Can herbivore-induced volatiles protect plants by increasing the herbivores’ susceptibility to natural pathogens?

Gasmi, Laila; Martínez-Solís, María; Frattini, Ada; Ye, Meng; Collado, María Carmen; Turlings, Ted C.J.; Erb, Matthias; Herrero, Salvador (2019). Can herbivore-induced volatiles protect plants by increasing the herbivores’ susceptibility to natural pathogens? Applied and environmental microbiology, 85(1), e01468. American Society for Microbiology 10.1128/AEM.01468-18

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In response to insect herbivory, plants mobilize various defences. Defence responses include the release of herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) that can serve as signals to alert undamaged tissues and to attract natural enemies of the herbivores. Some HIPVs can have a direct negative impact on herbivore survival, but it is not well understood by what mechanisms. Here we tested the hypothesis that exposure to HIPVs renders insects more susceptible to natural pathogens. Exposing caterpillars of the noctuid Spodoptera exigua to indole and linalool, but not exposure to (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate increased the susceptibility to its nucleopolyhedrovirus (SeMNPV). We also found that exposure to indole, but not exposure to linalool or (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, increased the pathogenicity of Bacillus thuringiensis. Additional experiments revealed significant changes in microbiota composition after forty-eight hours of larval exposure to indole. Overall, these results provide evidence that certain HIPVs can strongly enhance the susceptibility of caterpillars to pathogens, possibly through effects on the insects’ gut microbiota. These findings suggest a novel mechanism by which HIPVs can protect plants from herbivorous insects. Importance Multitrophic interactions involving insect pest, their natural enemies, microorganisms and plant hosts are increasingly being recognized as relevant factors in pest management. In response to herbivory attacks, plants activate a wide range of defences that aim to mitigate the damage. Attacked plants release herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs), which can act as priming signals for other plants, attract herbivore natural enemies and may have a direct negative impact on herbivore survival. In the present work, we show that exposure of the insects to the induced volatiles could increase the insects' susceptibility to the entomopathogens naturally occurring on the plant environment. These findings suggest a novel role for plant volatiles by influencing the insect interaction with natural pathogens, probably mediated by alterations in the insect microbiota composition. In addition, this work provides evidence for selectable plant traits (production of secondary metabolites) that can have an influence on the ecology of the pests and could be relevant in the improvement of pest management strategies using natural entomopathogens

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Biotic Interactions
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Ye, Meng and Erb, Matthias

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

0099-2240

Publisher:

American Society for Microbiology

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

15 Nov 2018 17:36

Last Modified:

30 Oct 2019 23:59

Publisher DOI:

10.1128/AEM.01468-18

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.121138

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/121138

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