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Sample records for insect herbivory plant

  1. Insect herbivory and plant adaptation in an early successional community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrawal, Anurag A; Hastings, Amy P; Fines, Daniel M; Bogdanowicz, Steve; Huber, Meret

    2018-05-01

    To address the role of insect herbivores in adaptation of plant populations and the persistence of selection through succession, we manipulated herbivory in a long-term field experiment. We suppressed insects in half of 16 plots over nine years and examined the genotypic structure and chemical defense of common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), a naturally colonizing perennial apomictic plant. Insect suppression doubled dandelion abundance in the first few years, but had negligible effects thereafter. Using microsatellite DNA markers, we genotyped >2500 plants and demonstrate that insect suppression altered the genotypic composition of plots in both sampling years. Phenotypic and genotypic estimates of defensive terpenes and phenolics from the field plots allowed us to infer phenotypic plasticity and the response of dandelion populations to insect-mediated natural selection. The effects of insect suppression on plant chemistry were, indeed, driven both by plasticity and plant genotypic identity. In particular, di-phenolic inositol esters were more abundant in plots exposed to herbivory (due to the genotypic composition of the plots) and were also induced in response to herbivory. This field experiment thus demonstrates evolutionary sorting of plant genotypes in response to insect herbivores that was in same direction as the plastic defensive response within genotypes. © 2018 The Author(s). Evolution © 2018 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  2. Antagonistic interactions between plant competition and insect herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schädler, Martin; Brandl, Roland; Haase, Josephine

    2007-06-01

    Interspecific competition between plants and herbivory by specialized insects can have synergistic effects on the growth and performance of the attacked host plant. We tested the hypothesis that competition between plants may also negatively affect the performance of herbivores as well as their top-down effect on the host plant. In such a case, the combined effects of competition and herbivory may be less than expected from a simple multiplicative response. In other words, competition and herbivory may interact antagonistically. In a greenhouse experiment, Poa annua was grown in the presence or absence of a competitor (either Plantago lanceolata or Trifolium repens), as well as with or without a Poa-specialist aphid herbivore. Both competition and herbivory negatively affected Poa growth. Competition also reduced aphid density on Poa. This effect could in part be explained by changes in the biomass and the nitrogen content of Poa shoots. In treatments with competitors, reduced aphid densities alleviated the negative effect of herbivory on above- and belowground Poa biomass. Hence, we were able to demonstrate an antagonistic interaction between plant-plant interspecific competition and herbivory. However, response indices suggested that antagonistic interactions between competition and herbivory were contingent on the identity of the competitor. We found the antagonistic effect only in treatments with T. repens as the competitor. We conclude that both competitor identity and the herbivore's ability to respond with changes in its density or activity to plant competition affect the magnitude and direction (synergistic vs. antagonistic) of the interaction between competition and herbivory on plant growth.

  3. Gut microbes may facilitate insect herbivory of chemically defended plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammer, Tobin J; Bowers, M Deane

    2015-09-01

    The majority of insect species consume plants, many of which produce chemical toxins that defend their tissues from attack. How then are herbivorous insects able to develop on a potentially poisonous diet? While numerous studies have focused on the biochemical counter-adaptations to plant toxins rooted in the insect genome, a separate body of research has recently emphasized the role of microbial symbionts, particularly those inhabiting the gut, in plant-insect interactions. Here we outline the "gut microbial facilitation hypothesis," which proposes that variation among herbivores in their ability to consume chemically defended plants can be due, in part, to variation in their associated microbial communities. More specifically, different microbes may be differentially able to detoxify compounds toxic to the insect, or be differentially resistant to the potential antimicrobial effects of some compounds. Studies directly addressing this hypothesis are relatively few, but microbe-plant allelochemical interactions have been frequently documented from non-insect systems-such as soil and the human gut-and thus illustrate their potential importance for insect herbivory. We discuss the implications of this hypothesis for insect diversification and coevolution with plants; for example, evolutionary transitions to host plant groups with novel allelochemicals could be initiated by heritable changes to the insect microbiome. Furthermore, the ecological implications extend beyond the plant and insect herbivore to higher trophic levels. Although the hidden nature of microbes and plant allelochemicals make their interactions difficult to detect, recent molecular and experimental techniques should enable research on this neglected, but likely important, aspect of insect-plant biology.

  4. Combined effects of plant competition and insect herbivory hinder invasiveness of an introduced thistle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suwa, Tomomi; Louda, Svata M

    2012-06-01

    The biotic resistance hypothesis is a dominant paradigm for why some introduced species fail to become invasive in novel environments. However, predictions of this hypothesis require further empirical field tests. Here, we focus on evaluating two biotic factors known to severely limit plants, interspecific competition and insect herbivory, as mechanisms of biotic resistance. We experimentally evaluated the independent and combined effects of three levels of competition by tallgrass prairie vegetation and two levels of herbivory by native insects on seedling regeneration, size, and subsequent flowering of the Eurasian Cirsium vulgare, a known invasive species elsewhere, and compared its responses to those of the ecologically similar and co-occurring native congener C. altissimum. Seedling emergence of C. vulgare was greater than that of C. altissimum, and that emergence was reduced by the highest level of interspecific competition. Insect leaf herbivory was also greater on C. vulgare than on C. altissimum at all levels of competition. Herbivory on seedlings dramatically decreased the proportion of C. vulgare producing flower heads at all competition levels, but especially at the high competition level. Competition and herbivory interacted to significantly decrease plant survival and biomass, especially for C. vulgare. Thus, both competition and herbivory limited regeneration of both thistles, but their effects on seedling emergence, survival, size and subsequent reproduction were greater for C. vulgare than for C. altissimum. These results help explain the unexpectedly low abundance recorded for C. vulgare in western tallgrass prairie, and also provide strong support for the biotic resistance hypothesis.

  5. Leaf quality and insect herbivory in model tropical plant communities after long-term exposure to elevated atmospheric CO2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnone, J A; Zaller, J G; Körner, Ch; Ziegler, C; Zandt, H

    1995-09-01

    Results from laboratory feeding experiments have shown that elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide can affect interactions between plants and insect herbivores, primarily through changes in leaf nutritional quality occurring at elevated CO 2 . Very few data are available on insect herbivory in plant communities where insects can choose among species and positions in the canopy in which to feed. Our objectives were to determine the extent to which CO 2 -induced changes in plant communities and leaf nutritional quality may affect herbivory at the level of the entire canopy. We introduced equivalent populations of fourth instar Spodoptera eridania, a lepidopteran generalist, to complex model ecosystems containing seven species of moist tropical plants maintained under low mineral nutrient supply. Larvae were allowed to feed freely for 14 days, by which time they had reached the seventh instar. Prior to larval introductions, plant communities had been continuously exposed to either 340 μl CO 2 l -1 or to 610 μl CO 2 l -1 for 1.5 years. No major shifts in leaf nutritional quality [concentrations of N, total non-structural carbohydrates (TNC), sugar, and starch; ratios of: C/N, TNC/N, sugar/N, starch/N; leaf toughness] were observed between CO 2 treatments for any of the species. Furthermore, no correlations were observed between these measures of leaf quality and leaf biomass consumption. Total leaf area and biomass of all plant communities were similar when caterpillars were introduced. However, leaf biomass of some species was slightly greater-and for other species slightly less (e.g. Cecropia peltata)-in communities exposed to elevated CO 2 . Larvae showed the strongest preference for C. peltata leaves, the plant species that was least abundant in all communites, and fed relatively little on plants species which were more abundant. Thus, our results indicate that leaf tissue quality, as described by these parameters, is not necessarily affected by elevated CO 2 under

  6. Herbivory increases diversification across insect clades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, John J; Lapoint, Richard T; Whiteman, Noah K

    2015-09-24

    Insects contain more than half of all living species, but the causes of their remarkable diversity remain poorly understood. Many authors have suggested that herbivory has accelerated diversification in many insect clades. However, others have questioned the role of herbivory in insect diversification. Here, we test the relationships between herbivory and insect diversification across multiple scales. We find a strong, positive relationship between herbivory and diversification among insect orders. However, herbivory explains less variation in diversification within some orders (Diptera, Hemiptera) or shows no significant relationship with diversification in others (Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, Orthoptera). Thus, we support the overall importance of herbivory for insect diversification, but also show that its impacts can vary across scales and clades. In summary, our results illuminate the causes of species richness patterns in a group containing most living species, and show the importance of ecological impacts on diversification in explaining the diversity of life.

  7. Insect herbivory stimulates allelopathic exudation by an invasive plant and the suppression of natives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giles C. Thelen; Jorge M. Vivanco; Beth Newingham; William Good; Harsh P. Bais; Peter Landres; Anthony Caesar; Ragan M. Callaway

    2005-01-01

    Exotic invasive plants are often subjected to attack from imported insects as a method of biological control. A fundamental, but rarely explicitly tested, assumption of biological control is that damaged plants are less fit and compete poorly. In contrast, we find that one of the most destructive invasive plants in North America, Centaurea maculosa,...

  8. Insect herbivory on native and exotic aquatic plants: phosphorus and nitrogen drive insect growth and nutrient release

    OpenAIRE

    Grutters, B.M.C.; Gross, E.M.; Bakker, E.S.

    2016-01-01

    Eutrophication and globalisation facilitate the dominance of exotic plants in aquatic ecosystems worldwide. Aquatic omnivores can provide biotic resistance to plant invasions, but little is known about whether obligate aquatic herbivores can do the same. Herbivores such as insects can decimate aquatic vegetation, but may not be able to consume exotic plants due to their more or less specialised nature of feeding. We experimentally tested the larval feeding of an aquatic insect, the moth Parap...

  9. Variable effects of temperature on insect herbivory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan P. Lemoine

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Rising temperatures can influence the top-down control of plant biomass by increasing herbivore metabolic demands. Unfortunately, we know relatively little about the effects of temperature on herbivory rates for most insect herbivores in a given community. Evolutionary history, adaptation to local environments, and dietary factors may lead to variable thermal response curves across different species. Here we characterized the effect of temperature on herbivory rates for 21 herbivore-plant pairs, encompassing 14 herbivore and 12 plant species. We show that overall consumption rates increase with temperature between 20 and 30 °C but do not increase further with increasing temperature. However, there is substantial variation in thermal responses among individual herbivore-plant pairs at the highest temperatures. Over one third of the herbivore-plant pairs showed declining consumption rates at high temperatures, while an approximately equal number showed increasing consumption rates. Such variation existed even within herbivore species, as some species exhibited idiosyncratic thermal response curves on different host plants. Thus, rising temperatures, particularly with respect to climate change, may have highly variable effects on plant-herbivore interactions and, ultimately, top-down control of plant biomass.

  10. Insect herbivory on native and exotic aquatic plants: phosphorus and nitrogen drive insect growth and nutrient release

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grutters, B.M.C.; Gross, E.M.; Bakker, E.S.

    2016-01-01

    Eutrophication and globalisation facilitate the dominance of exotic plants in aquatic ecosystems worldwide. Aquatic omnivores can provide biotic resistance to plant invasions, but little is known about whether obligate aquatic herbivores can do the same. Herbivores such as insects can decimate

  11. De novo biosynthesis of volatiles induced by insect herbivory in cotton plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pare, P.W.; Tumlinson, J.H.

    1997-01-01

    In response to insect feeding on the leaves, cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) plants release elevated levels of volatiles, which can serve as a chemical signal that attracts natural enemies of the herbivore to the damaged plant. Pulse-labeling experiments with [13C]CO2 demonstrated that many of the volatiles released, including the acyclic terpenes (E,E)-alpha-farnesene, (E)-beta-farnesene, (E)-beta-ocimene, linalool,(E)-4,8-dimethyl-1,3,7-nonatriene, and (E,E)-4,8,12-trimethyl-1,3,7,11-tridecatetrane, as well as the shikimate pathway product indole, are biosynthesized de novo following insect damage. However, other volatile constituents, including several cyclic terpenes, butyrates, and green leaf volatiles of the lipoxygenase pathway are released from storage or synthesized from stored intermediates. Analysis of volatiles from artificially damaged plants, with and without beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua Hubner) oral secretions exogenously applied to the leaves, as well as volatiles from beet armyworm-damaged and -undamaged control plants, demonstrated that the application of caterpillar oral secretions increased both the production and release of several volatiles that are synthesized de novo in response to insect feeding. These results establish that the plant plays an active and dynamic role in mediating the interaction between herbivores and natural enemies of herbivores

  12. The variable effects of soil nitrogen availability and insect herbivory on aboveground and belowground plant biomass in an old-field ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blue, Jarrod D.; Souza, Lara; Classen, Aimée T.

    2011-01-01

    in an old-field ecosystem. In 2004, we established 36 experimental plots in which we manipulated soil nitrogen (N) availability and insect abundance in a completely randomized plot design. In 2009, after 6 years of treatments, we measured aboveground biomass and assessed root production at peak growth...... not be limiting primary production in this ecosystem. Insects reduced the aboveground biomass of subdominant plant species and decreased coarse root production. We found no statistical interactions between N availability and insect herbivory for any response variable. Overall, the results of 6 years of nutrient...

  13. Tropical forest loss and its multitrophic effects on insect herbivory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morante-Filho, José Carlos; Arroyo-Rodríguez, Víctor; Lohbeck, Madelon; Tscharntke, Teja; Faria, Deborah

    2016-01-01

    Forest loss threatens biodiversity, but its potential effects on multitrophic ecological interactions are poorly understood. Insect herbivory depends on complex bottom-up (e.g., resource availability and plant antiherbivore defenses) and top-down forces (e.g., abundance of predators and

  14. Plant population structure and insect herbivory on Solanum mauritianum Scopoli (Solanaceae in southern Brazil: a support to biological control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deise Mari Barboza

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Solanum mauritianum Scopoli (Solanaceae, a native Brazilian shrub, has become naturalized and invasive in several countries. In South Africa, where invasions are severe, herbivorous insects that attack S. mauritianum in its native area have been considered for introduction as biological control agents. To assess the action of such herbivores on the plant, studies were carried out on a population of S. mauritianum in an area undergoing regeneration in southern Brazil. An analysis of the structure of that population was performed, as well as of herbivory by insects, in particular of Anthonomus (Curculionidae. The population structure showed an "inverted J" pattern in diameter classes, but not in height classes. Individual plants showed an aggregate distribution. The damage caused by Anthonomus did not amount to the loss of a large leaf area, but since it was inflicted on young leaves and in a large proportion, could lead to the survival decrease.Solanum mauritianum Scopoli (Solanaceae, um arbusto endêmico do sul do Brasil, naturalizou-se e tornou-se invasor em vários países do mundo. Na África do Sul, onde as invasões são severas, insetos fitófagos associados à planta no país de origem têm sido considerados para introdução como agentes de controle biológico. Para avaliar a ação de tais insetos no ambiente natural, foram conduzidos estudos em uma população de S. mauritianum em uma área em regeneração no sul do Brasil. Foi realizada análise da estrutura populacional, bem como da herbivoria causada por insetos, em particular para uma espécie do gênero Anthonomus (Curculionidae, para subsidiar o trabalho sobre controle biológico. A estrutura da população mostrou um padrão "J invertido" nas classes de diâmetro, mas não nas classes de altura; a distribuição espacial dos indivíduos era agregada. O dano causado por Anthonomus sp. não refletiu na perda real de grande área foliar. No entanto, uma vez que foi detectada uma

  15. Beaver herbivory on aquatic plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, John D; Caudill, Christopher C; Hay, Mark E

    2007-04-01

    Herbivores have strong impacts on marine and terrestrial plant communities, but their impact is less well studied in benthic freshwater systems. For example, North American beavers (Castor canadensis) eat both woody and non-woody plants and focus almost exclusively on the latter in summer months, yet their impacts on non-woody plants are generally attributed to ecosystem engineering rather than herbivory. Here, we excluded beavers from areas of two beaver wetlands for over 2 years and demonstrated that beaver herbivory reduced aquatic plant biomass by 60%, plant litter by 75%, and dramatically shifted plant species composition. The perennial forb lizard's tail (Saururus cernuus) comprised less than 5% of plant biomass in areas open to beaver grazing but greater than 50% of plant biomass in beaver exclusions. This shift was likely due to direct herbivory, as beavers preferentially consumed lizard's tail over other plants in a field feeding assay. Beaver herbivory also reduced the abundance of the invasive aquatic plant Myriophyllum aquaticum by nearly 90%, consistent with recent evidence that native generalist herbivores provide biotic resistance against exotic plant invasions. Beaver herbivory also had indirect effects on plant interactions in this community. The palatable plant lizard's tail was 3 times more frequent and 10 times more abundant inside woolgrass (Scirpus cyperinus) tussocks than in spatially paired locations lacking tussocks. When the protective foliage of the woolgrass was removed without exclusion cages, beavers consumed nearly half of the lizard's tail leaves within 2 weeks. In contrast, leaf abundance increased by 73-93% in the treatments retaining woolgrass or protected by a cage. Thus, woolgrass tussocks were as effective as cages at excluding beaver foraging and provided lizard's tail plants an associational refuge from beaver herbivory. These results suggest that beaver herbivory has strong direct and indirect impacts on populations and

  16. Tree diversity promotes insect herbivory in subtropical forests of south-east China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuldt, Andreas; Baruffol, Martin; Böhnke, Martin; Bruelheide, Helge; Härdtle, Werner; Lang, Anne C; Nadrowski, Karin; von Oheimb, Goddert; Voigt, Winfried; Zhou, Hongzhang; Assmann, Thorsten; Fridley, Jason

    2010-07-01

    1.Insect herbivory can strongly affect ecosystem processes, and its relationship with plant diversity is a central topic in biodiversity-functioning research. However, very little is known about this relationship from complex ecosystems dominated by long-lived individuals, such as forests, especially over gradients of high plant diversity.2.We analysed insect herbivory on saplings of 10 tree and shrub species across 27 forest stands differing in age and tree species richness in an extraordinarily diverse subtropical forest ecosystem in China. We tested whether plant species richness significantly influences folivory in these highly diverse forests or whether other factors play a more important role at such high levels of phytodiversity.3.Leaf damage was assessed on 58 297 leaves of 1284 saplings at the end of the rainy season in 2008, together with structural and abiotic stand characteristics.4.Species-specific mean damage of leaf area ranged from 3% to 16%. Herbivory increased with plant species richness even after accounting for potentially confounding effects of stand characteristics, of which stand age-related aspects most clearly covaried with herbivory. Intraspecific density dependence or other abiotic factors did not significantly influence overall herbivory across forest stands.5.Synthesis.The positive herbivory-plant diversity relationship indicates that effects related to hypotheses of resource concentration, according to which a reduction in damage by specialized herbivores might be expected as host plant concentration decreases with increasing plant diversity, do not seem to be major determinants for overall herbivory levels in our phytodiverse subtropical forest ecosystem. We discuss the potential role of host specificity of dominant herbivores, which are often expected to show a high degree of specialization in many (sub)tropical forests. In the forest system we studied, a much higher impact of polyphagous species than traditionally assumed might

  17. Plant responses to multiple herbivory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, Yehua

    2016-01-01

    This thesis explores whether aphid-infestation interferes with the plant response to chewing herbivores and whether this impacts performance and behaviour of individual chewing insect herbivores and their natural enemies, as well as the entire insect community. I investigated this using three

  18. Herbivory and dominance shifts among exotic and congeneric native plant species during plant community establishment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Engelkes, Tim; Meisner, Annelein; Morriën, Elly

    2016-01-01

    in a riparian ecosystem during early establishment of invaded communities. We planted ten plant communities each consisting of three individuals of each of six exotic plant species as well as six phylogenetically related natives. Exotic plant species were selected based on a rapid recent increase in regional...... abundance, the presence of a congeneric native species, and their co-occurrence in the riparian ecosystem. All plant communities were covered by tents with insect mesh. Five tents were open on the leeward side to allow herbivory. The other five tents were completely closed in order to exclude insects...... and vertebrates. Herbivory reduced aboveground biomass by half and influenced which of the plant species dominated the establishing communities. Exposure to herbivory did not reduce the total biomass of natives more than that of exotics, so aboveground herbivory did not selectively enhance exotics during...

  19. Impairment of leaf photosynthesis after insect herbivory or mechanical injury on common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delaney, K J; Haile, F J; Peterson, R K D; Higley, L G

    2008-10-01

    Insect herbivory has variable consequences on plant physiology, growth, and reproduction. In some plants, herbivory reduces photosynthetic rate (Pn) activity on remaining tissue of injured leaves. We sought to better understand the influence of leaf injury on Pn of common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca (Asclepiadaceae), leaves. Initially, we tested whether Pn reductions occurred after insect herbivory or mechanical injury. We also (1) examined the duration of photosynthetic recovery, (2) compared mechanical injury with insect herbivory, (3) studied the relationship between leaf Pn with leaf injury intensity, and (4) considered uninjured leaf compensatory Pn responses neighboring an injured leaf. Leaf Pn was significantly reduced on mechanically injured or insect-fed leaves in all reported experiments except one, so some factor(s) (cardiac glycoside induction, reproductive investment, and water stress) likely interacts with leaf injury to influence whether Pn impairment occurs. Milkweed tussock moth larval herbivory, Euchaetes egle L. (Arctiidae), impaired leaf Pn more severely than mechanical injury in one experiment. Duration of Pn impairment lasted > 5 d to indicate high leaf Pn sensitivity to injury, but Pn recovery occurred within 13 d in one experiment. The degree of Pn reduction was more severe from E. egle herbivory than similar levels of mechanical tissue removal. Negative linear relationships characterized leaf Pn with percentage tissue loss from single E. egle-fed leaves and mechanically injured leaves and suggested that the signal to trigger leaf Pn impairment on remaining tissue of an injured leaf was amplified by additional tissue loss. Finally, neighboring uninjured leaves to an E. egle-fed leaf had a small (approximately 10%) degree of compensatory Pn to partly offset tissue loss and injured leaf Pn impairment.

  20. Mesozoic plants and dinosaur herbivory

    OpenAIRE

    Sander, P M; Gee, C T; Hummel, J; Clauss, Marcus

    2010-01-01

    For most of their existence, herbivorous dinosaurs fed on a gymnospermdominated flora. Starting from a simple reptilian herbivory, ornithischian dinosaurs evolved complex chewing dentitions and mechanisms, while sauropodomorph dinosaurs retained the primitive condition of not chewing. Some advanced theropod dinosaurs evolved a bird-type herbivory with a toothless beak and a gastric mill. Dinosaur digestive tract remains, coprolites, and other trace fossils offer little evidence for dinosaur f...

  1. Herbivory by a Phloem-feeding insect inhibits floral volatile production.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Pareja

    Full Text Available There is extensive knowledge on the effects of insect herbivory on volatile emission from vegetative tissue, but little is known about its impact on floral volatiles. We show that herbivory by phloem-feeding aphids inhibits floral volatile emission in white mustard Sinapis alba measured by gas chromatographic analysis of headspace volatiles. The effect of the Brassica specialist aphid Lipaphis erysimi was stronger than the generalist aphid Myzus persicae and feeding by chewing larvae of the moth Plutella xylostella caused no reduction in floral volatile emission. Field observations showed no effect of L. erysimi-mediated floral volatile emission on the total number of flower visits by pollinators. Olfactory bioassays suggested that although two aphid natural enemies could detect aphid inhibition of floral volatiles, their olfactory orientation to infested plants was not disrupted. This is the first demonstration that phloem-feeding herbivory can affect floral volatile emission, and that the outcome of interaction between herbivory and floral chemistry may differ depending on the herbivore's feeding mode and degree of specialisation. The findings provide new insights into interactions between insect herbivores and plant chemistry.

  2. Herbivory by a Phloem-feeding insect inhibits floral volatile production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pareja, Martin; Qvarfordt, Erika; Webster, Ben; Mayon, Patrick; Pickett, John; Birkett, Michael; Glinwood, Robert

    2012-01-01

    There is extensive knowledge on the effects of insect herbivory on volatile emission from vegetative tissue, but little is known about its impact on floral volatiles. We show that herbivory by phloem-feeding aphids inhibits floral volatile emission in white mustard Sinapis alba measured by gas chromatographic analysis of headspace volatiles. The effect of the Brassica specialist aphid Lipaphis erysimi was stronger than the generalist aphid Myzus persicae and feeding by chewing larvae of the moth Plutella xylostella caused no reduction in floral volatile emission. Field observations showed no effect of L. erysimi-mediated floral volatile emission on the total number of flower visits by pollinators. Olfactory bioassays suggested that although two aphid natural enemies could detect aphid inhibition of floral volatiles, their olfactory orientation to infested plants was not disrupted. This is the first demonstration that phloem-feeding herbivory can affect floral volatile emission, and that the outcome of interaction between herbivory and floral chemistry may differ depending on the herbivore's feeding mode and degree of specialisation. The findings provide new insights into interactions between insect herbivores and plant chemistry.

  3. Plant defense against insect herbivores

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fürstenberg-Hägg, Joel; Zagrobelny, Mika; Bak, Søren

    2013-01-01

    , defense compounds. These bioactive specialized plant defense compounds may repel or intoxicate insects, while defense proteins often interfere with their digestion. Volatiles are released upon herbivory to repel herbivores, attract predators or for communication between leaves or plants, and to induce......Plants have been interacting with insects for several hundred million years, leading to complex defense approaches against various insect feeding strategies. Some defenses are constitutive while others are induced, although the insecticidal defense compound or protein classes are often similar...... defense responses. Plants also apply morphological features like waxes, trichomes and latices to make the feeding more difficult for the insects. Extrafloral nectar, food bodies and nesting or refuge sites are produced to accommodate and feed the predators of the herbivores. Meanwhile, herbivorous insects...

  4. Tolerance to deer herbivory and resistance to insect herbivores in the common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puentes, A; Johnson, M T J

    2016-01-01

    The evolution of plant defence in response to herbivory will depend on the fitness effects of damage, availability of genetic variation and potential ecological and genetic constraints on defence. Here, we examine the potential for evolution of tolerance to deer herbivory in Oenothera biennis while simultaneously considering resistance to natural insect herbivores. We examined (i) the effects of deer damage on fitness, (ii) the presence of genetic variation in tolerance and resistance, (iii) selection on tolerance, (iv) genetic correlations with resistance that could constrain evolution of tolerance and (v) plant traits that might predict defence. In a field experiment, we simulated deer damage occurring early and late in the season, recorded arthropod abundances, flowering phenology and measured growth rate and lifetime reproduction. Our study showed that deer herbivory has a negative effect on fitness, with effects being more pronounced for late-season damage. Selection acted to increase tolerance to deer damage, yet there was low and nonsignificant genetic variation in this trait. In contrast, there was substantial genetic variation in resistance to insect herbivores. Resistance was genetically uncorrelated with tolerance, whereas positive genetic correlations in resistance to insect herbivores suggest there exists diffuse selection on resistance traits. In addition, growth rate and flowering time did not predict variation in tolerance, but flowering phenology was genetically correlated with resistance. Our results suggest that deer damage has the potential to exert selection because browsing reduces plant fitness, but limited standing genetic variation in tolerance is expected to constrain adaptive evolution in O. biennis. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  5. Insects as a Nitrogen Source for Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J. Bidochka

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Many plants have evolved adaptations in order to survive in low nitrogen environments. One of the best-known adaptations is that of plant symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria; this is the major route by which nitrogen is incorporated into plant biomass. A portion of this plant-associated nitrogen is then lost to insects through herbivory, and insects represent a nitrogen reservoir that is generally overlooked in nitrogen cycles. In this review we show three specialized plant adaptations that allow for the recovery of insect nitrogen; that is, plants gaining nitrogen from insects. First, we show specialized adaptations by carnivorous plants in low nitrogen habitats. Insect carnivorous plants such as pitcher plants and sundews (Nepenthaceae/Sarraceniaceae and Drosera respectively are able to obtain substantial amounts of nitrogen from the insects that they capture. Secondly, numerous plants form associations with mycorrhizal fungi that can provide soluble nitrogen from the soil, some of which may be insect-derived nitrogen, obtained from decaying insects or insect frass. Finally, a specialized group of endophytic, insect-pathogenic fungi (EIPF provide host plants with insect-derived nitrogen. These soil-inhabiting fungi form a remarkable symbiosis with certain plant species. They can infect a wide range of insect hosts and also form endophytic associations in which they transfer insect-derived nitrogen to the plant. Root colonizing fungi are found in disparate fungal phylogenetic lineages, indicating possible convergent evolutionary strategies between taxa, evolution potentially driven by access to carbon-containing root exudates.

  6. Plant toxicity, adaptive herbivory, and plant community dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Z.; Liu, R.; DeAngelis, D.L.; Bryant, J.P.; Kielland, K.; Stuart, Chapin F.; Swihart, R.K.

    2009-01-01

    We model effects of interspecific plant competition, herbivory, and a plant's toxic defenses against herbivores on vegetation dynamics. The model predicts that, when a generalist herbivore feeds in the absence of plant toxins, adaptive foraging generally increases the probability of coexistence of plant species populations, because the herbivore switches more of its effort to whichever plant species is more common and accessible. In contrast, toxin-determined selective herbivory can drive plant succession toward dominance by the more toxic species, as previously documented in boreal forests and prairies. When the toxin concentrations in different plant species are similar, but species have different toxins with nonadditive effects, herbivores tend to diversify foraging efforts to avoid high intakes of any one toxin. This diversification leads the herbivore to focus more feeding on the less common plant species. Thus, uncommon plants may experience depensatory mortality from herbivory, reducing local species diversity. The depensatory effect of herbivory may inhibit the invasion of other plant species that are more palatable or have different toxins. These predictions were tested and confirmed in the Alaskan boreal forest. ?? 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  7. The evolution of tolerance to deer herbivory: modifications caused by the abundance of insect herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stinchcombe, John R; Rausher, Mark D

    2002-01-01

    Although recent evidence indicates that coevolutionary interactions between species often vary on a biogeographical scale, little consideration has been given to the processes responsible for producing this pattern. One potential explanation is that changes in the community composition alter the coevolutionary interactions between species, but little evidence exists regarding the occurrence of such changes. Here we present evidence that the pattern of natural selection on plant defence traits, and the probable response to that selection, are critically dependent on the composition of the biotic community. The evolutionary trajectory of defence traits against mammalian herbivory in the Ivyleaf morning glory (Ipomoea hederacea), and which defence traits are likely to respond to selection, are both dependent on the presence or absence of insect herbivores. These results indicate that variation in community composition may be a driving force in generating geographical mosaics. PMID:12065040

  8. Herbivory alters plant carbon assimilation, patterns of biomass allocation and nitrogen use efficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peschiutta, María Laura; Scholz, Fabián Gustavo; Goldstein, Guillermo; Bucci, Sandra Janet

    2018-01-01

    Herbivory can trigger physiological processes resulting in leaf and whole plant functional changes. The effects of chronic infestation by an insect on leaf traits related to carbon and nitrogen economy in three Prunus avium cultivars were assessed. Leaves from non-infested trees (control) and damaged leaves from infested trees were selected. The insect larvae produce skeletonization of the leaves leaving relatively intact the vein network of the eaten leaves and the abaxial epidermal tissue. At the leaf level, nitrogen content per mass (Nmass) and per area (Narea), net photosynthesis per mass (Amass) and per area (Aarea), photosynthetic nitrogen-use efficiency (PNUE), leaf mass per area (LMA) and total leaf phenols content were measured in the three cultivars. All cultivars responded to herbivory in a similar fashion. The Nmass, Amass, and PNUE decreased, while LMA and total content of phenols increased in partially damaged leaves. Increases in herbivore pressure resulted in lower leaf size and total leaf area per plant across cultivars. Despite this, stem cumulative growth tended to increase in infected plants suggesting a change in the patterns of biomass allocation and in resources sequestration elicited by herbivory. A larger N investment in defenses instead of photosynthetic structures may explain the lower PNUE and Amass observed in damaged leaves. Some physiological changes due to herbivory partially compensate for the cost of leaf removal buffering the carbon economy at the whole plant level.

  9. Interactive effects of above- and belowground herbivory and plant competition on plant growth and defence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jing, Y.; Raaijmakers, C.; Kostenko, O.; Kos, M.; Mulder, P.P.J.; Bezemer, T.M.

    2015-01-01

    Competition and herbivory are two major factors that can influence plant growth and plant defence. Although these two factors are often studied separately, they do not operate independently. We examined how aboveground herbivory by beet armyworm larvae (Spodoptera exigua) and belowground herbivory

  10. Macroecological and macroevolutionary patterns of leaf herbivory across vascular plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turcotte, Martin M; Davies, T Jonathan; Thomsen, Christina J M; Johnson, Marc T J

    2014-07-22

    The consumption of plants by animals underlies important evolutionary and ecological processes in nature. Arthropod herbivory evolved approximately 415 Ma and the ensuing coevolution between plants and herbivores is credited with generating much of the macroscopic diversity on the Earth. In contemporary ecosystems, herbivory provides the major conduit of energy from primary producers to consumers. Here, we show that when averaged across all major lineages of vascular plants, herbivores consume 5.3% of the leaf tissue produced annually by plants, whereas previous estimates are up to 3.8× higher. This result suggests that for many plant species, leaf herbivory may play a smaller role in energy and nutrient flow than currently thought. Comparative analyses of a diverse global sample of 1058 species across 2085 populations reveal that models of stabilizing selection best describe rates of leaf consumption, and that rates vary substantially within and among major plant lineages. A key determinant of this variation is plant growth form, where woody plant species experience 64% higher leaf herbivory than non-woody plants. Higher leaf herbivory in woody species supports a key prediction of the plant apparency theory. Our study provides insight into how a long history of coevolution has shaped the ecological and evolutionary relationships between plants and herbivores. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  11. Testing for the effects and consequences of mid paleogene climate change on insect herbivory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torsten Wappler

    Full Text Available The Eocene, a time of fluctuating environmental change and biome evolution, was generally driven by exceptionally warm temperatures. The Messel (47.8 Ma and Eckfeld (44.3 Ma deposits offer a rare opportunity to take a census of two, deep-time ecosystems occurring during a greenhouse system. An understanding of the long-term consequences of extreme warming and cooling events during this interval, particularly on angiosperms and insects that dominate terrestrial biodiversity, can provide insights into the biotic consequences of current global climatic warming.We compare insect-feeding damage within two middle Eocene fossil floras, Messel and Eckfeld, in Germany. From these small lake deposits, we studied 16,082 angiosperm leaves and scored each specimen for the presence or absence of 89 distinctive and diagnosable insect damage types (DTs, each of which was allocated to a major functional feeding group, including four varieties of external foliage feeding, piercing- and-sucking, leaf mining, galling, seed predation, and oviposition. Methods used for treatment of presence-absence data included general linear models and standard univariate, bivariate and multivariate statistical techniques.Our results show an unexpectedly high diversity and level of insect feeding than comparable, penecontemporaneous floras from North and South America. In addition, we found a higher level of herbivory on evergreen, rather than deciduous taxa at Messel. This pattern is explained by a ca. 2.5-fold increase in atmospheric CO(2 that overwhelmed evergreen antiherbivore defenses, subsequently lessened during the more ameliorated levels of Eckfeld times. These patterns reveal important, previously undocumented features of plant-host and insect-herbivore diversification during the European mid Eocene.

  12. Testing for the effects and consequences of mid paleogene climate change on insect herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wappler, Torsten; Labandeira, Conrad C; Rust, Jes; Frankenhäuser, Herbert; Wilde, Volker

    2012-01-01

    The Eocene, a time of fluctuating environmental change and biome evolution, was generally driven by exceptionally warm temperatures. The Messel (47.8 Ma) and Eckfeld (44.3 Ma) deposits offer a rare opportunity to take a census of two, deep-time ecosystems occurring during a greenhouse system. An understanding of the long-term consequences of extreme warming and cooling events during this interval, particularly on angiosperms and insects that dominate terrestrial biodiversity, can provide insights into the biotic consequences of current global climatic warming. We compare insect-feeding damage within two middle Eocene fossil floras, Messel and Eckfeld, in Germany. From these small lake deposits, we studied 16,082 angiosperm leaves and scored each specimen for the presence or absence of 89 distinctive and diagnosable insect damage types (DTs), each of which was allocated to a major functional feeding group, including four varieties of external foliage feeding, piercing- and-sucking, leaf mining, galling, seed predation, and oviposition. Methods used for treatment of presence-absence data included general linear models and standard univariate, bivariate and multivariate statistical techniques. Our results show an unexpectedly high diversity and level of insect feeding than comparable, penecontemporaneous floras from North and South America. In addition, we found a higher level of herbivory on evergreen, rather than deciduous taxa at Messel. This pattern is explained by a ca. 2.5-fold increase in atmospheric CO(2) that overwhelmed evergreen antiherbivore defenses, subsequently lessened during the more ameliorated levels of Eckfeld times. These patterns reveal important, previously undocumented features of plant-host and insect-herbivore diversification during the European mid Eocene.

  13. Combined effects of environmental disturbance and climate warming on insect herbivory in mountain birch in subarctic forests: Results of 26-year monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozlov, M V; Zverev, V; Zvereva, E L

    2017-12-01

    Both pollution and climate affect insect-plant interactions, but the combined effects of these two abiotic drivers of global change on insect herbivory remain almost unexplored. From 1991 to 2016, we monitored the population densities of 25 species or species groups of insects feeding on mountain birch (Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii) in 29 sites and recorded leaf damage by insects in 21 sites in subarctic forests around the nickel-copper smelter at Monchegorsk, north-western Russia. The leaf-eating insects demonstrated variable, and sometimes opposite, responses to pollution-induced forest disturbance and to climate variations. Consequently, we did not discover any general trend in herbivory along the disturbance gradient. Densities of eight species/species groups correlated with environmental disturbance, but these correlations weakened from 1991 to 2016, presumably due to the fivefold decrease in emissions of sulphur dioxide and heavy metals from the smelter. The densities of externally feeding defoliators decreased from 1991 to 2016 and the densities of leafminers increased, while the leaf roller densities remained unchanged. Consequently, no overall temporal trend in the abundance of birch-feeding insects emerged despite a 2-3°C elevation in spring temperatures. Damage to birch leaves by insects decreased during the observation period in heavily disturbed forests, did not change in moderately disturbed forests and tended to increase in pristine forests. The temporal stability of insect-plant interactions, quantified by the inverse of the coefficient of among-year variations of herbivore population densities and of birch foliar damage, showed a negative correlation with forest disturbance. We conclude that climate differently affects insect herbivory in heavily stressed versus pristine forests, and that herbivorous insects demonstrate diverse responses to environmental disturbance and climate variations. This diversity of responses, in combination with the

  14. Effects of foliar herbivory by insects on the fitness of Raphanus raphanistrum: damage can increase male fitness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strauss, S Y; Conner, J K; Lehtilä, K P

    2001-11-01

    Generally, effects of herbivory on plant fitness have been measured in terms of female reproductive success (seed production). However, male plant fitness, defined as the number of seeds sired by pollen, contributes half of the genes to the next generation and is therefore crucial to the evolution of natural plant populations. This is the first study to examine effects of insect herbivory on both male and female plant reproductive success. Through controlled field and greenhouse experiments and genetic paternity analysis, we found that foliar damage by insects caused a range of responses by plants. In one environment, damaged plants had greater success as male parents than undamaged plants. Neither effects on pollen competitive ability nor pollinator visitation patterns could explain the greater siring success of these damaged plants. Success of damaged plants as male parents appeared to be due primarily to changes in allocation to flowers versus seeds after damage. Damaged plants produced more flowers early in the season, but not more seeds, than undamaged plants. Based on total seed production, male fitness measures from the first third of the season, and flower production, we estimated that damaged and undamaged plants had equal total reproductive success at the end of the season in this environment. In a second, richer environment, damaged and undamaged plants had equal male and female plant fitness, and no traits differed significantly between the treatments. Equal total reproductive success may not be ecologically or evolutionarily equivalent if it is achieved differentially through male versus female fitness. Genes from damaged plants dispersed through pollen may escape attack from herbivores, if such attack is correlated spatially from year to year.

  15. Resource allocation in Copaifera langsdorffii (Fabaceae): how supra-annual fruiting affects plant traits and herbivory?

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Costa, Fernanda Vieira; de Queiroz, Antônio César Medeiros; Maia, Maria Luiza Bicalho; Júnior, Ronaldo Reis; Fagundes, Marcilio

    2016-06-01

    , demonstrating the importance of evaluating different plant traits when characterizing the vegetative investment. As expected by theory, the trade-off in resource allocation favored changes in defense compounds production and patterns of herbivory. The understanding of this important element of insect-plant interactions will be fundamental to decipher coevolutionary life histories and interactions between plant species reproduction and herbivory. Besides that, only through long-term studies we will be able to build models and develop more accurate forecasts about the factors that trigger the bottom-up effect on herbivory performance, as well the top-down effect of herbivores on plant trait evolution.

