Ca2+-binding proteins in the watery saliva of Megoura viciae counteract Ca2+-dependent occlusion of sieve plates in Vicia faba and so prevent the shut-down of food supply in response to stylet penetration. The question arises whether this interaction between aphid saliva and sieve-element proteins is a universal phenomenon as inferred by the coincidence between sieve-tube occlusion and salivation. For this purpose, leaf tips were burnt in a number of plant species from four different families to induce remote sieve-plate occlusion. Resultant sieve-plate occlusion in these plant species was counteracted by an abrupt switch of aphid behaviour. Each of the seven aphid species tested interrupted its feeding behaviour and started secreting watery saliva. The protein composition of watery saliva appeared strikingly different between aphid species with less than 50% overlap. Secretion of watery saliva seems to be a universal means to suppress sieve-plate occlusion, although the protein composition of watery saliva seems to diverge between species.
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Will, T., Kornemann, S. R., Furch, A. C. U., Tjallingii, W. F., & van Bel, A. J. E. (2009). Aphid watery saliva counteracts sieve-tube occlusion: a universal phenomenon? Journal of Experimental Biology, 212, 3305-3312. https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.028514