSDV and RRSV infections altered the attractiveness of rice plants to vector and non-vector planthoppers. The attractiveness was mainly mediated by rice volatiles, and varied with disease progression. The attractiveness of the SRBSDV- or RRSV-infected rice plants to the virus-free WBPHs or BPHs initially decreased, then increased, and finally decreased again. For the viruliferous WBPHs and BPHs, SRBSDV or RRSV infection increased the attractiveness of plants more for the non-vector than for the vector planthoppers. Furthermore, we observed that the attractiveness of infected plants to planthoppers was positively correlated with the virus titres. The titre effects were greater for virus-free than for viruliferous planthoppers. Down-regulated defence genes OsAOS1, OsICS, and OsACS2 and up-regulated volatile-biosynthesis genes OsLIS, OsCAS, and OsHPL3 expression in infected plants may influence their attractiveness.

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