  16. Modeling the compensatory response of an invasive tree to specialist insect herbivory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Bo; Liu, Xin; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Zhai, Lu; Rayamajhi, Min B.; Ju, Shu

    2018-01-01

    The severity of the effects of herbivory on plant fitness can be moderated by the ability of plants to compensate for biomass loss. Compensation is an important component of the ecological fitness in many plants, and has been shown to reduce the effects of pests on agricultural plant yields. It can also reduce the effectiveness of biocontrol through introduced herbivores in controlling weedy invasive plants. This study used a modeling approach to predict the effect of different levels of foliage herbivory by biological control agents introduced to control the invasive tree Melaleuca quinquennervia (melaleuca) in Florida. It is assumed in the model that melaleuca can optimally change its carbon and nitrogen allocation strategies in order to compensate for the effects of herbivory. The model includes reallocation of more resources to production and maintenance of photosynthetic tissues at the expense of roots. This compensation is shown to buffer the severity of the defoliation effect, but the model predicts a limit on the maximum herbivory that melaleuca can tolerate and survive. The model also shows that the level of available limiting nutrient (e.g., soil nitrogen) may play an important role in a melaleuca’s ability to compensate for herbivory. This study has management implications for the best ways to maximize the level of damage using biological control or other means of defoliation.

  17. Stem parasitic plant Cuscuta australis (dodder) transfers herbivory-induced signals among plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hettenhausen, Christian; Li, Juan; Zhuang, Huifu; Sun, Huanhuan; Xu, Yuxing; Qi, Jinfeng; Zhang, Jingxiong; Lei, Yunting; Qin, Yan; Sun, Guiling; Wang, Lei; Baldwin, Ian T; Wu, Jianqiang

    2017-08-08

    Cuscuta spp. (i.e., dodders) are stem parasites that naturally graft to their host plants to extract water and nutrients; multiple adjacent hosts are often parasitized by one or more Cuscuta plants simultaneously, forming connected plant clusters. Metabolites, proteins, and mRNAs are known to be transferred from hosts to Cuscuta , and Cuscuta bridges even facilitate host-to-host virus movement. Whether Cuscuta bridges transmit ecologically meaningful signals remains unknown. Here we show that, when host plants are connected by Cuscuta bridges, systemic herbivory signals are transmitted from attacked plants to unattacked plants, as revealed by the large transcriptomic changes in the attacked local leaves, undamaged systemic leaves of the attacked plants, and leaves of unattacked but connected hosts. The interplant signaling is largely dependent on the jasmonic acid pathway of the damaged local plants, and can be found among conspecific or heterospecific hosts of different families. Importantly, herbivore attack of one host plant elevates defensive metabolites in the other systemic Cuscuta bridge-connected hosts, resulting in enhanced resistance against insects even in several consecutively Cuscuta -connected host plants over long distances (> 100 cm). By facilitating plant-to-plant signaling, Cuscuta provides an information-based means of countering the resource-based fitness costs to their hosts.

  18. Three-way interaction among plants, bacteria, and coleopteran insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wielkopolan, Beata; Obrępalska-Stęplowska, Aleksandra

    2016-08-01

    Coleoptera, the largest and the most diverse Insecta order, is characterized by multiple adaptations to plant feeding. Insect-associated microorganisms can be important mediators and modulators of interactions between insects and plants. Interactions between plants and insects are highly complex and involve multiple factors. There are various defense mechanisms initiated by plants upon attack by herbivorous insects, including the development of morphological structures and the synthesis of toxic secondary metabolites and volatiles. In turn, herbivores have adapted to feeding on plants and further sophisticated adaptations to overcome plant responses may continue to evolve. Herbivorous insects may detoxify toxic phytocompounds, sequester poisonous plant factors, and alter their own overall gene expression pattern. Moreover, insects are associated with microbes, which not only considerably affect insects, but can also modify plant defense responses to the benefit of their host. Plants are also frequently associated with endophytes, which may act as bioinsecticides. Therefore, it is very important to consider the factors influencing the interaction between plants and insects. Herbivorous insects cause considerable damage to global crop production. Coleoptera is the largest and the most diverse order in the class Insecta. In this review, various aspects of the interactions among insects, microbes, and plants are described with a focus on coleopteran species, their bacterial symbionts, and their plant hosts to demonstrate that many factors contribute to the success of coleopteran herbivory.

  19. How insects overcome two-component plant chemical defence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pentzold, Stefan; Zagrobelny, Mika; Rook, Frederik

    2014-01-01

    Insect herbivory is often restricted by glucosylated plant chemical defence compounds that are activated by plant β-glucosidases to release toxic aglucones upon plant tissue damage. Such two-component plant defences are widespread in the plant kingdom and examples of these classes of compounds...... are alkaloid, benzoxazinoid, cyanogenic and iridoid glucosides as well as glucosinolates and salicinoids. Conversely, many insects have evolved a diversity of counteradaptations to overcome this type of constitutive chemical defence. Here we discuss that such counter-adaptations occur at different time points......, before and during feeding as well as during digestion, and at several levels such as the insects’ feeding behaviour, physiology and metabolism. Insect adaptations frequently circumvent or counteract the activity of the plant β-glucosidases, bioactivating enzymes that are a key element in the plant’s two...

  20. Plant responses to variable timing of aboveground clipping and belowground herbivory depend on plant age

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, Minggang; Bezemer, T. Martijn; van der Putten, W.H.; Brinkman, Pella; Biere, Arjen

    2017-01-01

    Aims Plants use different types of responses such as tolerance and induced defense to mitigate the effects of herbivores. The direction and magnitude of both these plant responses can vary with plant age. However, most studies have focused on aboveground herbivory, whereas important feeding occurs

  1. Interaction Effect Between Herbivory and Plant Fertilization on Extrafloral Nectar Production and on Seed Traits: An Experimental Study With Ricinus communis (Euphorbiaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Sibio, P R; Rossi, M N

    2016-08-01

    It is known that the release of volatile chemicals by many plants can attract the natural enemies of herbivorous insects. Such indirect interactions are likely when plants produce nectar from their extrafloral nectaries, and particularly when the production of extrafloral nectar (EFN) is induced by herbivory. In the present study, we conducted experiments to test whether foliar herbivory inflicted by Spodoptera frugiperda Smith (Noctuidae) increases nectar production by extrafloral nectaries on one of its host plants, Ricinus communis L. (Euphorbiaceae). Due to the current economic importance of R. communis, we also investigated whether the following seed traits-water content, dry mass, and essential oil production-are negatively affected by herbivory. Finally, we tested whether or not nectar production and seed traits are influenced by plant fertilization (plant quality). We found that nectar production was increased after herbivory, but it was not affected by the type of fertilization. Seed dry mass was higher in plants that were subjected to full fertilization, without herbivory; plants maintained in low fertilization conditions, however, had higher seed mass when subjected to herbivory. The same inverted pattern was observed for oil production. Therefore, our results suggest that EFN production in R. communis may act as an indirect defense strategy against herbivores, and that there is a trade-off between reproduction and plant growth when low-fertilized plants are subjected to herbivory. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. An amino acid substitution inhibits specialist herbivore production of a competitive antagonist effector and recovers insect-induced plant defenses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plants respond to insect herbivory through the production of biochemicals that function as either direct defenses or indirect defenses via the attraction of natural enemies. Curiously, attack by even closely related insect pests can result in distinctive levels of induced plant defenses. Despite the...

  3. An amino acid substitution inhibits specialist herbivore production of an antagonist effector and recovers insect-induced plant defenses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plants respond to insect herbivory through the production of biochemicals that function as either direct defenses or indirect defenses via the attraction of natural enemies. Curiously, attack by even closely related insect pests can result in distinctive levels of induced plant defenses. Despite the...

  4. Beneficial effects of solar UV-B radiation on soybean yield mediated by reduced insect herbivory under field conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazza, Carlos A; Giménez, Patricia I; Kantolic, Adriana G; Ballaré, Carlos L

    2013-03-01

    Ultraviolet-B radiation (UV-B: 280-315 nm) has damaging effects on cellular components and macromolecules. In plants, natural levels of UV-B can reduce leaf area expansion and growth, which can lead to reduced productivity and yield. UV-B can also have important effects on herbivorous insects. Owing to the successful implementation of the Montreal Protocol, current models predict that clear-sky levels of UV-B radiation will decline during this century in response to ozone recovery. However, because of climate change and changes in land use practices, future trends in UV doses are difficult to predict. In the experiments reported here, we used an exclusion approach to study the effects of solar UV-B radiation on soybean crops, which are extensively grown in many areas of the world that may be affected by future variations in UV-B radiation. In a first experiment, performed under normal management practices (which included chemical pest control), we found that natural levels of UV-B radiation reduced soybean yield. In a second experiment, where no pesticides were applied, we found that solar UV-B significantly reduced insect herbivory and, surprisingly, caused a concomitant increase in crop yield. Our data support the idea that UV-B effects on agroecosystems are the result of complex interactions involving multiple trophic levels. A better understanding of the mechanisms that mediate the anti-herbivore effect of UV-B radiation may be used to design crop varieties with improved adaptation to the cropping systems that are likely to prevail in the coming decades in response to agricultural intensification. Copyright © Physiologia Plantarum 2012.

  5. Interactive effect of herbivory and competition on the invasive plant Mikania micrantha.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Junmin; Xiao, Tao; Zhang, Qiong; Dong, Ming

    2013-01-01

    A considerable number of host-specific biological control agents fail to control invasive plants in the field, and exploring the mechanism underlying this phenomenon is important and helpful for the management of invasive plants. Herbivory and competition are two of the most common biotic stressors encountered by invasive plants in their recipient communities. We predicted that the antagonistic interactive effect between herbivory and competition would weaken the effect of herbivory on invasive plants and result in the failure of herbivory to control invasive plants. To examine this prediction, thus, we conducted an experiment in which both invasive Mikania micrantha and native Coix lacryma-job i were grown together and subjected to herbivory-mimicking defoliation. Both defoliation and competition had significantly negative effects on the growth of the invader. However, the negative effect of 75% respective defoliation on the above- and below-ground biomass of Mikania micrantha was alleviated by presence of Coix lacryma-jobi. The negative effect of competition on the above- and below-ground biomass was equally compensated at 25%, 50% and 100% defoliation and overcompensated at 75% defoliation. The interactive effect was antagonistic and dependent on the defoliation intensity, with the maximum effect at 75% defoliation. The antagonistic interaction between defoliation and competition appears to be able to release the invader from competition, thus facilitating the invasiveness of Mikania, a situation that might make herbivory fail to inhibit the growth of invasive Mikania in the invaded community.

  6. Transformation of leaf litter by insect herbivory in the Subarctic: Consequences for soil biogeochemistry under global change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristensen, J. A.; Metcalfe, D. B.; Rousk, J.

    2017-12-01

    Climate warming may increase insect herbivore ranges and outbreak intensities in arctic ecosystems. Thorough understanding of the implications of these changes for ecosystem processes is essential to make accurate predictions of surface-atmosphere carbon (C) feedbacks. Yet, we lack a comprehensive understanding of the impacts of herbivore outbreaks on soil microbial underpinnings of C and nitrogen (N) fluxes. Here, we investigate the growth responses of heterotrophic soil decomposers and C and N mineralisation to simulated defoliator outbreaks in Subarctic birch forests. In microcosms, topsoil was incubated with leaf litter, insect frass, mineral N and combinations of the three; all was added in equal amounts of N. A higher fraction of added C and N was mineralised during outbreaks (frass addition) relative to non-outbreak years (litter addition). However, under high mineral N-availability in the soil of the kind likely under longer periods of enhanced insect herbivory (litter+mineral N), the mineralised fraction of added C decreased while the mineralised fraction of N increased substantially, which suggest a shift towards more N-mining of the organic substrates. This shift was accompanied by higher fungal dominance, and may facilitate soil C-accumulation assuming constant quality of C-inputs. Thus, long-term increases of insect herbivory, of the kind observed in some areas and projected by some models, may facilitate higher ecosystem C-sink capacity in this Subarctic ecosystem.

  7. Independent Effects of Invasive Shrubs and Deer Herbivory on Plant Community Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey S. Ward

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Both invasive species and deer herbivory are recognized as locally important drivers of plant community dynamics. However, few studies have examined whether their effects are synergistic, additive, or antagonistic. At three study areas in southern New England, we examined the interaction of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus Zimmermann herbivory and three levels of invasive shrub control over seven growing seasons on the dynamics of nine herbaceous and shrub guilds. Although evidence of synergistic interactions was minimal, the separate effects of invasive shrub control and deer herbivory on plant community composition and dynamics were profound. Plant communities remained relatively unchanged where invasive shrubs were not treated, regardless if deer herbivory was excluded or not. With increasing intensity of invasive shrub control, native shrubs and forbs became more dominant where deer herbivory was excluded, and native graminoids became progressively more dominant where deer herbivory remained severe. While deer exclusion and intensive invasive shrub control increased native shrubs and forbs, it also increased invasive vines. Restoring native plant communities in areas with both established invasive shrub thickets and severe deer browsing will require an integrated management plan to eliminate recalcitrant invasive shrubs, reduce deer browsing intensity, and quickly treat other opportunistic invasive species.

  8. Regulation of a chemical defense against herbivory produced by symbiotic fungi in grass plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Dong-Xiu; Nagabhyru, Padmaja; Schardl, Christopher L

    2009-06-01

    Neotyphodium uncinatum and Neotyphodium siegelii are fungal symbionts (endophytes) of meadow fescue (MF; Lolium pratense), which they protect from insects by producing loline alkaloids. High levels of lolines are produced following insect damage or mock herbivory (clipping). Although loline alkaloid levels were greatly elevated in regrowth after clipping, loline-alkaloid biosynthesis (LOL) gene expression in regrowth and basal tissues was similar to unclipped controls. The dramatic increase of lolines in regrowth reflected the much higher concentrations in young (center) versus older (outer) leaf blades, so LOL gene expression was compared in these tissues. In MF-N. siegelii, LOL gene expression was similar in younger and older leaf blades, whereas expression of N. uncinatum LOL genes and some associated biosynthesis genes was higher in younger than older leaf blades. Because lolines are derived from amino acids that are mobilized to new growth, we tested the amino acid levels in center and outer leaf blades. Younger leaf blades of aposymbiotic plants (no endophyte present) had significantly higher levels of asparagine and sometimes glutamine compared to older leaf blades. The amino acid levels were much lower in MF-N. siegelii and MF-N. uncinatum compared to aposymbiotic plants and MF with Epichloë festucae (a closely related symbiont), which lacked lolines. We conclude that loline alkaloid production in young tissue depleted these amino acid pools and was apparently regulated by availability of the amino acid substrates. As a result, lolines maximally protect young host tissues in a fashion similar to endogenous plant metabolites that conform to optimal defense theory.

  9. The roots of defense: plant resistance and tolerance to belowground herbivory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean M Watts

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available There is conclusive evidence that there are fitness costs of plant defense and that herbivores can drive selection for defense. However, most work has focused on above-ground interactions, even though belowground herbivory may have greater impacts on individual plants than above-ground herbivory. Given the role of belowground plant structures in resource acquisition and storage, research on belowground herbivores has much to contribute to theories on the evolution of plant defense. Pocket gophers (Geomyidae provide an excellent opportunity to study root herbivory. These subterranean rodents spend their entire lives belowground and specialize on consuming belowground plant parts.We compared the root defenses of native forbs from mainland populations (with a history of gopher herbivory to island populations (free from gophers for up to 500,000 years. Defense includes both resistance against herbivores and tolerance of herbivore damage. We used three approaches to compare these traits in island and mainland populations of two native California forbs: 1 Eschscholzia californica populations were assayed to compare alkaloid deterrents, 2 captive gophers were used to test the palatability of E. californica roots and 3 simulated root herbivory assessed tolerance to root damage in Deinandra fasciculata and E. californica. Mainland forms of E. californica contained 2.5 times greater concentration of alkaloids and were less palatable to gophers than island forms. Mainland forms of D. fasciculata and, to a lesser extent, E. californica were also more tolerant of root damage than island conspecifics. Interestingly, undamaged island individuals of D. fasciculata produced significantly more fruit than either damaged or undamaged mainland individuals.These results suggest that mainland plants are effective at deterring and tolerating pocket gopher herbivory. Results also suggest that both forms of defense are costly to fitness and thus reduced in the absence of

  10. Evolutionary Ecology of Multitrophic Interactions between Plants, Insect Herbivores and Entomopathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shikano, Ikkei

    2017-06-01

    Plants play an important role in the interactions between insect herbivores and their pathogens. Since the seminal review by Cory and Hoover (2006) on plant-mediated effects on insect-pathogen interactions, considerable progress has been made in understanding the complexity of these tritrophic interactions. Increasing interest in the areas of nutritional and ecological immunology over the last decade have revealed that plant primary and secondary metabolites can influence the outcomes of insect-pathogen interactions by altering insect immune functioning and physical barriers to pathogen entry. Some insects use plant secondary chemicals and nutrients to prevent infections (prophylactic medication) and medicate to limit the severity of infections (therapeutic medication). Recent findings suggest that there may be selectable plant traits that enhance entomopathogen efficacy, suggesting that entomopathogens could potentially impose selection pressure on plant traits that improve both pathogen and plant fitness. Moreover, plants in nature are inhabited by diverse communities of microbes, in addition to entomopathogens, some of which can trigger immune responses in insect herbivores. Plants are also shared by numerous other herbivorous arthropods with different modes of feeding that can trigger different defensive responses in plants. Some insect symbionts and gut microbes can degrade ingested defensive phytochemicals and be orally secreted onto wounded plant tissue during herbivory to alter plant defenses. Since non-entomopathogenic microbes and other arthropods are likely to influence the outcomes of plant-insect-entomopathogen interactions, I discuss a need to consider these multitrophic interactions within the greater web of species interactions.

  11. Decreased losses of woody plant foliage to insects in large urban areas are explained by bird predation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozlov, Mikhail V; Lanta, Vojtěch; Zverev, Vitali; Rainio, Kalle; Kunavin, Mikhail A; Zvereva, Elena L

    2017-10-01

    Despite the increasing rate of urbanization, the consequences of this process on biotic interactions remain insufficiently studied. Our aims were to identify the general pattern of urbanization impact on background insect herbivory, to explore variations in this impact related to characteristics of both urban areas and insect-plant systems, and to uncover the factors governing urbanization impacts on insect herbivory. We compared the foliar damage inflicted on the most common trees by defoliating, leafmining and gall-forming insects in rural and urban habitats associated with 16 European cities. In two of these cities, we explored quality of birch foliage for herbivorous insects, mortality of leafmining insects due to predators and parasitoids and bird predation on artificial plasticine larvae. On average, the foliage losses to insects were 16.5% lower in urban than in rural habitats. The magnitude of the overall adverse effect of urbanization on herbivory was independent of the latitude of the locality and was similar in all 11 studied tree species, but increased with an increase in the size of the urban area: it was significant in large cities (city population 1-5 million) but not significant in medium-sized and small towns. Quality of birch foliage for herbivorous insects was slightly higher in urban habitats than in rural habitats. At the same time, leafminer mortality due to ants and birds and the bird attack intensity on dummy larvae were higher in large cities than in rural habitats, which at least partially explained the decline in insect herbivory observed in response to urbanization. Our findings underscore the importance of top-down forces in mediating impacts of urbanization on plant-feeding insects: factors favouring predators may override the positive effects of temperature elevation on insects and thus reduce plant damage. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Insects on plants: Diversity of herbivore assemblages revisited

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lewinsohn, T. M.; Novotný, Vojtěch; Basset, Y.

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 36, - (2005), s. 597-620 ISSN 1543-592X R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA206/04/0725; GA ČR(CZ) GD206/03/H034; GA AV ČR(CZ) IAA6007106; GA MŠk(CZ) ME 646 Grant - others:Fundacao de Amaparo a Pesquisa do Estado de Sao Paulo(BR) Biota/Fapesp 98/05085-2; Conselho Nacional de Densenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico-Brasil(BR) 306049/2004-0; U. S. National Science Foundation(US) DEB-02-11591; Darwin Initiative fior the Survival of Species(GB) 162/10/030 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z5007907 Keywords : herbivory * insect-plant interactions * tropical insects Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 10.104, year: 2005

  13. Insect herbivores drive real-time ecological and evolutionary change in plant populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrawal, Anurag A; Hastings, Amy P; Johnson, Marc T J; Maron, John L; Salminen, Juha-Pekka

    2012-10-05

    Insect herbivores are hypothesized to be major factors affecting the ecology and evolution of plants. We tested this prediction by suppressing insects in replicated field populations of a native plant, Oenothera biennis, which reduced seed predation, altered interspecific competitive dynamics, and resulted in rapid evolutionary divergence. Comparative genotyping and phenotyping of nearly 12,000 O. biennis individuals revealed that in plots protected from insects, resistance to herbivores declined through time owing to changes in flowering time and lower defensive ellagitannins in fruits, whereas plant competitive ability increased. This independent real-time evolution of plant resistance and competitive ability in the field resulted from the relaxation of direct selective effects of insects on plant defense and through indirect effects due to reduced herbivory on plant competitors.

  14. Herbivory more limiting than competition on early and established native plants in an invaded meadow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzales, Emily K; Arcese, Peter

    2008-12-01

    The dominance of nonnative plants coupled with declines of native plants suggests that competitive displacement drives extinctions, yet empirical examples are rare. Herbivores, however, can alter vegetation structure and reduce diversity when abundant. Herbivores may act on mature, reproductive life stages whereas some of the strongest competitive effects might occur at early life stages that are difficult to observe. For example, competition by perennial nonnative grasses can interfere with the establishment of native seeds. We contrasted the effects of ungulate herbivory and competition by neighboring plants on the performance of native plant species at early and established life stages in invaded oak meadows. We recorded growth, survival, and flowering in two native species transplanted as established plants, six native species grown from seed, and five extant lily species as part of two 2 x 2 factorial experiments that manipulated herbivory and competition. Herbivory reduced the performance of nearly all focal native species at early and established life stages, whereas competition had few measurable effects. Our results suggest that herbivory has a greater local influence on native plant species than competition and that reducing herbivore impacts will be required to successfully restore endangered oak meadows where ungulates are now abundant.

  15. Plant responses to insect egg deposition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hilker, M.; Fatouros, N.E.

    2015-01-01

    Plants can respond to insect egg deposition and thus resist attack by herbivorous insects from the beginning of the attack, egg deposition. We review ecological effects of plant responses to insect eggs and differentiate between egg-induced plant defenses that directly harm the eggs and indirect

  16. Ontogenetic stage, plant vigor and sex mediate herbivory loads in a dioecious understory herb

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selaković, Sara; Vujić, Vukica; Stanisavljević, Nemanja; Jovanović, Živko; Radović, Svetlana; Cvetković, Dragana

    2017-11-01

    Plant-herbivore interactions can be mediated by plant apparency, defensive and nutritional quality traits that change through plant ontogeny, resulting in age-specific herbivory. In dioecious species, opposing allocation patterns in defense may lead to sex-biased herbivory. Here, we examine how onto stage and plant sex determine levels of herbivore damage in understory herb Mercurialis perennis under field conditions. We analyzed variation in plant size (height, total leaf area), physical (specific leaf area) and chemical (total phenolic and condensed tannins contents) defense, and nutritional quality (total water, soluble protein and nonstructural carbohydrate contents) during the shift from reproductive to post-reproductive stage. Furthermore, we explored correlations between the analyzed traits and levels of foliar damage. Post-reproductive plants had lower levels of chemical defense, and larger leaf area removed, in spite of having lower nutritive quality. Opposing patterns of intersexual differences were detected in protein and phenolic contents during reproductive stage, while in post-reproductive stage total leaf area was sexually dimorphic. Female-biased herbivory was apparent only after reproduction. Plant size parameters combined with condensed tannins content determined levels of foliar damage during post-reproductive stage, while the only trait covarying with herbivory in reproductive stage was total nonstructural carbohydrate content. Our results support claims of optimal defense theory - sensitive stage of reproduction was better defended. We conclude that different combinations of plant traits mediated interactions with herbivores in mature stages. Differences in reproductive allocation between the sexes may not immediately translate into different levels of damage, stressing the need for considering different ontogenetic stages when exploring sex bias in herbivory.

  17. Genotype-environment interactions affect flower and fruit herbivory and plant chemistry of Arabidopsis thaliana in a transplant experiment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mosleh Arany, A.; de Jong, T.; Kim, H.K.; Van Dam, N.M.; Choi, Y.L.; van Mil, H.G.J.; Verpoorte, R.; van der Meijden, E.

    2009-01-01

    Large differences exist in flower and fruit herbivory between dune and inland populations of plants of Arabidopsis thaliana (Brassicaceae). Two specialist weevils Ceutorhynchus atomus and C. contractus (Curculionidae) and their larvae are responsible for this pattern in herbivory. We test, by means

  18. Insect herbivory and vertebrate grazing impact food limitation and grasshopper populations during a severe outbreak

    Science.gov (United States)

    Interspecific competition between distantly related herbivores, as well as between large vertebrate herbivores and phytophagous insects, has received little attention. Livestock grazing is the dominant land use in western North American grasslands, where phytophagous insects can be the dominant herb...

  19. A fungal endophyte helps plants to tolerate root herbivory through changes in gibberellin and jasmonate signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cosme, Marco; Lu, Jing; Erb, Matthias; Stout, Michael Joseph; Franken, Philipp; Wurst, Susanne

    2016-08-01

    Plant-microbe mutualisms can improve plant defense, but the impact of root endophytes on below-ground herbivore interactions remains unknown. We investigated the effects of the root endophyte Piriformospora indica on interactions between rice (Oryza sativa) plants and its root herbivore rice water weevil (RWW; Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus), and how plant jasmonic acid (JA) and GA regulate this tripartite interaction. Glasshouse experiments with wild-type rice and coi1-18 and Eui1-OX mutants combined with nutrient, jasmonate and gene expression analyses were used to test: whether RWW adult herbivory above ground influences subsequent damage caused by larval herbivory below ground; whether P. indica protects plants against RWW; and whether GA and JA signaling mediate these interactions. The endophyte induced plant tolerance to root herbivory. RWW adults and larvae acted synergistically via JA signaling to reduce root growth, while endophyte-elicited GA biosynthesis suppressed the herbivore-induced JA in roots and recovered plant growth. Our study shows for the first time the impact of a root endophyte on plant defense against below-ground herbivores, adds to growing evidence that induced tolerance may be an important root defense, and implicates GA as a signal component of inducible plant tolerance against biotic stress. © 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

  20. Ontogenetic differences of herbivory on woody and herbaceous plants: a meta-analysis demonstrating unique effects of herbivory on the young and the old, the slow and the fast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massad, Tara Joy

    2013-05-01

    The effect of herbivory on plant performance is the subject of a large number of ecological studies, and plant responses to herbivory range from reduced reproduction to overcompensation. Because plant defenses, stored resources, and allocation demands change throughout a plant's lifetime, it can be hypothesized the effects of herbivory also vary with development. The present work extends previous analyses to incorporate hundreds of studies in a new meta-analysis addressing this topic. Herbivores had an overall negative effect on plant growth and reproduction, and, in contrast to a previous meta-analysis, this work shows the timing of herbivory is relevant. Differences in the effects of herbivory between life stages existed for woody plant reproduction and perennial herb growth. In addition, tree and shrub growth was reduced by herbivore damage at early ontogenetic stages, and perennial herb reproduction was limited by adult stage herbivory. These results partially support the continuum of an ontogenetic response model. Finally, consideration of this synthesis in conjunction with other work led to the conclusion that different plant groups optimize their defense investments in unique ways. Slow-growing plants may strongly chemically defend young tissues, supporting the plant-age hypothesis, because early herbivory is detrimental to growth. Faster-growing herbs may invest more in antiherbivore defense when they are older, supporting the growth-differentiation balance hypothesis, because later herbivory limits their reproduction.

  1. Co-evolution of insect proteases and plant protease inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jongsma, Maarten A; Beekwilder, Jules

    2011-08-01

    Plants are at the basis of the food chain, but there is no such thing as a "free lunch" for herbivores. To promote reproductive success, plants evolved multi-layered defensive tactics to avoid or discourage herbivory. To the detriment of plants, herbivores, in turn, evolved intricate strategies to find, eat, and successfully digest essential plant parts to raise their own offspring. In this battle the digestive tract is the arena determining final victory or defeat as measured by growth or starvation of the herbivore. Earlier, specific molecular opponents were identified as proteases and inhibitors: digestive proteases of herbivores evolved structural motifs to occlude plant protease inhibitors, or alternatively, the insects evolved proteases capable of specifically degrading the host plant inhibitors. In response plant inhibitors evolved hyper-variable and novel protein folds to remain active against potential herbivores. At the level of protease regulation in herbivorous insects, it was shown that inhibition-insensitive digestive proteases are up-regulated when sensitive proteases are inhibited. The way this regulation operates in mammals is known as negative feedback by gut-luminal factors, so-called 'monitor peptides' that are sensitive to the concentration of active enzymes. We propose that regulation of gut enzymes by endogenous luminal factors has been an open invitation to plants to "hijack" this regulation by evolving receptor antagonists, although yet these plant factors have not been identified. In future research the question of the co-evolution of insect proteases and plant inhibitors should, therefore, be better approached from a systems level keeping in mind that evolution is fundamentally opportunistic and that the plant's fitness is primarily improved by lowering the availability of essential amino acids to an herbivore by any available mechanism.

  2. How plants connect pollination and herbivory networks and their contribution to community stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauve, Alix M C; Thébault, Elisa; Pocock, Michael J O; Fontaine, Colin

    2016-04-01

    Pollination and herbivory networks have mainly been studied separately, highlighting their distinct structural characteristics and the related processes and dynamics. However, most plants interact with both pollinators and herbivores, and there is evidence that both types of interaction affect each other. Here we investigated the way plants connect these mutualistic and antagonistic networks together, and the consequences for community stability. Using an empirical data set, we show that the way plants connect pollination and herbivory networks is not random and promotes community stability. Analyses of the structure of binary and quantitative networks show different results: the plants' generalism with regard to pollinators is positively correlated to their generalism with regard to herbivores when considering binary interactions, but not when considering quantitative interactions. We also show that plants that share the same pollinators do not share the same herbivores. However, the way plants connect pollination and herbivory networks promotes stability for both binary and quantitative networks. Our results highlight the relevance of considering the diversity of interaction types in ecological communities, and stress the need to better quantify the costs and benefits of interactions, as well as to develop new metrics characterizing the way different interaction types are combined within ecological networks.

  3. Sex-mediated herbivory by galling insects on Baccharis concinna (Asteraceae Herbivoria por insetos galhadores mediada pelo sexo em Baccharis concinna (Asteraceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Antonio A. Carneiro

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available The interaction patterns between the dioecious shrub Baccharis concinna Barroso (Asteraceae and its speciose galling insect community were studied in southeastern Brazil. Two hypotheses were tested in this study: "the differential reproduction and growth hypothesis" that predicts that male plants present fewer reproductive structures and are larger than female plants; and the 'sex-biased herbivory hypothesis' that predicts that male plants support a larger abundance of insect galls than female plants. Plants did not show sexual dimorphism in growth (= mean leaf number. However, male plants had longer shoots and a lower average number of inflorescences than female plants. These results corroborate the hypothesis that male plants grow more and reproduce less than female plants. No statistically significant difference was found in the number of galls between male and female plants, but a sex by environmental effect on gall number was detected. When each species of galling insect was individually analyzed per population of the host plant, the rates of attack varied between sex and population of the host plant, and they were highly variable among the species of galling insects. These results highlight the importance of the interaction between sex and environment in the community structure of galling insects and indicate that other variables besides host sex may influence the patterns of attack by galling herbivores.Os padrões de interação entre o arbusto dióico Baccharis concinna Barroso (Asteraceae e sua diversa comunidade de insetos galhadores foram estudados na região sudeste do Brasil. Duas hipóteses foram testadas neste estudo: "a hipótese do crescimento e reprodução diferenciais", que prevê que plantas masculinas apresentam menos estruturas reprodutivas e são maiores do que plantas femininas; e a "hipótese da herbivoria mediada pelo sexo" que prevê que plantas masculinas sustentam uma maior abundância de insetos galhadores do que

  4. Interactive effects of plant-available soil silicon and herbivory on competition between two grass species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garbuzov, Mihail; Reidinger, Stefan; Hartley, Susan E.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims The herbivore defence system of true grasses (Poaceae) is predominantly based on silicon that is taken up from the soil and deposited in the leaves in the form of abrasive phytoliths. Silicon uptake mechanisms can be both passive and active, with the latter suggesting that there is an energetic cost to silicon uptake. This study assessed the effects of plant-available soil silicon and herbivory on the competitive interactions between the grasses Poa annua, a species that has previously been reported to accumulate only small amounts of silicon, and Lolium perenne, a high silicon accumulator. Methods Plants were grown in mono- and mixed cultures under greenhouse conditions. Plant-available soil silicon levels were manipulated by adding silicon to the soil in the form of sodium silicate. Subsets of mixed culture pots were exposed to above-ground herbivory by desert locusts (Schistocerca gregaria). Key Results In the absence of herbivory, silicon addition increased biomass of P. annua but decreased biomass of L. perenne. Silicon addition increased foliar silicon concentrations of both grass species >4-fold. Under low soil-silicon availability the herbivores removed more leaf biomass from L. perenne than from P. annua, whereas under high silicon availability the reverse was true. Consequently, herbivory shifted the competitive balance between the two grass species, with the outcome depending on the availability of soil silicon. Conclusions It is concluded that a complex interplay between herbivore abundance, growth–defence trade-offs and the availability of soil silicon in the grasses' local environment affects the outcome of inter-specific competition, and so has the potential to impact on plant community structure. PMID:21868406

  5. Interactive effects of herbivory and competition intensity determine invasive plant performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Wei; Carrillo, Juli; Ding, Jianqing; Siemann, Evan

    2012-10-01

    Herbivory can reduce plant fitness, and its effects can be increased by competition. Though numerous studies have examined the joint effects of herbivores and competitors on plant performance, these interactive effects are seldom considered in the context of plant invasions. Here, we examined variation in plant performance within a competitive environment in response to both specialist and generalist herbivores using Chinese tallow as a model species. We combined tallow plants from native and invasive populations to form all possible pairwise combinations, and designated invasive populations as stronger neighbours and native populations as weaker neighbours. We found that when no herbivory was imposed, invasive populations always had higher total biomass than natives, regardless of their neighbours, which is consistent with our assumption of increased competitive ability. Defoliation by either generalist or specialist herbivores suppressed plant growth but the effects of specialists were generally stronger for invasive populations. Invasive populations had their lowest biomass when fed upon by specialists while simultaneously competing with stronger neighbours. The root/shoot ratios of invasive populations were lower than those of native populations under almost all conditions, and invasive plants were taller than native plants overall, especially when herbivores were present, suggesting that invasive populations may adopt an "aboveground first" strategy to cope with herbivory and competition. These results suggest that release from herbivores, especially specialists, improves an invader's performance and helps to increase its competitive ability. Therefore, increasing interspecific competition intensity by planting a stronger neighbour while simultaneously releasing a specialist herbivore may be an especially effective method of managing invasive plants.

  6. How insects overcome two-component plant chemical defence: plant β-glucosidases as the main target for herbivore adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pentzold, Stefan; Zagrobelny, Mika; Rook, Fred; Bak, Søren

    2014-08-01

    Insect herbivory is often restricted by glucosylated plant chemical defence compounds that are activated by plant β-glucosidases to release toxic aglucones upon plant tissue damage. Such two-component plant defences are widespread in the plant kingdom and examples of these classes of compounds are alkaloid, benzoxazinoid, cyanogenic and iridoid glucosides as well as glucosinolates and salicinoids. Conversely, many insects have evolved a diversity of counteradaptations to overcome this type of constitutive chemical defence. Here we discuss that such counter-adaptations occur at different time points, before and during feeding as well as during digestion, and at several levels such as the insects’ feeding behaviour, physiology and metabolism. Insect adaptations frequently circumvent or counteract the activity of the plant β-glucosidases, bioactivating enzymes that are a key element in the plant’s two-component chemical defence. These adaptations include host plant choice, non-disruptive feeding guilds and various physiological adaptations as well as metabolic enzymatic strategies of the insect’s digestive system. Furthermore, insect adaptations often act in combination, may exist in both generalists and specialists, and can act on different classes of defence compounds. We discuss how generalist and specialist insects appear to differ in their ability to use these different types of adaptations: in generalists, adaptations are often inducible, whereas in specialists they are often constitutive. Future studies are suggested to investigate in detail how insect adaptations act in combination to overcome plant chemical defences and to allow ecologically relevant conclusions.

  7. Herbivory and pollen limitation at the upper elevational range limit of two forest understory plants of eastern North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivest, Sébastien; Vellend, Mark

    2018-01-01

    Studies of species' range limits focus most often on abiotic factors, although the strength of biotic interactions might also vary along environmental gradients and have strong demographic effects. For example, pollinator abundance might decrease at range limits due to harsh environmental conditions, and reduced plant density can reduce attractiveness to pollinators and increase or decrease herbivory. We tested for variation in the strength of pollen limitation and herbivory by ungulates along a gradient leading to the upper elevational range limits of Trillium erectum (Melanthiaceae) and Erythronium americanum (Liliaceae) in Mont Mégantic National Park, Québec, Canada. In T. erectum, pollen limitation was higher at the range limit, but seed set decreased only slightly with elevation and only in one of two years. In contrast, herbivory of T. erectum increased from 60% at the upper elevational range limit. In E. americanum , we found no evidence of pollen limitation despite a significant decrease in seed set with elevation, and herbivory was low across the entire gradient. Overall, our results demonstrate the potential for relatively strong negative interactions (herbivory) and weak positive interactions (pollination) at plant range edges, although this was clearly species specific. To the extent that these interactions have important demographic consequences-highly likely for herbivory on Trillium , based on previous studies-such interactions might play a role in determining plant species' range limits along putatively climatic gradients.

  8. Arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization, plant chemistry, and aboveground herbivory on Senecio jacobaea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reidinger, S.; Eschen, R.; Gange, A.C.; Finch, P.; Bezemer, T.M.

    2012-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can affect insect herbivores by changing plant growth and chemistry. However, many factors can influence the symbiotic relationship between plant and fungus, potentially obscuring experimental treatments and ecosystem impacts. In a field experiment, we assessed AMF

  9. Metabolic and enzymatic changes associated with carbon mobilization, utilization and replenishment triggered in grain amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus in response to partial defoliation by mechanical injury or insect herbivory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Castrillón-Arbeláez Paula

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Amaranthus cruentus and A. hypochondriacus are crop plants grown for grain production in subtropical countries. Recently, the generation of large-scale transcriptomic data opened the possibility to study representative genes of primary metabolism to gain a better understanding of the biochemical mechanisms underlying tolerance to defoliation in these species. A multi-level approach was followed involving gene expression analysis, enzyme activity and metabolite measurements. Results Defoliation by insect herbivory (HD or mechanical damage (MD led to a rapid and transient reduction of non-structural carbohydrates (NSC in all tissues examined. This correlated with a short-term induction of foliar sucrolytic activity, differential gene expression of a vacuolar invertase and its inhibitor, and induction of a sucrose transporter gene. Leaf starch in defoliated plants correlated negatively with amylolytic activity and expression of a β-amylase-1 gene and positively with a soluble starch synthase gene. Fatty-acid accumulation in roots coincided with a high expression of a phosphoenolpyruvate/phosphate transporter gene. In all tissues there was a long-term replenishment of most metabolite pools, which allowed damaged plants to maintain unaltered growth and grain yield. Promoter analysis of ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase and vacuolar invertase genes indicated the presence of cis-regulatory elements that supported their responsiveness to defoliation. HD and MD had differential effects on transcripts, enzyme activities and metabolites. However, the correlation between transcript abundance and enzymatic activities was very limited. A better correlation was found between enzymes, metabolite levels and growth and reproductive parameters. Conclusions It is concluded that a rapid reduction of NSC reserves in leaves, stems and roots followed by their long-term recovery underlies tolerance to defoliation in grain amaranth. This requires the

  10. Phytoplasmas: bacteria that manipulate plants and insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogenhout, Saskia A; Oshima, Kenro; Ammar, El-Desouky; Kakizawa, Shigeyuki; Kingdom, Heather N; Namba, Shigetou

    2008-07-01

    Superkingdom Prokaryota; Kingdom Monera; Domain Bacteria; Phylum Firmicutes (low-G+C, Gram-positive eubacteria); Class Mollicutes; Candidatus (Ca.) genus Phytoplasma. Ca. Phytoplasma comprises approximately 30 distinct clades based on 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses of approximately 200 phytoplasmas. Phytoplasmas are mostly dependent on insect transmission for their spread and survival. The phytoplasma life cycle involves replication in insects and plants. They infect the insect but are phloem-limited in plants. Members of Ca. Phytoplasma asteris (16SrI group phytoplasmas) are found in 80 monocot and dicot plant species in most parts of the world. Experimentally, they can be transmitted by approximately 30, frequently polyphagous insect species, to 200 diverse plant species. In plants, phytoplasmas induce symptoms that suggest interference with plant development. Typical symptoms include: witches' broom (clustering of branches) of developing tissues; phyllody (retrograde metamorphosis of the floral organs to the condition of leaves); virescence (green coloration of non-green flower parts); bolting (growth of elongated stalks); formation of bunchy fibrous secondary roots; reddening of leaves and stems; generalized yellowing, decline and stunting of plants; and phloem necrosis. Phytoplasmas can be pathogenic to some insect hosts, but generally do not negatively affect the fitness of their major insect vector(s). In fact, phytoplasmas can increase fecundity and survival of insect vectors, and may influence flight behaviour and plant host preference of their insect hosts. The most common practices are the spraying of various insecticides to control insect vectors, and removal of symptomatic plants. Phytoplasma-resistant cultivars are not available for the vast majority of affected crops.

