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  • 1 University of the Free State Bloemfontein Free State South Africa
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The involvement of nitric oxide (NO) in the Russian wheat aphid (RWA), Diuraphis noxia (Kurdjumov), resistance response of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) was investigated. Resistant (cv. Tugela DN) and near isogenic susceptible (cv. Tugela) wheat plants grown under green-house conditions were used. Russian wheat aphid infestation induced an early accumulation of NO to a higher level in the resistant than susceptible plants. Nitric oxide accumulation corresponded with increased nitrate reductase (NR, EC 1.6.6.1) and nitrite reductase (NiR, EC 1.7.7.1) activities, suggesting a possible association with NO production. Inhibition studies confirmed the involvement of NR in NO production during the RWA resistance response. The use of a NO donor or NR inhibitor revealed that NO could act as another early signal for induction of the secondary defence enzymes, intercellular β-1,3-glucanase and peroxidase.

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