Benefits of jasmonate-dependent defenses against vertebrate herbivores in nature

Machado, Ricardo A. R.; McClure, Mark; Hervé, Maxime R; Baldwin, Ian T; Erb, Matthias (2016). Benefits of jasmonate-dependent defenses against vertebrate herbivores in nature. eLife, 5 eLife Sciences Publications 10.7554/eLife.13720

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Endogenous jasmonates are important regulators of plant defenses. If and how they enable plants to maintain their reproductive output when facing community-level herbivory under natural conditions, however, remains unknown. We demonstrate that jasmonate-deficient Nicotiana attenuata plants suffer more damage by arthropod and vertebrate herbivores than jasmonate-producing plants in nature. However, only damage by vertebrate herbivores translates into a significant reduction in flower production. Vertebrate stem peeling has the strongest negative impact on plant flower production. Stems are defended by jasmonate-dependent nicotine, and the native cottontail rabbit Sylvilagus nuttallii avoids jasmonate-producing N. attenuata shoots because of their high levels of nicotine. Thus, endogenous jasmonates enable plants to resist different types of herbivores in nature, and jasmonate-dependent defenses are important for plants to maintain their reproductive potential when facing vertebrate herbivory. Ecological and evolutionary models on plant defense signaling should aim at integrating arthropod and vertebrate herbivory at the community level.

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:

Ruiz Machado, Ricardo Alberto; Hervé, Maxime and Erb, Matthias

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

2050-084X

Publisher:

eLife Sciences Publications

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

20 Dec 2016 17:39

Last Modified:

27 Feb 2018 09:42

Publisher DOI:

10.7554/eLife.13720

PubMed ID:

27352734

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.90567

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/90567

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