  11. Regulation of a Chemical Defense against Herbivory Produced by Symbiotic Fungi in Grass Plants12[W][OA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Dong-Xiu; Nagabhyru, Padmaja; Schardl, Christopher L.

    2009-01-01

    Neotyphodium uncinatum and Neotyphodium siegelii are fungal symbionts (endophytes) of meadow fescue (MF; Lolium pratense), which they protect from insects by producing loline alkaloids. High levels of lolines are produced following insect damage or mock herbivory (clipping). Although loline alkaloid levels were greatly elevated in regrowth after clipping, loline-alkaloid biosynthesis (LOL) gene expression in regrowth and basal tissues was similar to unclipped controls. The dramatic increase of lolines in regrowth reflected the much higher concentrations in young (center) versus older (outer) leaf blades, so LOL gene expression was compared in these tissues. In MF-N. siegelii, LOL gene expression was similar in younger and older leaf blades, whereas expression of N. uncinatum LOL genes and some associated biosynthesis genes was higher in younger than older leaf blades. Because lolines are derived from amino acids that are mobilized to new growth, we tested the amino acid levels in center and outer leaf blades. Younger leaf blades of aposymbiotic plants (no endophyte present) had significantly higher levels of asparagine and sometimes glutamine compared to older leaf blades. The amino acid levels were much lower in MF-N. siegelii and MF-N. uncinatum compared to aposymbiotic plants and MF with Epichloë festucae (a closely related symbiont), which lacked lolines. We conclude that loline alkaloid production in young tissue depleted these amino acid pools and was apparently regulated by availability of the amino acid substrates. As a result, lolines maximally protect young host tissues in a fashion similar to endogenous plant metabolites that conform to optimal defense theory. PMID:19403726

  12. The effect of chronic seaweed subsidies on herbivory: plant-mediated fertilization pathway overshadows lizard-mediated predator pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piovia-Scott, Jonah; Spiller, David A; Takimoto, Gaku; Yang, Louie H; Wright, Amber N; Schoener, Thomas W

    2013-08-01

    Flows of energy and materials link ecosystems worldwide and have important consequences for the structure of ecological communities. While these resource subsidies typically enter recipient food webs through multiple channels, most previous studies focussed on a single pathway of resource input. We used path analysis to evaluate multiple pathways connecting chronic marine resource inputs (in the form of seaweed deposits) and herbivory in a shoreline terrestrial ecosystem. We found statistical support for a fertilization effect (seaweed increased foliar nitrogen content, leading to greater herbivory) and a lizard numerical response effect (seaweed increased lizard densities, leading to reduced herbivory), but not for a lizard diet-shift effect (seaweed increased the proportion of marine-derived prey in lizard diets, but lizard diet was not strongly associated with herbivory). Greater seaweed abundance was associated with greater herbivory, and the fertilization effect was larger than the combined lizard effects. Thus, the bottom-up, plant-mediated effect of fertilization on herbivory overshadowed the top-down effects of lizard predators. These results, from unmanipulated shoreline plots with persistent differences in chronic seaweed deposition, differ from those of a previous experimental study of the short-term effects of a pulse of seaweed deposition: while the increase in herbivory in response to chronic seaweed deposition was due to the fertilization effect, the short-term increase in herbivory in response to a pulse of seaweed deposition was due to the lizard diet-shift effect. This contrast highlights the importance of the temporal pattern of resource inputs in determining the mechanism of community response to resource subsidies.

  13. Rewiring of the jasmonic acid signaling pathway during insect herbivory on Arabidopsis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verhage, A.

    2011-01-01

    Plants are attacked by a plethora of potentially devastating pathogens and pests. To protect themselves, plants have evolved a sophisticated immune system in which phytohormones play pivotal regulatory roles. Jasmonic acid (JA) emerged as an important hormonal regulator of defense responses that are

  14. Herbivory of an invasive slug is affected by earthworms and the composition of plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaller, Johann G; Parth, Myriam; Szunyogh, Ilona; Semmelrock, Ines; Sochurek, Susanne; Pinheiro, Marcia; Frank, Thomas; Drapela, Thomas

    2013-05-13

    Biodiversity loss and species invasions are among the most important human-induced global changes. Moreover, these two processes are interlinked as ecosystem invasibility is considered to increase with decreasing biodiversity. In temperate grasslands, earthworms serve as important ecosystem engineers making up the majority of soil faunal biomass. Herbivore behaviour has been shown to be affected by earthworms, however it is unclear whether these effects differ with the composition of plant communities. To test this we conducted a mesocosm experiment where we added earthworms (Annelida: Lumbricidae) to planted grassland communities with different plant species composition (3 vs. 12 plant spp.). Plant communities had equal plant densities and ratios of the functional groups grasses, non-leguminous forbs and legumes. Later, Arion vulgaris slugs (formerly known as A. lusitanicus; Gastropoda: Arionidae) were added and allowed to freely choose among the available plant species. This slug species is listed among the 100 worst alien species in Europe. We hypothesized that (i) the food choice of slugs would be altered by earthworms' specific effects on the growth and nutrient content of plant species, (ii) slug herbivory will be less affected by earthworms in plant communities containing more plant species than in those with fewer plant species because of a more readily utilization of plant resources making the impacts of earthworms less pronounced. Slug herbivory was significantly affected by both earthworms and plant species composition. Slugs damaged 60% less leaves when earthworms were present, regardless of the species composition of the plant communities. Percent leaf area consumed by slugs was 40% lower in communities containing 12 plant species; in communities containing only three species earthworms increased slug leaf area consumption. Grasses were generally avoided by slugs. Leaf length and number of tillers was increased in mesocosms containing more plant

  15. The evolution of plant-insect mutualisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bronstein, Judith L; Alarcón, Ruben; Geber, Monica

    2006-01-01

    Mutualisms (cooperative interactions between species) have had a central role in the generation and maintenance of life on earth. Insects and plants are involved in diverse forms of mutualism. Here we review evolutionary features of three prominent insect-plant mutualisms: pollination, protection and seed dispersal. We focus on addressing five central phenomena: evolutionary origins and maintenance of mutualism; the evolution of mutualistic traits; the evolution of specialization and generalization; coevolutionary processes; and the existence of cheating. Several features uniting very diverse insect-plant mutualisms are identified and their evolutionary implications are discussed: the involvement of one mobile and one sedentary partner; natural selection on plant rewards; the existence of a continuum from specialization to generalization; and the ubiquity of cheating, particularly on the part of insects. Plant-insect mutualisms have apparently both arisen and been lost repeatedly. Many adaptive hypotheses have been proposed to explain these transitions, and it is unlikely that any one of them dominates across interactions differing so widely in natural history. Evolutionary theory has a potentially important, but as yet largely unfilled, role to play in explaining the origins, maintenance, breakdown and evolution of insect-plant mutualisms.

  16. Ubiquity of insect-derived nitrogen transfer to plants by endophytic insect-pathogenic fungi: an additional branch of the soil nitrogen cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behie, Scott W; Bidochka, Michael J

    2014-03-01

    The study of symbiotic nitrogen transfer in soil has largely focused on nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Vascular plants can lose a substantial amount of their nitrogen through insect herbivory. Previously, we showed that plants were able to reacquire nitrogen from insects through a partnership with the endophytic, insect-pathogenic fungus Metarhizium robertsii. That is, the endophytic capability and insect pathogenicity of M. robertsii are coupled so that the fungus acts as a conduit to provide insect-derived nitrogen to plant hosts. Here, we assess the ubiquity of this nitrogen transfer in five Metarhizium species representing those with broad (M. robertsii, M. brunneum, and M. guizhouense) and narrower insect host ranges (M. acridum and M. flavoviride), as well as the insect-pathogenic fungi Beauveria bassiana and Lecanicillium lecanii. Insects were injected with (15)N-labeled nitrogen, and we tracked the incorporation of (15)N into two dicots, haricot bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and soybean (Glycine max), and two monocots, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and wheat (Triticum aestivum), in the presence of these fungi in soil microcosms. All Metarhizium species and B. bassiana but not L. lecanii showed the capacity to transfer nitrogen to plants, although to various degrees. Endophytic association by these fungi increased overall plant productivity. We also showed that in the field, where microbial competition is potentially high, M. robertsii was able to transfer insect-derived nitrogen to plants. Metarhizium spp. and B. bassiana have a worldwide distribution with high soil abundance and may play an important role in the ecological cycling of insect nitrogen back to plant communities.

  17. Intraspecific competition facilitates the evolution of tolerance to insect damage in the perennial plant Solanum carolinense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNutt, David W; Halpern, Stacey L; Barrows, Kahaili; Underwood, Nora

    2012-12-01

    Tolerance to herbivory (the degree to which plants maintain fitness after damage) is a key component of plant defense, so understanding how natural selection and evolutionary constraints act on tolerance traits is important to general theories of plant-herbivore interactions. These factors may be affected by plant competition, which often interacts with damage to influence trait expression and fitness. However, few studies have manipulated competitor density to examine the evolutionary effects of competition on tolerance. In this study, we tested whether intraspecific competition affects four aspects of the evolution of tolerance to herbivory in the perennial plant Solanum carolinense: phenotypic expression, expression of genetic variation, the adaptive value of tolerance, and costs of tolerance. We manipulated insect damage and intraspecific competition for clonal lines of S. carolinense in a greenhouse experiment, and measured tolerance in terms of sexual and asexual fitness components. Compared to plants growing at low density, plants growing at high density had greater expression of and genetic variation in tolerance, and experienced greater fitness benefits from tolerance when damaged. Tolerance was not costly for plants growing at either density, and only plants growing at low density benefited from tolerance when undamaged, perhaps due to greater intrinsic growth rates of more tolerant genotypes. These results suggest that competition is likely to facilitate the evolution of tolerance in S. carolinense, and perhaps in other plants that regularly experience competition, while spatio-temporal variation in density may maintain genetic variation in tolerance.

  18. Can genetically based clines in plant defence explain greater herbivory at higher latitudes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anstett, Daniel N; Ahern, Jeffrey R; Glinos, Julia; Nawar, Nabanita; Salminen, Juha-Pekka; Johnson, Marc T J

    2015-12-01

    Greater plant defence is predicted to evolve at lower latitudes in response to increased herbivore pressure. However, recent studies question the generality of this pattern. In this study, we tested for genetically based latitudinal clines in resistance to herbivores and underlying defence traits of Oenothera biennis. We grew plants from 137 populations from across the entire native range of O. biennis. Populations from lower latitudes showed greater resistance to multiple specialist and generalist herbivores. These patterns were associated with an increase in total phenolics at lower latitudes. A significant proportion of the phenolics were driven by the concentrations of two major ellagitannins, which exhibited opposing latitudinal clines. Our analyses suggest that these findings are unlikely to be explained by local adaptation of herbivore populations or genetic variation in phenology. Rather greater herbivory at high latitudes can be explained by latitudinal clines in the evolution of plant defences. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  19. Herbivory and growth in terrestrial and aquatic populations of amphibious stream plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sand-Jensen, Kaj; Jacobsen, Dean

    2002-01-01

    1. Many amphibious plant species grow in the transition between terrestrial and submerged vegetation in small lowland streams. We determined biomass development, leaf turnover rate and invertebrate herbivory during summer in terrestrial and aquatic populations of three amphibious species...... production (average 1.2-5.1%) than aquatic populations (2.9-17.3%), while the same plant dry mass was consumed per unit ground area. 3. Grazing loss increased linearly with leaf age apart from the youngest leaf stages. Grazing loss during the lifetime of leaves was therefore 2.4-3.1 times higher than mean...... apparent loss to standing leaves of all ages. The results imply that variation in density of grazers relative to plant production can account for differences in grazing impact between terrestrial and aquatic populations, and that fast leaf turnover keeps apparent grazing damage down. 4. We conclude...

  20. Plant odour plumes as mediators of plant-insect interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beyaert, Ivo; Hilker, Monika

    2014-02-01

    Insect olfactory orientation along odour plumes has been studied intensively with respect to pheromonal communication, whereas little knowledge is available on how plant odour plumes (POPs) affect olfactory searching by an insect for its host plants. The primary objective of this review is to examine the role of POPs in the attraction of insects. First, we consider parameters of an odour source and the environment which determine the size, shape and structure of an odour plume, and we apply that knowledge to POPs. Second, we compare characteristics of insect pheromonal plumes and POPs. We propose a 'POP concept' for the olfactory orientation of insects to plants. We suggest that: (i) an insect recognises a POP by means of plant volatile components that are encountered in concentrations higher than a threshold detection limit and that occur in a qualitative and quantitative blend indicating a resource; (ii) perception of the fine structure of a POP enables an insect to distinguish a POP from an unspecific odorous background and other interfering plumes; and (iii) an insect can follow several POPs to their sources, and may leave the track of one POP and switch to another one if this conveys a signal with higher reliability or indicates a more suitable resource. The POP concept proposed here may be a useful tool for research in olfactory-mediated plant-insect interactions. © 2013 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2013 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  1. Measuring Asymmetry in Insect-Plant Networks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cruz, Claudia P T [Programa de Pos-Graduacao em Fisica, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, UFRN - Campus Universitario, Lagoa Nova, CEP 59078 972, Natal, RN (Brazil); De Almeida, Adriana M [Departamento de Botanica, Ecologia e Zoologia, Centro de Biociencias, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, UFRN - Campus Universitario, Lagoa Nova, CEP 59078 972, Natal, RN (Brazil); Corso, Gilberto, E-mail: claudia@dfte.ufrn.br, E-mail: adrianam@ufrn.br, E-mail: corso@cb.ufrn.br [Departamento de Biofisica e Farmacologia, Centro de Biociencias, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, UFRN - Campus Universitario, Lagoa Nova, CEP 59078 972, Natal, RN (Brazil)

    2011-03-01

    In this work we focus on interaction networks between insects and plants and in the characterization of insect plant asymmetry, an important issue in coevolution and evolutionary biology. We analyze in particular the asymmetry in the interaction matrix of animals (herbivorous insects) and plants (food resource for the insects). Instead of driving our attention to the interaction matrix itself we derive two networks associated to the bipartite network: the animal network, D{sub 1}, and the plant network, D{sub 2}. These networks are constructed according to the following recipe: two animal species are linked once if they interact with the same plant. In a similar way, in the plant network, two plants are linked if they interact with the same animal. To explore the asymmetry between D{sub 2} and D{sub 1} we test for a set of 23 networks from the ecologic literature networks: the difference in size, {Delta}L, clustering coefficient difference, {Delta}C, and mean connectivity difference, {Delta}. We used a nonparametric statistical test to check the differences in {Delta}L, {Delta}C and {Delta}. Our results indicate that {Delta}L and {Delta} show a significative asymmetry.

  2. Two-way plant mediated interactions between root-associated microbes and insects: from ecology to mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nurmi ePangesti

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Plants are members of complex communities and function as a link between above- and below-ground organisms. Associations between plants and soil-borne microbes commonly occur and have often been found beneficial for plant fitness. Root-associated microbes may trigger physiological changes in the host plant that influence interactions between plants and aboveground insects at several trophic levels. Aboveground, plants are under continuous attack by insect herbivores and mount multiple responses that also have systemic effects on belowground microbes. Until recently, both ecological and mechanistic studies have mostly focused on exploring these below- and above-ground interactions using simplified systems involving both single microbe and herbivore species, which is far from the naturally occurring interactions. Increasing the complexity of the systems studied is required to increase our understanding of microbe - plant - insect interactions and to gain more benefit from the use of non-pathogenic microbes in agriculture. In this review, we explore how colonization by either single non-pathogenic microbe species or a community of such microbes belowground affects plant growth and defense and how this affects the interactions of plants with aboveground insects at different trophic levels. Moreover, we review how plant responses to foliar herbivory by insects belonging to different feeding guilds affect interactions of plants with non-pathogenic soil-borne microbes. The role of phytohormones in coordinating plant growth, plant defenses against foliar herbivores while simultaneously establishing associations with non-pathogenic soil microbes is discussed.

  3. Convergence in mycorrhizal fungal communities due to drought, plant competition, parasitism, and susceptibility to herbivory: consequences for fungi and host plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gehring, Catherine A; Mueller, Rebecca C; Haskins, Kristin E; Rubow, Tine K; Whitham, Thomas G

    2014-01-01

    Plants and mycorrhizal fungi influence each other's abundance, diversity, and distribution. How other biotic interactions affect the mycorrhizal symbiosis is less well understood. Likewise, we know little about the effects of climate change on the fungal component of the symbiosis or its function. We synthesized our long-term studies on the influence of plant parasites, insect herbivores, competing trees, and drought on the ectomycorrhizal fungal communities associated with a foundation tree species of the southwestern United States, pinyon pine (Pinus edulis), and described how these changes feed back to affect host plant performance. We found that drought and all three of the biotic interactions studied resulted in similar shifts in ectomycorrhizal fungal community composition, demonstrating a convergence of the community towards dominance by a few closely related fungal taxa. Ectomycorrhizal fungi responded similarly to each of these stressors resulting in a predictable trajectory of community disassembly, consistent with ecological theory. Although we predicted that the fungal communities associated with trees stressed by drought, herbivory, competition, and parasitism would be poor mutualists, we found the opposite pattern in field studies. Our results suggest that climate change and the increased importance of herbivores, competitors, and parasites that can be associated with it, may ultimately lead to reductions in ectomycorrhizal fungal diversity, but that the remaining fungal community may be beneficial to host trees under the current climate and the warmer, drier climate predicted for the future.

  4. Link between defoliation and light treatments on root vitality of five understory shrubs with different resistance to insect herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karolewski, Piotr; Zadworny, Marcin; Mucha, Joanna; Napierała-Filipiak, Anna; Oleksyn, Jacek

    2010-08-01

    Understory shrubs are frequently attacked by insect herbivores. However, very little is known regarding possible interactions between light condition, defoliation (D) and fine root vitality (% live roots) and metabolic activity, and whether different plant strategies (compensation, trade-off and equilibrium) to defoliation depend on individual species light requirements. To explore the response of roots to such conditions, an experiment was established in which we experimentally removed 50% of leaves in 1-year-old seedlings of Sambucus nigra, Cornus sanguinea, Prunus serotina, Frangula alnus and Corylus avellana grown in 15% and full sunlight. On average, defoliation leads to a 15% reduction in fine root (vitality (% live roots). However, a statistically significant reduction in root vitality after defoliation was detected only in those species that are less herbivorized in nature (48% in S. nigra and 5% in C. sanguinea). On average, shade conditions (L) resulted in 18% decline in root vitality, and the effects of defoliation were also 22% higher than for plants grown in full light. Root vitality in both treatments (D and L) was significantly correlated with their dry mass, concentration of total phenol (TPh) and carbon to nitrogen ratio, and negatively correlated with nitrogen, soluble carbohydrates, starch and total non-structural carbohydrates (TNC). To a large extent, root vitality and chemistry varied by species. Higher root vitality was related to higher concentrations of phenolics, more than to N and TNC concentrations. Concentrations of phenolics also differed significantly between defoliated plants and controls. However, in defoliated plants, an increase in TPh was observed only in two species, which belong to two different groups in light requirements and susceptibility to insect grazing (C. sanguinea and P. serotina). This study indicated that higher vitality of roots occurred in species that are characterized by higher insect defoliation under natural

  5. Arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization, plant chemistry, and aboveground herbivory on Senecio jacobaea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reidinger, Stefan; Eschen, René; Gange, Alan C.; Finch, Paul; Bezemer, T. Martijn

    2012-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can affect insect herbivores by changing plant growth and chemistry. However, many factors can influence the symbiotic relationship between plant and fungus, potentially obscuring experimental treatments and ecosystem impacts. In a field experiment, we assessed AMF colonization levels of individual ragwort ( Senecio jacobaea) plants growing in grassland plots that were originally sown with 15 or 4 plant species, or were unsown. We measured the concentrations of carbon, nitrogen and pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), and assessed the presence of aboveground insect herbivores on the sampled plants. Total AMF colonization and colonization by arbuscules was lower in plots sown with 15 species than in plots sown with 4 species and unsown plots. AMF colonization was positively related to the cover of oxeye daisy ( Leucanthemum vulgare) and a positive relationship between colonization by arbuscules and the occurrence of a specialist seed-feeding fly ( Pegohylemyia seneciella) was found. The occurrence of stem-boring, leaf-mining and sap-sucking insects was not affected by AMF colonization. Total PA concentrations were negatively related to colonization levels by vesicles, but did not differ among the sowing treatments. No single factor explained the observed differences in AMF colonization among the sowing treatments or insect herbivore occurrence on S. jacobaea. However, correlations across the treatments suggest that some of the variation was due to the abundance of one plant species, which is known to stimulate AMF colonization of neighbouring plants, while AMF colonization was related to the occurrence of a specialist insect herbivore. Our results thus illustrate that in natural systems, the ecosystem impact of AMF through their influence on the occurrence of specialist insects can be recognised, but they also highlight the confounding effect of neighbouring plant species identity. Hence, our results emphasise the importance of field

  6. Interspecific variation within the genus Asclepias in response to herbivory by a phloem-feeding insect herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zehnder, Caralyn B; Hunter, Mark D

    2007-11-01

    Induced plant responses to leaf-chewing insects have been well studied, but considerably less is known about the effects of phloem-feedings insects on induction. In a set of laboratory experiments, we examined density-dependent induction by the milkweed-oleander aphid, Aphis nerii, of putative defenses in four milkweed species (Asclepias incarnata, Asclepias syriaca, Asclepias tuberosa, and Asclepias viridis). We hypothesized that high aphid density would lead to increased cardenolide expression in species with low constitutive levels of cardenolides (e.g., A. tuberosa), but that there would be no induction in high constitutive cardenolide species (e.g., A. viridis). Based on previous studies, we did not expect cardenolide induction in A. incarnata. Contrary to our predictions, we observed feeding-induced declines of cardenolide concentrations in A. viridis. Cardenolide concentrations did not respond to aphid feeding in the other three milkweed species. Aphids also caused reductions in biomass accumulation by two of four Asclepias species, A. viridis and A. incarnata. High aphid density led to a decrease in A. viridis foliar nitrogen concentration. However, aphids had no effect on the defensive chemistry, growth, or nutritional quality of either A. syriaca or A. tuberosa. Our results highlight that congeneric plant species may respond differently to the same levels of herbivore damage.

  7. Convergence in mycorrhizal fungal communities due to drought, plant competition, parasitism and susceptibility to herbivory: Consequences for fungi and host plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine A. Gehring

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Plants and mycorrhizal fungi influence each other’s abundance, diversity and distribution. How other biotic interactions affect the mycorrhizal symbiosis is less well understood. Likewise, we know little about the effects of climate change on the fungal component of the symbiosis or its function. We synthesized our long-term studies on the influence of mistletoe parasites, insect herbivores, competing trees, and drought on the ectomycorrhizal fungal communities associated with a foundation tree species of the southwestern United States, pinyon pine (Pinus edulis, and described how these changes feed back to affect host plant performance. We found that drought and all three of the biotic interactions studied resulted in similar shifts in ectomycorrhizal fungal community composition, demonstrating a convergence of the community towards dominance by a few closely related fungal taxa. Ectomycorrhizal fungi responded similarly to each of these stressors resulting in a predictable trajectory of community disassembly, consistent with ecological theory. Although we predicted that the fungal communities associated with trees stressed by drought, herbivory, competition, and parasitism would be poor mutualists, we found the opposite pattern in field studies. Our results suggest that climate change and the increased importance of herbivores, competitors and parasites that can be associated with it, may ultimately lead to reductions in ectomycorrhizal fungal diversity, but that the remaining fungal community may be beneficial to host trees under the current climate and the warmer, drier climate predicted for the future.

  8. Ubiquitous water-soluble molecules in aquatic plant exudates determine specific insect attraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sérandour, Julien; Reynaud, Stéphane; Willison, John; Patouraux, Joëlle; Gaude, Thierry; Ravanel, Patrick; Lempérière, Guy; Raveton, Muriel

    2008-10-08

    Plants produce semio-chemicals that directly influence insect attraction and/or repulsion. Generally, this attraction is closely associated with herbivory and has been studied mainly under atmospheric conditions. On the other hand, the relationship between aquatic plants and insects has been little studied. To determine whether the roots of aquatic macrophytes release attractive chemical mixtures into the water, we studied the behaviour of mosquito larvae using olfactory experiments with root exudates. After testing the attraction on Culex and Aedes mosquito larvae, we chose to work with Coquillettidia species, which have a complex behaviour in nature and need to be attached to plant roots in order to obtain oxygen. This relationship is non-destructive and can be described as commensal behaviour. Commonly found compounds seemed to be involved in insect attraction since root exudates from different plants were all attractive. Moreover, chemical analysis allowed us to identify a certain number of commonly found, highly water-soluble, low-molecular-weight compounds, several of which (glycerol, uracil, thymine, uridine, thymidine) were able to induce attraction when tested individually but at concentrations substantially higher than those found in nature. However, our principal findings demonstrated that these compounds appeared to act synergistically, since a mixture of these five compounds attracted larvae at natural concentrations (0.7 nM glycerol, insect relationships in aquatic eco-systems.

  9. Population and leaf-level variation of iridoid glycosides in the invasive weed Verbascum thapsus L. (common mullein): Implications for herbivory by generalist insects

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Alba, Christina; Prioreschi, R.; Quintero, C.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 23, č. 2 (2013), s. 83-92 ISSN 0937-7409 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : plant-insect interactions * plant invasion * chemicals Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.963, year: 2013

  10. Biodiversity as a multidimensional construct: a review, framework and case study of herbivory's impact on plant biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Naeem, S.; Prager, Case; Weeks, Brian

    2016-01-01

    on understory plant cover at Black Rock Forest, New York. Using three biodiversity dimensions (taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity) to explore our framework, we found that herbivory alters biodiversity's multidimensional influence on plant cover; an effect not observable through a unidimensional...... approach. Although our review, framework and case study illustrate the advantages of multidimensional over unidimensional approaches, they also illustrate the statistical and empirical challenges such work entails. Meeting these challenges, however, where data and resources permit, will be important if we...

  11. Biodiversity as a multidimensional construct: a review, framework and case study of herbivory's impact on plant biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Naeem, S.; Prager, Case; Weeks, Brian

    2016-01-01

    Biodiversity is inherently multidimensional, encompassing taxonomic, functional, phylogenetic, genetic, landscape and many other elements of variability of life on the Earth. However, this fundamental principle of multidimensionality is rarely applied in research aimed at understanding biodiversity...... on understory plant cover at Black Rock Forest, New York. Using three biodiversity dimensions (taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity) to explore our framework, we found that herbivory alters biodiversity's multidimensional influence on plant cover; an effect not observable through a unidimensional...

  12. Quantitative defense theory and patterns of feeding by oak insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faeth, Stanley H

    1985-12-01

    Patterns of herbivory over a two year period on Quercus emoryi (Fagaceae) were correlated with seasonal and yearly changes in tannin and protein content. Quantitative defense theory predicts that tannin and protein content in apparent plants should be negatively and positively correlated, respectively, with degree of herbivory. Most herbivory occurred early in the growing season, but the pattern varied between the two years. Tannin and protein content sometimes varied negatively and sometimes positively with degree of herbivory; they did not consistently covary with herbivory. Protein content was positively correlated with herbivory in 1981-1982 but not in 1982-1983. Condensed tannin content was negatively correlated with herbivory in 1981-1982 but not in 1982-1983. Hydrolysable tannin content was positively correlated with herbivory activity. Multiple regression analyses indicated these phytochemical variables explained either no significant variation in herbivory (1982-1983) or did so in a fashion opposite (1981-1982) to the predictions of the theory of quantitative defense.Feeding by oak insects was not solely a function of seasonal changes in quantitative defenses and nutrients. Obviously, population dynamics of the insects are sensitive to factors other than phytochemistry of the trees and I discuss other factors that can influence patterns of herbivory.

  13. Effects of herbivory by Diaprepes abbreviatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) larvae on four woody ornamental plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Cliff G; Mannion, Catharine; Schaffer, Bruce

    2009-06-01

    The hypothesis that herbivory by Diaprepes root weevil larvae reduces leaf gas exchange and biomass was tested on buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus L.), Surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora L.), mahogany (Swietenia mahagoni Jacq.), and pond apple (Annona glabra L). For Surinam cherry, net CO2 assimilation, transpiration, and stomatal conductance, but not internal CO2 concentration (collectively referred to as leaf gas exchange values), were 7-32% higher in noninfested than infested plants. For buttonwood, all four gas exchange values were 10-54% higher for noninfested than infested plants 3 h after infestation with large, seventh-instar larvae. However, by 4 wk after this infestation, net CO2 assimilation, transpiration, and stomatal conductance, but not internal CO2 concentration, were 11-37% higher for infested than for noninfested plants. For mahogany and pond apple, there were few or no significant differences in leaf gas exchange values between infested and noninfested plants. For all species, mean shoot and root fresh and dry weights were higher for noninfested than infested plants, with the differences most significant for buttonwood (37-85% higher), followed by Surinam cherry (37-143% higher), mahogany (49-84% higher), and pond apple (24-46% higher), which had no significant differences. There were significant differences among plant species in mean head capsule widths, thus larval instars, of larvae recovered from soil with the largest larvae from Surinam cherry (2.59 +/- 0.19 mm) and the smallest from mahogany (2.29 +/- 0.06 mm). Based on differences in leaf gas exchange and plant biomass between infested and noninfested plants of the four species tested, buttonwood and Surinam cherry are the most vulnerable to feeding by Diaprepes larvae followed by mahogany then pond apple.

  14. Diversity begets diversity: host expansions and the diversification of plant-feeding insects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nylin Sören

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plant-feeding insects make up a large part of earth's total biodiversity. While it has been shown that herbivory has repeatedly led to increased diversification rates in insects, there has been no compelling explanation for how plant-feeding has promoted speciation rates. There is a growing awareness that ecological factors can lead to rapid diversification and, as one of the most prominent features of most insect-plant interactions, specialization onto a diverse resource has often been assumed to be the main process behind this diversification. However, specialization is mainly a pruning process, and is not able to actually generate diversity by itself. Here we investigate the role of host colonizations in generating insect diversity, by testing if insect speciation rate is correlated with resource diversity. Results By applying a variant of independent contrast analysis, specially tailored for use on questions of species richness (MacroCAIC, we show that species richness is strongly correlated with diversity of host use in the butterfly family Nymphalidae. Furthermore, by comparing the results from reciprocal sister group selection, where sister groups were selected either on the basis of diversity of host use or species richness, we find that it is likely that diversity of host use is driving species richness, rather than vice versa. Conclusion We conclude that resource diversity is correlated with species richness in the Nymphalidae and suggest a scenario based on recurring oscillations between host expansions – the incorporation of new plants into the repertoire – and specialization, as an important driving force behind the diversification of plant-feeding insects.

  15. Adaptive evolution of threonine deaminase in plant defense against insect herbivores

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gonzales-Vigil, Eliana; Bianchetti, Christopher M.; Phillips, Jr., George N.; Howe, Gregg A. (MSU); (UW)

    2011-11-07

    Gene duplication is a major source of plant chemical diversity that mediates plant-herbivore interactions. There is little direct evidence, however, that novel chemical traits arising from gene duplication reduce herbivory. Higher plants use threonine deaminase (TD) to catalyze the dehydration of threonine (Thr) to {alpha}-ketobutyrate and ammonia as the committed step in the biosynthesis of isoleucine (Ile). Cultivated tomato and related Solanum species contain a duplicated TD paralog (TD2) that is coexpressed with a suite of genes involved in herbivore resistance. Analysis of TD2-deficient tomato lines showed that TD2 has a defensive function related to Thr catabolism in the gut of lepidopteran herbivores. During herbivory, the regulatory domain of TD2 is removed by proteolysis to generate a truncated protein (pTD2) that efficiently degrades Thr without being inhibited by Ile. We show that this proteolytic activation step occurs in the gut of lepidopteran but not coleopteran herbivores, and is catalyzed by a chymotrypsin-like protease of insect origin. Analysis of purified recombinant enzymes showed that TD2 is remarkably more resistant to proteolysis and high temperature than the ancestral TD1 isoform. The crystal structure of pTD2 provided evidence that electrostatic interactions constitute a stabilizing feature associated with adaptation of TD2 to the extreme environment of the lepidopteran gut. These findings demonstrate a role for gene duplication in the evolution of a plant defense that targets and co-opts herbivore digestive physiology.

  16. Dealing with double trouble: consequences of single and double herbivory in Brassica juncea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mathur, V.; Tytgat, T.O.G.; Graaf, de R.M.; Kalia, V.; Reddy, A.S.; Vet, L.E.M.; Dam, van N.M.

    2013-01-01

    In their natural environment, plants are often attacked simultaneously by many insect species. The specificity of induced plant responses that is reported after single herbivore attacks may be compromised under double herbivory and this may influence later arriving herbivores. The present study

  17. The importance of ecological costs for the evolution of plant defense against herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Velzen, Ellen; Etienne, Rampal S

    2015-05-07

    Plant defense against herbivory comes at a cost, which can be either direct (reducing resources available for growth and reproduction) or indirect (through reducing ecological performance, for example intraspecific competitiveness). While direct costs have been well studied in theoretical models, ecological costs have received almost no attention. In this study we compare models with a direct trade-off (reduced growth rate) to models with an ecological trade-off (reduced competitive ability), using a combination of adaptive dynamics and simulations. In addition, we study the dependence of the level of defense that can evolve on the type of defense (directly by reducing consumption, or indirectly by inducing herbivore mortality (toxicity)), and on the type of herbivore against which the plant is defending itself (generalists or specialists). We find three major results: First, for both direct and ecological costs, defense only evolves if the benefit to the plant is direct (through reducing consumption). Second, the type of cost has a major effect on the evolutionary dynamics: direct costs always lead to a single optimal strategy against herbivores, but ecological costs can lead to branching and the coexistence of non-defending and defending plants; however, coexistence is only possible when defending against generalist herbivores. Finally, we find that fast-growing plants invest less than slow-growing plants when defending against generalist herbivores, as predicted by the Resource Availability Hypothesis, but invest more than slow-growing plants when defending against specialists. Our results clearly show that assumptions about ecological interactions are crucial for understanding the evolution of defense against herbivores. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Mycoplasmas, plants, insect vectors: a matrimonial triangle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garnier, M; Foissac, X; Gaurivaud, P; Laigret, F; Renaudin, J; Saillard, C; Bové, J M

    2001-10-01

    Plant pathogenic mycoplasmas were discovered by electron microscopy, in 1967, long after the discovery and culture in 1898 of the first pathogenic mycoplasma of animal origin, Mycoplasma mycoides. Mycoplasmas are Eubacteria of the class Mollicutes, a group of organisms phylogenetically related to Gram-positive bacteria. Their more characteristic features reside in the small size of their genomes, the low guanine (G) plus cytosine (C) content of their genomic DNA and the lack of a cell wall. Plant pathogenic mycoplasmas are responsible for several hundred diseases and belong to two groups: the phytoplasmas and the spiroplasmas. The phytoplasmas (previously called MLOs, for mycoplasma like organisms) were discovered first; they are pleiomorphic, and have so far resisted in vitro cultivation. Phytoplasmas represent the largest group of plant pathogenic Mollicutes. Only three plant pathogenic spiroplasmas are known today. Spiroplasma citri, the agent of citrus stubborn was discovered and cultured in 1970 and shown to be helical and motile. S. kunkelii is the causal agent of corn stunt. S. phoeniceum, responsible for periwinkle yellows, was discovered in Syria. There are many other spiroplasmas associated with insects and ticks. Plant pathogenic mycoplasmas are restricted to the phloem sieve tubes in which circulates the photosynthetically-enriched sap, the food for many phloem-feeding insects (aphids, leafhoppers, psyllids, etc.). Interestingly, phytopathogenic mycoplasmas are very specifically transmitted by leafhoppers or psyllid species. In this paper, the most recent knowledge on phytopathogenic mycoplasmas in relation with their insect and plant habitats is presented as well as the experiments carried out to control plant mycoplasma diseases, by expression of mycoplasma-directed-antibodies in plants (plantibodies).

  19. Flower Constancy, Insect Psychology, and Plant Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chittka, Lars; Thomson, James D.; Waser, Nickolas M.

    Individuals of some species of pollinating insects tend to restrict their visits to only a few of the available plant species, in the process bypassing valuable food sources. The question of why this flower constancy exists is a rich and important one with implications for the organization of natural communities of plants, floral evolution, and our understanding of the learning processes involved in finding food. Some scientists have assumed that flower constancy is adaptive per se. Others argued that constancy occurs because memory capacity for floral features in insects is limited, but attempts to identify the limitations often remained rather simplistic. We elucidate now different sensory and motor memories from natural foraging tasks are stored and retrieved, using concepts from modern learning science and visual search, and conclude that flower constancy is likely to have multiple causes. Possible constraints favoring constancy are interference sensitivity of short-term memory, and temporal limitations on retrieving information from long-term memory as rapidly as from short-term memory, but further empirical evidence is needed to substantiate these possibilities. In addition, retrieving memories may be slower and more prone to errors when there are several options than when an insect copes with only a single task. In addition to memory limitations, we also point out alternative explanations for flower constancy. We then consider the way in which floral parameters, such as interplant distances, nectar rewards, flower morphology, and floral color (as seen through bees' eyes) affect constancy. Finally, we discuss the implications of pollinator constancy for plant evolution. To date there is no evidence that flowers have diverged to favor constancy, although the appropriate tests may not have yet been conducted. However, there is good evidence against the notion that pollinator constancy is involved in speciation or maintenance of plant species integrity.

  20. Environment vs. Plant Ontogeny: Arthropod Herbivory Patterns on European Beech Leaves along the Vertical Gradient of Temperate Forests in Central Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie Stiegel

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Environmental and leaf trait effects on herbivory are supposed to vary among different feeding guilds. Herbivores also show variability in their preferences for plant ontogenetic stages. Along the vertical forest gradient, environmental conditions change, and trees represent juvenile and adult individuals in the understorey and canopy, respectively. This study was conducted in ten forests sites in Central Germany for the enrichment of canopy research in temperate forests. Arthropod herbivory of different feeding traces was surveyed on leaves of Fagus sylvatica Linnaeus (European beech; Fagaceae in three strata. Effects of microclimate, leaf traits, and plant ontogenetic stage were analyzed as determining parameters for herbivory. The highest herbivory was caused by exophagous feeding traces. Herbivore attack levels varied along the vertical forest gradient for most feeding traces with distinct patterns. If differences of herbivory levels were present, they only occurred between juvenile and adult F. sylvatica individuals, but not between the lower and upper canopy. In contrast, differences of microclimate and important leaf traits were present between the lower and upper canopy. In conclusion, the plant ontogenetic stage had a stronger effect on herbivory than microclimate or leaf traits along the vertical forest gradient.

  1. Response of native insect communities to invasive plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezemer, T Martijn; Harvey, Jeffrey A; Cronin, James T

    2014-01-01

    Invasive plants can disrupt a range of trophic interactions in native communities. As a novel resource they can affect the performance of native insect herbivores and their natural enemies such as parasitoids and predators, and this can lead to host shifts of these herbivores and natural enemies. Through the release of volatile compounds, and by changing the chemical complexity of the habitat, invasive plants can also affect the behavior of native insects such as herbivores, parasitoids, and pollinators. Studies that compare insects on related native and invasive plants in invaded habitats show that the abundance of insect herbivores is often lower on invasive plants, but that damage levels are similar. The impact of invasive plants on the population dynamics of resident insect species has been rarely examined, but invasive plants can influence the spatial and temporal dynamics of native insect (meta)populations and communities, ultimately leading to changes at the landscape level.

  2. Experiments with duckweed-moth systems suggest global warming may reduce rather than promote herbivory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heide, van Tj.; Roijackers, R.M.M.; Peeters, E.T.H.M.; Nes, van E.H.

