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Cell wall composition as a maize defense mechanism against corn borers
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European and Mediterranean corn borers are two of the most economically important insect pests of maize (Zea mays L.) in North America and southern Europe, respectively. Cell wall structure and composition were evaluated in pith and rind tissues of resistant and susceptible inbred lines as possible corn borer resistance traits. Composition of cell wall polysaccharides, lignin concentration and composition, and cell wall bound forms of hydroxycinnamic acids were measured. As expected, most of the cell wall components were found at higher concentrations in the rind than in the pith tissues, with the exception of galactose and total diferulate esters. Pith of resistant inbred lines had significantly higher concentrations of total cell wall material than susceptible inbred lines, indicating that the thickness of cell walls could be the initial barrier against corn borer larvae attack. Higher concentrations of cell wall xylose and 8-O-4-coupled diferulate were found in resistant inbreds. Stem tunneling by corn borers was negatively correlated with concentrations of total diferulates, 8-5-diferulate and p-coumarate esters. Higher total cell wall, xylose, and 8-coupled diferulates concentrations appear to be possible mechanisms of corn borer resistance.
Malvar, Rosa A.
Jung, Hans-Joachim G.
cell wall components
chemical constituents of plants
Phytochemistry 2011 Apr., v. 72, issue 4-5
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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