Induced carbon reallocation and compensatory growth as root herbivore tolerance mechanisms

Robert, Christelle A. M.; Ferrieri, Richard A.; Schirmer, Stefanie; Babst, Benjamin A.; Schueller, Michael J.; Machado, Ricardo A. R.; Arce, Carla C. M.; Hibbard, Bruce E.; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Turlings, Ted C. J.; Erb, Matthias (2014). Induced carbon reallocation and compensatory growth as root herbivore tolerance mechanisms. Plant, Cell & Environment, 37(11), pp. 2613-2622. Blackwell Science 10.1111/pce.12359

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Upon attack by leaf herbivores, many plants reallocate photoassimilates below ground. However, little is known about how plants respond when the roots themselves come under attack. We investigated induced resource allocation in maize plants that are infested by the larvae Western corn rootworm Diabrotica virgifera virgifera. Using radioactive 11CO2, we demonstrate that root-attacked maize plants allocate more new 11C carbon from source leaves to stems, but not to roots. Reduced meristematic activity and reduced invertase activity in attacked maize root systems are identified as possible drivers of this shoot reallocation response. The increased allocation of photoassimilates to stems is shown to be associated with a marked thickening of these tissues and increased growth of stem-borne crown roots. A strong quantitative correlation between stem thickness and root regrowth across different watering levels suggests that retaining photoassimilates in the shoots may help root-attacked plants to compensate for the loss of belowground tissues. Taken together, our results indicate that induced tolerance may be an important strategy of plants to withstand belowground attack. Furthermore, root herbivore-induced carbon reallocation needs to be taken into account when studying plant-mediated interactions between herbivores.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

UniBE Contributor:

Robert, Christelle Aurélie Maud and Erb, Matthias

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

0140-7791

Publisher:

Blackwell Science

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

22 Oct 2014 08:13

Last Modified:

28 Feb 2018 10:46

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/pce.12359

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Diabrotica virgifera, 11CO2, compensatory root growth, plant herbivore interactions

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.59361

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/59361

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