    2006-01-01

    1. Wilf & Labandeira (1999)suggested that increased temperatures because of global warming will cause an increase in herbivory by insects. This conclusion was based on the supposed effect of temperature on herbivores but did not consider an effect of temperature on plant growth. 2. We studied

  3. RNA Interference in Insect Vectors for Plant Viruses

    OpenAIRE

    Kanakala, Surapathrudu; Ghanim, Murad

    2016-01-01

    Insects and other arthropods are the most important vectors of plant pathogens. The majority of plant pathogens are disseminated by arthropod vectors such as aphids, beetles, leafhoppers, planthoppers, thrips and whiteflies. Transmission of plant pathogens and the challenges in managing insect vectors due to insecticide resistance are factors that contribute to major food losses in agriculture. RNA interference (RNAi) was recently suggested as a promising strategy for controlling insect pests...

  4. Ubiquitous water-soluble molecules in aquatic plant exudates determine specific insect attraction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julien Sérandour

    Full Text Available Plants produce semio-chemicals that directly influence insect attraction and/or repulsion. Generally, this attraction is closely associated with herbivory and has been studied mainly under atmospheric conditions. On the other hand, the relationship between aquatic plants and insects has been little studied. To determine whether the roots of aquatic macrophytes release attractive chemical mixtures into the water, we studied the behaviour of mosquito larvae using olfactory experiments with root exudates. After testing the attraction on Culex and Aedes mosquito larvae, we chose to work with Coquillettidia species, which have a complex behaviour in nature and need to be attached to plant roots in order to obtain oxygen. This relationship is non-destructive and can be described as commensal behaviour. Commonly found compounds seemed to be involved in insect attraction since root exudates from different plants were all attractive. Moreover, chemical analysis allowed us to identify a certain number of commonly found, highly water-soluble, low-molecular-weight compounds, several of which (glycerol, uracil, thymine, uridine, thymidine were able to induce attraction when tested individually but at concentrations substantially higher than those found in nature. However, our principal findings demonstrated that these compounds appeared to act synergistically, since a mixture of these five compounds attracted larvae at natural concentrations (0.7 nM glycerol, <0.5 nM uracil, 0.6 nM thymine, 2.8 nM uridine, 86 nM thymidine, much lower than those found for each compound tested individually. These results provide strong evidence that a mixture of polyols (glycerol, pyrimidines (uracil, thymine, and nucleosides (uridine, thymidine functions as an efficient attractive signal in nature for Coquillettidia larvae. We therefore show for the first time, that such commonly found compounds may play an important role in plant-insect relationships in aquatic eco-systems.

  5. New roles for cis-jasmone as an insect semiochemical and in plant defense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birkett, M A; Campbell, C A; Chamberlain, K; Guerrieri, E; Hick, A J; Martin, J L; Matthes, M; Napier, J A; Pettersson, J; Pickett, J A; Poppy, G M; Pow, E M; Pye, B J; Smart, L E; Wadhams, G H; Wadhams, L J; Woodcock, C M

    2000-08-01

    cis-jasmone, or (Z)-jasmone, is well known as a component of plant volatiles, and its release can be induced by damage, for example during insect herbivory. Using the olfactory system of the lettuce aphid to investigate volatiles from plants avoided by this insect, (Z)-jasmone was found to be electrophysiologically active and also to be repellent in laboratory choice tests. In field studies, repellency from traps was demonstrated for the damson-hop aphid, and with cereal aphids numbers were reduced in plots of winter wheat treated with (Z)-jasmone. In contrast, attractant activity was found in laboratory and wind tunnel tests for insects acting antagonistically to aphids, namely the seven-spot ladybird and an aphid parasitoid. When applied in the vapor phase to intact bean plants, (Z)-jasmone induced the production of volatile compounds, including the monoterpene (E)-beta-ocimene, which affect plant defense, for example by stimulating the activity of parasitic insects. These plants were more attractive to the aphid parasitoid in the wind tunnel when tested 48 h after exposure to (Z)-jasmone had ceased. This possible signaling role of (Z)-jasmone is qualitatively different from that of the biosynthetically related methyl jasmonate and gives a long-lasting effect after removal of the stimulus. Differential display was used to compare mRNA populations in bean leaves exposed to the vapor of (Z)-jasmone and methyl jasmonate. One differentially displayed fragment was cloned and shown by Northern blotting to be up-regulated in leaf tissue by (Z)-jasmone. This sequence was identified by homology as being derived from a gene encoding an alpha-tubulin isoform.

  6. Microbial brokers of insect-plant interactions revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, Angela E

    2013-07-01

    Recent advances in sequencing methods have transformed the field of microbial ecology, making it possible to determine the composition and functional capabilities of uncultured microorganisms. These technologies have been instrumental in the recognition that resident microorganisms can have profound effects on the phenotype and fitness of their animal hosts by modulating the animal signaling networks that regulate growth, development, behavior, etc. Against this backdrop, this review assesses the impact of microorganisms on insect-plant interactions, in the context of the hypothesis that microorganisms are biochemical brokers of plant utilization by insects. There is now overwhelming evidence for a microbial role in insect utilization of certain plant diets with an extremely low or unbalanced nutrient content. Specifically, microorganisms enable insect utilization of plant sap by synthesizing essential amino acids. They also can broker insect utilization of plant products of extremely high lignocellulose content, by enzymatic breakdown of complex plant polysaccharides, nitrogen fixation, and sterol synthesis. However, the experimental evidence for microbial-mediated detoxification of plant allelochemicals is limited. The significance of microorganisms as brokers of plant utilization by insects is predicted to vary, possibly widely, as a result of potentially complex interactions between the composition of the microbiota and the diet and insect developmental age or genotype. For every insect species feeding on plant material, the role of resident microbiota as biochemical brokers of plant utilization is a testable hypothesis.

  7. Phytophagous insects on native and non-native host plants: combining the community approach and the biogeographical approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim Meijer

    Full Text Available During the past centuries, humans have introduced many plant species in areas where they do not naturally occur. Some of these species establish populations and in some cases become invasive, causing economic and ecological damage. Which factors determine the success of non-native plants is still incompletely understood, but the absence of natural enemies in the invaded area (Enemy Release Hypothesis; ERH is one of the most popular explanations. One of the predictions of the ERH, a reduced herbivore load on non-native plants compared with native ones, has been repeatedly tested. However, many studies have either used a community approach (sampling from native and non-native species in the same community or a biogeographical approach (sampling from the same plant species in areas where it is native and where it is non-native. Either method can sometimes lead to inconclusive results. To resolve this, we here add to the small number of studies that combine both approaches. We do so in a single study of insect herbivory on 47 woody plant species (trees, shrubs, and vines in the Netherlands and Japan. We find higher herbivore diversity, higher herbivore load and more herbivory on native plants than on non-native plants, generating support for the enemy release hypothesis.

  8. Herbivory by Thrips tabaci

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Kendall

    1991-01-01

    Herbivory by Thrips tabaci (Lindeman) affects both the bulb yield and phytohormone balance in its major host plant, the onion (Alium cepa L.). Seasonal changes in the susceptibility of onion yield to T. tabaci feeding were examined during the three growth stages of onion; prebulbing, bulbing and sizing (Kendall...

  9. Metabolome analysis of food-chain between plants and insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evolution has shown the co-dependency of host plants-predators (insects), especially inevitable dependency of predators on plant biomass for securing their energy sources. In this respect, it had been believed that NAD+ source used for major energy producing pathway in insects is a glycerol-3-phosph...

  10. Insect herbivores should follow plants escaping their relatives

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yguel, B.; Bailey, R.I.; Villemant, C.; Brault, A.; Jactel, H.; Prinzing, A.

    2014-01-01

    Neighboring plants within a local community may be separated by many millions of years of evolutionary history, potentially reducing enemy pressure by insect herbivores. However, it is not known how the evolutionary isolation of a plant affects the fitness of an insect herbivore living on such a

  11. Horizontal Transmission of Intracellular Insect Symbionts via Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewa Chrostek

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Experimental evidence is accumulating that endosymbionts of phytophagous insects may transmit horizontally via plants. Intracellular symbionts known for manipulating insect reproduction and altering fitness (Rickettsia, Cardinium, Wolbachia, and bacterial parasite of the leafhopper Euscelidius variegatus have been found to travel from infected insects into plants. Other insects, either of the same or different species can acquire the symbiont from the plant through feeding, and in some cases transfer it to their progeny. These reports prompt many questions regarding how intracellular insect symbionts are delivered to plants and how they affect them. Are symbionts passively transported along the insect-plant-insect path, or do they actively participate in the process? How widespread are these interactions? How does symbiont presence influence the plant? And what conditions are required for the new infection to establish in an insect? From an ecological, evolutionary, and applied perspective, this mode of horizontal transmission could have profound implications if occurring frequently enough or if new stable symbiont infections are established. Transmission of symbionts through plants likely represents an underappreciated means of infection, both in terms of symbiont epidemiology and the movement of symbionts to new host species.

  12. Biodiversity as a multidimensional construct: a review, framework and case study of herbivory's impact on plant biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naeem, S.; Prager, Case; Weeks, Brian; Varga, Alex; Flynn, Dan F. B.; Griffin, Kevin; Muscarella, Robert; Palmer, Matthew; Wood, Stephen; Schuster, William

    2016-01-01

    Biodiversity is inherently multidimensional, encompassing taxonomic, functional, phylogenetic, genetic, landscape and many other elements of variability of life on the Earth. However, this fundamental principle of multidimensionality is rarely applied in research aimed at understanding biodiversity's value to ecosystem functions and the services they provide. This oversight means that our current understanding of the ecological and environmental consequences of biodiversity loss is limited primarily to what unidimensional studies have revealed. To address this issue, we review the literature, develop a conceptual framework for multidimensional biodiversity research based on this review and provide a case study to explore the framework. Our case study specifically examines how herbivory by whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus) alters the multidimensional influence of biodiversity on understory plant cover at Black Rock Forest, New York. Using three biodiversity dimensions (taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity) to explore our framework, we found that herbivory alters biodiversity's multidimensional influence on plant cover; an effect not observable through a unidimensional approach. Although our review, framework and case study illustrate the advantages of multidimensional over unidimensional approaches, they also illustrate the statistical and empirical challenges such work entails. Meeting these challenges, however, where data and resources permit, will be important if we are to better understand and manage the consequences we face as biodiversity continues to decline in the foreseeable future. PMID:27928041

  13. Biodiversity as a multidimensional construct: a review, framework and case study of herbivory's impact on plant biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naeem, S; Prager, Case; Weeks, Brian; Varga, Alex; Flynn, Dan F B; Griffin, Kevin; Muscarella, Robert; Palmer, Matthew; Wood, Stephen; Schuster, William

    2016-12-14

    Biodiversity is inherently multidimensional, encompassing taxonomic, functional, phylogenetic, genetic, landscape and many other elements of variability of life on the Earth. However, this fundamental principle of multidimensionality is rarely applied in research aimed at understanding biodiversity's value to ecosystem functions and the services they provide. This oversight means that our current understanding of the ecological and environmental consequences of biodiversity loss is limited primarily to what unidimensional studies have revealed. To address this issue, we review the literature, develop a conceptual framework for multidimensional biodiversity research based on this review and provide a case study to explore the framework. Our case study specifically examines how herbivory by whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus) alters the multidimensional influence of biodiversity on understory plant cover at Black Rock Forest, New York. Using three biodiversity dimensions (taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity) to explore our framework, we found that herbivory alters biodiversity's multidimensional influence on plant cover; an effect not observable through a unidimensional approach. Although our review, framework and case study illustrate the advantages of multidimensional over unidimensional approaches, they also illustrate the statistical and empirical challenges such work entails. Meeting these challenges, however, where data and resources permit, will be important if we are to better understand and manage the consequences we face as biodiversity continues to decline in the foreseeable future. © 2016 The Authors.

  14. Effects of herbivory and flooding on reforestation of baldcypress (Taxodium distichum [L.]) saplings planted in Caddo Lake, Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeland, Bobby D.; Dale, Rassa O.; Darville, Roy; McCoy, John W.

    2011-01-01

    The effects of herbivory and flooding were examined on survival and growth of planted baldcypress (Taxodium distichum (L.) Rich.) saplings at three sites in Caddo Lake, TX, over a 4-yr period. There were two flood regimes (shallow periodic and deep continuous), where half of the saplings in each flood regime were protected by tree shelters to prevent herbivory. By the end of the first year, over 80% of saplings survived with half of saplings classified as healthy. By the end of the fourth year, only half of the saplings were alive and one-third were healthy. At all three sites, the combination of no protection and continuous flooding resulted in a significant number of missing saplings. Likewise, most unprotected saplings in periodic flooding were missing by the end of the study. Saplings clipped by herbivores showed about 50% chance of recovery, but many of the sprouts were of poor quality. Protected saplings in tree shelters achieved significantly greater survival and height growth.

  15. Butterfly Larval Host Plant use in a Tropical Urban Context: Life History Associations, Herbivory, and Landscape Factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiple, Ashish D.; Khurad, Arun M.; Dennis, Roger L. H.

    2011-01-01

    This study examines butterfly larval host plants, herbivory and related life history attributes within Nagpur City, India. The larval host plants of 120 butterfly species are identified and their host specificity, life form, biotope, abundance and perennation recorded; of the 126 larval host plants, most are trees (49), with fewer herbs (43), shrubs (22), climbers (7) and stem parasites (2). They include 89 wild, 23 cultivated, 11 wild/cultivated and 3 exotic plant species; 78 are perennials, 43 annuals and 5 biannuals. Plants belonging to Poaceae and Fabaceae are most widely used by butterfly larvae. In addition to distinctions in host plant family affiliation, a number of significant differences between butterfly families have been identified in host use patterns: for life forms, biotopes, landforms, perennation, host specificity, egg batch size and ant associations. These differences arising from the development of a butterfly resource database have important implications for conserving butterfly species within the city area. Differences in overall butterfly population sizes within the city relate mainly to the number of host plants used, but other influences, including egg batch size and host specificity are identified. Much of the variation in population size is unaccounted for and points to the need to investigate larval host plant life history and strategies as population size is not simply dependent on host plant abundance. PMID:21864159

  16. Enhanced methanol production in plants provides broad spectrum insect resistance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sameer Dixit

    Full Text Available Plants naturally emit methanol as volatile organic compound. Methanol is toxic to insect pests; but the quantity produced by most of the plants is not enough to protect them against invading insect pests. In the present study, we demonstrated that the over-expression of pectin methylesterase, derived from Arabidopsis thaliana and Aspergillus niger, in transgenic tobacco plants enhances methanol production and resistance to polyphagous insect pests. Methanol content in the leaves of transgenic plants was measured using proton nuclear spectroscopy (1H NMR and spectra showed up to 16 fold higher methanol as compared to control wild type (WT plants. A maximum of 100 and 85% mortality in chewing insects Helicoverpa armigera and Spodoptera litura larvae was observed, respectively when fed on transgenic plants leaves. The surviving larvae showed less feeding, severe growth retardation and could not develop into pupae. In-planta bioassay on transgenic lines showed up to 99 and 75% reduction in the population multiplication of plant sap sucking pests Myzus persicae (aphid and Bemisia tabaci (whitefly, respectively. Most of the phenotypic characters of transgenic plants were similar to WT plants. Confocal microscopy showed no deformities in cellular integrity, structure and density of stomata and trichomes of transgenic plants compared to WT. Pollen germination and tube formation was also not affected in transgenic plants. Cell wall enzyme transcript levels were comparable with WT. This study demonstrated for the first time that methanol emission can be utilized for imparting broad range insect resistance in plants.

  17. Enhanced Methanol Production in Plants Provides Broad Spectrum Insect Resistance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixit, Sameer; Upadhyay, Santosh Kumar; Singh, Harpal; Sidhu, Om Prakash; Verma, Praveen Chandra; K, Chandrashekar

    2013-01-01

    Plants naturally emit methanol as volatile organic compound. Methanol is toxic to insect pests; but the quantity produced by most of the plants is not enough to protect them against invading insect pests. In the present study, we demonstrated that the over-expression of pectin methylesterase, derived from Arabidopsis thaliana and Aspergillus niger, in transgenic tobacco plants enhances methanol production and resistance to polyphagous insect pests. Methanol content in the leaves of transgenic plants was measured using proton nuclear spectroscopy (1H NMR) and spectra showed up to 16 fold higher methanol as compared to control wild type (WT) plants. A maximum of 100 and 85% mortality in chewing insects Helicoverpa armigera and Spodoptera litura larvae was observed, respectively when fed on transgenic plants leaves. The surviving larvae showed less feeding, severe growth retardation and could not develop into pupae. In-planta bioassay on transgenic lines showed up to 99 and 75% reduction in the population multiplication of plant sap sucking pests Myzus persicae (aphid) and Bemisia tabaci (whitefly), respectively. Most of the phenotypic characters of transgenic plants were similar to WT plants. Confocal microscopy showed no deformities in cellular integrity, structure and density of stomata and trichomes of transgenic plants compared to WT. Pollen germination and tube formation was also not affected in transgenic plants. Cell wall enzyme transcript levels were comparable with WT. This study demonstrated for the first time that methanol emission can be utilized for imparting broad range insect resistance in plants. PMID:24223989

  18. COMPARATIVE ASPECTS OF PLANT-CELL WALL DIGESTION IN INSECTS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    PRINS, RA; KREULEN, DA

    Although many phytophagous and wood-eating invertibrates form their own cellulases, there is an overwhelming variety of symbioses between plant- and wood-utilising insects and microorganisms. In one type of symbiosis (endosymbiosis), insects (rhinoceros beetle, cockroach, lower termites) host

  19. RNA Interference in Insect Vectors for Plant Viruses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Surapathrudu Kanakala

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Insects and other arthropods are the most important vectors of plant pathogens. The majority of plant pathogens are disseminated by arthropod vectors such as aphids, beetles, leafhoppers, planthoppers, thrips and whiteflies. Transmission of plant pathogens and the challenges in managing insect vectors due to insecticide resistance are factors that contribute to major food losses in agriculture. RNA interference (RNAi was recently suggested as a promising strategy for controlling insect pests, including those that serve as important vectors for plant pathogens. The last decade has witnessed a dramatic increase in the functional analysis of insect genes, especially those whose silencing results in mortality or interference with pathogen transmission. The identification of such candidates poses a major challenge for increasing the role of RNAi in pest control. Another challenge is to understand the RNAi machinery in insect cells and whether components that were identified in other organisms are also present in insect. This review will focus on summarizing success cases in which RNAi was used for silencing genes in insect vector for plant pathogens, and will be particularly helpful for vector biologists.

  20. Characterization of Natural and Simulated Herbivory on Wild Soybean (Glycine soja Seib. et Zucc. for Use in Ecological Risk Assessment of Insect Protected Soybean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hidetoshi Goto

    Full Text Available Insect-protected soybean (Glycine max (L. Merr. was developed to protect against foliage feeding by certain Lepidopteran insects. The assessment of potential consequences of transgene introgression from soybean to wild soybean (Glycine soja Seib. et Zucc. is required as one aspect of the environmental risk assessment (ERA in Japan. A potential hazard of insect-protected soybean may be hypothesized as transfer of a trait by gene flow to wild soybean and subsequent reduction in foliage feeding by Lepidopteran insects that result in increased weediness of wild soybean in Japan. To assess this potential hazard two studies were conducted. A three-year survey of wild soybean populations in Japan was conducted to establish basic information on foliage damage caused by different herbivores. When assessed across all populations and years within each prefecture, the total foliage from different herbivores was ≤ 30%, with the lowest levels of defoliation (< 2% caused by Lepidopteran insects. A separate experiment using five levels of simulated defoliation (0%, 10%, 25%, 50% and 100% was conducted to assess the impact on pod and seed production and time to maturity of wild soybean. The results indicated that there was no decrease in wild soybean plants pod or seed number or time to maturity at defoliation rates up to 50%. The results from these experiments indicate that wild soybean is not limited by lepidopteran feeding and has an ability to compensate for defoliation levels observed in nature. Therefore, the potential hazard to wild soybean from the importation of insect-protected soybean for food and feed into Japan is negligible.

  1. Genetic variation in plant chemistry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geem, van Moniek

    2016-01-01

    Plants form the basis of many food webs and are consumed by a wide variety of organisms, including herbivorous insects. Over the course of evolution, plants have evolved mechanisms to defend themselves against herbivory, whereas herbivorous insects have evolved counter-mechanisms to overcome

  2. Survival and development of reintroduced Cattleya intermedia plants related to abiotic factors and herbivory at the edge and in the interior of a forest fragment in South Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Delio Endres Júnior

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Biotic and abiotic factors, such as luminosity, temperature, air humidity, and herbivory, can affect the establishment of reintroduced plants in natural habitats. This study evaluated the effects of these factors on the survival and growth of Cattleya intermedia plants reintroduced into a forest fragment in South Brazil. Plants of C. intermedia were obtained from in vitro seed germination in asymbiotic culture. Eighty-eight plants were reintroduced at both the forest edge and forest interior. Plants with greater shoot heights and number of leaves and pseudobulbs suffered more damage from herbivores at the edge. There were no significant differences in morphometric parameters between damaged and non-damaged plants in the interior. Tenthecoris bicolor, Helionothrips errans, Ithomiola nepos, Molomea magna and Coleoptera larvae damaged C. intermedia. Luminosity was higher at the edge, while air humidity and temperature were the same in both environments. Herbivory associated with abiotic factors increased plant mortality in the interior, while abiotic factors were determinative of plant survival at the edge. Luminosity is important to the survival of reintroduced epiphytic orchids, and herbivory affects the success of reintroduction.

  3. Plant interactions with multiple insect herbivores: from community to genes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, J.M.; Kroes, A.; Li, Y.; Gols, R.; Loon, van J.J.A.; Poelman, E.H.; Dicke, M.

    2014-01-01

    Every plant is a member of a complex insect community that consists of tens to hundreds of species that belong to different trophic levels. The dynamics of this community are critically influenced by the plant, which mediates interactions between community members that can occur on the plant

  4. Effects of ultraviolet-B exposure of Arabidopsis thaliana on herbivory by two crucifer-feeding insects (Lepidoptera)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grant-Petersson, J.; Renwick, J.A.A.

    1996-01-01

    Larvae of Pieris rapae (L.) (Lepidoptera: Pieridae) and Trichoplusia ni (Huebner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) were fed foliage from Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. plants that had received a high dose of ultraviolet-B (UV-B) or from control plants. Treatments were compared using the Student independent t-test. P. rapae larvae consumed less of the foliage exposed to UV-B than control foliage. This difference as significant in older but not younger larvae, and the older P. rapae larvae fed foliage exposed to UV-B weighed significantly less. For T. ni, however, consumption and larval weights were approximately equal for UV-exposed and control foliage. No significant differences in growth rates per unit consumption on UV-exposed versus control foliage were found for either species. Chemical analysis showed that flavonoid levels increased in response to UV-B. Results suggested that UV-inducible flavonoids may act as feeding deterrents to P. rapae but not to T. ni. 56 refs., 6 figs

  5. An extreme case of plant-insect codiversification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cruaud, Astrid; Rønsted, Nina; Chanterasuwan, Bhanumas

    2012-01-01

    It is thought that speciation in phytophagous insects is often due to colonization of novel host plants, because radiations of plant and insect lineages are typically asynchronous. Recent phylogenetic comparisons have supported this model of diversification for both insect herbivores...... and specialized pollinators. An exceptional case where contemporaneous plant-insect diversification might be expected is the obligate mutualism between fig trees (Ficus species, Moraceae) and their pollinating wasps (Agaonidae, Hymenoptera). The ubiquity and ecological significance of this mutualism in tropical...... for this study. We also developed a new analytical tool, Jane 2, for event-based phylogenetic reconciliation analysis of very large data sets. Separate Bayesian phylogenetic analyses for figs and fig wasps under relaxed molecular clock assumptions indicate Cretaceous diversification of crown groups...

  6. Herbivore-induced plant responses in Brassica oleracea prevail over effects of constitutive resistance and result in enhanced herbivore attack

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poelman, E.H.; Loon, van J.J.A.; Dam, van N.M.; Vet, L.E.M.; Dicke, M.

    2010-01-01

    2. Here we studied the effect of early-season herbivory by caterpillars of Pieris rapae on the composition of the insect herbivore community on domesticated Brassica oleracea plants. We compared the effect of herbivory on two cultivars that differ in the degree of susceptibility to herbivores to

  7. Can alien plants support generalist insect herbivores?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas Tallamy; Meg Ballard; Vincent D' Amico

    2009-01-01

    Rearing experiments were conducted to address two questions relevant to understanding how generalist lepidopteran herbivores interact with alien plants. We reared 10 yellow-striped armyworms (Spodoptera ornithogalli),...

  8. Influence of presence and spatial arrangement of belowground insects on host-plant selection of aboveground insects: a field study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soler, J.J.; Schaper, S.V.; Bezemer, T.M.; Cortesero, A.M.; Hoffmeister, T.S.; Van der Putten, W.H.; Vet, L.E.M.; Harvey, J.A.

    2009-01-01

    1. Several studies have shown that above- and belowground insects can interact by influencing each others growth, development, and survival when they feed on the same host-plant. In natural systems, however, insects can make choices on which plants to oviposit and feed. A field experiment was

  9. Linking agricultural practices, mycorrhizal fungi, and traits mediating plant-insect interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Nicholas A; Kiers, E Toby; Theis, Nina; Hazzard, Ruth V; Adler, Lynn S

    2013-10-01

    Agricultural management has profound effects on soil communities. Activities such as fertilizer inputs can modify the composition of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) communities, which form important symbioses with the roots of most crop plants. Intensive conventional agricultural management may select for less mutualistic AMF with reduced benefits to host plants compared to organic management, but these differences are poorly understood. AMF are generally evaluated based on their direct growth effects on plants. However, mycorrhizal colonization also may alter plant traits such as tissue nutrients, defensive chemistry, or floral traits, which mediate important plant-insect interactions like herbivory and pollination. To determine the effect of AMF from different farming practices on plant performance and traits that putatively mediate species interactions, we performed a greenhouse study by inoculating Cucumis sativus (cucumber, Cucurbitaceae) with AMF from conventional farms, organic farms, and a commercial AMF inoculum. We measured growth and a suite of plant traits hypothesized to be important predictors of herbivore resistance and pollinator attraction. Several leaf and root traits and flower production were significantly affected by AMF inoculum. Both conventional and organic AMF reduced leaf P content but increased Na content compared to control and commercial AMF. Leaf defenses were unaffected by AMF treatments, but conventional AMF increased root cucurbitacin C, the primary defensive chemical of C. sativus, compared to organic AMF. These effects may have important consequences for herbivore preference and population dynamics. AMF from both organic and conventional farms decreased flower production relative to commercial and control treatments, which may reduce pollinator attraction and plant reproduction. AMF from both farm types also reduced seed germination, but effects on plant growth were limited. Our results suggest that studies only considering AMF

  10. Synergistic, additive and antagonistic impacts of drought and herbivory on Pinus sylvestris: leaf, tissue and whole-plant responses and recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bansal, Sheel; Hallsby, Göran; Löfvenius, Mikael O; Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte

    2013-05-01

    Forests typically experience a mix of anthropogenic, natural and climate-induced stressors of different intensities, creating a mosaic of stressor combinations across the landscape. When multiple stressors co-occur, their combined impact on plant growth is often greater than expected based on single-factor studies (i.e., synergistic), potentially causing catastrophic dysfunction of physiological processes from an otherwise recoverable situation. Drought and herbivory are two stressors that commonly co-occur in forested ecosystems, and have the potential to 'overlap' in their impacts on various plant traits and processes. However, the combined impacts from these two stressors may not be predictable based on additive models from single-stressor studies. Moreover, the impacts and subsequent recovery may be strongly influenced by the relative intensities of each stressor. Here, we applied drought stress and simulated bark-feeding herbivory at three levels of intensity (control, moderate and severe) in a full factorial design on young Pinus sylvestris L. seedlings. We assessed if the combined effects from two stressors were additive (responses were equal to the sum of the single-factor effects), synergistic (greater than expected) or antagonistic (less than expected) on a suite of morphological and physiological traits at the leaf-, tissue- and whole-plant level. We additionally investigated whether recovery from herbivory was dependent on relief from drought. The two stressors had synergistic impacts on specific leaf area and water-use efficiency, additive effects on height and root-to-shoot ratios, but antagonistic effects on photosynthesis, conductance and, most notably, on root, shoot and whole-plant biomass. Nevertheless, the magnitude and direction of the combined impacts were often dependent on the relative intensities of each stressor, leading to many additive or synergistic responses from specific stressor combinations. Also, seedling recovery was far more

  11. Root herbivory indirectly affects above- and below-ground community members and directly reduces plant performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barber, N.A.; Milano, N.J.; Kiers, E.T.; Theis, N.; Bartolo, V.; Hazzard, R.V.; Adler, L.S.

    2015-01-01

    There is a widespread recognition that above- and below-ground organisms are linked through their interactions with host plants that span terrestrial subsystems. In addition to direct effects on plants, soil organisms such as root herbivores can indirectly alter interactions between plants and other

  12. Getting prepared for future attack : induction of plant defences by herbivore egg deposition and consequences for the insect community

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pashalidou, F.G.

    2015-01-01

    Plants have evolved intriguing defences against insect herbivores. Compared to constitutive Plants have evolved intriguing defences against insect herbivores. Compared to constitutive defences that are always present, plants can respond with inducible defences when they are attacked. Insect

  13. Decreased losses of woody plant foliage to insects in large urban areas are explained by bird predation

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kozlov, M.V.; Lanta, Vojtěch; Zverev, V.; Rainio, K.; Kunavin, M.A.; Zvereva, E.L.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 23, č. 10 (2017), s. 4354-4364 ISSN 1354-1013 Institutional support: RVO:61388971 Keywords : ant predation * background insect herbivory * bird predation Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology OBOR OECD: Microbiology Impact factor: 8.502, year: 2016

  14. Herbivory and eutrophication mediate grassland plant nutrient responses across a global climatic gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, T. Michael; Griffith, Daniel M.; Grace, James B.; Lind, Eric M.; Adler, Peter B.; Biederman, Lori A.; Blumenthal, Dana M.; Daleo, Pedro; Firn, Jennifer; Hagenah, Nicole; Harpole, W. Stanley; MacDougall, Andrew S.; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Prober, Suzanne M.; Risch, Anita C.; Sankaran, Mahesh; Schütz, Martin; Seabloom, Eric W.; Stevens, Carly J.; Sullivan, Lauren; Wragg, Peter; Borer, Elizabeth T.

    2018-01-01

    Plant stoichiometry, the relative concentration of elements, is a key regulator of ecosystem functioning and is also being altered by human activities. In this paper we sought to understand the global drivers of plant stoichiometry and compare the relative contribution of climatic vs. anthropogenic effects. We addressed this goal by measuring plant elemental (C, N, P and K) responses to eutrophication and vertebrate herbivore exclusion at eighteen sites on six continents. Across sites, climate and atmospheric N deposition emerged as strong predictors of plot‐level tissue nutrients, mediated by biomass and plant chemistry. Within sites, fertilization increased total plant nutrient pools, but results were contingent on soil fertility and the proportion of grass biomass relative to other functional types. Total plant nutrient pools diverged strongly in response to herbivore exclusion when fertilized; responses were largest in ungrazed plots at low rainfall, whereas herbivore grazing dampened the plant community nutrient responses to fertilization. Our study highlights (1) the importance of climate in determining plant nutrient concentrations mediated through effects on plant biomass, (2) that eutrophication affects grassland nutrient pools via both soil and atmospheric pathways and (3) that interactions among soils, herbivores and eutrophication drive plant nutrient responses at small scales, especially at water‐limited sites.

  15. The COP9 signalosome controls jasmonic acid synthesis and plant responses to herbivory and pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hind, Sarah R; Pulliam, Sarah E; Veronese, Paola; Shantharaj, Deepak; Nazir, Azka; Jacobs, Nekaiya S; Stratmann, Johannes W

    2011-02-01

    The COP9 signalosome (CSN) is a multi-protein complex that regulates the activities of cullin-RING E3 ubiquitin ligases (CRLs). CRLs ubiquitinate proteins in order to target them for proteasomal degradation. The CSN is required for proper plant development. Here we show that the CSN also has a profound effect on plant defense responses. Silencing of genes for CSN subunits in tomato plants resulted in a mild morphological phenotype and reduced expression of wound-responsive genes in response to mechanical wounding, attack by Manduca sexta larvae, and Prosystemin over-expression. In contrast, expression of pathogenesis-related genes was increased in a stimulus-independent manner in these plants. The reduced wound response in CSN-silenced plants corresponded with reduced synthesis of jasmonic acid (JA), but levels of salicylic acid (SA) were unaltered. As a consequence, these plants exhibited reduced resistance against herbivorous M. sexta larvae and the necrotrophic fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea. In contrast, susceptibility to tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) was not altered in CSN-silenced plants. These data demonstrate that the CSN orchestrates not only plant development but also JA-dependent plant defense responses. © 2011 The Authors. The Plant Journal © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  16. Role of tomato lipoxygenase D in wound-induced jasmonate biosynthesis and plant immunity to insect herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Liuhua; Zhai, Qingzhe; Wei, Jianing; Li, Shuyu; Wang, Bao; Huang, Tingting; Du, Minmin; Sun, Jiaqiang; Kang, Le; Li, Chang-Bao; Li, Chuanyou

    2013-01-01

    In response to insect attack and mechanical wounding, plants activate the expression of genes involved in various defense-related processes. A fascinating feature of these inducible defenses is their occurrence both locally at the wounding site and systemically in undamaged leaves throughout the plant. Wound-inducible proteinase inhibitors (PIs) in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) provide an attractive model to understand the signal transduction events leading from localized injury to the systemic expression of defense-related genes. Among the identified intercellular molecules in regulating systemic wound response of tomato are the peptide signal systemin and the oxylipin signal jasmonic acid (JA). The systemin/JA signaling pathway provides a unique opportunity to investigate, in a single experimental system, the mechanism by which peptide and oxylipin signals interact to coordinate plant systemic immunity. Here we describe the characterization of the tomato suppressor of prosystemin-mediated responses8 (spr8) mutant, which was isolated as a suppressor of (pro)systemin-mediated signaling. spr8 plants exhibit a series of JA-dependent immune deficiencies, including the inability to express wound-responsive genes, abnormal development of glandular trichomes, and severely compromised resistance to cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera) and Botrytis cinerea. Map-based cloning studies demonstrate that the spr8 mutant phenotype results from a point mutation in the catalytic domain of TomLoxD, a chloroplast-localized lipoxygenase involved in JA biosynthesis. We present evidence that overexpression of TomLoxD leads to elevated wound-induced JA biosynthesis, increased expression of wound-responsive genes and, therefore, enhanced resistance to insect herbivory attack and necrotrophic pathogen infection. These results indicate that TomLoxD is involved in wound-induced JA biosynthesis and highlight the application potential of this gene for crop protection against insects and

  17. Role of tomato lipoxygenase D in wound-induced jasmonate biosynthesis and plant immunity to insect herbivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liuhua Yan

    Full Text Available In response to insect attack and mechanical wounding, plants activate the expression of genes involved in various defense-related processes. A fascinating feature of these inducible defenses is their occurrence both locally at the wounding site and systemically in undamaged leaves throughout the plant. Wound-inducible proteinase inhibitors (PIs in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum provide an attractive model to understand the signal transduction events leading from localized injury to the systemic expression of defense-related genes. Among the identified intercellular molecules in regulating systemic wound response of tomato are the peptide signal systemin and the oxylipin signal jasmonic acid (JA. The systemin/JA signaling pathway provides a unique opportunity to investigate, in a single experimental system, the mechanism by which peptide and oxylipin signals interact to coordinate plant systemic immunity. Here we describe the characterization of the tomato suppressor of prosystemin-mediated responses8 (spr8 mutant, which was isolated as a suppressor of (prosystemin-mediated signaling. spr8 plants exhibit a series of JA-dependent immune deficiencies, including the inability to express wound-responsive genes, abnormal development of glandular trichomes, and severely compromised resistance to cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera and Botrytis cinerea. Map-based cloning studies demonstrate that the spr8 mutant phenotype results from a point mutation in the catalytic domain of TomLoxD, a chloroplast-localized lipoxygenase involved in JA biosynthesis. We present evidence that overexpression of TomLoxD leads to elevated wound-induced JA biosynthesis, increased expression of wound-responsive genes and, therefore, enhanced resistance to insect herbivory attack and necrotrophic pathogen infection. These results indicate that TomLoxD is involved in wound-induced JA biosynthesis and highlight the application potential of this gene for crop protection against

  18. [Study on essential oils of medicinal plants in insect repellent].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Hong-Zheng; Luo, Jiao-Yang; Liu, Qiu-Tao; Lv, Ze-Liang; Yang, Shi-Hai; Yang, Mei-Hua

    2016-01-01

    Mosquitoes are seriously harmful to human health for transmitting some mortal diseases. Among the methods of mosquito control, synthetical insecticides are the most popular. However, as a result of longterm use of these insecticides, high resistant mosquitos and heavy environmental pollution appear. Thus, eco-friendly prevention measures are taken into the agenda. Essential oils extracted from medicinal plants have repellent and smoked killing effects on mosquitoes. With abundant medical plants resources and low toxicity, they have the potential of being developed as a new type of mosquito and insect repellent agent. The recent application advances of essential oils of medicinal plants in insect repellent and its application limitations are overviewed. This review will provide references for the future development and in-depth study of essential oils. Copyright© by the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association.

  19. Arabidopsis redox status in response to caterpillar herbivory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamuna ePaudel

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Plant responses to insect herbivory are regulated through complex, hormone-mediated interactions. Some caterpillar species have evolved strategies to manipulate this system by inducing specific pathways that suppress plant defense responses. Effectors in the labial saliva (LS secretions of Spodoptera exigua caterpillars are believed to induce the salicylic acid (SA pathway to interfere with the jasmonic acid (JA defense pathway; however, the mechanism underlying this subversion is unknown. Since Noctuid caterpillar LS contains enzymes that may affect cellular redox balance, this study investigated rapid changes in cellular redox metabolites within 45 min after herbivory. Caterpillar LS is involved in suppressing the increase in oxidative stress that was observed in plants fed upon by caterpillars with impaired LS secretions. To further understand the link between cellular redox balance and plant defense responses, marker genes of SA, JA and ethylene (ET pathways were compared in wildtype, the glutathione-compromised pad2-1 mutant and the tga2/5/6 triple mutant plants. AtPR1 and AtPDF1.2 showed LS-dependent expression that was alleviated in the pad2-1 and tga2/5/6 triple mutants. In comparison, the ET-dependent genes ERF1 expression showed LS-associated changes in both wildtype and pad2-1 mutant plants and the ORA 59 marker AtHEL had increased expression in response to herbivory, but a LS-dependent difference was not noted. These data support the model that there are SA/NPR1-, glutathione-dependent and ET-, glutathione-independent mechanisms leading to LS-associated suppression of plant induced defences.

  20. 50 CFR 35.7 - Control of wildfires, insects, pest plants, and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 6 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Control of wildfires, insects, pest plants... MANAGEMENT General Rules § 35.7 Control of wildfires, insects, pest plants, and disease. To the extent necessary, the Director shall prescribe measures to control wildfires, insects, pest plants, and disease to...

  1. A fungal endophyte helps plants to tolerate root herbivory through changes in gibberellin and jasmonate signaling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rebeca Cosme, M.P.

    2016-01-01

    Plant–microbe mutualisms can improve plant defense, but the impact of root endophytes on below-ground herbivore interactions remains unknown. We investigated the effects of the root endophyte Piriformospora indica on interactions between rice (Oryza sativa) plants and its root herbivore rice water

  2. Chemical ecology of insect-plant interactions: ecological significance of plant secondary metabolites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishida, Ritsuo

    2014-01-01

    Plants produce a diverse array of secondary metabolites as chemical barriers against herbivores. Many phytophagous insects are highly adapted to these allelochemicals and use such unique substances as the specific host-finding cues, defensive substances of their own, and even as sex pheromones or their precursors by selectively sensing, incorporating, and/or processing these phytochemicals. Insects also serve as pollinators often effectively guided by specific floral fragrances. This review demonstrates the ecological significance of such plant secondary metabolites in the highly diverse interactions between insects and plants.

  3. Plant-microbe and plant-insect interactions meet common grounds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schenk, P.; McGrath, K.C.; Lorito, M.; Pieterse, C.M.J.

