High-throughput phenotyping of plant resistance to aphids by automated video tracking

K.J. Kloth*, C.J.M. ten Broeke, H.P.M. Thoen, M. Hanhart-van den Brink, G.L. Wiegers, O.E. Krips, L.P.J.J. Noldus, M. Dicke, M.A. Jongsma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Piercing-sucking insects are major vectors of plant viruses causing significant yield losses in crops.Functional genomics of plant resistance to these insects would greatly benefit from the availability of highthroughput, quantitative phenotyping methods. Results: We have developed an automated video tracking platform that quantifies aphid feeding behaviour on leaf discs to assess the level of plant resistance. Through the analysis of aphid movement, the start and duration of plant penetrations by aphids were estimated. As a case study, video tracking confirmed the near-complete resistance of lettuce cultivar ‘Corbana’ against Nasonovia ribisnigri (Mosely), biotype Nr:0, and revealed quantitative resistance in Arabidopsis accession Co-2 against Myzus persicae (Sulzer). The video tracking platform was benchmarked against Electrical Penetration Graph (EPG) recordings and aphid population development assays. The use of leaf discs instead of intact plants reduced the intensity of the resistance effect in video tracking, but sufficiently replicated experiments resulted in similar conclusions as EPG recordings and aphid population assays. One video tracking platform could screen 100 samples in parallel. Conclusions: Automated video tracking can be used to screen large plant populations for resistance to aphids and other piercing-sucking insects.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Number of pages14
JournalPlant Methods
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • green peach aphid
  • nasonovia-ribisnigri
  • glucosinolate accumulation
  • signaling pathways
  • defense responses
  • feeding-behavior
  • myzus-persicae
  • lettuce aphid
  • arabidopsis
  • herbivores


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