Distinct defense strategies allow different grassland species to cope with root herbivore attack

Hervé, Maxime R.; Erb, Matthias (6 March 2019). Distinct defense strategies allow different grassland species to cope with root herbivore attack (bioRxiv 569533). Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory 10.1101/569533

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Root-feeding insect herbivores are of substantial evolutionary, ecological and economic importance. Plants can resist insect herbivores through a variety of tolerance and resistance strategies. To date, few studies have systematically assessed the prevalence and importance of these strategies for root-herbivore interactions across different plant species. Here, we characterize the defense strategies used by three different grassland species to cope with a generalist root herbivore, the larvae of the European cockchafer Melolontha melolontha. Our results reveal that the different plant species rely on distinct sets of defense strategies. The spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) resists attack by dissuading the larvae through the release of repellent chemicals. White clover (Trifolium repens) does not repel the herbivore, but reduces feeding, most likely through structural defenses and low nutritional quality. Finally, the common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) allows M. melolontha to feed abundantly but compensates for tissue loss through induced regrowth. Synthesis: Three co-occurring plant species have evolved different solutions to defend themselves against attack by a generalist root herbivore. The different root defense strategies may reflect distinct defense syndromes.

Item Type:

Working Paper

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:

Hervé, Maxime and Erb, Matthias

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

Series:

bioRxiv

Publisher:

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

09 May 2019 16:27

Last Modified:

09 May 2019 16:27

Publisher DOI:

10.1101/569533

Additional Information:

ioRxiv (pronounced "bio-archive") is a free online archive and distribution service for unpublished preprints in the internet

Uncontrolled Keywords:

belowground herbivores, chemical and structural defenses, generalist herbivores, host resistance and tolerance, plant - insect interactions

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.128063

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/128063

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