    2008-01-01

    Plant–microbe and plant–insect interactions are of global importance for agriculture and of high interest to many plant scientists, microbiologists and entomologists. Traditionally, plant–microbe and plant–insect interactions have been looked at as two separate issues, but in recent years it has

  4. Latitudinal patterns in plant defense: evolution of cardenolides, their toxicity and induction following herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasmann, Sergio; Agrawal, Anurag A

    2011-05-01

    Attempts over the past 50 years to explain variation in the abundance, distribution and diversity of plant secondary compounds gave rise to theories of plant defense. Remarkably, few phylogenetically robust tests of these long-standing theories have been conducted. Using >50 species of milkweed (Asclepias spp.), we show that variation among plant species in the induction of toxic cardenolides is explained by latitude, with higher inducibility evolving more frequently at lower latitudes. We also found that: (1) the production of cardenolides showed positive-correlated evolution with the diversity of cardenolides, (2) greater cardenolide investment by a species is accompanied by an increase in an estimate of toxicity (measured as chemical polarity) and (3) instead of trading off, constitutive and induced cardenolides were positively correlated. Analyses of root and shoot cardenolides showed concordant patterns. Thus, milkweed species from lower latitudes are better defended with higher inducibility, greater diversity and added toxicity of cardenolides. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  5. Volatile communication between plants that affects herbivory: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karban, Richard; Yang, Louie H; Edwards, Kyle F

    2014-01-01

    Volatile communication between plants causing enhanced defence has been controversial. Early studies were not replicated, and influential reviews questioned the validity of the phenomenon. We collected 48 well-replicated studies and found overall support for the hypothesis that resistance increased for individuals with damaged neighbours. Laboratory or greenhouse studies and those conducted on agricultural crops showed stronger induced resistance than field studies on undomesticated species, presumably because other variation had been reduced. A cumulative analysis revealed that early, non-replicated studies were more variable and showed less evidence for communication. Effects of habitat and plant growth form were undetectable. In most cases, the mechanisms of resistance and alternative hypotheses were not considered. There was no indication that some response variables were more likely to produce large effects. These results indicate that plants of diverse taxonomic affinities and ecological conditions become more resistant to herbivores when exposed to volatiles from damaged neighbours. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  6. Intercropping System for Protection the Potato Plant from Insect Infestation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aziza Sharaby

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The use of intercropping system provides an option for insect control for organic farmers that are limited in their chemical use. Additionally, intercropping systems can be attractive to conventional growers as a cost-effective insect control solution. A study was carried out for two seasons 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 to evaluate the effect of intercropping of potato (Solanum tuberosum L. with onion (Allium cepa L. on whitefly (Bemicia tabasi Gennadius and aphids’ Myzus persicae Sulz. and Aphis gossypii Glover infestation in potato fields. Results indicated that intercropping significantly reduced potato plant infestation with whitefly by 42.7, 51.3% while it was 62.69% reduction with aphids during the two successive winter seasons than when potato plants were cultivated alone. Therefore, intercropping could be recommended as a protection method of reducing pest population in the fields.

  7. Dynamics of forest herbivory: quest for pattern and principle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    William J. Mattson; Pekka Niemila; Matti Rossi

    1996-01-01

    Herbivory on woody plants is highly variable in both space and time. This proceedings addresses one of its root causes, the highly intricate and dynamic relationships that exist between most herbivores and their host plants. It emphasizes that the consequences of herbivory both to the consumer and to the producer plant often balance on a razor`s edge--depending on...

  8. Alkaloid concentration of the invasive plant species Ulex europaeus in relation to geographic origin and herbivory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hornoy, Benjamin; Atlan, Anne; Tarayre, Michèle; Dugravot, Sébastien; Wink, Michael

    2012-11-01

    In the study of plant defense evolution, invasive plant species can be very insightful because they are often introduced without their enemies, and traits linked to defense can be released from selective pressures and evolve. Further, studying plant defense evolution in invasive species is important for biological control and use of these species. In this study, we investigated the evolution of the defensive chemicals quinolizidine alkaloids (QAs) in the invasive species gorse, Ulex europaeus. Using a common garden experiment, our goals were to characterize the role of QAs relative to specialist enemies of gorse and to investigate if QA concentration evolved in invaded regions, where gorse was introduced without these enemies. Our results showed that pod infestation rate by the seed predator Exapion ulicis and infestation by the rust pathogen Uromyces genistae-tinctoriae were negatively correlated to concentration of the QA lupanine. Quinolizidine alkaloid concentration was very variable between individuals, both within and among populations, but it was not different between native and invaded regions, suggesting that no evolution of decreased resistance occurred after gorse lost its enemies. Our study also suggests that QA concentrations are traits integrated into seed predation avoidance strategies of gorse, with plants that mass-fruit in spring but do not escape pod infestation in time being richer in QAs.

  9. A Plant Bacterial Pathogen Manipulates Its Insect Vector's Energy Metabolism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hijaz, Faraj; Ebert, Timothy A.; Rogers, Michael E.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Insect-transmitted plant-pathogenic bacteria may alter their vectors' fitness, survival, behavior, and metabolism. Because these pathogens interact with their vectors on the cellular and organismal levels, potential changes at the biochemical level might occur. “Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus” (CLas) is transmitted in a persistent, circulative, and propagative manner. The genome of CLas revealed the presence of an ATP translocase that mediates the uptake of ATP and other nucleotides from medium to achieve its biological processes, such as growth and multiplication. Here, we showed that the levels of ATP and many other nucleotides were significantly higher in CLas-infected than healthy psyllids. Gene expression analysis showed upregulation for ATP synthase subunits, while ATPase enzyme activity showed a decrease in ATPase activity. These results indicated that CLas stimulated Diaphorina citri to produce more ATP and many other energetic nucleotides, while it may inhibit their consumption by the insect. As a result of ATP accumulation, the adenylated energy charge (AEC) increased and the AMP/ATP and ADP/ATP ratios decreased in CLas-infected D. citri psyllids. Survival analysis confirmed a shorter life span for CLas-infected D. citri psyllids. In addition, electropenetrography showed a significant reduction in total nonprobing time, salivation time, and time from the last E2 (phloem ingestion) to the end of recording, indicating that CLas-infected psyllids were at a higher hunger level and they tended to forage more often. This increased feeding activity reflects the CLas-induced energetic stress. In conclusion, CLas alters the energy metabolism of its psyllid vector, D. citri, in order to secure its need for energetic nucleotides. IMPORTANCE Insect transmission of plant-pathogenic bacteria involves propagation and circulation of the bacteria within their vectors. The transmission process is complex and requires specific interactions at the molecular

  10. Eavesdropping on plant-insect-microbe chemical communications in agricultural ecology: a virtual issue on semiochemicals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Studies of plant-insect interactions, and more recently the interactions among plants, insects, and microbes, have revealed that volatiles often facilitate insect movement, aggregation, and host location by herbivores, predators and parasitoids, all of which could be used to help protect agriculture...

  11. Immigrant phytophagous insects on woody plants in the United States and Canada: an annotated list.

    Science.gov (United States)

    William J. Mattson; P. Niemela; I. Millers; Y. Inguanzo

    1994-01-01

    Nearly 2,000 foreign plants and 2,000 foreign insect species have become naturalized in North America during the past 500 years. This publication documents those immigrant phytophagous insect species which have become established on woody plants or their products in the continental United States and Canada. Of these 368 immigrant insects, 72% came from Europe.

  12. Invertebrate herbivory on floating-leaf macrophytes at the northeast of Argentina: should the damage be taken into account in estimations of plant biomass?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez, Fedra S; Franceschini, Celeste

    2018-01-01

    We assessed the damage produced by invertebrate herbivores per leaf lamina and per m2 of populations floating-leaf macrophytes of Neotropical wetlands in the growth and decay periods, and assessed if the damage produced by the herbivores should be taken into account in the estimations of plant biomass of these macrophytes or not. The biomass removed per lamina and per m2 was higher during the growth period than in decay period in Nymphoides indica and Hydrocleys nymphoides, while Nymphaea prolifera had low values of herbivory in growth period. During decay period this plant is only present as vegetative propagules. According to the values of biomass removed per m2 of N. indica, underestimation up to 17.69% should be produced in cases that herbivory do not should be taking account to evaluate these plant parameters on this macrophyte. Therefore, for the study of biomass and productivity in the study area, we suggest the use of corrected lamina biomass after estimating the biomass removed by herbivores on N. indica. The values of damage in N. indica emphasize the importance of this macrophyte as a food resource for invertebrate herbivores in the trophic networks of the Neotropical wetlands.

  13. Insect-induced effects on plants and possible effectors used by galling and leaf-mining insects to manipulate their host-plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giron, David; Huguet, Elisabeth; Stone, Graham N; Body, Mélanie

    2016-01-01

    Gall-inducing insects are iconic examples in the manipulation and reprogramming of plant development, inducing spectacular morphological and physiological changes of host-plant tissues within which the insect feeds and grows. Despite decades of research, effectors involved in gall induction and basic mechanisms of gall formation remain unknown. Recent research suggests that some aspects of the plant manipulation shown by gall-inducers may be shared with other insect herbivorous life histories. Here, we illustrate similarities and contrasts by reviewing current knowledge of metabolic and morphological effects induced on plants by gall-inducing and leaf-mining insects, and ask whether leaf-miners can also be considered to be plant reprogrammers. We review key plant functions targeted by various plant reprogrammers, including plant-manipulating insects and nematodes, and functionally characterize insect herbivore-derived effectors to provide a broader understanding of possible mechanisms used in host-plant manipulation. Consequences of plant reprogramming in terms of ecology, coevolution and diversification of plant-manipulating insects are also discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. The evolutionary development of plant-feeding insects and their nutritional endosymbionts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skidmore, Isabel H; Hansen, Allison K

    2017-12-01

    Herbivorous insects have evolved diverse mechanisms enabling them to feed on plants with suboptimal nutrient availability. Low nutrient availability negatively impacts insect herbivore development and fitness. To overcome this obstacle numerous insect lineages have evolved intimate associations with nutritional endosymbionts. This is especially true for insects that specialize on nitrogen-poor substrates, as these insects are highly dependent on intracellular symbionts to provide nitrogen lacking in their insect host's diet. Emerging evidence in these systems suggest that the symbiont's and/or the insect's biosynthetic pathways are dynamically regulated throughout the insect's development to potentially cope with the insect's changing nutritional demands. In this review, we evaluate the evolutionary development of symbiotic insect cells (bacteriocytes) by comparing and contrasting genes and mechanisms involved in maintaining and regulating the nutritional symbiosis throughout insect development in a diversity of insect herbivore-endosymbiont associations. With new advances in genome sequencing and functional genomics, we evaluate to what extent nutritional symbioses are shaped by (i) the regulation of symbiont titer, (ii) the regulation of insect symbiosis genes, and (iii) the regulation of symbiont genes. We discuss how important these mechanisms are for the biosynthesis of essential amino acids and vitamins across insect life stages in divergent insect-symbiont systems. We conclude by suggesting future directions of research to further elucidate the evolutionary development of bacteriocytes and the impact of these nutritional symbioses on insect-plant interactions. © 2017 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  15. Ecological genomics of Boechera stricta: Identification of a QTL controlling the allocation of methionine- vs branched-chain amino acid-derived glucosinolates and levels of insect herbivory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schranz, M.E.; Manzaneda, A.J.; Windsor, A.J.; Clauss, M.; Mitchell-Olds, T.

    2009-01-01

    In the Brassicaceae, glucosinolates influence the feeding, reproduction and development of many insect herbivores. Glucosinolate production and effects on herbivore feeding have been extensively studied in the model species, Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica crops, both of which constitutively

  16. Insect density-plant density relationships: a modified view of insect responses to resource concentrations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersson, Petter; Löfstedt, Christer; Hambäck, Peter A

    2013-12-01

    Habitat area is an important predictor of spatial variation in animal densities. However, the area often correlates with the quantity of resources within habitats, complicating our understanding of the factors shaping animal distributions. We addressed this problem by investigating densities of insect herbivores in habitat patches with a constant area but varying numbers of plants. Using a mathematical model, predictions of scale-dependent immigration and emigration rates for insects into patches with different densities of host plants were derived. Moreover, a field experiment was conducted where the scaling properties of odour-mediated attraction in relation to the number of odour sources were estimated, in order to derive a prediction of immigration rates of olfactory searchers. The theoretical model predicted that we should expect immigration rates of contact and visual searchers to be determined by patch area, with a steep scaling coefficient, μ = -1. The field experiment suggested that olfactory searchers should show a less steep scaling coefficient, with μ ≈ -0.5. A parameter estimation and analysis of published data revealed a correspondence between observations and predictions, and density-variation among groups could largely be explained by search behaviour. Aphids showed scaling coefficients corresponding to the prediction for contact/visual searchers, whereas moths, flies and beetles corresponded to the prediction for olfactory searchers. As density responses varied considerably among groups, and variation could be explained by a certain trait, we conclude that a general theory of insect responses to habitat heterogeneity should be based on shared traits, rather than a general prediction for all species.

  17. Semiochemicals from herbivory induced cotton plants enhance the foraging behavior of the cotton boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magalhães, D M; Borges, M; Laumann, R A; Sujii, E R; Mayon, P; Caulfield, J C; Midega, C A O; Khan, Z R; Pickett, J A; Birkett, M A; Blassioli-Moraes, M C

    2012-12-01

    The boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis, has been monitored through deployment of traps baited with aggregation pheromone components. However, field studies have shown that the number of insects caught in these traps is significantly reduced during cotton squaring, suggesting that volatiles produced by plants at this phenological stage may be involved in attraction. Here, we evaluated the chemical profile of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by undamaged or damaged cotton plants at different phenological stages, under different infestation conditions, and determined the attractiveness of these VOCs to adults of A. grandis. In addition, we investigated whether or not VOCs released by cotton plants enhanced the attractiveness of the aggregation pheromone emitted by male boll weevils. Behavioral responses of A. grandis to VOCs from conspecific-damaged, heterospecific-damaged (Spodoptera frugiperda and Euschistus heros) and undamaged cotton plants, at different phenological stages, were assessed in Y-tube olfactometers. The results showed that volatiles emitted from reproductive cotton plants damaged by conspecifics were attractive to adults boll weevils, whereas volatiles induced by heterospecific herbivores were not as attractive. Additionally, addition of boll weevil-induced volatiles from reproductive cotton plants to aggregation pheromone gave increased attraction, relative to the pheromone alone. The VOC profiles of undamaged and mechanically damaged cotton plants, in both phenological stages, were not different. Chemical analysis showed that cotton plants produced qualitatively similar volatile profiles regardless of damage type, but the quantities produced differed according to the plant's phenological stage and the herbivore species. Notably, vegetative cotton plants released higher amounts of VOCs compared to reproductive plants. At both stages, the highest rate of VOC release was observed in A. grandis-damaged plants. Results show that A. grandis uses

  18. Plants as green phones: Novel insights into plant-mediated communication between below- and above-ground insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soler, Roxina; Harvey, Jeffrey A; Bezemer, T Martijn; Stuefer, Josef F

    2008-08-01

    Plants can act as vertical communication channels or 'green phones' linking soil-dwelling insects and insects in the aboveground ecosystem. When root-feeding insects attack a plant, the direct defense system of the shoot is activated, leading to an accumulation of phytotoxins in the leaves. The protection of the plant shoot elicited by root damage can impair the survival, growth and development of aboveground insect herbivores, thereby creating plant-based functional links between soil-dwelling insects and insects that develop in the aboveground ecosystem. The interactions between spatially separated insects below- and aboveground are not restricted to root and foliar plant-feeding insects, but can be extended to higher trophic levels such as insect parasitoids. Here we discuss some implications of plants acting as communication channels or 'green phones' between root and foliar-feeding insects and their parasitoids, focusing on recent findings that plants attacked by root-feeding insects are significantly less attractive for the parasitoids of foliar-feeding insects.

  19. The indirect effects of cheatgrass invasion: Grasshopper herbivory on native grasses determined by neighboring cheatgrass abundance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Julie Beckstead; Susan E. Meyer; Carol K. Augsperger

    2008-01-01

    Invasion biology has focused on the direct effects of plant invasion and has generally overlooked indirect interactions. Here we link theories of invasion biology and herbivory to explore an indirect effect of one invading species on associational herbivory (the effect of neighboring plants on herbivory) of native species. We studied a Great Basin shadscale (...

  20. The insects as an assessment tool of ecotoxicology associated with metal toxic plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azmat, Rafia; Moin, Sumeira; Saleem, Ailyan

    2018-04-01

    In this article, the assessment of lethal effects of Copper (Cu) on Luffa acutangula and Spinacia oleracea plants investigated in relation to the presence of insect species Oxycarenus hyalinipennis. The analysis of Cu-treated plants displays the information of rapid growth of Oxycarenus hyalinipennis species in triplicate. However, results showed that the impact of metal toxicity appeared as the reduced growth rate of plants, and dense growth of the insect species Oxycarenus halinipennis followed by the chewing/degradation of the toxic plant. The insect's inductees into polluted plants were justified by morphological and primary molecular level using plant stress hypothesis through analysis of the primary chemistry of leaves and roots. That includes various sugar contents which substantiated that these compounds act as the best feeding stimulant from oviposition to adult stage of the insects and accountable for the enactment of insects in the toxic plants. The relationship of these insects to the toxic plants linked with the higher contents of glucose, carbohydrates, and cellulose. The higher carbohydrate and cellulose content in both plants species under Cu accumulation exhibited more signs of insect mutilation over control plants and the lack of chemical resistances allowed the adult insects to spread, survive, reproduce and live long. The presence of insects developed relationships that assimilate all developmental, biological, and the interactive toxicity of Cu in both plant species which indicate the risk associated with these plants. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Community-Weighted Mean Plant Traits Predict Small Scale Distribution of Insect Root Herbivore Abundance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilja Sonnemann

    Full Text Available Small scale distribution of insect root herbivores may promote plant species diversity by creating patches of different herbivore pressure. However, determinants of small scale distribution of insect root herbivores, and impact of land use intensity on their small scale distribution are largely unknown. We sampled insect root herbivores and measured vegetation parameters and soil water content along transects in grasslands of different management intensity in three regions in Germany. We calculated community-weighted mean plant traits to test whether the functional plant community composition determines the small scale distribution of insect root herbivores. To analyze spatial patterns in plant species and trait composition and insect root herbivore abundance we computed Mantel correlograms. Insect root herbivores mainly comprised click beetle (Coleoptera, Elateridae larvae (43% in the investigated grasslands. Total insect root herbivore numbers were positively related to community-weighted mean traits indicating high plant growth rates and biomass (specific leaf area, reproductive- and vegetative plant height, and negatively related to plant traits indicating poor tissue quality (leaf C/N ratio. Generalist Elaterid larvae, when analyzed independently, were also positively related to high plant growth rates and furthermore to root dry mass, but were not related to tissue quality. Insect root herbivore numbers were not related to plant cover, plant species richness and soil water content. Plant species composition and to a lesser extent plant trait composition displayed spatial autocorrelation, which was not influenced by land use intensity. Insect root herbivore abundance was not spatially autocorrelated. We conclude that in semi-natural grasslands with a high share of generalist insect root herbivores, insect root herbivores affiliate with large, fast growing plants, presumably because of availability of high quantities of food. Affiliation of

  2. Colored and white sectors of petunia flowers display differential resistance to insect herbivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Insect herbivory of crops increases the probability of fungal infection in damaged tissues. Mycotoxins produced by some fungi are harmful to livestock and humans. Increasing plant resistance lowers the levels of fungal infection and mycotoxin levels. The Bt toxin successfully kills only a fractio...

  3. Chemical ecology of insect-plant interactions: ecological significance of plant secondary metabolites.

    OpenAIRE

    Nishida, Ritsuo

    2014-01-01

    Plants produce a diverse array of secondary metabolites as chemical barriers against herbivores. Many phytophagous insects are highly adapted to these allelochemicals and use such unique substances as the specific host-finding cues, defensive substances of their own, and even as sex pheromones or their precursors by selectively sensing, incorporating, and/or processing these phytochemicals. Insects also serve as pollinators often effectively guided by specific floral fragrances. This review d...

  4. Systematic analysis of rice (Oryza sativa) metabolic responses to herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alamgir, Kabir Md; Hojo, Yuko; Christeller, John T; Fukumoto, Kaori; Isshiki, Ryutaro; Shinya, Tomonori; Baldwin, Ian T; Galis, Ivan

    2016-02-01

    Plants defend against attack from herbivores by direct and indirect defence mechanisms mediated by the accumulation of phytoalexins and release of volatile signals, respectively. While the defensive arsenals of some plants, such as tobacco and Arabidopsis are well known, most of rice's (Oryza sativa) defence metabolites and their effectiveness against herbivores remain uncharacterized. Here, we used a non-biassed metabolomics approach to identify many novel herbivory-regulated metabolic signatures in rice. Most were up-regulated by herbivore attack while only a few were suppressed. Two of the most prominent up-regulated signatures were characterized as phenolamides (PAs), p-coumaroylputrescine and feruloylputrescine. PAs accumulated in response to attack by both chewing insects, i.e. feeding of the lawn armyworm (Spodoptera mauritia) and the rice skipper (Parnara guttata) larvae, and the attack of the sucking insect, the brown planthopper (Nilaparvata lugens, BPH). In bioassays, BPH insects feeding on 15% sugar solution containing p-coumaroylputrescine or feruloylputrescine, at concentrations similar to those elicited by heavy BPH attack in rice, had a higher mortality compared to those feeding on sugar diet alone. Our results highlight PAs as a rapidly expanding new group of plant defence metabolites that are elicited by herbivore attack, and deter herbivores in rice and other plants. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Plant Secondary Metabolites Modulate Insect Behavior-Steps Toward Addiction?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Wink

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Plants produce a diversity of secondary metabolites (PSMs that serve as defense compounds against herbivores and microorganisms. In addition, some PSMs attract animals for pollination and seed dispersal. In case of pollinating insects, PSMs with colors or terpenoids with fragrant odors attract pollinators in the first place, but when they arrive at a flower, they are rewarded with nectar, so that the pollinators do not feed on flowers. In order to be effective as defense chemicals, PSMs evolved as bioactive substances, that can interfere with a large number of molecular targets in cells, tissues and organs of animals or of microbes. The known functions of PSMs are summarized in this review. A number of PSMs evolved as agonists or antagonists of neuronal signal transduction. Many of these PSMs are alkaloids. Several of them share structural similarities to neurotransmitters. Evidence for neuroactive and psychoactive PSMs in animals will be reviewed. Some of the neuroactive PSMs can cause addiction in humans and other vertrebrates. Why should a defense compound be addictive and thus attract more herbivores? Some insects are food specialists that can feed on plants that are normally toxic to other herbivores. These specialists can tolerate the toxins and many are stored in the insect body as acquired defense chemicals against predators. A special case are pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs that are neurotoxic and mutagenic in vertebrates. PAs are actively sequestered by moths of the family Arctiidae and a few other groups of arthropods. In arctiids, PAs are not only used for defense, but also serve as morphogens for the induction of male coremata and as precursors for male pheromones. Caterpillars even feed on filter paper impregnated with pure PAs (that modulate serotonin receptors in vertebrates and maybe even in insects and thus show of behavior with has similarities to addiction in vertebrates. Not only PA specialists, but also many monophagous

  6. Ecological turmoil in evolutionary dynamics of plant-insect interactions: defense to offence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Manasi; Lomate, Purushottam R; Joshi, Rakesh S; Punekar, Sachin A; Gupta, Vidya S; Giri, Ashok P

    2015-10-01

    Available history manifests contemporary diversity that exists in plant-insect interactions. A radical thinking is necessary for developing strategies that can co-opt natural insect-plant mutualism, ecology and environmental safety for crop protection since current agricultural practices can reduce species richness and evenness. The global environmental changes, such as increased temperature, CO₂ and ozone levels, biological invasions, land-use change and habitat fragmentation together play a significant role in re-shaping the plant-insect multi-trophic interactions. Diverse natural products need to be studied and explored for their biological functions as insect pest control agents. In order to assure the success of an integrated pest management strategy, human activities need to be harmonized to minimize the global climate changes. Plant-insect interaction is one of the most primitive and co-evolved associations, often influenced by surrounding changes. In this review, we account the persistence and evolution of plant-insect interactions, with particular focus on the effect of climate change and human interference on these interactions. Plants and insects have been maintaining their existence through a mutual service-resource relationship while defending themselves. We provide a comprehensive catalog of various defense strategies employed by the plants and/or insects. Furthermore, several important factors such as accelerated diversification, imbalance in the mutualism, and chemical arms race between plants and insects as indirect consequences of human practices are highlighted. Inappropriate implementation of several modern agricultural practices has resulted in (i) endangered mutualisms, (ii) pest status and resistance in insects and (iii) ecological instability. Moreover, altered environmental conditions eventually triggered the resetting of plant-insect interactions. Hence, multitrophic approaches that can harmonize human activities and minimize their

  7. Plant-insect interactions under bacterial influence: ecological implications and underlying mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugio, Akiko; Dubreuil, Géraldine; Giron, David; Simon, Jean-Christophe

    2015-02-01

    Plants and insects have been co-existing for more than 400 million years, leading to intimate and complex relationships. Throughout their own evolutionary history, plants and insects have also established intricate and very diverse relationships with microbial associates. Studies in recent years have revealed plant- or insect-associated microbes to be instrumental in plant-insect interactions, with important implications for plant defences and plant utilization by insects. Microbial communities associated with plants are rich in diversity, and their structure greatly differs between below- and above-ground levels. Microbial communities associated with insect herbivores generally present a lower diversity and can reside in different body parts of their hosts including bacteriocytes, haemolymph, gut, and salivary glands. Acquisition of microbial communities by vertical or horizontal transmission and possible genetic exchanges through lateral transfer could strongly impact on the host insect or plant fitness by conferring adaptations to new habitats. Recent developments in sequencing technologies and molecular tools have dramatically enhanced opportunities to characterize the microbial diversity associated with plants and insects and have unveiled some of the mechanisms by which symbionts modulate plant-insect interactions. Here, we focus on the diversity and ecological consequences of bacterial communities associated with plants and herbivorous insects. We also highlight the known mechanisms by which these microbes interfere with plant-insect interactions. Revealing such mechanisms in model systems under controlled environments but also in more natural ecological settings will help us to understand the evolution of complex multitrophic interactions in which plants, herbivorous insects, and micro-organisms are inserted. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions

  8. Plants as green as phones: Novel insights into plant-mediated communication between below- and above-ground insects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soler Gamborena, R.; Harvey, J.A.; Bezemer, T.M.; Stuefer, J.F.

    2008-01-01

    can act as vertical communication channels or ‘green phones’ linking soil-dwelling insects and insects in the aboveground ecosystem. When root-feeding insects attack a plant, the direct defense system of the shoot is activated, leading to an accumulation of phytotoxins in the leaves. The protection

  9. Virus infection decreases the attractiveness of white clover plants for a non-vectoring herbivore

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Mölken, Tamara; Caluwe, Hannie de; Hordijk, Cornelis A.

    2012-01-01

    Plant pathogens and insect herbivores are prone to share hosts under natural conditions. Consequently, pathogen-induced changes in the host plant can affect herbivory, and vice versa. Even though plant viruses are ubiquitous in the field, little is known about plant-mediated interactions between ...

  10. Moisture, plant-plant interactions and herbivory as drivers of rangeland restoration success in the western US

    Science.gov (United States)

    Restoration efforts in the western US occur across a diverse array of plant communities and climatic conditions. Restoration is likely constrained by different factors in different locations, but few efforts have compared the outcomes of rangeland restoration experiments across broad spatial scales....

  11. Geographic variation in alkaloid production in Conium maculatum populations experiencing differential herbivory by Agonopterix alstroemeriana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castells, Eva; Berhow, Mark A; Vaughn, Steven F; Berenbaum, May R

    2005-08-01

    Conium maculatum, a Eurasian weed naturalized in North America, contains high concentrations of piperidine alkaloids that act as chemical defenses against herbivores. C. maculatum was largely free from herbivory in the United States, until approximately 30 yr ago, when it was reassociated via accidental introduction with a monophagous European herbivore, the oecophorid caterpillar Agonopterix alstroemeriana. At present, A. alstroemeriana is found in a continuum of reassociation time and intensities with C. maculatum across the continent; in the Pacific Northwest, A. alstroemeriana can cause severe damage, resulting in some cases in complete defoliation. Studies in biological control and invasion biology have yet to determine whether plants reassociated with a significant herbivore from the area of indigeneity increase their chemical defense investment in areas of introduction. In this study, we compared three locations in the United States (New York, Washington, and Illinois) where C. maculatum experiences different levels of herbivory by A. alstroemeriana to determine the association between the intensity of the interaction, as measured by damage, and chemical defense production. Total alkaloid production in C. maculatum was positively correlated with A. alstroemeriana herbivory levels: plants from New York and Washington, with higher herbivory levels, invested two and four times more N to alkaloid synthesis than did plants from Illinois. Individual plants with lower concentrations of alkaloids from a single location in Illinois experienced more damage by A. alstroemeriana, indicative of a preference on the part of the insect for plants with less chemical defense. These results suggest that A. alstroemeriana may act either as a selective agent or inducing agent for C. maculatum and increase its toxicity in its introduced range.

  12. Phytophagous insect fauna tracks host plant responses to exotic grass invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida-Neto, Mário; Prado, Paulo I; Lewinsohn, Thomas M

    2011-04-01

    The high dependence of herbivorous insects on their host plants implies that plant invaders can affect these insects directly, by not providing a suitable habitat, or indirectly, by altering host plant availability. In this study, we sampled Asteraceae flower heads in cerrado remnants with varying levels of exotic grass invasion to evaluate whether invasive grasses have a direct effect on herbivore richness independent of the current disturbance level and host plant richness. By classifying herbivores according to the degree of host plant specialization, we also investigated whether invasive grasses reduce the uniqueness of the herbivorous assemblages. Herbivorous insect richness showed a unimodal relationship with invasive grass cover that was significantly explained only by way of the variation in host plant richness. The same result was found for polyphagous and oligophagous insects, but monophages showed a significant negative response to the intensity of the grass invasion that was independent of host plant richness. Our findings lend support to the hypothesis that the aggregate effect of invasive plants on herbivores tends to mirror the effects of invasive plants on host plants. In addition, exotic plants affect specialist insects differently from generalist insects; thus exotic plants affect not only the size but also the structural profile of herbivorous insect assemblages.

  13. Impacts of insect biological control on soil N transformations in Tamarix-invaded ecosystems in the Great Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Understanding the impacts of insect biological control of Tamarix spp. on soil nitrogen (N) transformations is important because changes to N supply could alter plant community succession. We investigated short-term and longer-term impacts of herbivory by the northern tamarisk beetle (Diorhabda cari...

  14. Plant-mediated Interactions Among Insects within a Community Ecological Perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poelman, E.H.; Dicke, M.

    2014-01-01

    Plants may be visited by many species of insects during their life-time. These insects include harmful herbivores above and belowground as well as beneficial natural enemies of herbivores and pollinators. Moreover, these interactions may take place sequentially or simultaneously. Responses of plants

  15. [Research progress in chemical communication among insect-resistant genetically modified plants, insect pests and natural enemies].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Qing-Song; Li, Yun-He; Chen, Xiu-Ping; Peng, Yu-Fa

    2014-08-01

    Semiochemicals released by plants or insects play an important role in the communication among plants, phytophagous insects and their natural enemies. They thus form a chemical information network which regulates intra- and inter-specific behaviors and sustains the composition and structure of plant and insect communities. The application of insect-resistant genetically modified (IRGM) crops may affect the chemical communication within and among the tritrophic levels, and thus cause disturbances to the biotic community structure and the stability of the farmland ecosystem. This has raised concerns about the environmental safety of IRGM crops and triggered research worldwide. In the current article we provided a brief summary of the chemical communication among plants, herbivores and natural enemies; analyzed the potential of IRGM crops to affect the chemical communication between plants and arthropods and the related mechanisms; and discussed the current research progress and the future prospects in this field. We hope that this will promote the research in this field by Chinese scientists and increase our understanding of the potential effects of growing of IRGM crops on the arthropod community structure.

  16. Induction of insect plant resistance to the spittlebug Mahanarva fimbriolata Stal (Hemiptera: Cercopidae) in sugarcane by silicon application

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Korndorfer, A.P.; Grisoto, E.; Vendramim, J.D.

    2011-01-01

    Changes in the agroecosystem with the increase of green cane harvesting in Brazil affected the insect populations associated to this crop, and secondary pests like the spittlebug Mahanarva fimbriolata Stal, became much more important. Many studies have demonstrated the active role played by silicon in plant defense against herbivory. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of silicon applications on the biology of the spittlebug reared on two resistant (SP79-1011 and SP80-1816) and one susceptible (SP81-3250) sugarcane cultivars. Sugarcane plants were grown under greenhouse conditions and submitted to different treatments: with and without silicon fertilizer in two different soil type (sandy and clay soil). The newly hatched nymphs were transferred to sugarcane roots and placed into boxes with lids, to keep a moistened and dark environment favoring their growth and maintenance of the root system, providing food access to the developing nymphs. After emergence, adult males and females were placed in cages for mating and oviposition. The silicon absorbed and accumulated in the plant caused an increase in nymphal mortality, and depending on the sugarcane cultivar tested this element also provided an increase in the duration of the nymphal stage and a decrease in the longevity of males and females. 'SP79-1011' presented the highest silicon content in leaves, and M. fimbriolata had the highest nymph mortality and the shortest female longevity. The pre-oviposition period, fecundity and egg viability were not affected by the silicon content in plants or the cultivar used. (author)

  17. Induction of insect plant resistance to the spittlebug Mahanarva fimbriolata Stal (Hemiptera: Cercopidae) in sugarcane by silicon application

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Korndorfer, A.P.; Grisoto, E.; Vendramim, J.D., E-mail: korndorfer@hotmail.co [Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ/USP), Piracicaba, SP (Brazil). Dept. de Entomologia e Acarologia

    2011-05-15

    Changes in the agroecosystem with the increase of green cane harvesting in Brazil affected the insect populations associated to this crop, and secondary pests like the spittlebug Mahanarva fimbriolata Stal, became much more important. Many studies have demonstrated the active role played by silicon in plant defense against herbivory. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of silicon applications on the biology of the spittlebug reared on two resistant (SP79-1011 and SP80-1816) and one susceptible (SP81-3250) sugarcane cultivars. Sugarcane plants were grown under greenhouse conditions and submitted to different treatments: with and without silicon fertilizer in two different soil type (sandy and clay soil). The newly hatched nymphs were transferred to sugarcane roots and placed into boxes with lids, to keep a moistened and dark environment favoring their growth and maintenance of the root system, providing food access to the developing nymphs. After emergence, adult males and females were placed in cages for mating and oviposition. The silicon absorbed and accumulated in the plant caused an increase in nymphal mortality, and depending on the sugarcane cultivar tested this element also provided an increase in the duration of the nymphal stage and a decrease in the longevity of males and females. 'SP79-1011' presented the highest silicon content in leaves, and M. fimbriolata had the highest nymph mortality and the shortest female longevity. The pre-oviposition period, fecundity and egg viability were not affected by the silicon content in plants or the cultivar used. (author)

  18. Environmental dependency in the expression of costs of tolerance to deer herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stinchcombe, John R

    2002-05-01

    Plant tolerance to natural enemy damage is a defense strategy that minimizes the effects of damage on fitness. Despite the apparent benefits of tolerance, many populations exhibit intermediate levels of tolerance, indicating that constraints on the evolution of tolerance are likely. In a field experiment with the ivyleaf morning glory, costs of tolerance to deer herbivory in the form of negative genetic correlations between deer tolerance and fitness in the absence of damage were detected. However, these costs were detected only in the presence of insect herbivores. Such environmental dependency in the expression of costs of tolerance may facilitate the maintenance of tolerance at intermediate levels.

  19. Plant Virus–Insect Vector Interactions: Current and Potential Future Research Directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietzgen, Ralf G.; Mann, Krin S.; Johnson, Karyn N.

    2016-01-01

    Acquisition and transmission by an insect vector is central to the infection cycle of the majority of plant pathogenic viruses. Plant viruses can interact with their insect host in a variety of ways including both non-persistent and circulative transmission; in some cases, the latter involves virus replication in cells of the insect host. Replicating viruses can also elicit both innate and specific defense responses in the insect host. A consistent feature is that the interaction of the virus with its insect host/vector requires specific molecular interactions between virus and host, commonly via proteins. Understanding the interactions between plant viruses and their insect host can underpin approaches to protect plants from infection by interfering with virus uptake and transmission. Here, we provide a perspective focused on identifying novel approaches and research directions to facilitate control of plant viruses by better understanding and targeting virus–insect molecular interactions. We also draw parallels with molecular interactions in insect vectors of animal viruses, and consider technical advances for their control that may be more broadly applicable to plant virus vectors. PMID:27834855

  20. Induction of Systemic Resistance against Insect Herbivores in Plants by Beneficial Soil Microbes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Md. Harun-Or Rashid

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Soil microorganisms with growth-promoting activities in plants, including rhizobacteria and rhizofungi, can improve plant health in a variety of different ways. These beneficial microbes may confer broad-spectrum resistance to insect herbivores. Here, we provide evidence that beneficial microbes modulate plant defenses against insect herbivores. Beneficial soil microorganisms can regulate hormone signaling including the jasmonic acid, ethylene and salicylic acid pathways, thereby leading to gene expression, biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, plant defensive proteins and different enzymes and volatile compounds, that may induce defenses against leaf-chewing as well as phloem-feeding insects. In this review, we discuss how beneficial microbes trigger induced systemic resistance against insects by promoting plant growth and highlight changes in plant molecular mechanisms and biochemical profiles.

  1. Test for Local Insect Traps against some Solanacea Insects Plant under Green House Conditions in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al-Ayedh, Hassan Ibn Yahiya

    2005-01-01

    Trapping efficiency of seven different colored sticky traps (Green, Fluorescent yellow, Orange, Pink, red, White and Yellow) was evaluated in some solanacea plants, tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum), eggplant (Solanum Magellan) and sweet pepper (Capsicum spp.) crops, for whitefly (Bemis ia airlifting), leaf miners (Liriomyza trifolii), thrips (Thrips tabaci) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The traps were placed at four different heights (0.5, 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 m above the ground). The experiment was laid out in a Completely Randomized Block Design (CRBD) with four replications during autumn 2001, spring and autumn 2002. Significantly high insect populations were trapped on Fluorescent yellow, yellow and green colored sticky traps. No significant differences were witnessed between mean numbers of various insects caught on sticky traps placed at different heights but more insects were trapped at 0.5 - 1.5m. (author)

  2. Genetic and sexual separation between insect resistant and susceptible Barbarea vulgaris plants in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Toneatto, Fiorello; Nielsen, Jens Kvist; Ørgaard, Marian

    2010-01-01

    of these interactions, we tested how genetically divergent resistant and susceptible plants are, using microsatellite markers. To test whether they are reproductively fully compatible, resistant and susceptible plants were grown intermixed in an outdoor experiment, and the paternity of open-pollinated offspring......Co-evolution between herbivores and plants is believed to be one of the processes creating Earth’s biodiversity. However, it is difficult to disentangle to what extent diversification is really driven by herbivores or by other historical-geographical processes like allopatric isolation....... In the cruciferous plant Barbarea vulgaris, some Danish individuals are resistant to herbivory by flea beetles (Phyllotreta nemorum), whereas others are not. The flea beetles are, in parallel, either resistant or susceptible to the plants defenses. To understand the historical-evolutionary framework...

