▪ Abstract 

As phloem feeders and major vectors of plant viruses, aphids are important pests of agricultural and horticultural crops worldwide. The processes of aphid settling and reproduction on plants therefore have a direct economic impact, and a better understanding of these events may lead to improved management strategies. Aphids are also important model organisms in the analysis of population differentiation and speciation in animals, and new ideas on plant utilization influence our understanding of the mechanisms generating biological diversity. Recent research suggests that the dominant cues controlling plant preference and initiation of reproduction are detected early during the stylet penetration process, well before the nutrient supply (phloem) is contacted. Aphids regularly puncture cells along the stylet pathway and ingest cytosolic samples, and the cues stimulating settling and parturition likely are metabolites present in peripheral (nonvascular) plant cells. We discuss these findings and their implications for aphid evolution and management.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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