Herbivore-induced plant volatiles mediate host selection by a root herbivore

Robert, Christelle A. M.; Erb, Matthias; Duployer, Marianne; Zwahlen, Claudia; Doyen, Gwladys R.; Turlings, Ted C. J. (2012). Herbivore-induced plant volatiles mediate host selection by a root herbivore. New Phytologist, 194(4), pp. 1061-1069. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2012.04127.x

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In response to herbivore attack, plants mobilize chemical defenses and release distinct bouquets of volatiles. Aboveground herbivores are known to use changes in leaf volatile patterns to make foraging decisions, but it remains unclear whether belowground herbivores also use volatiles to select suitable host plants. We therefore investigated how above- and belowground infestation affects the performance of the root feeder Diabrotica virgifera virgifera, and whether the larvae of this specialized beetle are able to use volatile cues to assess from a distance whether a potential host plant is already under herbivore attack. Diabrotica virgifera larvae showed stronger growth on roots previously attacked by conspecific larvae, but performed more poorly on roots of plants whose leaves had been attacked by larvae of the moth Spodoptera littoralis. Fittingly, D. virgifera larvae were attracted to plants that were infested with conspecifics, whereas they avoided plants that were attacked by S. littoralis. We identified (E)-β-caryophyllene, which is induced by D. virgifera, and ethylene, which is suppressed by S. littoralis, as two signals used by D. virgifera larvae to locate plants that are most suitable for their development. Our study demonstrates that soil-dwelling insects can use herbivore-induced changes in root volatile emissions to identify suitable host plants.

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:

0028-646X

Publisher:

Wiley-Blackwell

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

14 Jul 2015 10:14

Last Modified:

28 Feb 2018 10:47

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/j.1469-8137.2012.04127.x

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Diabrotica virgifera virgifera; herbivore-induced plant volatiles; host plant selection; optimal foraging; root herbivore

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/70247

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