  3. Herbivory on freshwater and marine macrophytes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, Elisabeth S.; Wood, Kevin A.; Pagès, Jordi F.; Veen, G.F.; Christianen, Marjolijn J.A.; Santamaría, Luis; Nolet, Bart A.; Hilt, Sabine

    2016-01-01

    Until the 1990s, herbivory on aquatic vascular plants was considered to be of minor importance, and the predominant view was that freshwater and marine macrophytes did not take part in the food web: their primary fate was the detritivorous pathway. In the last 25 years, a substantial body of

  4. Quantum dot transport in soil, plants, and insects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Al-Salim, Najeh [Industrial Research Ltd, P.O. Box 31310, Lower Hutt 5040 (New Zealand); Barraclough, Emma; Burgess, Elisabeth [New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd, Private Bag 92169, Victoria Street West, Auckland 1142 (New Zealand); Clothier, Brent, E-mail: brent.clothier@plantandfood.co.nz [New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd, Private Bag 11600, Manawatu Mail Centre, Palmerston North 4442 (New Zealand); Deurer, Markus; Green, Steve [New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd, Private Bag 11600, Manawatu Mail Centre, Palmerston North 4442 (New Zealand); Malone, Louise [New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd, Private Bag 92169, Victoria Street West, Auckland 1142 (New Zealand); Weir, Graham [Industrial Research Ltd, P.O. Box 31310, Lower Hutt 5040 (New Zealand)

    2011-08-01

    Environmental risk assessment of nanomaterials requires information not only on their toxicity to non-target organisms, but also on their potential exposure pathways. Here we report on the transport and fate of quantum dots (QDs) in the total environment: from soils, through their uptake into plants, to their passage through insects following ingestion. Our QDs are nanoparticles with an average particle size of 6.5 nm. Breakthrough curves obtained with CdTe/mercaptopropionic acid QDs applied to columns of top soil from a New Zealand organic apple orchard, a Hastings silt loam, showed there to be preferential flow through the soil's macropores. Yet the effluent recovery of QDs was just 60%, even after several pore volumes, indicating that about 40% of the influent QDs were filtered and retained by the soil column via some unknown exchange/adsorption/sequestration mechanism. Glycine-, mercaptosuccinic acid-, cysteine-, and amine-conjugated CdSe/ZnS QDs were visibly transported to a limited extent in the vasculature of ryegrass (Lolium perenne), onion (Allium cepa) and chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum sp.) plants when cut stems were placed in aqueous QD solutions. However, they were not seen to be taken up at all by rooted whole plants of ryegrass, onion, or Arabidopsis thaliana placed in these solutions. Leafroller (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) larvae fed with these QDs for two or four days, showed fluorescence along the entire gut, in their frass (larval feces), and, at a lower intensity, in their haemolymph. Fluorescent QDs were also observed and elevated cadmium levels detected inside the bodies of adult moths that had been fed QDs as larvae. These results suggest that exposure scenarios for QDs in the total environment could be quite complex and variable in each environmental domain. - Research highlights: {yields} Quantum dots are transported rapidly through soil but half were retained. {yields} Intact roots of plants did not take up quantum dots. Excised plants

  5. The 'Herbivory Uncertainty Principle': application in a cerrado site

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CA Gadotti

    Full Text Available Researchers may alter the ecology of their studied organisms, even carrying out apparently beneficial activities, as in herbivory studies, when they may alter herbivory damage. We tested whether visit frequency altered herbivory damage, as predicted by the 'Herbivory Uncertainty Principle'. In a cerrado site, we established 80 quadrats, in which we sampled all woody individuals. We used four visit frequencies (high, medium, low, and control, quantifying, at the end of three months, herbivory damage for each species in each treatment. We did not corroborate the 'Herbivory Uncertainty Principle', since visiting frequency did not alter herbivory damage, at least when the whole plant community was taken into account. However, when we analysed each species separately, four out of 11 species presented significant differences in herbivory damage, suggesting that the researcher is not independent of its measurements. The principle could be tested in other ecological studies in which it may occur, such as those on animal behaviour, human ecology, population dynamics, and conservation.

  6. Plant breeding for resistance to insect pests: Considerations about the use of induced mutations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1978-01-01

    The Panel was intended to stimulate proposals on specific plant breeding objectives, for immediate and long term solution. Nine papers considered the host plant resistance to particular insect pests in a variety of cases. The desirability of achieving some measure of pest control via the development of disease-resistant mutants was discussed. In its conclusions, the Panel stressed the need to consider host plant resistance as one of the primary lines of defense in all pest management programmes. Consequently, resistance to insects was recommended to become an integral part of plant breeding programmes. Preference might need to be given to developing insect resistance in those crop plants for which practical control is lacking or where current methods of pest control present critical environmental hazards. The roles of the IAEA and FAO in such projects is outlined. Guidelines and recommendations on mutation breeding for resistance to insects are given in an appendix

  7. Phytoplasma protein effector SAP11 enhances insect vector reproduction by manipulating plant development and defense hormone biosynthesis

    OpenAIRE

    Sugio, Akiko; Kingdom, Heather N.; MacLean, Allyson M.; Grieve, Victoria M.; Hogenhout, Saskia A.

    2011-01-01

    Phytoplasmas are insect-transmitted phytopathogenic bacteria that can alter plant morphology and the longevity and reproduction rates and behavior of their insect vectors. There are various examples of animal and plant parasites that alter the host phenotype to attract insect vectors, but it is unclear how these parasites accomplish this. We hypothesized that phytoplasmas produce effectors that modulate specific targets in their hosts leading to the changes in plant development and insect per...

  8. Horizontal Gene Transfer Contributes to the Evolution of Arthropod Herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wybouw, Nicky; Pauchet, Yannick; Heckel, David G; Van Leeuwen, Thomas

    2016-06-27

    Within animals, evolutionary transition toward herbivory is severely limited by the hostile characteristics of plants. Arthropods have nonetheless counteracted many nutritional and defensive barriers imposed by plants and are currently considered as the most successful animal herbivores in terrestrial ecosystems. We gather a body of evidence showing that genomes of various plant feeding insects and mites possess genes whose presence can only be explained by horizontal gene transfer (HGT). HGT is the asexual transmission of genetic information between reproductively isolated species. Although HGT is known to have great adaptive significance in prokaryotes, its impact on eukaryotic evolution remains obscure. Here, we show that laterally transferred genes into arthropods underpin many adaptations to phytophagy, including efficient assimilation and detoxification of plant produced metabolites. Horizontally acquired genes and the traits they encode often functionally diversify within arthropod recipients, enabling the colonization of more host plant species and organs. We demonstrate that HGT can drive metazoan evolution by uncovering its prominent role in the adaptations of arthropods to exploit plants. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  9. Combined effects of patch size and plant nutritional quality on local densities of insect herbivores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bukovinszky, T.; Gols, R.; Kamp, A.; De Oliveira-Domingues, F.; Hambäck, P.A.; Jongema, Y.; Bezemer, T.M.; Dicke, M.; Van Dam, N.M.; Harvey, J.A.

    2010-01-01

    Plant–insect interactions occur in spatially heterogeneous habitats. Understanding how such interactions shape density distributions of herbivores requires knowledge on how variation in plant traits (e.g. nutritional quality) affects herbivore abundance through, for example, affecting movement rates

  10. Plant-mediated interspecific horizontal transmission of an intracellular symbiont in insects

    KAUST Repository

    Gonella, Elena; Pajoro, Massimo; Marzorati, Massimo; Crotti, Elena; Mandrioli, Mauro; Pontini, Marianna; Bulgari, Daniela; Negri, Ilaria; Sacchi, Luciano; Chouaia, Bessem; Daffonchio, Daniele; Alma, Alberto

    2015-01-01

    Intracellular reproductive manipulators, such as Candidatus Cardinium and Wolbachia are vertically transmitted to progeny but rarely show co-speciation with the host. In sap-feeding insects, plant tissues have been proposed as alternative horizontal

  11. Hypoxia and hypercarbia in endophagous insects: Larval position in the plant gas exchange network is key.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pincebourde, Sylvain; Casas, Jérôme

    2016-01-01

    Gas composition is an important component of any micro-environment. Insects, as the vast majority of living organisms, depend on O2 and CO2 concentrations in the air they breathe. Low O2 (hypoxia), and high CO2 (hypercarbia) levels can have a dramatic effect. For phytophagous insects that live within plant tissues (endophagous lifestyle), gas is exchanged between ambient air and the atmosphere within the insect habitat. The insect larva contributes to the modification of this environment by expiring CO2. Yet, knowledge on the gas exchange network in endophagous insects remains sparse. Our study identified mechanisms that modulate gas composition in the habitat of endophagous insects. Our aim was to show that the mere position of the insect larva within plant tissues could be used as a proxy for estimating risk of occurrence of hypoxia and hypercarbia, despite the widely diverse life history traits of these organisms. We developed a conceptual framework for a gas diffusion network determining gas composition in endophagous insect habitats. We applied this framework to mines, galls and insect tunnels (borers) by integrating the numerous obstacles along O2 and CO2 pathways. The nature and the direction of gas transfers depended on the physical structure of the insect habitat, the photosynthesis activity as well as stomatal behavior in plant tissues. We identified the insect larva position within the gas diffusion network as a predictor of risk exposure to hypoxia and hypercarbia. We ranked endophagous insect habitats in terms of risk of exposure to hypoxia and/or hypercarbia, from the more to the less risky as cambium mines>borer tunnels≫galls>bark mines>mines in aquatic plants>upper and lower surface mines. Furthermore, we showed that the photosynthetically active tissues likely assimilate larval CO2 produced. In addition, temperature of the microhabitat and atmospheric CO2 alter gas composition in the insect habitat. We predict that (i) hypoxia indirectly favors

  12. An aeroponic culture system for the study of root herbivory on Arabidopsis thaliana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vaughan Martha M

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plant defense against herbivory has been studied primarily in aerial tissues. However, complex defense mechanisms have evolved in all parts of the plant to combat herbivore attack and these mechanisms are likely to differ in the aerial and subterranean environment. Research investigating defense responses belowground has been hindered by experimental difficulties associated with the accessibility and quality of root tissue and the lack of bioassays using model plants with altered defense profiles. Results We have developed an aeroponic culture system based on a calcined clay substrate that allows insect herbivores to feed on plant roots while providing easy recovery of the root tissue. The culture method was validated by a root-herbivore system developed for Arabidopsis thaliana and the herbivore Bradysia spp. (fungus gnat. Arabidopsis root mass obtained from aeroponically grown plants was comparable to that from other culture systems, and the plants were morphologically normal. Bradysia larvae caused considerable root damage resulting in reduced root biomass and water absorption. After feeding on the aeroponically grown root tissue, the larvae pupated and emerged as adults. Root damage of mature plants cultivated in aeroponic substrate was compared to that of Arabidopsis seedlings grown in potting mix. Seedlings were notably more susceptible to Bradysia feeding than mature plants and showed decreased overall growth and survival rates. Conclusions A root-herbivore system consisting of Arabidopsis thaliana and larvae of the opportunistic herbivore Bradysia spp. has been established that mimics herbivory in the rhizosphere. Bradysia infestation of Arabidopsis grown in this culture system significantly affects plant performance. The culture method will allow simple profiling and in vivo functional analysis of root defenses such as chemical defense metabolites that are released in response to belowground insect attack.

  13. Role of glucosinolates in insect-plant relationships and multitrophic interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hopkins, R.J.; Dam, van N.M.; Loon, van J.J.A.

    2009-01-01

    Glucosinolates present classical examples of plant compounds affecting insect-plant interactions. They are found mainly in the family Brassicaceae, which includes several important crops. More than 120 different glucosinolates are known. The enzyme myrosinase, which is stored in specialized plant

  14. Plant interactions with microbes and insects: from molecular mechanisms to ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pieterse, C.M.J.; Dicke, M.

    2007-01-01

    Plants are members of complex communities and interact both with antagonists and beneficial organisms. An important question in plant defense-signaling research is how plants integrate signals induced by pathogens, beneficial microbes and insects into the most appropriate adaptive response.

  15. Herbivory of tropical rain forest tree seedlings correlates with future mortality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eichhorn, Markus P; Nilus, Reuben; Compton, Stephen G; Hartley, Sue E; Burslem, David F R P

    2010-04-01

    Tree seedlings in tropical rain forests are subject to both damage from natural enemies and intense interspecific competition. This leads to a trade-off in investment between defense and growth, and it is likely that tree species specialized to particular habitats tailor this balance to correspond with local resource availability. It has also been suggested that differential herbivore impacts among tree species may drive habitat segregation, favoring species adapted to particular resource conditions. In order to test these predictions, a reciprocal transplant experiment in Sabah, Malaysia, was established with seedlings of five species of Dipterocarpaceae. These were specialized to either alluvial (Hopea nervosa, Parashorea tomentella) or sandstone soils (Shorea multiflora, H. beccariana), or were locally absent (S. fallax). A total of 3000 seedlings were planted in paired gap and understory plots in five sites on alluvial and sandstone soils. Half of all seedlings were fertilized. Seedling growth and mortality were recorded in regular samples over 3.5 years, and rates of insect herbivore damage were estimated from censuses of foliar tissue loss on marked mature leaves and available young leaves. Greater herbivory rates on mature leaves had no measurable effects on seedling growth but were associated with a significantly increased likelihood of mortality during the following year. In contrast, new-leaf herbivory rates correlated with neither growth nor mortality. There were no indications of differential impacts of herbivory among the five species, nor between experimental treatments. Herbivory was not shown to influence segregation of species between soil types, although it may contribute toward differential survival among light habitats. Natural rates of damage were substantially lower than have been shown to influence tree seedling growth and mortality in previous manipulative studies.

  16. Transcriptional profile and differential fitness in a specialist milkweed insect across host plants varying in toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birnbaum, Stephanie S L; Rinker, David C; Gerardo, Nicole M; Abbot, Patrick

    2017-12-01

    Interactions between plants and herbivorous insects have been models for theories of specialization and co-evolution for over a century. Phytochemicals govern many aspects of these interactions and have fostered the evolution of adaptations by insects to tolerate or even specialize on plant defensive chemistry. While genomic approaches are providing new insights into the genes and mechanisms insect specialists employ to tolerate plant secondary metabolites, open questions remain about the evolution and conservation of insect counterdefences, how insects respond to the diversity defences mounted by their host plants, and the costs and benefits of resistance and tolerance to plant defences in natural ecological communities. Using a milkweed-specialist aphid (Aphis nerii) model, we test the effects of host plant species with increased toxicity, likely driven primarily by increased secondary metabolites, on aphid life history traits and whole-body gene expression. We show that more toxic plant species have a negative effect on aphid development and lifetime fecundity. When feeding on more toxic host plants with higher levels of secondary metabolites, aphids regulate a narrow, targeted set of genes, including those involved in canonical detoxification processes (e.g., cytochrome P450s, hydrolases, UDP-glucuronosyltransferases and ABC transporters). These results indicate that A. nerii marshal a variety of metabolic detoxification mechanisms to circumvent milkweed toxicity and facilitate host plant specialization, yet, despite these detoxification mechanisms, aphids experience reduced fitness when feeding on more toxic host plants. Disentangling how specialist insects respond to challenging host plants is a pivotal step in understanding the evolution of specialized diet breadths. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Transgenic rice plants harboring an introduced potato proteinase inhibitor II gene are insect resistant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, X; Li, X; Xue, Q; Abo-el-Saad, M; Xu, D; Wu, R

    1996-04-01

    We introduced the potato proteinase inhibitor II (PINII) gene (pin2) into several Japonica rice varieties, and regenerated a large number of transgenic rice plants. Wound-inducible expression of the pin2 gene driven by its own promoter, together with the first intron of the rice actin 1 gene (act1), resulted in high-level accumulation of the PINII protein in the transgenic plants. The introduced pin2 gene was stably inherited in the second, third, and fourth generations, as shown by molecular analyses. Based on data from the molecular analyses, several homozygous transgenic lines were obtained. Bioassay for insect resistance with the fifth-generation transgenic rice plants showed that transgenic rice plants had increased resistance to a major rice insect pest, pink stem borer (Sesamia inferens). Thus, introduction of an insecticidal proteinase inhibitor gene into cereal plants can be used as a general strategy for control of insect pests.

  18. Plant Fitness Assessment for Wild Relatives of Insect Resistant Bt-Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. K. Letourneau

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available When field tests of transgenic plants are precluded by practical containment concerns, manipulative experiments can detect potential consequences of crop-wild gene flow. Using topical sprays of bacterial Bacillus thuringiensis larvicide (Bt and larval additions, we measured fitness effects of reduced herbivory on Brassica rapa (wild mustard and Raphanus sativus (wild radish. These species represent different life histories among the potential recipients of Bt transgenes from Bt cole crops in the US and Asia, for which rare spontaneous crosses are expected under high exposure. Protected wild radish and wild mustard seedlings had approximately half the herbivore damage of exposed plants and 55% lower seedling mortality, resulting in 27% greater reproductive success, 14-day longer life-spans, and 118% more seeds, on average. Seed addition experiments in microcosms and in situ indicated that wild radish was more likely to spread than wild mustard in coastal grasslands.

  19. Autophagy pathway induced by a plant virus facilitates viral spread and transmission by its insect vector.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong Chen

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Many viral pathogens are persistently transmitted by insect vectors and cause agricultural or health problems. Generally, an insect vector can use autophagy as an intrinsic antiviral defense mechanism against viral infection. Whether viruses can evolve to exploit autophagy to promote their transmission by insect vectors is still unknown. Here, we show that the autophagic process is triggered by the persistent replication of a plant reovirus, rice gall dwarf virus (RGDV in cultured leafhopper vector cells and in intact insects, as demonstrated by the appearance of obvious virus-containing double-membrane autophagosomes, conversion of ATG8-I to ATG8-II and increased level of autophagic flux. Such virus-containing autophagosomes seem able to mediate nonlytic viral release from cultured cells or facilitate viral spread in the leafhopper intestine. Applying the autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine or silencing the expression of Atg5 significantly decrease viral spread in vitro and in vivo, whereas applying the autophagy inducer rapamycin or silencing the expression of Torc1 facilitate such viral spread. Furthermore, we find that activation of autophagy facilitates efficient viral transmission, whereas inhibiting autophagy blocks viral transmission by its insect vector. Together, these results indicate a plant virus can induce the formation of autophagosomes for carrying virions, thus facilitating viral spread and transmission by its insect vector. We believe that such a role for virus-induced autophagy is common for vector-borne persistent viruses during their transmission by insect vectors.

  20. Insect-resistant transgenic plants in a multi-trophic context

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groot, A.T.; Dicke, M.

    2002-01-01

    So far, genetic engineering of plants in the context of insect pest control has involved insertion of genes that code for toxins, and may be characterized as the incorporation of biopesticides into classical plant breeding. In the context of pesticide usage in pest control, natural enemies of

  1. Busy Bees: Variation in Insect Flower-Visiting Rates across Multiple Plant Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margaret J. Couvillon

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We quantified insect visitation rates by counting how many flowers/inflorescences were probed per unit time for five plant species (four native and one garden: California lilac, bramble, ragwort, wild marjoram, and ivy growing in Sussex, United Kingdom, by following individual insects (n=2987 from nine functional groups (honey bees (Apis mellifera, bumble bees (Bombus spp., hoverflies, flies, butterflies, beetles, wasps, non-Apidae bees, and moths. Additionally, we made a census of the insect diversity on the studied plant species. Overall we found that insect groups differed greatly in their rate of flower visits (P<2.2e-16, with bumble bees and honey bees visiting significantly more flowers per time (11.5 and 9.2 flowers/minute, resp. than the other insect groups. Additionally, we report on a within-group difference in the non-Apidae bees, where the genus Osmia, which is often suggested as an alternative to honey bees as a managed pollinator, was very speedy (13.4 flowers/minute compared to the other non-Apidae bees (4.3 flowers/minute. Our census showed that the plants attracted a range of insects, with the honey bee as the most abundant visitor (34%. Therefore, rate differences cannot be explained by particular specializations. Lastly, we discuss potential implications of our conclusions for pollination.

  2. Plant Perception and Short-Term Responses to Phytophagous Insects and Mites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Estrella Santamaria

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Plant–pest relationships involve complex processes encompassing a network of molecules, signals, and regulators for overcoming defenses they develop against each other. Phytophagous arthropods identify plants mainly as a source of food. In turn, plants develop a variety of strategies to avoid damage and survive. The success of plant defenses depends on rapid and specific recognition of the phytophagous threat. Subsequently, plants trigger a cascade of short-term responses that eventually result in the production of a wide range of compounds with defense properties. This review deals with the main features involved in the interaction between plants and phytophagous insects and acari, focusing on early responses from the plant side. A general landscape of the diverse strategies employed by plants within the first hours after pest perception to block the capability of phytophagous insects to develop mechanisms of resistance is presented, with the potential of providing alternatives for pest control.

  3. Herbivory eliminates fitness costs of mutualism exploiters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simonsen, Anna K; Stinchcombe, John R

    2014-04-01

    A common empirical observation in mutualistic interactions is the persistence of variation in partner quality and, in particular, the persistence of exploitative phenotypes. For mutualisms between hosts and symbionts, most mutualism theory assumes that exploiters always impose fitness costs on their host. We exposed legume hosts to mutualistic (nitrogen-fixing) and exploitative (non-nitrogen-fixing) symbiotic rhizobia in field conditions, and manipulated the presence or absence of insect herbivory to determine if the costly fitness effects of exploitative rhizobia are context-dependent. Exploitative rhizobia predictably reduced host fitness when herbivores were excluded. However, insects caused greater damage on hosts associating with mutualistic rhizobia, as a consequence of feeding preferences related to leaf nitrogen content, resulting in the elimination of fitness costs imposed on hosts by exploitative rhizobia. Our experiment shows that herbivory is potentially an important factor in influencing the evolutionary dynamic between legumes and rhizobia. Partner choice and host sanctioning are theoretically predicted to stabilize mutualisms by reducing the frequency of exploitative symbionts. We argue that herbivore pressure may actually weaken selection on choice and sanction mechanisms, thus providing one explanation of why host-based discrimination mechanisms may not be completely effective in eliminating nonbeneficial partners. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  4. Herbivory induces systemic production of plant volatiles that attract predators of the herbivore: extraction of endogenous elicitor.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dicke, M.; Baarlen, van P.; Wessels, R.; Dijkman, H.

    1993-01-01

    It was previously shown that in response to infestation by spider mites (Tetranychus urticae), lima bean plants produce a volatile herbivoreinduced synomone that attracts phytoseiid mites (Phytoseiulus persimilis) that are predators of the spider mites. The production of predator-attracting

  5. An insect countermeasure impacts plant physiology: midrib vein cutting, defoliation and leaf photosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delaney, Kevin J; Higley, Leon G

    2006-07-01

    One type of specialised herbivory receiving little study even though its importance has frequently been mentioned is vein cutting. We examined how injury to a leaf's midrib vein impairs gas exchange, whether impairment occurs downstream or upstream from injury, duration of impairment, compared the severity of midrib injury with non-midrib defoliation, and modelled how these two leaf injuries affect whole-leaf photosynthesis. Leaf gas exchange response to midrib injury was measured in five Asclepiadaceae (milkweed), one Apocynaceae (dogbane), one Polygonaceae and one Fabaceae species, which have been observed or reported to have midrib vein cutting injury in their habitats. Midrib vein injury impaired several leaf gas exchange parameters, but only downstream (distal) from the injury location. The degree of gas exchange impairment from midrib injury was usually more severe than from manually imposed and actual insect defoliation (non-midrib), where partial recovery occurred after 28 d in one milkweed species. Non-midrib tissue defoliation reduced whole-leaf photosynthetic activity mostly by removing photosynthetically active tissue, while midrib injury was most severe as the injury location came closer to the petiole. Midrib vein cutting has been suggested to have evolved as a countermeasure to deactivate induced leaf latex or cardenolide defences of milkweeds and dogbanes, yet vein cutting effects on leaf physiology seem more severe than the non-midrib defoliation the defences evolved to deter.

  6. Host-Plant Specialization Mediates the Influence of Plant Abundance on Host Use by Flower Head-Feeding Insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nobre, Paola A F; Bergamini, Leonardo L; Lewinsohn, Thomas M; Jorge, Leonardo R; Almeida-Neto, Mário

    2016-02-01

    Among-population variation in host use is a common phenomenon in herbivorous insects. The simplest and most trivial explanation for such variation in host use is the among-site variation in plant species composition. Another aspect that can influence spatial variation in host use is the relative abundance of each host-plant species compared to all available hosts. Here, we used endophagous insects that develop in flower heads of Asteraceae species as a study system to investigate how plant abundance influences the pattern of host-plant use by herbivorous insects with distinct levels of host-range specialization. Only herbivores recorded on three or more host species were included in this study. In particular, we tested two related hypotheses: 1) plant abundance has a positive effect on the host-plant preference of herbivorous insects, and 2) the relative importance of plant abundance to host-plant preference is greater for herbivorous species that use a wider range of host-plant species. We analyzed 11 herbivore species in 20 remnants of Cerrado in Southeastern Brazil. For 8 out of 11 herbivore species, plant abundance had a positive influence on host use. In contrast to our expectation, both the most specialized and the most generalist herbivores showed a stronger positive effect of plant species abundance in host use. Thus, we found evidence that although the abundance of plant species is a major factor determining the preferential use of host plants, its relative importance is mediated by the host-range specialization of herbivores.

  7. Role of plants and plant based products towards the control of insect pests and vectors: A novel review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elumalai Kuppusamy

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Insect pests bear harmful effects causing great loss to the agricultural crops, stored agricultural products and vector mosquitoes can cause diseases to human. Plants possess an array of vast repository of phytochemicals and have been used to cure many diseases and to control the infestation of insect pests from time immemorial. Plants are easily biodegradable and ecologically safe for treating on the stored or on the field crops against pests to prevent from further damage or loss of stored products or preventing human from mosquito bites, thus preventing the spreading of dreadful diseases such as chikungunya and malaria. Hence, this review can give a clear insecticidal, pesticidal and mosquitocidal property of several plants against the insect pests and vectors.

  8. Parasitism by Cuscuta pentagona Attenuates Host Plant Defenses against Insect Herbivores1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Runyon, Justin B.; Mescher, Mark C.; De Moraes, Consuelo M.

    2008-01-01

    Considerable research has examined plant responses to concurrent attack by herbivores and pathogens, but the effects of attack by parasitic plants, another important class of plant-feeding organisms, on plant defenses against other enemies has not been explored. We investigated how attack by the parasitic plant Cuscuta pentagona impacted tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) defenses against the chewing insect beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua; BAW). In response to insect feeding, C. pentagona-infested (parasitized) tomato plants produced only one-third of the antiherbivore phytohormone jasmonic acid (JA) produced by unparasitized plants. Similarly, parasitized tomato, in contrast to unparasitized plants, failed to emit herbivore-induced volatiles after 3 d of BAW feeding. Although parasitism impaired antiherbivore defenses, BAW growth was slower on parasitized tomato leaves. Vines of C. pentagona did not translocate JA from BAW-infested plants: amounts of JA in parasite vines grown on caterpillar-fed and control plants were similar. Parasitized plants generally contained more salicylic acid (SA), which can inhibit JA in some systems. Parasitized mutant (NahG) tomato plants deficient in SA produced more JA in response to insect feeding than parasitized wild-type plants, further suggesting cross talk between the SA and JA defense signaling pathways. However, JA induction by BAW was still reduced in parasitized compared to unparasitized NahG, implying that other factors must be involved. We found that parasitized plants were capable of producing induced volatiles when experimentally treated with JA, indicating that resource depletion by the parasite does not fully explain the observed attenuation of volatile response to herbivore feeding. Collectively, these findings show that parasitic plants can have important consequences for host plant defense against herbivores. PMID:18165323

  9. Parasitism by Cuscuta pentagona attenuates host plant defenses against insect herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Runyon, Justin B; Mescher, Mark C; De Moraes, Consuelo M

    2008-03-01

    Considerable research has examined plant responses to concurrent attack by herbivores and pathogens, but the effects of attack by parasitic plants, another important class of plant-feeding organisms, on plant defenses against other enemies has not been explored. We investigated how attack by the parasitic plant Cuscuta pentagona impacted tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) defenses against the chewing insect beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua; BAW). In response to insect feeding, C. pentagona-infested (parasitized) tomato plants produced only one-third of the antiherbivore phytohormone jasmonic acid (JA) produced by unparasitized plants. Similarly, parasitized tomato, in contrast to unparasitized plants, failed to emit herbivore-induced volatiles after 3 d of BAW feeding. Although parasitism impaired antiherbivore defenses, BAW growth was slower on parasitized tomato leaves. Vines of C. pentagona did not translocate JA from BAW-infested plants: amounts of JA in parasite vines grown on caterpillar-fed and control plants were similar. Parasitized plants generally contained more salicylic acid (SA), which can inhibit JA in some systems. Parasitized mutant (NahG) tomato plants deficient in SA produced more JA in response to insect feeding than parasitized wild-type plants, further suggesting cross talk between the SA and JA defense signaling pathways. However, JA induction by BAW was still reduced in parasitized compared to unparasitized NahG, implying that other factors must be involved. We found that parasitized plants were capable of producing induced volatiles when experimentally treated with JA, indicating that resource depletion by the parasite does not fully explain the observed attenuation of volatile response to herbivore feeding. Collectively, these findings show that parasitic plants can have important consequences for host plant defense against herbivores.

  10. Facing herbivory on the climb up: Lost opportunities as the main cost of herbivory in the wild yam Dioscorea praehensilis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Giusto, Bruno; Dounias, Edmond; McKey, Doyle B

    2017-08-01

    Plants with simple architecture and strong constraints on their growth may offer critical insights into how growth strategies affect the tolerance of plants to herbivory. Although Dioscorea praehensilis, a wild yam of African forests, is perennial, both aerial apparatus and tuber are annually renewed. Each year, the tuber produces a single stem that climbs from the ground to the forest canopy. This stem bears no leaves and no branches until it reaches optimal light conditions. Once in the canopy, the plant's production fuels the filling of a new tuber before the plant dies back to the ground. We hypothesized that if deprived of ant defense, the leafless growth phase is a vulnerable part of the cycle, during which a small amount of herbivory entails a high cost in terms of loss of opportunity. We compared the growth of stems bearing ants or not as well as of intact stems and stems subjected to simulated or natural herbivory. Ants reduce herbivory; herbivory delays arrival to the canopy and shortens the season of production. Artificially prolonging the stem growth to the canopy increased plant mortality in the following year and, in surviving plants, reduced the stem diameter and likely the underground reserves produced. Tuber size is a key variable in plant performance as it affects both the size of the aerial apparatus and the duration of its single season of production. Aerial apparatus and tuber are thus locked into a cycle of reciprocal annual renewal. Costs due to loss of opportunity may play a major role in plant tolerance to herbivory, especially when architectural constraints interact with ecological conditions to shape the plant's growth strategy.

  11. New Technologies for Insect-Resistant and Herbicide-Tolerant Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombardo, Luca; Coppola, Gerardo; Zelasco, Samanta

    2016-01-01

    The advent of modern molecular biology and recombinant DNA technology has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of insect-resistant (IR) and herbicide-tolerant (HT) plant varieties, with great economic benefits for farmers. Nevertheless, the high selection pressure generated by control strategies for weed and insect populations has led to the evolution of herbicide and pesticide resistance. In the short term, the development of new techniques or the improvement of existing ones will provide further instruments to counter the appearance of resistant weeds and insects and to reduce the use of agrochemicals. In this review, we examine some of the most promising new technologies for developing IR and HT plants, such as genome editing and antisense technologies. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Double strand RNA oral delivery methods to induce RNA interference in phloem and plant-sap-feeding insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phloem and plant sap feeding insect pests invade the integrity of crops and fruits to retrieve nutrients in the process damaging food productivity. Hemipteran insects account for a number of economically substantial pests of plants that cause damage to crops by feeding on phloem sap. Halyomorpha hal...

  13. Slow food: insect prey and chitin induce phytohormone accumulation and gene expression in carnivorous Nepenthes plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yilamujiang, Ayufu; Reichelt, Michael; Mithöfer, Axel

    2016-08-01

    Carnivorous Nepenthes plants use modified leaves forming pitfall traps to capture and digest prey, mainly insects, for additional nutrient supply. These traps, so called pitchers, contain a plant-derived fluid composed of many hydrolytic enzymes and defence-related proteins. In this study, the prey-induced induction of corresponding genes of those proteins and a role for phytohormones in this process was analysed. Tissue from insect prey-fed, chitin- and phytohormone-challenged pitchers was harvested and analysed for selected gene expressions by a quantitative PCR technique. Phytohormone levels were determined by LC-MS/MS. Nepenthesin proteolytic activities were measured in the digestive fluid using a fluorescence substrate. Insect prey in the pitchers induced the accumulation of phytohormones such as jasmonates as well as the transcription of studied genes encoding a chitinase 3 and a protease (nepenthesin I), whereas a defence-related protein (PR-1) gene was not induced. Treatment with chitin as a component of the insects' exoskeleton triggered the accumulation of jasmonates, the expression of nepenthesin I and chitinase 3 genes similar to jasmonic acid treatment, and induced protease activity in the fluid. All detectable responses were slowly induced. The results suggest that upon insect prey catch a sequence of signals is initiated: (1) insect-derived chitin, (2) jasmonate as endogenous phytohormone signal, (3) the induction of digestive gene expression and (4) protein expression. This resembles a similar hierarchy of events as described from plant pathogen/herbivore interactions, supporting the idea that carnivory evolved from plant defences. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Ecological turmoil in evolutionary dynamics of plant-insect interactions: defense to offence

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mishra, Manasi; Lomate, P. R.; Joshi, R. S.; Punekar, S. A.; Gupta, V. S.; Giri, A. P.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 242, č. 4 (2015), s. 761-771 ISSN 0032-0935 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : plant-insect interaction * co-evolution * human interference * ecosystem * climatic change Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry Impact factor: 3.239, year: 2015

  15. Horizontal transmission of the insect symbiont Rickettsia is plant-mediated

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caspi-Fluger, Ayelet; Inbar, Moshe; Mozes-Daube, Netta; Katzir, Nurit; Portnoy, Vitaly; Belausov, Eduard; Hunter, Martha S.; Zchori-Fein, Einat

    2012-01-01

    Bacteria in the genus Rickettsia, best known as vertebrate pathogens vectored by blood-feeding arthropods, can also be found in phytophagous insects. The presence of closely related bacterial symbionts in evolutionarily distant arthropod hosts presupposes a means of horizontal transmission, but no mechanism for this transmission has been described. Using a combination of experiments with live insects, molecular analyses and microscopy, we found that Rickettsia were transferred from an insect host (the whitefly Bemisia tabaci) to a plant, moved inside the phloem, and could be acquired by other whiteflies. In one experiment, Rickettsia was transferred from the whitefly host to leaves of cotton, basil and black nightshade, where the bacteria were restricted to the phloem cells of the plant. In another experiment, Rickettsia-free adult whiteflies, physically segregated but sharing a cotton leaf with Rickettsia-plus individuals, acquired the Rickettsia at a high rate. Plants can serve as a reservoir for horizontal transmission of Rickettsia, a mechanism which may explain the occurrence of phylogenetically similar symbionts among unrelated phytophagous insect species. This plant-mediated transmission route may also exist in other insect–symbiont systems and, since symbionts may play a critical role in the ecology and evolution of their hosts, serve as an immediate and powerful tool for accelerated evolution. PMID:22113034

  16. Aboveground endophyte affects root volatile emission and host plant selection of a belowground insect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rostás, Michael; Cripps, Michael G; Silcock, Patrick

    2015-02-01

    Plants emit specific blends of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that serve as multitrophic, multifunctional signals. Fungi colonizing aboveground (AG) or belowground (BG) plant structures can modify VOC patterns, thereby altering the information content for AG insects. Whether AG microbes affect the emission of root volatiles and thus influence soil insect behaviour is unknown. The endophytic fungus Neotyphodium uncinatum colonizes the aerial parts of the grass hybrid Festuca pratensis × Lolium perenne and is responsible for the presence of insect-toxic loline alkaloids in shoots and roots. We investigated whether endophyte symbiosis had an effect on the volatile emission of grass roots and if the root herbivore Costelytra zealandica was able to recognize endophyte-infected plants by olfaction. In BG olfactometer assays, larvae of C. zealandica were more strongly attracted to roots of uninfected than endophyte-harbouring grasses. Combined gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and proton transfer reaction-mass spectrometry revealed that endophyte-infected roots emitted less VOCs and more CO2. Our results demonstrate that symbiotic fungi in plants may influence soil insect distribution by changing their behaviour towards root volatiles. The well-known defensive mutualism between grasses and Neotyphodium endophytes could thus go beyond bioactive alkaloids and also confer protection by being chemically less apparent for soil herbivores.

  17. Insect herbivore feeding and their excretion contribute to volatile organic compounds emission to the atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zebelo, S.; Gnavi, G.; Bertea, C.; Bossi, S.; Andrea, O.; Cordero, C.; Rubiolo, P.; Bicchi, C.; Maffei, M.

    2011-12-01

    Secondary plant metabolites play an important role in insect plant interactions. The Lamiaceae family, especially Mentha species, accumulate secondary plant metabolites in their glandular trichomes, mainly mono and sesquiterpenes. Here we show that mint plants respond to herbivory by changing the quality and quantity of leaf secondary plant metabolite components. The volatiles from herbivore damaged, mechanical damage and healthy plant were collected by HS-SPME and analyzed by GC-MS. Plants with the same treatment were kept for genomic analysis. Total RNA was extracted from the above specified treatments. The terpenoid quantitative gene expressions (qPCR) were then assayed. Upon herbivory, M. aquatica synthesizes and emits (+)-menthofuran and the other major monoterpene (+)-pulegone emitted by healthy and mechanically damaged plants. Herbivory was found to up-regulate the expression of genes involved in terpenoid biosynthesis. The increased emission of (+)-menthofuran was correlated with the upregulation of (+)-menthofuran synthase. In addition we analysed the VOC composition of C. herbacea frass from insects feeding on Mentha aquatica. VOCs were sampled by HS-SPME and analyzed by GCxGC-qMS, and the results compared through quantitative comparative analysis of 2D chromatographic data. Most terpenoids from M. aquatica were completely catabolized by C. herbacea and were absent in the frass volatile fraction. On the other hand, the monoterpene 1,8-cineole was oxidized and frass yielded several new hydroxy-1,8-cineoles, among which 2α-OH-, 3α-OH-, 3β-OH- and 9-OH-1,8-cineole. The role of VOC emitted during herbivory and frass excretion on secondary organic aerosol formation is discussed.

  18. The impacts of climate change and belowground herbivory on aphids via primary metabolites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryalls, James M. W.

    Global climate and atmospheric change (summarised as climate change for brevity) may alter patterns of crop damage by insect herbivores, but little is known about how multiple climate change factors, acting in tandem, shape such interactions. Crucially, the specific plant-mediated mechanisms underpinning these effects remain largely unknown. Moreover, research into the effects of climate change on leguminous plant species, which have the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen (N2) via their association with root nodule-dwelling rhizobial bacteria, and their associated insect herbivores, is surprisingly scarce considering their increasing importance in terrestrial ecosystems worldwide. Using a model legume, lucerne, otherwise known as alfalfa, Medicago sativa (Fabaceae), and a model pest species, the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum (Hemiptera: Aphididae), this work addresses how predicted changes in carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations, temperature and rainfall patterns as well as interactions with other organisms, including the root-feeding weevil Sitona discoideus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), might shape legume-feeding aphid populations in the future. Recent literature on the impacts of climate change on aphids and the biology and trophic interactions of lucerne aphids specifically were synthesised in chapters one and two, respectively. These chapters highlighted the importance of the interactions between multiple abiotic and biotic variables in shaping aphid population dynamics. Empirical research chapters three to six, using up to five lucerne genotypes (i.e. cultivars) in glasshouse and field experiments, addressed how A. pisum responded to the isolated and combined effects of climate change and root herbivory. In particular, chapter three determined the effects of elevated temperatures (eT) and elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations (eCO2) on root-feeding S. discoideus larvae and their interaction with A. pisum. Chapter four addressed whether the effects of eT, e

  19. Insect and avian fauna presence on the Ford assembly plant ecoroof

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Coffman, R.R. [Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH (United States). Dept. of Horticulture; Davis, G. [Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH (United States). Dept. of Entomology

    2005-07-01

    This paper presented the results of a single season descriptive study of the insect and avian fauna present on a green roof installed at the Ford Motor Company's River Rouge assembly plant in Dearborn, Michigan. The study was part of a larger project investigating the similarities and differences between green roofs and terrestrial urban landscapes. Sweep netting was used to collect the insects, which were then placed in killing jars, separated, identified and stored. Invertebrates were identified and confirmed by entomology and arachnology taxonomic specialists. Bird observation times coincided with the insect sweeps, and data were recorded a total of 4 times during a period of 4 weeks. The study identified 29 insect species, 7 spider species, and 2 bird species. Winged insect families included flies, beetles, wasps, grasshoppers, plant bugs and leaf hoppers. Several types of spider and several species of birds were also observed. Findings supported the general assumption that ecoroofs create habitat. It was concluded that more studies are needed to better comprehend the behavior of invertebrate species and birds, as well as the population dynamics and community structure of the ecosystem. Future ecoroof community ecology studies may include varied collection methods and seasonal distribution of collection times. 10 refs., 4 tabs., 5 figs.

  20. Low Herbivory among Targeted Reforestation Sites in the Andean Highlands of Southern Ecuador.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc-Oliver Adams

    Full Text Available Insect herbivory constitutes an important constraint in the viability and management of targeted reforestation sites. Focusing on young experimental stands at about 2000 m elevation in southern Ecuador, we examined foliar damage over one season as a function of tree species and habitat. Native tree species (Successional hardwood: Cedrela montana and Tabebuia chrysantha; fast-growing pioneer: Heliocarpus americanus have been planted among prevailing local landcover types (abandoned pasture, secondary shrub vegetation, and a Pinus patula plantation in 2003/4. Plantation trees were compared to conspecifics in the spontaneous undergrowth of adjacent undisturbed rainforest matched for height and foliar volume. Specifically, we tested the hypotheses that H. americanus as a pioneer species suffers more herbivory compared to the two successional tree species, and that damage is inversely related to habitat complexity. Overall leaf damage caused by folivorous insects (excluding leafcutter ants was low. Average leaf loss was highest among T. chrysantha (7.50% ± 0.19 SE of leaf area, followed by H. americanus (4.67% ± 0.18 SE and C. montana (3.18% ± 0.15 SE. Contrary to expectations, leaf area loss was highest among trees in closed-canopy natural rainforest, followed by pine plantation, pasture, and secondary shrub sites. Harvesting activity of leafcutter ants (Acromyrmex sp. was strongly biased towards T. chrysantha growing in open habitat (mean pasture: 2.5%; shrub: 10.5% where it could result in considerable damage (> 90.0%. Insect folivory is unlikely to pose a barrier for reforestation in the tropical Andean mountain forest zone at present, but leafcutter ants may become problematic if local temperatures increase in the wake of global warming.

  1. Assessment of the impact of Cry1Ab expression on insects dwelling on the maize plants

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Habuštová, Oxana; Doležal, Petr; Hussein, H. M.; Spitzer, Lukáš; Turanli, F.; Růžička, Vlastimil; Sehnal, František

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 37, supplement 1 (2007), s. 50-51 ISSN 1738-2297. [International Congress of Insect Biotechnology and Industry. 19.08.2007-24.08.2007, Daegu] R&D Projects: GA AV ČR KJB6007304 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : GM crops * Cry1Ab endotoxin * European corn borer Subject RIV: GF - Plant Pathology, Vermin, Weed, Plant Protection

  2. The multiple strategies of an insect herbivore to overcome plant cyanogenic glucoside defence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pentzold, Stefan; Zagrobelny, Mika; Roelsgaard, Pernille Sølvhøj

    2014-01-01

    Cyanogenic glucosides (CNglcs) are widespread plant defence compounds that release toxic hydrogen cyanide by plant bglucosidase activity after tissue damage. Specialised insect herbivores have evolved counter strategies and some sequester CNglcs, but the underlying mechanisms to keep CNglcs intact...... during feeding and digestion are unknown. We show that CNglc-sequestering Zygaena filipendulae larvae combine behavioural, morphological, physiological and biochemical strategies at different time points during feeding and digestion to avoid toxic hydrolysis of the CNglcs present in their Lotus food...

  3. Insect Counter-Adaptations to Plant Cyanogenic Glucosides

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pentzold, Stefan

    . This thesis presents evidence that larvae of the sequestering lepidopteran specialist Zygaena filipendulae have evolved diverse behavioural, morphological, physiological and metabolic adaptations to keep cyanogenic glucosides from its food plant Lotus corniculatus (Fabaceae) intact and thus non-toxic during...

  4. Island phytophagy: explaining the remarkable diversity of plant-feeding insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joy, Jeffrey B; Crespi, Bernard J

    2012-08-22

    Plant-feeding insects have undergone unparalleled diversification among different plant taxa, yet explanations for variation in their diversity lack a quantitative, predictive framework. Island biogeographic theory has been applied to spatially discrete habitats but not to habitats, such as host plants, separated by genetic distance. We show that relationships between the diversity of gall-inducing flies and their host plants meet several fundamental predictions from island biogeographic theory. First, plant-taxon genetic distinctiveness, an integrator for long-term evolutionary history of plant lineages, is a significant predictor of variance in the diversity of gall-inducing flies among host-plant taxa. Second, range size and structural complexity also explain significant proportions of the variance in diversity of gall-inducing flies among different host-plant taxa. Third, as with other island systems, plant-lineage age does not predict species diversity. Island biogeographic theory, applied to habitats defined by genetic distance, provides a novel, comprehensive framework for analysing and explaining the diversity of plant-feeding insects and other host-specific taxa.

  5. Induced release of a plant-defense volatile 'deceptively' attracts insect vectors to plants infected with a bacterial pathogen.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajinder S Mann

    Full Text Available Transmission of plant pathogens by insect vectors is a complex biological process involving interactions between the plant, insect, and pathogen. Pathogen-induced plant responses can include changes in volatile and nonvolatile secondary metabolites as well as major plant nutrients. Experiments were conducted to understand how a plant pathogenic bacterium, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (Las, affects host preference behavior of its psyllid (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama vector. D. citri were attracted to volatiles from pathogen-infected plants more than to those from non-infected counterparts. Las-infected plants were more attractive to D. citri adults than non-infected plants initially; however after feeding, psyllids subsequently dispersed to non-infected rather than infected plants as their preferred settling point. Experiments with Las-infected and non-infected plants under complete darkness yielded similar results to those recorded under light. The behavior of psyllids in response to infected versus non-infected plants was not influenced by whether or not they were carriers of the pathogen. Quantification of volatile release from non-infected and infected plants supported the hypothesis that odorants mediate psyllid preference. Significantly more methyl salicylate, yet less methyl anthranilate and D-limonene, was released by infected than non-infected plants. Methyl salicylate was attractive to psyllids, while methyl anthranilate did not affect their behavior. Feeding on citrus by D. citri adults also induced release of methyl salicylate, suggesting that it may be a cue revealing location of conspecifics on host plants. Infected plants were characterized by lower levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, zinc, and iron, as well as, higher levels of potassium and boron than non-infected plants. Collectively, our results suggest that host selection behavior of D. citri may be modified by bacterial infection of plants, which alters release of

  6. Boomeranging in structural defense: phytophagous insect uses cycad trichomes to defend against entomophagy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marler, Thomas E

    2012-11-01

    Plant defensive behaviors that resist arthropod herbivory include trichome-mediated defenses, and variation in plant trichome morphology and abundance provides examples of the mechanistic complexities of insect-plant interactions. Trichomes were removed from Cycas revoluta cataphylls on the island of Guam to reveal Aulacaspis yasumatsui scale infestation, and predation of the newly exposed insects by pre-existing Rhyzobius lophanthae beetles commenced within one day. The quotient of predated/total scale insects was 0.5 by day 4 and stabilized at that found on adjacent glabrous leaves in about one week. The trichome phenotype covering the C. revoluta cataphyll complex offers the invasive A. yasumatsui armored scale effectual enemy-free space in this system. This pest and predator share no known evolutionary history with C. revoluta, therefore, the adaptive significance of this plant behavior in natural habitat is not yet known.

  7. Plant–insect interactions from Middle Triassic (late Ladinian of Monte Agnello (Dolomites, N-Italy—initial pattern and response to abiotic environmental perturbations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torsten Wappler

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The Paleozoic–Mesozoic transition is characterized by the most massive extinction of the Phanerozoic. Nevertheless, an impressive adaptive radiation of herbivorous insects occurred on gymnosperm-dominated floras not earlier than during the Middle to Late Triassic, penecontemporaneous with similar events worldwide, all which exhibit parallel expansions of generalized and mostly specialized insect herbivory on plants, expressed as insect damage on a various plant organs and tissues. The flora from Monte Agnello is distinctive, due to its preservation in subaerially deposited pyroclastic layers with exceptionally preserved details. Thus, the para-autochthonous assemblage provides insights into environmental disturbances, caused by volcanic activity, and how they profoundly affected the structure and composition of herbivory patterns. These diverse Middle Triassic biota supply extensive evidence for insect herbivore colonization, resulting in specific and complex herbivory patterns involving the frequency and diversity of 20 distinctive damage types (DTs. These DT patterns show that external foliage feeders, piercer-and-suckers, leaf miners, gallers, and oviposition culprits were intricately using almost all tissue types from the dominant host plants of voltzialean conifers (e.g., Voltzia, horsetails, ferns (e.g., Neuropteridium, Phlebopteris, Cladophlebis and Thaumatopteris, seed ferns (e.g., Scytophyllum, and cycadophytes (e.g., Bjuvia and Nilssonia.

  8. The resistance of insects to plant proteinase inhibitors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jongsma, M.A.

    1995-01-01

    The research reported in this thesis describes the induction of proteinase inhibitor synthesis in solanaceous plants (tobacco and tomato), when lepidopteran larvae (Manduca sexta and Spodoptera exigua) are feeding on leaves. It is shown that the

  9. Most ornamental plants on sale in garden centres are unattractive to flower-visiting insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garbuzov, Mihail; Alton, Karin; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2017-01-01

    Gardeners and park managers seeking to support biodiversity in urban areas often plant ornamentals attractive to flower-visiting insects. There is a huge diversity of garden plant varieties, and some recommendations are available as to which are attractive to insects. However, these are largely not based on rigorous empirical data. An important factor in consumer choice is the range of varieties available for purchase. In the UK, garden centres are a key link in the supply chain between growers and private gardens. This study is the first to determine the proportions of flowering ornamentals being sold that are attractive to flower-visiting insects. We surveyed six garden centres in Sussex, UK, each over two days in 2015, by making 12 counts of insects visiting patches of each ornamental plant on display for sale that was in bloom. To provide a consistent baseline among different locations, we brought with us and surveyed marjoram ( Origanum vulgare ) plants in pots, which are known to be attractive to a wide range of flower-visiting insects. The attractiveness of plant varieties to insects was then expressed in two ways: the absolute number and relative to that on marjoram ('marjoram score'), both per unit area of plant cover. In addition, we noted whether each variety was recommended as pollinator-friendly either via a symbol on the label, or by being included in the Royal Horticultural Society's 'Perfect for Pollinators' list. Furthermore, we compared the attractiveness of plants that are typically grown for more than one year versus only one year. We surveyed 59-74 plant varieties in bloom across the six garden centres. In each garden centre, the distributions of variety attractiveness were highly skewed to the right, with most varieties being relatively unattractive, and few varieties highly attractive to flower-visiting insects. The median attractiveness of varieties with a recommendation was 4.2× higher than that of varieties without. But, due to the large

  10. Plant-mediated interspecific horizontal transmission of an intracellular symbiont in insects

    KAUST Repository

    Gonella, Elena

    2015-11-13

    Intracellular reproductive manipulators, such as Candidatus Cardinium and Wolbachia are vertically transmitted to progeny but rarely show co-speciation with the host. In sap-feeding insects, plant tissues have been proposed as alternative horizontal routes of interspecific transmission, but experimental evidence is limited. Here we report results from experiments that show that Cardinium is horizontally transmitted between different phloem sap-feeding insect species through plants. Quantitative PCR and in situ hybridization experiments indicated that the leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus releases Cardinium from its salivary glands during feeding on both artificial media and grapevine leaves. Successional time-course feeding experiments with S. titanus initially fed sugar solutions or small areas of grapevine leaves followed by feeding by the phytoplasma vector Macrosteles quadripunctulatus or the grapevine feeder Empoasca vitis revealed that the symbionts were transmitted to both species. Explaining interspecific horizontal transmission through plants improves our understanding of how symbionts spread, their lifestyle and the symbiont-host intermixed evolutionary pattern.

  11. Plant-mediated interspecific horizontal transmission of an intracellular symbiont in insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonella, Elena; Pajoro, Massimo; Marzorati, Massimo; Crotti, Elena; Mandrioli, Mauro; Pontini, Marianna; Bulgari, Daniela; Negri, Ilaria; Sacchi, Luciano; Chouaia, Bessem; Daffonchio, Daniele; Alma, Alberto

    2015-11-13

    Intracellular reproductive manipulators, such as Candidatus Cardinium and Wolbachia are vertically transmitted to progeny but rarely show co-speciation with the host. In sap-feeding insects, plant tissues have been proposed as alternative horizontal routes of interspecific transmission, but experimental evidence is limited. Here we report results from experiments that show that Cardinium is horizontally transmitted between different phloem sap-feeding insect species through plants. Quantitative PCR and in situ hybridization experiments indicated that the leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus releases Cardinium from its salivary glands during feeding on both artificial media and grapevine leaves. Successional time-course feeding experiments with S. titanus initially fed sugar solutions or small areas of grapevine leaves followed by feeding by the phytoplasma vector Macrosteles quadripunctulatus or the grapevine feeder Empoasca vitis revealed that the symbionts were transmitted to both species. Explaining interspecific horizontal transmission through plants improves our understanding of how symbionts spread, their lifestyle and the symbiont-host intermixed evolutionary pattern.

  12. Sequestration of plant secondary metabolites by insect herbivores: molecular mechanisms and ecological consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erb, Matthias; Robert, Christelle Am

    2016-04-01

    Numerous insect herbivores can take up and store plant toxins as self-defense against their own natural enemies. Plant toxin sequestration is tightly linked with tolerance strategies that keep the toxins functional. Specific transporters have been identified that likely allow the herbivore to control the spatiotemporal dynamics of toxin accumulation. Certain herbivores furthermore possess specific enzymes to boost the bioactivity of the sequestered toxins. Ecologists have studied plant toxin sequestration for decades. The recently uncovered molecular mechanisms in combination with transient, non-transgenic systems to manipulate insect gene expression will help to understand the importance of toxin sequestration for food-web dynamics in nature. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Ecological modules and roles of species in heathland plant-insect flower visitor networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dupont, Yoko; Olesen, Jens Mogens

    2009-01-01

    1.  Co-existing plants and flower-visiting animals often form complex interaction networks. A long-standing question in ecology and evolutionary biology is how to detect nonrandom subsets (compartments, blocks, modules) of strongly interacting species within such networks. Here we use a network...... analytical approach to (i) detect modularity in pollination networks, (ii) investigate species composition of modules, and (iii) assess the stability of modules across sites. 2.  Interactions between entomophilous plants and their flower-visitors were recorded throughout the flowering season at three...... heathland sites in Denmark, separated by ≥ 10 km. Among sites, plant communities were similar, but composition of flower-visiting insect faunas differed. Visitation frequencies of visitor species were recorded as a measure of insect abundance. 3.  Qualitative (presence-absence) interaction networks were...

  14. Chemical and Plant-Based Insect Repellents: Efficacy, Safety, and Toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz, James H

    2016-03-01

    Most emerging infectious diseases today are arthropod-borne and cannot be prevented by vaccinations. Because insect repellents offer important topical barriers of personal protection from arthropod-borne infectious diseases, the main objectives of this article were to describe the growing threats to public health from emerging arthropod-borne infectious diseases, to define the differences between insect repellents and insecticides, and to compare the efficacies and toxicities of chemical and plant-derived insect repellents. Internet search engines were queried with key words to identify scientific articles on the efficacy, safety, and toxicity of chemical and plant-derived topical insect repellants and insecticides to meet these objectives. Data sources reviewed included case reports; case series; observational, longitudinal, and surveillance studies; and entomological and toxicological studies. Descriptive analysis of the data sources identified the most effective application of insect repellents as a combination of topical chemical repellents, either N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (formerly N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide, or DEET) or picaridin, and permethrin-impregnated or other pyrethroid-impregnated clothing over topically treated skin. The insecticide-treated clothing would provide contact-level insecticidal effects and provide better, longer lasting protection against malaria-transmitting mosquitoes and ticks than topical DEET or picaridin alone. In special cases, where environmental exposures to disease-transmitting ticks, biting midges, sandflies, or blackflies are anticipated, topical insect repellents containing IR3535, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus (p-menthane-3, 8-diol or PMD) would offer better topical protection than topical DEET alone. Copyright © 2016 Wilderness Medical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Global atmospheric change and herbivory: Effects of elevated levels of UV-B radiation, atmospheric CO2 and temperature on boreal woody plants and their herbivores

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Veteli, T.

    2003-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the effects of elevated ultraviolet-B radiation (UV-B, 280- 320 nm), atmospheric CO 2 , temperature and soil nitrogen level on the growth and chemical quality of boreal deciduous woody plants and on performance of the herbivorous insects feeding on them. Eggs and larvae of Operophtera brumata (L.) (Lepidoptera, Geometridae) were subjected to elevated UV-B radiation in the laboratory. Two willow species, Salix phylicifolia L. (Salicaceae) and S. myrsinifolia Salisb., were grown in an UV-B irradiation field where the responses of both plants and their herbivorous insects were monitored. S. myrsinifolia, Betula pendula Ehrh. (Betulaceae) and B. pubescens Roth. were subjected to elevated CO 2 and temperature and different fertilisation levels in closed-top climatic chambers. To assess the indirect effects of the different treatments, the leaves of experimental willows and birches were fed to larvae of Phratora vitellinae (L.) (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae) and adults of Agellastica alni L. in the laboratory. Elevated UV-B radiation significantly decreased the survival and performance of eggs and larvae of O. brumata. It also increased concentrations of some flavonoids and phenolic acids in S. myrsinifolia and S. phylicifolia, while the low-UV-B- absorbing phenolics, e. g. condensed tannins, gallic acid derivatives and salicylates, either decreased or remained unaffected. Both the height growth and biomass of one S. phylicifolia clone was sensitive to elevated levels of UV-B radiation. Abundance of adults and larvae of a willow- feeding leaf beetle, P. vitellinae, was increased under elevated UV-B; but this did not lead to increased leaf damage on the host plants. There were no significant differences in performance of the larvae feeding on differentially treated willow leaves, but adult A. alni preferred UV-B-treated leaves to ambient control leaves. Elevated CO 2 and temperature significantly increased the height growth of S

  16. Insect Gallers and Their Plant Hosts: From Omics Data to Systems Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caryn N. Oates

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Gall-inducing insects are capable of exerting a high level of control over their hosts’ cellular machinery to the extent that the plant’s development, metabolism, chemistry, and physiology are all altered in favour of the insect. Many gallers are devastating pests in global agriculture and the limited understanding of their relationship with their hosts prevents the development of robust management strategies. Omics technologies are proving to be important tools in elucidating the mechanisms involved in the interaction as they facilitate analysis of plant hosts and insect effectors for which little or no prior knowledge exists. In this review, we examine the mechanisms behind insect gall development using evidence from omics-level approaches. The secretion of effector proteins and induced phytohormonal imbalances are highlighted as likely mechanisms involved in gall development. However, understanding how these components function within the system is far from complete and a number of questions need to be answered before this information can be used in the development of strategies to engineer or breed plants with enhanced resistance.

  17. Genetics-based interactions among plants, pathogens, and herbivores define arthropod community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busby, Posy E; Lamit, Louis J; Keith, Arthur R; Newcombe, George; Gehring, Catherine A; Whitham, Thomas G; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2015-07-01

    Plant resistance to pathogens or insect herbivores is common, but its potential for indirectly influencing plant-associated communities is poorly known. Here, we test whether pathogens' indirect effects on arthropod communities and herbivory depend on plant resistance to pathogens and/or herbivores, and address the overarching interacting foundation species hypothesis that genetics-based interactions among a few highly interactive species can structure a much larger community. In a manipulative field experiment using replicated genotypes of two Populus species and their interspecific hybrids, we found that genetic variation in plant resistance to both pathogens and insect herbivores modulated the strength of pathogens' indirect effects on arthropod communities and insect herbivory. First, due in part to the pathogens' differential impacts on leaf biomass among the two Populus species and the hybrids, the pathogen most strongly impacted arthropod community composition, richness, and abundance on the pathogen-susceptible tree species. Second, we found similar patterns comparing pathogen-susceptible and pathogen-resistant genotypes within species. Third, within a plant species, pathogens caused a fivefold greater reduction in herbivory on insect-herbivore-susceptible plant genotypes than on herbivore-resistant genotypes, demonstrating that the pathogen-herbivore interaction is genotype dependent. We conclude that interactions among plants, pathogens, and herbivores can structure multitrophic communities, supporting the interacting foundation species hypothesis. Because these interactions are genetically based, evolutionary changes in genetic resistance could result in ecological changes in associated communities, which may in turn feed back to affect plant fitness.

  18. Insect-plant-pathogen interactions as shaped by future climate: effects on biology, distribution, and implications for agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trębicki, Piotr; Dáder, Beatriz; Vassiliadis, Simone; Fereres, Alberto

    2017-12-01

    Carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) is the main anthropogenic gas which has drastically increased since the industrial revolution, and current concentrations are projected to double by the end of this century. As a consequence, elevated CO 2 is expected to alter the earths' climate, increase global temperatures and change weather patterns. This is likely to have both direct and indirect impacts on plants, insect pests, plant pathogens and their distribution, and is therefore problematic for the security of future food production. This review summarizes the latest findings and highlights current knowledge gaps regarding the influence of climate change on insect, plant and pathogen interactions with an emphasis on agriculture and food production. Direct effects of climate change, including increased CO 2 concentration, temperature, patterns of rainfall and severe weather events that impact insects (namely vectors of plant pathogens) are discussed. Elevated CO 2 and temperature, together with plant pathogen infection, can considerably change plant biochemistry and therefore plant defense responses. This can have substantial consequences on insect fecundity, feeding rates, survival, population size, and dispersal. Generally, changes in host plant quality due to elevated CO 2 (e.g., carbon to nitrogen ratios in C3 plants) negatively affect insect pests. However, compensatory feeding, increased population size and distribution have also been reported for some agricultural insect pests. This underlines the importance of additional research on more targeted, individual insect-plant scenarios at specific locations to fully understand the impact of a changing climate on insect-plant-pathogen interactions. © 2017 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  19. Antifeedant activity of plant extracts to an insect Helopeltis theivora.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolui, A K; Debnath, M

    2010-09-01

    The different solvent extracts (viz Petroleum ether Ethyl acetate and Methanol) obtained from leaves and flowers of Heliotropium indicum and Spilanthes calva were screened for antifeedant activity against Helopeltis theivora. All the six different extracts showed antifeedant activity at four different concentrations. The methanolic extracts of leaves of Heliotropium indicum and Spilanthes calva exhibited significant activity at 4% concentration. The numbers of spots produced were only 18.67 and 22.67 respectively which are significantly less than the numberof spots produced in control (104.00 and 93.33 respectively). The treatment with methanolic extracts of flowers of both the plants significantly reduced the number of feeding spots to 22.33 and 23.67 respectively in comparison to the control values of 101.33. All the activities are dose dependent. The mean results with SEM (mean +/- SE) were statistically significant at 1% level (p<0.01) for three observations.

  20. Bottom-up effects on top-down regulation of a floating aquatic plant by two weevil species: the context-specific nature of biological control

    Science.gov (United States)

    1. Plant nutrition (bottom-up effects) impacts a plant’s ability to sustain herbivory (top-down effects) and affects phytophagous insect fecundity. These factors potentially confound efficacy predictions for biological control projects. We investigated the relative importance of these two forces wi...

  1. Molecular interrogation of the feeding behaviour of field captured individual insects for interpretation of multiple host plant use.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James P Hereward

    Full Text Available The way in which herbivorous insect individuals use multiple host species is difficult to quantify under field conditions, but critical to understanding the evolutionary processes underpinning insect-host plant relationships. In this study we developed a novel approach to understanding the host plant interactions of the green mirid, Creontiades dilutus, a highly motile heteropteran bug that has been associated with many plant species. We combine quantified sampling of the insect across its various host plant species within particular sites and a molecular comparison between the insects' gut contents and available host plants. This approach allows inferences to be made as to the plants fed upon by individual insects in the field. Quantified sampling shows that this "generalist" species is consistently more abundant on two species in the genus Cullen (Fabaceae, its primary host species, than on any other of its numerous listed hosts. The chloroplast intergenic sequences reveal that C. dilutus frequently feeds on plants additional to the one from which it was collected, even when individuals were sampled from the primary host species. These data may be reconciled by viewing multiple host use in this species as an adaptation to survive spatiotemporally ephemeral habitats. The methodological framework developed here provides a basis from which new insights into the feeding behaviour and host plant relationships of herbivorous insects can be derived, which will benefit not only ecological interpretation but also our understanding of the evolution of these relationships.

  2. Expression of hybrid fusion protein (Cry1Ac::ASAL) in transgenic rice plants imparts resistance against multiple insect pests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boddupally, Dayakar; Tamirisa, Srinath; Gundra, Sivakrishna Rao; Vudem, Dashavantha Reddy; Khareedu, Venkateswara Rao

    2018-05-31

    To evolve rice varieties resistant to different groups of insect pests a fusion gene, comprising DI and DII domains of Bt Cry1Ac and carbohydrate binding domain of garlic lectin (ASAL), was constructed. Transgenic rice lines were generated and evaluated to assess the efficacy of Cry1Ac::ASAL fusion protein against three major pests, viz., yellow stem borer (YSB), leaf folder (LF) and brown planthopper (BPH). Molecular analyses of transgenic plants revealed stable integration and expression of the fusion gene. In planta insect bioassays on transgenics disclosed enhanced levels of resistance compared to the control plants. High insect mortality of YSB, LF and BPH was observed on transgenics compared to that of control plants. Furthermore, honeydew assays revealed significant decreases in the feeding ability of BPH on transgenic plants as compared to the controls. Ligand blot analysis, using BPH insects fed on cry1Ac::asal transgenic rice plants, revealed a modified receptor protein-binding pattern owing to its ability to bind to additional receptors in insects. The overall results authenticate that Cry1Ac::ASAL protein is endowed with remarkable entomotoxic effects against major lepidopteran and hemipteran insects. As such, the fusion gene appears promising and can be introduced into various other crops to control multiple insect pests.

  3. An insect-feeding guild of carnivorous plants and spiders: does optimal foraging lead to competition or facilitation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowley, Philip H; Hopper, Kevin R; Krupa, James J

    2013-12-01

    Carnivorous plants and spiders, along with their prey, are main players in an insect-feeding guild found on acidic, poorly drained soils in disturbed habitat. Darwin's notion that these plants must actively attract the insects they capture raises the possibility that spiders could benefit from proximity to prey hotspots created by the plants. Alternatively, carnivorous plants and spiders may deplete prey locally or (through insect redistribution) more widely, reducing each other's gain rates from predation. Here, we formulate and analyze a model of this guild, parameterized for carnivorous sundews and lycosid spiders, under assumptions of random movement by insects and optimal foraging by predators. Optimal foraging here involves gain maximization via trap investment (optimal web sizes and sundew trichome densities) and an ideal free distribution of spiders between areas with and without sundews. We find no facilitation: spiders and sundews engage in intense exploitation competition. Insect attraction by plants modestly increases sundew gain rates but slightly decreases spider gain rates. In the absence of population size structure, optimal spider redistribution between areas with and without sundews yields web sizes that are identical for all spiders, regardless of proximity to sundews. Web-building spiders have higher gain rates than wandering spiders in this system at high insect densities, but wandering spiders have the advantage at low insect densities. Results are complex, indicating that predictions to be tested empirically must be based on careful quantitative assessment.

  4. Responses of vegetation and soil microbial communities to warming and simulated herbivory in a subarctic heath

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rinnan, Riikka; Stark, Sari; Tolvanen, Anne

    2009-01-01

    Climate warming increases the cover of deciduous shrubs in arctic ecosystems and herbivory is also known to have a strong influence on the biomass and composition of vegetation. However, research combining herbivory with warming is largely lacking. Our study describes how warming and simulated...... setup of the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX). Wounding of the dominant deciduous dwarf shrub Vaccinium myrtillus L. to simulate herbivory was carried out annually. We measured vegetation cover in 2003 and 2007, soil nutrient concentrations in 2003 and 2006, soil microbial respiration in 2003...... and herbivory. 6 Synthesis. Our results show that warming increases the cover of V. myrtillus, which seems to enhance the nutrient sink strength of vegetation in the studied ecosystem. However, herbivory partially negates the effect of warming on plant N uptake and interacts with the effect of warming...

  5. A chitinase is required for Xylella fastidiosa colonization of its insect and plant hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labroussaa, Fabien; Ionescu, Michael; Zeilinger, Adam R; Lindow, Steven E; Almeida, Rodrigo P P

    2017-04-01

    Xylella fastidiosa colonizes the xylem network of host plant species as well as the foregut of its required insect vectors to ensure efficient propagation. Disease management strategies remain inefficient due to a limited comprehension of the mechanisms governing both insect and plant colonization. It was previously shown that X. fastidiosa has a functional chitinase (ChiA), and that chitin likely serves as a carbon source for this bacterium. We expand on that research, showing that a chiA mutant strain is unable to grow on chitin as the sole carbon source. Quantitative PCR assays allowed us to detect bacterial cells in the foregut of vectors after pathogen acquisition; populations of the wild-type and complemented mutant strain were both significantly larger than the chiA mutant strain 10 days, but not 3 days, post acquisition. These results indicate that adhesion of the chiA mutant strain to vectors may not be impaired, but that cell multiplication is limited. The mutant was also affected in its transmission by vectors to plants. In addition, the chiA mutant strain was unable to colonize host plants, suggesting that the enzyme has other substrates associated with plant colonization. Lastly, ChiA requires other X. fastidiosa protein(s) for its in vitro chitinolytic activity. The observation that the chiA mutant strain is not able to colonize plants warrants future attention to be paid to the substrates for this enzyme.

  6. Using a botanical garden to assess factors influencing the colonization of exotic woody plants by phyllophagous insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirichenko, Natalia; Kenis, M

    2016-09-01

    The adoption of exotic plants by indigenous herbivores in the region of introduction can be influenced by numerous factors. A botanical garden in Western Siberia was used to test various hypotheses on the adaptation of indigenous phyllophagous insects to exotic plants invasions, focusing on two feeding guilds, external leaf chewers and leaf miners. A total of 150 indigenous and exotic woody plant species were surveyed for insect damage, abundance and species richness. First, exotic woody plants were much less damaged by chewers and leaf miners than native plants, and the leaf miners' species richness was much lower on exotic than native plants. Second, exotic woody plants having a congeneric species in the region of introduction were more damaged by chewers and hosted a more abundant and species-rich community of leaf miners than plants without native congeneric species. Third, damage by chewers significantly increased with the frequency of planting of exotic host plants outside the botanical garden, and leaf miners' abundance and species richness significantly increased with residence time in the garden. Finally, no significant relationship was found between insect damage or abundance and the origin of the exotic plants. Besides the ecological implications of the results, this study also illustrates the potential of botanical gardens to test ecological hypotheses on biological invasions and insect-plant interactions on a large set of plant species.

  7. Plants attract parasitic wasps to defend themselves against insect pests by releasing hexenol.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianing Wei

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Plant volatiles play an important role in defending plants against insect attacks by attracting their natural enemies. For example, green leaf volatiles (GLVs and terpenoids emitted from herbivore-damaged plants were found to be important in the host location of parasitic wasps. However, evidence of the functional roles and mechanisms of these semio-chemicals from a system of multiple plants in prey location by the parasitoid is limited. Little is known about the potential evolutionary trends between herbivore-induced host plant volatiles and the host location of their parasitoids.The present study includes hierarchical cluster analyses of plant volatile profiles from seven families of host and non-host plants of pea leafminer, Liriomyza huidobrensis, and behavioral responses of a naive parasitic wasp, Opius dissitus, to some principal volatile compounds. Here we show that plants can effectively pull wasps, O. dissitus, towards them by releasing a universally induced compound, (Z-3-hexenol, and potentially keep these plants safe from parasitic assaults by leafminer pests, L. huidobrensis. Specifically, we found that volatile profiles from healthy plants revealed a partly phylogenetic signal, while the inducible compounds of the infested-plants did not result from the fact that the induced plant volatiles dominate most of the volatile blends of the host and non-host plants of the leafminer pests. We further show that the parasitoids are capable of distinguishing the damaged host plant from the non-host plant of the leafminers.Our results suggest that, as the most passive scenario of plant involvement, leafminers and mechanical damages evoke similar semio-chemicals. Using ubiquitous compounds, such as hexenol, for host location by general parasitoids could be an adaptation of the most conservative evolution of tritrophic interaction. Although for this, other compounds may be used to improve the precision of the host location by the parasitoids.

  8. Phytoplasma protein effector SAP11 enhances insect vector reproduction by manipulating plant development and defense hormone biosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugio, Akiko; Kingdom, Heather N; MacLean, Allyson M; Grieve, Victoria M; Hogenhout, Saskia A

    2011-11-29

    Phytoplasmas are insect-transmitted phytopathogenic bacteria that can alter plant morphology and the longevity and reproduction rates and behavior of their insect vectors. There are various examples of animal and plant parasites that alter the host phenotype to attract insect vectors, but it is unclear how these parasites accomplish this. We hypothesized that phytoplasmas produce effectors that modulate specific targets in their hosts leading to the changes in plant development and insect performance. Previously, we sequenced and mined the genome of Aster Yellows phytoplasma strain Witches' Broom (AY-WB) and identified 56 candidate effectors. Here, we report that the secreted AY-WB protein 11 (SAP11) effector modulates plant defense responses to the advantage of the AY-WB insect vector Macrosteles quadrilineatus. SAP11 binds and destabilizes Arabidopsis CINCINNATA (CIN)-related TEOSINTE BRANCHED1, CYCLOIDEA, PROLIFERATING CELL FACTORS 1 and 2 (TCP) transcription factors, which control plant development and promote the expression of lipoxygenase (LOX) genes involved in jasmonate (JA) synthesis. Both the Arabidopsis SAP11 lines and AY-WB-infected plants produce less JA on wounding. Furthermore, the AY-WB insect vector produces more offspring on AY-WB-infected plants, SAP11 transgenic lines, and plants impaired in CIN-TCP and JA synthesis. Thus, SAP11-mediated destabilization of CIN-TCPs leads to the down-regulation of LOX2 expression and JA synthesis and an increase in M. quadrilineatus progeny. Phytoplasmas are obligate inhabitants of their plant host and insect vectors, in which the latter transmits AY-WB to a diverse range of plant species. This finding demonstrates that pathogen effectors can reach beyond the pathogen-host interface to modulate a third organism in the biological interaction.

  9. Role of cyclic di-GMP in Xylella fastidiosa biofilm formation, plant virulence, and insect transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatterjee, Subhadeep; Killiny, Nabil; Almeida, Rodrigo P P; Lindow, Steven E

    2010-10-01

    Xylella fastidiosa must coordinately regulate a variety of traits contributing to biofilm formation, host plant and vector colonization, and transmission between plants. Traits such as production of extracellular polysaccharides (EPS), adhesins, extracellular enzymes, and pili are expressed in a cell-density-dependent fashion mediated by a cell-to-cell signaling system involving a fatty acid diffusible signaling factor (DSF). The expression of gene PD0279 (which has a GGDEF domain) is downregulated in the presence of DSF and may be involved in intracellular signaling by modulating the levels of cyclic di-GMP. PD0279, designated cyclic di-GMP synthase A (cgsA), is required for biofilm formation, plant virulence, and vector transmission. cgsA mutants exhibited a hyperadhesive phenotype in vitro and overexpressed gumJ, hxfA, hxfB, xadA, and fimA, which promote attachment of cells to surfaces and, hence, biofilm formation. The mutants were greatly reduced in virulence to grape albeit still transmissible by insect vectors, although at a reduced level compared with transmission rates of the wild-type strain, despite the fact that similar numbers of cells of the cgsA mutant were acquired by the insects from infected plants. High levels of EPS were measured in cgsA mutants compared with wild-type strains, and scanning electron microscopy analysis also revealed a thicker amorphous layer surrounding the mutants. Overexpression of cgsA in a cgsA-complemented mutant conferred the opposite phenotypes in vitro. These results suggest that decreases of cyclic di-GMP result from the accumulation of DSF as cell density increases, leading to a phenotypic transition from a planktonic state capable of colonizing host plants to an adhesive state that is insect transmissible.

  10. Modification of plant-induced responses by an insect ecosystem engineer influences the colonization behaviour of subsequent shelter-users

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Uesugi, Akane; Morrell, Kimberly; Poelman, Erik H.; Raaijmakers, Ciska E.; Kessler, André

    2016-01-01

    * Herbivores that modify plant morphology, such as gall-forming insects, can disproportionately impact arthropod community on their host plants by providing novel habitats and shelters from biotic and abiotic stresses. These ecosystem engineers could also modify plant chemical properties, but how

  11. Metabolic Coevolution in the Bacterial Symbiosis of Whiteflies and Related Plant Sap-Feeding Insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luan, Jun-Bo; Chen, Wenbo; Hasegawa, Daniel K; Simmons, Alvin M; Wintermantel, William M; Ling, Kai-Shu; Fei, Zhangjun; Liu, Shu-Sheng; Douglas, Angela E

    2015-09-15

    Genomic decay is a common feature of intracellular bacteria that have entered into symbiosis with plant sap-feeding insects. This study of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci and two bacteria (Portiera aleyrodidarum and Hamiltonella defensa) cohoused in each host cell investigated whether the decay of Portiera metabolism genes is complemented by host and Hamiltonella genes, and compared the metabolic traits of the whitefly symbiosis with other sap-feeding insects (aphids, psyllids, and mealybugs). Parallel genomic and transcriptomic analysis revealed that the host genome contributes multiple metabolic reactions that complement or duplicate Portiera function, and that Hamiltonella may contribute multiple cofactors and one essential amino acid, lysine. Homologs of the Bemisia metabolism genes of insect origin have also been implicated in essential amino acid synthesis in other sap-feeding insect hosts, indicative of parallel coevolution of shared metabolic pathways across multiple symbioses. Further metabolism genes coded in the Bemisia genome are of bacterial origin, but phylogenetically distinct from Portiera, Hamiltonella and horizontally transferred genes identified in other sap-feeding insects. Overall, 75% of the metabolism genes of bacterial origin are functionally unique to one symbiosis, indicating that the evolutionary history of metabolic integration in these symbioses is strongly contingent on the pattern of horizontally acquired genes. Our analysis, further, shows that bacteria with genomic decay enable host acquisition of complex metabolic pathways by multiple independent horizontal gene transfers from exogenous bacteria. Specifically, each horizontally acquired gene can function with other genes in the pathway coded by the symbiont, while facilitating the decay of the symbiont gene coding the same reaction. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  12. Tree Species Richness Promotes Invertebrate Herbivory on Congeneric Native and Exotic Tree Saplings in a Young Diversity Experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annika Wein

    Full Text Available Tree diversity in forests is an important driver of ecological processes including herbivory. Empirical evidence suggests both negative and positive effects of tree diversity on herbivory, which can be, respectively, attributed to associational resistance or associational susceptibility. Tree diversity experiments allow testing for associational effects, but evidence regarding which pattern predominates is mixed. Furthermore, it is unknown if herbivory on tree species of native vs. exotic origin is influenced by changing tree diversity in a similar way, or if exotic tree species escape natural enemies, resulting in lower damage that is unrelated to tree diversity. To address these questions, we established a young tree diversity experiment in temperate southwestern Germany that uses high planting density (49 trees per plot; plot size 13 m2. The species pool consists of six congeneric species pairs of European and North American origin (12 species in total planted in monocultures and mixtures (1, 2, 4, 6 species. We assessed leaf damage by leaf-chewing insects on more than 5,000 saplings of six broadleaved tree species. Plot-level tree species richness increased leaf damage, which more than doubled from monocultures to six-species mixtures, strongly supporting associational susceptibility. However, leaf damage among congeneric native and exotic species pairs was similar. There were marked differences in patterns of leaf damage across tree genera, and only the genera likely having a predominately generalist herbivore community showed associational susceptibility, irrespective of the geographical origin of a tree species. In conclusion, an increase in tree species richness in young temperate forests may result in associational susceptibility to feeding by generalist herbivores.

  13. Plant insecticide L-canavanine repels Drosophila via the insect orphan GPCR DmX.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Mitri

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available For all animals, the taste sense is crucial to detect and avoid ingesting toxic molecules. Many toxins are synthesized by plants as a defense mechanism against insect predation. One example of such a natural toxic molecule is L-canavanine, a nonprotein amino acid found in the seeds of many legumes. Whether and how insects are informed that some plants contain L-canavanine remains to be elucidated. In insects, the taste sense relies on gustatory receptors forming the gustatory receptor (Gr family. Gr proteins display highly divergent sequences, suggesting that they could cover the entire range of tastants. However, one cannot exclude the possibility of evolutionarily independent taste receptors. Here, we show that L-canavanine is not only toxic, but is also a repellent for Drosophila. Using a pharmacogenetic approach, we find that flies sense food containing this poison by the DmX receptor. DmXR is an insect orphan G-protein-coupled receptor that has partially diverged in its ligand binding pocket from the metabotropic glutamate receptor family. Blockade of DmXR function with an antagonist lowers the repulsive effect of L-canavanine. In addition, disruption of the DmXR encoding gene, called mangetout (mtt, suppresses the L-canavanine repellent effect. To avoid the ingestion of L-canavanine, DmXR expression is required in bitter-sensitive gustatory receptor neurons, where it triggers the premature retraction of the proboscis, thus leading to the end of food searching. These findings show that the DmX receptor, which does not belong to the Gr family, fulfills a gustatory function necessary to avoid eating a natural toxin.

  14. Insect-plant interactions: new pathways to a better comprehension of ecological communities in Neotropical savannas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del-Claro, Kleber; Torezan-Silingardi, Helena M

    2009-01-01

    The causal mechanisms shaping and structuring ecological communities are among the most important themes in ecology. The study of insect-plant interactions in trophic nets is pointed out as basic to improve our knowledge on this issue. The cerrado tropical savanna, although extremely diverse, distributed in more than 20% of the Brazilian territory and filled up with rich examples of multitrophic interactions, is underexplored in terms of biodiversity interaction. Here, this ecosystem is suggested as valuable to the study of insect-plant interactions whose understanding can throw a new light at the ecological communities' theory. Three distinct systems: extrafloral nectary plants or trophobiont herbivores and the associated ant fauna; floral herbivores-predators-pollinators; and plants-forest engineers and associated fauna, will serve as examples to illustrate promising new pathways in cerrado. The aim of this brief text is to instigate young researchers, mainly entomologists, to initiate more elaborated field work, including experimental manipulations in multitrophic systems, to explore in an interactive way the structure that maintain preserved viable communities in the Neotropical savanna.

  15. The Plant Ribosome-Inactivating Proteins Play Important Roles in Defense against Pathogens and Insect Pest Attacks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feng Zhu

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs are toxic N-glycosidases that depurinate eukaryotic and prokaryotic rRNAs, thereby arresting protein synthesis during translation. RIPs are widely found in various plant species and within different tissues. It is demonstrated in vitro and in transgenic plants that RIPs have been connected to defense by antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, and insecticidal activities. However, the mechanism of these effects is still not completely clear. There are a number of reviews of RIPs. However, there are no reviews on the biological functions of RIPs in defense against pathogens and insect pests. Therefore, in this report, we focused on the effect of RIPs from plants in defense against pathogens and insect pest attacks. First, we summarize the three different types of RIPs based on their physical properties. RIPs are generally distributed in plants. Then, we discuss the distribution of RIPs that are found in various plant species and in fungi, bacteria, algae, and animals. Various RIPs have shown unique bioactive properties including antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and insecticidal activity. Finally, we divided the discussion into the biological roles of RIPs in defense against bacteria, fungi, viruses, and insects. This review is focused on the role of plant RIPs in defense against bacteria, fungi, viruses, and insect attacks. The role of plant RIPs in defense against pathogens and insects is being comprehended currently. Future study utilizing transgenic technology approaches to study the mechanisms of RIPs will undoubtedly generate a better comprehending of the role of plant RIPs in defense against pathogens and insects. Discovering additional crosstalk mechanisms between RIPs and phytohormones or reactive oxygen species (ROS against pathogen and insect infections will be a significant subject in the field of biotic stress study. These studies are helpful in revealing significance of genetic control that can

  16. The Relationship between Insect Resistance and Tree Age of Transgenic Triploid Populus tomentosa Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Yachao; Zhang, Jun; Wang, Guiying; Liu, Xiaojie; Li, Li; Wang, Jinmao; Yang, Minsheng

    2018-01-01

    To explore the stability of insect resistance during the development of transgenic insect-resistant trees, this study investigated how insect resistance changes as transgenic trees age. We selected 19 transgenic insect-resistant triploid Populus tomentosa lines as plant material. The presence of exogenous genes and Cry1Ac protein expression were verified using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) analyses. The toxicity for Clostera anachoreta and Lymantria dispar was evaluated by feeding fresh leaves to first instar larvae after the trees were planted in the field for 2 years and after the sixth year. Results of PCR showed that the exogenous genes had a long-term presence in the poplar genome. ELISA analyses showed significant differences existed on the 6-year-old transgenic lines. The insect-feeding experiment demonstrated significant differences in the mortality rates of C. anachoreta and L. dispar among different transgenic lines. The average corrected mortality rates of C. anachoreta and L. dispar ranged from 5.6-98.7% to 35.4-7.2% respectively. The larval mortality rates differed significantly between the lines at different ages. Up to 52.6% of 1-year-old transgenic lines and 42.1% of 2-year-old transgenic lines caused C. anachoreta larval mortality rates to exceed 80%, whereas only 26.3% of the 6-year-old transgenic lines. The mortality rates of L. dispar exhibited the same trend: 89.5% of 1-year-old transgenic lines and 84.2% of 2-year-old transgenic lines caused L. dispar larval mortality rates to exceed 80%; this number decreased to 63.2% for the 6-year-old plants. The proportion of 6-year-old trees with over 80% larval mortality rates was clearly lower than that of the younger trees. The death distribution of C. anachoreta in different developmental stages also showed the larvae that fed on the leaves of 1-year-old trees were killed mostly during L 1 and L 2 stages, whereas the proportion of larvae that died in L 3

  17. Can soil microbial diversity influence plant metabolites and life history traits of a rhizophagous insect? A demonstration in oilseed rape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachaise, Tom; Ourry, Morgane; Lebreton, Lionel; Guillerm-Erckelboudt, Anne-Yvonne; Linglin, Juliette; Paty, Chrystelle; Chaminade, Valérie; Marnet, Nathalie; Aubert, Julie; Poinsot, Denis; Cortesero, Anne-Marie; Mougel, Christophe

    2017-12-01

    Interactions between plants and phytophagous insects play an important part in shaping the biochemical composition of plants. Reciprocally plant metabolites can influence major life history traits in these insects and largely contribute to their fitness. Plant rhizospheric microorganisms are an important biotic factor modulating plant metabolites and adaptation to stress. While plant-insects or plant-microorganisms interactions and their consequences on the plant metabolite signature are well-documented, the impact of soil microbial communities on plant defenses against phytophagous insects remains poorly known. In this study, we used oilseed rape (Brassica napus) and the cabbage root fly (Delia radicum) as biological models to tackle this question. Even though D. radicum is a belowground herbivore as a larva, its adult life history traits depend on aboveground signals. We therefore tested whether soil microbial diversity influenced emergence rate and fitness but also fly oviposition behavior, and tried to link possible effects to modifications in leaf and root metabolites. Through a removal-recolonization experiment, 3 soil microbial modalities ("high," "medium," "low") were established and assessed through amplicon sequencing of 16S and 18S ribosomal RNA genes. The "medium" modality in the rhizosphere significantly improved insect development traits. Plant-microorganism interactions were marginally associated to modulations of root metabolites profiles, which could partly explain these results. We highlighted the potential role of plant-microbial interaction in plant defenses against Delia radicum. Rhizospheric microbial communities must be taken into account when analyzing plant defenses against herbivores, being either below or aboveground. © 2017 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  18. Field trials to evaluate effects of continuously planted transgenic insect-resistant cottons on soil invertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiaogang; Liu, Biao; Wang, Xingxiang; Han, Zhengmin; Cui, Jinjie; Luo, Junyu

    2012-03-01

    Impacts on soil invertebrates are an important aspect of environmental risk assessment and post-release monitoring of transgenic insect-resistant plants. The purpose of this study was to research and survey the effects of transgenic insect-resistant cottons that had been planted over 10 years on the abundance and community structure of soil invertebrates under field conditions. During 3 consecutive years (2006-2008), eight common taxa (orders) of soil invertebrates belonging to the phylum Arthropoda were investigated in two different transgenic cotton fields and one non-transgenic cotton field (control). Each year, soil samples were taken at four different growth stages of cotton (seedling, budding, boll forming and boll opening). Animals were extracted from the samples using the improved Tullgren method, counted and determined to the order level. The diversity of the soil fauna communities in the different fields was compared using the Simpson's, Shannon's diversity indices and evenness index. The results showed a significant sampling time variation in the abundance of soil invertebrates monitored in the different fields. However, no difference in soil invertebrate abundance was found between the transgenic cotton fields and the control field. Both sampling time and cotton treatment had a significant effect on the Simpson's, Shannon's diversity indices and evenness index. They were higher in the transgenic fields than the control field at the growth stages of cotton. Long-term cultivation of transgenic insect-resistant cottons had no significant effect on the abundance of soil invertebrates. Collembola, Acarina and Araneae could act as the indicators of soil invertebrate in this region to monitor the environmental impacts of transgenic plants in the future. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2012

  19. Insecticidal activity of the essential oils from different plants against three stored-product insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayvaz, Abdurrahman; Sagdic, Osman; Karaborklu, Salih; Ozturk, Ismet

    2010-01-01

    This study was conducted to determine the insecticidal activity of essential oils from oregano, Origanum onites L. (Lamiales: Lamiaceae), savory, Satureja thymbra L. (Lamiales: Lamiaceae), and myrtle, Myrtus communis L. (Rosales: Myrtaceae) against three stored-product insects. Essential oils from three species of plants were obtained by Clevenger-type water distillation. The major compounds in these essential oils were identified using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and their insecticidal activity was tested against adults of the Mediterranean flour moth Ephestia kuehniella Zeller (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), the Indian meal moth Plodia interpunctella Hübner (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) and the bean weevil Acanthoscelides obtectus Say (Coleoptera: Bruchidae). While the major compound found in oregano and savory was carvacrol, the main constituent of the myrtle was linalool. Among the tested insects, A. obtectus was the most tolerant species against the essential oils. However, the insecticidal activity of the myrtle oil was more pronounced than other oils tested against A. obtectus adults. The essential oils of oregano and savory were highly effective against P. interpunctella and E. kuehniella, with 100% mortality obtained after 24 h at 9 and 25 microl/l air for P. interpunctella and E. kuehniella, respectively. LC(50) and LC(99) values of each essential oil were estimated for each insect species.

  20. Phytoplasma adapt to the diverse environments of their plant and insect hosts by altering gene expression

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Makarova, Olga; MacLean, Allyson M.; Nicolaisen, Mogens

    2015-01-01

    a role in host adaptation. 74 genes were up-regulated in insects and included genes involved in stress response, phospholipid synthesis, malate and pyruvate metabolism, hemolysin and transporter genes, multiple copies of thymidylate kinase, sigma factor and Zn-proteases genes. In plants, 34 genes...... encoding an immune dominant membrane protein, membrane-associated proteins, and multidrug resistance ABC-type transporters, were up-regulated. Differential regulation of gene expression thus appears to play an important role in host adaptation of phytoplasmas....

  1. Capturing Insects and Student Interest: First Graders Learn about Unusual Plants in Their Area in This Multimodal Investigation of Carnivorous Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradbury, Leslie; Wilson, Rachel; Pepper, Nancy; Ledford, Mitzi

    2016-01-01

    Most plants are able to obtain all of the nutrients that they need from air, water, and soil; however, this is not true of carnivorous plants. Because they tend to live in boggy soils where there are small amounts of nitrogen, carnivorous plants have developed specialized structures that enable them to lure and capture insects and sometimes other…

  2. Plant rhabdoviruses: new insights and research needs in the interplay of negative-strand RNA viruses with plant and insect hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Krin S; Dietzgen, Ralf G

    2014-08-01

    Rhabdoviruses are taxonomically classified in the family Rhabdoviridae, order Mononegavirales. As a group, rhabdoviruses can infect plants, invertebrates and vertebrates. Plant cyto- and nucleorhabdoviruses infect a wide variety of species across both monocot and dicot families, including agriculturally important crops such as lettuce, wheat, barley, rice, maize, potato and tomato. Plant rhabdoviruses are transmitted by and replicate in hemipteran insects such as aphids (Aphididae), leafhoppers (Cicadellidae), or planthoppers (Delphacidae). These specific interactions between plants, viruses and insects offer new insights into host adaptation and molecular virus evolution. This review explores recent advances as well as knowledge gaps in understanding of replication, RNA silencing suppression and movement of plant rhabdoviruses with respect to both plant and insect hosts.

  3. Adaptive mechanisms of insect pests against plant protease inhibitors and future prospects related to crop protection: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macedo, Maria L R; de Oliveira, Caio F R; Costa, Poliene M; Castelhano, Elaine C; Silva-Filho, Marcio C

    2015-01-01

    The overwhelming demand for food requires the application of technology on field. An important issue that limits the productivity of crops is related to insect attacks. Hence, several studies have evaluated the application of different compounds to reduce the field losses, especially insecticide compounds from plant sources. Among them, plant protease inhibitors (PIs) have been studied in both basic and applied researches, displaying positive results in control of some insects. However, certain species are able to bypass the insecticide effects exerted by PIs. In this review, we disclosed the adaptive mechanisms showed by lepidopteran and coleopteran insects, the most expressive insect orders related to crop predation. The structural aspects involved in adaptation mechanisms are presented as well as the newest alternatives for pest control. The application of biotechnological tools in crop protection will be mandatory in agriculture, and it will be up to researchers to find the best candidates for effective control in long-term.

  4. Florally rich habitats reduce insect pollination and the reproductive success of isolated plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Tracie M; Cavers, Stephen; Ennos, Richard; Vanbergen, Adam J; Heard, Matthew S

    2017-08-01

    Landscape heterogeneity in floral communities has the potential to modify pollinator behavior. Pollinator foraging varies with the diversity, abundance, and spatial configuration of floral resources. However, the implications of this variation for pollen transfer and ultimately the reproductive success of insect pollinated plants remains unclear, especially for species which are rare or isolated in the landscape. We used a landscape-scale experiment, coupled with microsatellite genotyping, to explore how the floral richness of habitats affected pollinator behavior and pollination effectiveness. Small arrays of the partially self-compatible plant Californian poppy ( Eschscholzia californica) were introduced across a landscape gradient to simulate rare, spatially isolated populations. The effects on pollinator activity, outcrossing, and plant reproduction were measured. In florally rich habitats, we found reduced pollen movement between plants, leading to fewer long-distance pollination events, lower plant outcrossing, and a higher incidence of pollen limitation. This pattern indicates a potential reduction in per capita pollinator visitation, as suggested by the lower activity densities and richness of pollinators observed within florally rich habitats. In addition, seed production reduced by a factor of 1.8 in plants within florally rich habitats and progeny germination reduced by a factor of 1.2. We show this to be a consequence of self-fertilization within the partially self-compatible plant, E. californica . These findings indicate that locally rare plants are at a competitive disadvantage within florally rich habitats because neighboring plant species disrupt conspecific mating by co-opting pollinators. Ultimately, this Allee effect may play an important role in determining the long-term persistence of rarer plants in the landscape, both in terms of seed production and viability. Community context therefore requires consideration when designing and

  5. Impact Of Different Time Planting In Soybeans And Neem Seed Extract Application To Insect Population On Rice Field

    OpenAIRE

    Tamrin Abdullah; Ahdin Gassa; Sri Nur Aminah Ngatimin; Nurariaty Agus And Abdul Fattah

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The purpose of research is to study impact of different time planting of soybean and neem seed extract application to pest insect population on rice field. The research was used Random Block Design in three treatment of insecticides application i.e neem seed extract together with rice planting neem seed extract on soybean 17 days after rice planting synthetic insecticides on 17 days after rice planting Delthametrin on soybean and Chlorpirifos on rice respectively. Research was conduc...

  6. Impact Of Different Time Planting In Soybeans And Neem Seed Extract Application To Insect Population On Rice Field

    OpenAIRE

    Abdullah, Tamrin; Gassa, Ahdin; Ngatimin, Sri Nur Aminah; Agus, Nurariaty; Fattah, Abdul

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of research is to study impact of different time planting of soybean and neem seed extract application to pest insect population on rice field. The research was used Random Block Design in three treatment of insecticides application i.e: neem seed extract together with rice planting, neem seed extract on soybean 17 days after rice planting, synthetic insecticides on 17 days after rice planting (Delthametrin on soybean and Chlorpirifos on rice), respectively. Research was conducted...

  7. Radiocarbon ages of insects and plants frozen in the No. 31 Glacier, Suntar-Khayata Range, eastern Siberia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nakazawa, F., E-mail: nakazawa@nipr.ac.jp [National Institute of Polar Research, 10-3 Midori-cho, Tachikawa, Tokyo 190-8518 (Japan); Transdisciplinary Research Integration Center, Hulic Kamiyacho Bldg. 2F, 4-3-13 Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0001 (Japan); Uchida, M.; Kondo, M. [Center for Environmental Measurement and Analysis, National Institute for Environmental Studies, 16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0053 (Japan); Kadota, T. [Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, 2-15 Natsushima, Yokosuka 237-0061 (Japan); Shirakawa, T. [Kitami Institute of Technology, Kitami, Hokkaido 090-8507 (Japan); Enomoto, H. [National Institute of Polar Research, 10-3 Midori-cho, Tachikawa, Tokyo 190-8518 (Japan); Department of Polar Science, The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI), 10-3 Midori-cho, Tachikawa, Tokyo 190-8518 (Japan); Fedorov, A.N. [Melnikov Permafrost Institute, SB RAN, Yakutsk 6770110 (Russian Federation); North-Eastern Federal University, Yakutsk 677010 (Russian Federation); Fujisawa, Y. [Graduate School of Science, Chiba University, 1-33 Yayoi-cho, Inage-ku, Chiba 263-8522 (Japan); Konstantinov, P.Y. [Melnikov Permafrost Institute, SB RAN, Yakutsk 6770110 (Russian Federation); Kusaka, R. [Kitami Institute of Technology, Kitami, Hokkaido 090-8507 (Japan); Miyairi, M. [Graduate School of Science, Chiba University, 1-33 Yayoi-cho, Inage-ku, Chiba 263-8522 (Japan); Ohata, T.; Yabuki, H. [Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, 2-15 Natsushima, Yokosuka 237-0061 (Japan)

    2015-10-15

    The aim of this study was to estimate the age of glacier ice in the No. 31 Glacier in the Suntar-Khayata Range of eastern Siberia by performing dating of insects thought to be long-legged fly species (Dolichopodidae) as well as plants (species unknown) fragments preserved in the ice. Ice samples containing organisms were collected at depths of 0.4–1.1 m at five points from the middle to lowest parts of the glacier in 2013. The age of an insect collected at the lowest point on the glacier was estimated as 2038 ± 32 yr B.P. Insects collected at higher points had a modern or near-modern radiocarbon age. The age of plant fragments collected at the uppermost and middle points was 1531 ± 44 and 1288 ± 26 yr B.P., respectively, and that of a mixture of plant and insect fragments collected at the lowest point was 9772 ± 42 yr B.P. When comparing specimens collected at the same point, the plant fragments were found to be older than the insects. In 2012–2014 observations, some living insects were found on the glacier, and thus the age of the insects appears to correspond to the age of the ice. On the other hand, the plant fragments might have already aged since detachment from the source plants. This study found an approximately 2000-year gap in the age of the ice between the lowest and higher points. Annual mass balance observations from 2012 to 2014 showed that in recent years, the glacier sometimes had no accumulation area. Therefore, the wide gap in the age of ice may be due to a difference in past melting processes between the lowest and higher points on the glacier.

  8. How common is ecological speciation in plant-feeding insects? A 'Higher' Nematinae perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nyman Tommi

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ecological speciation is a process in which a transiently resource-polymorphic species divides into two specialized sister lineages as a result of divergent selection pressures caused by the use of multiple niches or environments. Ecology-based speciation has been studied intensively in plant-feeding insects, in which both sympatric and allopatric shifts onto novel host plants could speed up diversification. However, while numerous examples of species pairs likely to have originated by resource shifts have been found, the overall importance of ecological speciation in relation to other, non-ecological speciation modes remains unknown. Here, we apply phylogenetic information on sawflies belonging to the 'Higher' Nematinae (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae to infer the frequency of niche shifts in relation to speciation events. Results Phylogenetic trees reconstructed on the basis of DNA sequence data show that the diversification of higher nematines has involved frequent shifts in larval feeding habits and in the use of plant taxa. However, the inferred number of resource shifts is considerably lower than the number of past speciation events, indicating that the majority of divergences have occurred by non-ecological allopatric speciation; based on a time-corrected analysis of sister species, we estimate that a maximum of c. 20% of lineage splits have been triggered by a change in resource use. In addition, we find that postspeciational changes in geographic distributions have led to broad sympatry in many species having identical host-plant ranges. Conclusion Our analysis indicates that the importance of niche shifts for the diversification of herbivorous insects is at present implicitly and explicitly overestimated. In the case of the Higher Nematinae, employing a time correction for sister-species comparisons lowered the proportion of apparent ecology-based speciation events from c. 50-60% to around 20%, but such corrections are

  9. Radioactive labelling of insects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thygesen, Th.

    Experiments are described with the internal contamination of insects with phosphorus 32 introduced previously in plants of the brassica type using three different techniques. The intake of radioactivity from the plants to the insects is shown. (L.O.)

  10. Cyt toxin expression reveals an inverse regulation of insect and plant virulence factors of Dickeya dadantii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costechareyre, Denis; Dridi, Bedis; Rahbé, Yvan; Condemine, Guy

    2010-12-01

    The plant pathogenic bacteria Dickeya dadantii is also a pathogen of the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum. The genome of the bacteria contains four cyt genes, encoding homologues of Bacillus thuringiensis Cyt toxins, which are involved in its pathogenicity to insects. We show here that these genes are transcribed as an operon, and we determined the conditions necessary for their expression. Their expression is induced at high temperature and at an osmolarity equivalent to that found in the plant phloem sap. The regulators of cyt genes have also been identified: their expression is repressed by H-NS and VfmE and activated by PecS. These genes are already known to regulate plant virulence factors, but in an opposite way. When tested in a virulence assay by ingestion, the pecS mutant was almost non-pathogenic while hns and vfmE mutants behaved in the same way as the wild-type strain. Mutants of other regulators of plant virulence, GacA, OmpR and PhoP, that do not control Cyt toxin production, also showed reduced pathogenicity. In an assay by injection of bacteria, the gacA strain was less pathogenic but, surprisingly, the pecS mutant was slightly more virulent. These results show that Cyt toxins are not the only virulence factors required to kill aphids, and that these factors act at different stages of the infection. Moreover, their production is controlled by general virulence regulators known for their role in plant virulence. This integration could indicate that virulence towards insects is a normal mode of life for D. dadantii. © 2010 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  11. Biodiversity and pollination : Flowering plants and flower-visiting insects in agricultural and semi-natural landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoffmann, Frank

    2005-01-01

    The dissertation describes the effects of plant and insect diversity on pollination of wild plant species. As biodiversity is decreasing due to human activities, it is important to know the effects of lower species richness on ecosystem functioning. One such ecosystem function is pollination by

  12. Water stress strengthens mutualism among ants, trees, and scale insects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth G Pringle

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Abiotic environmental variables strongly affect the outcomes of species interactions. For example, mutualistic interactions between species are often stronger when resources are limited. The effect might be indirect: water stress on plants can lead to carbon stress, which could alter carbon-mediated plant mutualisms. In mutualistic ant-plant symbioses, plants host ant colonies that defend them against herbivores. Here we show that the partners' investments in a widespread ant-plant symbiosis increase with water stress across 26 sites along a Mesoamerican precipitation gradient. At lower precipitation levels, Cordia alliodora trees invest more carbon in Azteca ants via phloem-feeding scale insects that provide the ants with sugars, and the ants provide better defense of the carbon-producing leaves. Under water stress, the trees have smaller carbon pools. A model of the carbon trade-offs for the mutualistic partners shows that the observed strategies can arise from the carbon costs of rare but extreme events of herbivory in the rainy season. Thus, water limitation, together with the risk of herbivory, increases the strength of a carbon-based mutualism.

  13. Water Stress Strengthens Mutualism Among Ants, Trees, and Scale Insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringle, Elizabeth G.; Akçay, Erol; Raab, Ted K.; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Gordon, Deborah M.

    2013-01-01

    Abiotic environmental variables strongly affect the outcomes of species interactions. For example, mutualistic interactions between species are often stronger when resources are limited. The effect might be indirect: water stress on plants can lead to carbon stress, which could alter carbon-mediated plant mutualisms. In mutualistic ant–plant symbioses, plants host ant colonies that defend them against herbivores. Here we show that the partners' investments in a widespread ant–plant symbiosis increase with water stress across 26 sites along a Mesoamerican precipitation gradient. At lower precipitation levels, Cordia alliodora trees invest more carbon in Azteca ants via phloem-feeding scale insects that provide the ants with sugars, and the ants provide better defense of the carbon-producing leaves. Under water stress, the trees have smaller carbon pools. A model of the carbon trade-offs for the mutualistic partners shows that the observed strategies can arise from the carbon costs of rare but extreme events of herbivory in the rainy season. Thus, water limitation, together with the risk of herbivory, increases the strength of a carbon-based mutualism. PMID:24223521

  14. Water stress strengthens mutualism among ants, trees, and scale insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringle, Elizabeth G; Akçay, Erol; Raab, Ted K; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Gordon, Deborah M

    2013-11-01

    Abiotic environmental variables strongly affect the outcomes of species interactions. For example, mutualistic interactions between species are often stronger when resources are limited. The effect might be indirect: water stress on plants can lead to carbon stress, which could alter carbon-mediated plant mutualisms. In mutualistic ant-plant symbioses, plants host ant colonies that defend them against herbivores. Here we show that the partners' investments in a widespread ant-plant symbiosis increase with water stress across 26 sites along a Mesoamerican precipitation gradient. At lower precipitation levels, Cordia alliodora trees invest more carbon in Azteca ants via phloem-feeding scale insects that provide the ants with sugars, and the ants provide better defense of the carbon-producing leaves. Under water stress, the trees have smaller carbon pools. A model of the carbon trade-offs for the mutualistic partners shows that the observed strategies can arise from the carbon costs of rare but extreme events of herbivory in the rainy season. Thus, water limitation, together with the risk of herbivory, increases the strength of a carbon-based mutualism.

  15. O antigen modulates insect vector acquisition of the bacterial plant pathogen Xylella fastidiosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rapicavoli, Jeannette N; Kinsinger, Nichola; Perring, Thomas M; Backus, Elaine A; Shugart, Holly J; Walker, Sharon; Roper, M Caroline

    2015-12-01

    Hemipteran insect vectors transmit the majority of plant pathogens. Acquisition of pathogenic bacteria by these piercing/sucking insects requires intimate associations between the bacterial cells and insect surfaces. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is the predominant macromolecule displayed on the cell surface of Gram-negative bacteria and thus mediates bacterial interactions with the environment and potential hosts. We hypothesized that bacterial cell surface properties mediated by LPS would be important in modulating vector-pathogen interactions required for acquisition of the bacterial plant pathogen Xylella fastidiosa, the causative agent of Pierce's disease of grapevines. Utilizing a mutant that produces truncated O antigen (the terminal portion of the LPS molecule), we present results that link this LPS structural alteration to a significant decrease in the attachment of X. fastidiosa to blue-green sharpshooter foreguts. Scanning electron microscopy confirmed that this defect in initial attachment compromised subsequent biofilm formation within vector foreguts, thus impairing pathogen acquisition. We also establish a relationship between O antigen truncation and significant changes in the physiochemical properties of the cell, which in turn affect the dynamics of X. fastidiosa adhesion to the vector foregut. Lastly, we couple measurements of the physiochemical properties of the cell with hydrodynamic fluid shear rates to produce a Comsol model that predicts primary areas of bacterial colonization within blue-green sharpshooter foreguts, and we present experimental data that support the model. These results demonstrate that, in addition to reported protein adhesin-ligand interactions, O antigen is crucial for vector-pathogen interactions, specifically in the acquisition of this destructive agricultural pathogen. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  16. Recruitment dynamics mediated by ungulate herbivory can affect species coexistence for tree seedling assemblages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chi-Yu Weng

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The best-known mechanism that herbivory affects species coexistence of tree seedlings is negative density-dependency driven by specialist natural enemies. However, in a forest with intense herbivory by non-specialists, what causes a diversifying seedling bank if rare species do not benefit from negative density-dependency in dominant species? We hypothesize that generalist herbivores can cause unevenly distributed species-specific mortality, which mediates recruitment dynamics and therefore affects species coexistence. To answer this question, we conducted a fence-control experiment in a montane cloud forest, Taiwan, and found that herbivorous damages were mainly caused by ungulates, which are generalists. We explored ungulate herbivory effects on recruitment dynamics by censusing tree seedling dynamics for three years. We found that herbivorous damages by ungulates significantly cause seedling death, mostly at their early stage of establishment. The percentage of death caused by herbivory varied among species. In particular, nurse plants and seedling initial height help shade-tolerant species to persist under such intense herbivory. Whereas, deaths caused by other factors occurred more often in older seedlings, with a consistent low percentage among species. We then tested species coexistence maintenance by dynamic modelling under different scenarios of ungulate herbivory. Raising percentages of death by herbivory changes relative species abundances by suppressing light-demanding species and increasing shade-tolerant species. Density-dependent mortality immediately after bursts of recruitments can suppress dominance of abundant species. With ungulate herbivory, fluctuating recruitment further prevent rare species from apparent competition induced by abundant species. Such bio-processes can interact with ungulate herbivory so that long-term coexistence can be facilitated.

  17. Simulated herbivory advances autumn phenology in Acer rubrum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forkner, Rebecca E

    2014-05-01

    To determine the degree to which herbivory contributes to phenotypic variation in autumn phenology for deciduous trees, red maple (Acer rubrum) branches were subjected to low and high levels of simulated herbivory and surveyed at the end of the season to assess abscission and degree of autumn coloration. Overall, branches with simulated herbivory abscised ∼7 % more leaves at each autumn survey date than did control branches within trees. While branches subjected to high levels of damage showed advanced phenology, abscission rates did not differ from those of undamaged branches within trees because heavy damage induced earlier leaf loss on adjacent branch nodes in this treatment. Damaged branches had greater proportions of leaf area colored than undamaged branches within trees, having twice the amount of leaf area colored at the onset of autumn and having ~16 % greater leaf area colored in late October when nearly all leaves were colored. When senescence was scored as the percent of all leaves abscised and/or colored, branches in both treatments reached peak senescence earlier than did control branches within trees: dates of 50 % senescence occurred 2.5 days earlier for low herbivory branches and 9.7 days earlier for branches with high levels of simulated damage. These advanced rates are of the same time length as reported delays in autumn senescence and advances in spring onset due to climate warming. Thus, results suggest that should insect damage increase as a consequence of climate change, it may offset a lengthening of leaf life spans in some tree species.

  18. Physiological effects of climate warming on flowering plants and insect pollinators and potential consequences for their interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victoria L. SCAVEN, Nicole E. RAFFERTY

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Growing concern about the influence of climate change on flowering plants, pollinators, and the mutualistic interactions between them has led to a recent surge in research. Much of this research has addressed the consequences of warming for phenological and distributional shifts. In contrast, relatively little is known about the physiological responses of plants and insect pollinators to climate warming and, in particular, how these responses might affect plant-pollinator interactions. Here, we summarize the direct physiological effects of temperature on flowering plants and pollinating insects to highlight ways in which plant and pollinator responses could affect floral resources for pollinators, and pollination success for plants, respectively. We also consider the overall effects of these responses on plant-pollinator interaction networks. Plant responses to warming, which include altered flower, nectar, and pollen production, could modify floral resource availability and reproductive output of pollinating insects. Similarly, pollinator responses, such as altered foraging activity, body size, and life span, could affect patterns of pollen flow and pollination success of flowering plants. As a result, network structure could be altered as interactions are gained and lost, weakened and strengthened, even without the gain or loss of species or temporal overlap. Future research that addresses not only how plant and pollinator physiology are affected by warming but also how responses scale up to affect interactions and networks should allow us to better understand and predict the effects of climate change on this important ecosystem service [Current Zoolo­gy 59 (3: 418–426, 2013].

  19. Looking for a similar partner: host plants shape mating preferences of herbivorous insects by altering their contact pheromones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geiselhardt, Sven; Otte, Tobias; Hilker, Monika

    2012-09-01

    The role of phenotypical plasticity in ecological speciation and the evolution of sexual isolation remains largely unknown. We investigated whether or not divergent host plant use in an herbivorous insect causes assortative mating by phenotypically altering traits involved in mate recognition. We found that males of the mustard leaf beetle Phaedon cochleariae preferred to mate with females that were reared on the same plant species to females provided with a different plant species, based on divergent cuticular hydrocarbon profiles that serve as contact pheromones. The cuticular hydrocarbon phenotypes of the beetles were host plant specific and changed within 2 weeks after a shift to a novel host plant species. We suggest that plant-induced phenotypic divergence in mate recognition cues may act as an early barrier to gene flow between herbivorous insect populations on alternative host species, preceding genetic divergence and thus, promoting ecological speciation. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  20. Pollination biology of fruit-bearing hedgerow plants and the role of flower-visiting insects in fruit-set.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Jennifer H; Clark, Suzanne J; Denholm, Ian; Goulson, Dave; Stoate, Chris; Osborne, Juliet L

    2009-12-01

    In the UK, the flowers of fruit-bearing hedgerow plants provide a succession of pollen and nectar for flower-visiting insects for much of the year. The fruits of hedgerow plants are a source of winter food for frugivorous birds on farmland. It is unclear whether recent declines in pollinator populations are likely to threaten fruit-set and hence food supply for birds. The present study investigates the pollination biology of five common hedgerow plants: blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), dog rose (Rosa canina), bramble (Rubus fruticosus) and ivy (Hedera helix). The requirement for insect pollination was investigated initially by excluding insects from flowers by using mesh bags and comparing immature and mature fruit-set with those of open-pollinated flowers. Those plants that showed a requirement for insect pollination were then tested to compare fruit-set under two additional pollination service scenarios: (1) reduced pollination, with insects excluded from flowers bagged for part of the flowering period, and (2) supplemental pollination, with flowers hand cross-pollinated to test for pollen limitation. The proportions of flowers setting fruit in blackthorn, hawthorn and ivy were significantly reduced when insects were excluded from flowers by using mesh bags, whereas fruit-set in bramble and dog rose were unaffected. Restricting the exposure of flowers to pollinators had no significant effect on fruit-set. However, blackthorn and hawthorn were found to be pollen-limited, suggesting that the pollination service was inadequate in the study area. Ensuring strong populations of insect pollinators may be essential to guarantee a winter fruit supply for birds in UK hedgerows.

  1. Insect herbivores change the outcome of plant competition through both inter- and intraspecific processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Tania N; Underwood, Nora; Inouye, Brian D

    2013-08-01

    Insect herbivores can affect plant abundance and community composition, and theory suggests that herbivores influence plant communities by altering interspecific interactions among plants. Because the outcome of interspecific interactions is influenced by the per capita competitive ability of plants, density dependence, and intrinsic rates of increase, measuring herbivore effects on all these processes is necessary to understand the mechanisms by which herbivores influence plant communities. We fit alternative competition models to data from a response surface experiment conducted over four years to examine how herbivores affected the outcome of competition between two perennial plants, Solidago altissima and Solanum carolinense. Within a growing season, herbivores reduced S. carolinense plant size but did not affect the size of S. altissima, which exhibited compensatory growth. Across seasons, herbivores did not affect S. carolinense density or biomass but reduced both the density and population growth of S. altissima. The best-fit models indicated that the effects of herbivores varied with year. In some years, herbivores increased the per capita competitive effect of S. altissima on S. carolinense; in other years, herbivores influenced the intrinsic rate of increase of S. altissima. We examined possible herbivore effects on the longer-term outcome of competition (over the time scale of a typical old-field habitat), using simulations based on the best-fit models. In the absence of herbivores, plant coexistence was observed. In the presence of herbivores, S. carolinense was excluded by S. altissima in 72.3% of the simulations. We demonstrate that herbivores can influence the outcome of competition through changes in both per capita competitive effects and intrinsic rates of increase. We discuss the implications of these results for ecological succession and biocontrol.

  2. Efficiency of Trichome-Based Plant Defense in Phaseolus vulgaris Depends on Insect Behavior, Plant Ontogeny, and Structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhenlong Xing

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Plant trichomes often function as physical barriers in preventing arthropod feeding and oviposition. Even though insects are frequently reported being entrapped and killed by trichome traps, the actual trapping behavior has not yet been described in detail. Capture experiments showed that capture efficiency during the plant's vegetative stage was considerably higher than in the fruiting and cotyledon stages. The ventral surface of the leaf was more effective in trapping flies than other parts of the plant. Capture-events monitoring showed that the mouthparts, legs, and ovipositor of Liriomyza trifolii adults are the body parts involved in entrapment by surface trichomes on Phaseolus vulgaris plants, and subsequently, deter their ability to feed, walk, and oviposit. Of the three main body parts normally affected, mouthparts was found to be the body part most susceptible to the trichomes. Entrapments were most often caused by landing, followed by puncturing or feeding, and occasionally by walking or fighting. Using scanning electron microscopy (SEM and optical microscopy, we determined the susceptible positions of each body part and found that the flies were all trapped by hooked trichomes. This study revealed the process by which leafminer flies are entrapped by surface trichomes of the host plant and evaluated the capture efficiency. The results will contribute to our understanding of physical defenses against herbivores.

  3. Signal transduction downstream of salicylic and jasmonic acid in herbivory-induced parasitoid attraction by Arabidopsis is independent of JAR1 and NPR1

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poecke, van R.M.P.; Dicke, M.

    2003-01-01

    Plants can defend themselves indirectly against herbivores by emitting a volatile blend upon herbivory that attracts the natural enemies of these herbivores, either predators or parasitoids. Although signal transduction in plants from herbivory to induced volatile production depends on jasmonic acid

  4. Influences of leaf-mining insects on their host plants: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu, W. H.

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Leaf-mining insects are an herbivore group whose larvae live and feed inside plant leaves. Leaf mines are distinct marks on leaves and can provide much information on insect-plant relationships. Most leaf miners are monophagous or oligophagous. Therefore ecologists and paleontologists use them to study interactions and coevolution among plants, insects and natural enemies. There are many different types of leaf-mining patterns on plant leaves, which may have different impacts on host plants. Compared with ectophagous herbivores, leaf-mining insects should have unique influences on host plant characteristics, such as leaf morphology, leaf chemistry, plant physiology, plant growth and production. Obvious impacts include leaf asymmetry, callus formation, photosynthesis, and green islands. Types and degrees of such influences are varied for different leaf miner species or different host plant species. In turn, the change of plant features may have positive or negative impacts on oviposition and feeding of leaf-mining insects. Studies on plant responses to leaf-mining and the defensive mechanisms of plants are helpful in understanding the coevolution between leaf miners and their food plants.Los insectos minadores de hojas son un grupo de herbívoros cuyas larvas viven y se alimentan del interior de las hojas. Lo que denominamos minas son las diferentes marcas que quedan en las hojas y que pueden proporcionar valiosa información acerca de las relaciones planta-insecto. La mayoría de minadores son monófagos u oligófagos. Los ecólogos y paleontólogos los usan para estudiar las interacciones y la coevolución entre plantas, insectos y sus enemigos naturales. Existen numerosos tipos de patrones de minas en las hojas, que pueden producir diferentes impactos en la planta hospedadora. Si los comparamos con los insectos ectófagos, los minadores de hojas pueden tener una influencia muy característica en numerosos aspectos de la planta hospedadora

  5. An insect herbivore microbiome with high plant biomass-degrading capacity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garret Suen

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Herbivores can gain indirect access to recalcitrant carbon present in plant cell walls through symbiotic associations with lignocellulolytic microbes. A paradigmatic example is the leaf-cutter ant (Tribe: Attini, which uses fresh leaves to cultivate a fungus for food in specialized gardens. Using a combination of sugar composition analyses, metagenomics, and whole-genome sequencing, we reveal that the fungus garden microbiome of leaf-cutter ants is composed of a diverse community of bacteria with high plant biomass-degrading capacity. Comparison of this microbiome's predicted carbohydrate-degrading enzyme profile with other metagenomes shows closest similarity to the bovine rumen, indicating evolutionary convergence of plant biomass degrading potential between two important herbivorous animals. Genomic and physiological characterization of two dominant bacteria in the fungus garden microbiome provides evidence of their capacity to degrade cellulose. Given the recent interest in cellulosic biofuels, understanding how large-scale and rapid plant biomass degradation occurs in a highly evolved insect herbivore is of particular relevance for bioenergy.

  6. Evolving ideas about genetics underlying insect virulence to plant resistance in rice-brown planthopper interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobayashi, Tetsuya

    2016-01-01

    Many plant-parasite interactions that include major plant resistance genes have subsequently been shown to exhibit features of gene-for-gene interactions between plant Resistance genes and parasite Avirulence genes. The brown planthopper (BPH) Nilaparvata lugens is an important pest of rice (Oryza sativa). Historically, major Resistance genes have played an important role in agriculture. As is common in gene-for-gene interactions, evolution of BPH virulence compromises the effectiveness of singly-deployed resistance genes. It is therefore surprising that laboratory studies of BPH have supported the conclusion that virulence is conferred by changes in many genes rather than a change in a single gene, as is proposed by the gene-for-gene model. Here we review the behaviour, physiology and genetics of the BPH in the context of host plant resistance. A problem for genetic understanding has been the use of various insect populations that differ in frequencies of virulent genotypes. We show that the previously proposed polygenic inheritance of BPH virulence can be explained by the heterogeneity of parental populations. Genetic mapping of Avirulence genes indicates that virulence is a monogenic trait. These evolving concepts, which have brought the gene-for-gene model back into the picture, are accelerating our understanding of rice-BPH interactions at the molecular level. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Phloem-exudate proteome analysis of response to insect brown plant-hopper in rice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Ba; Wei, Zhe; Wang, Zhanqi; Wang, Xiaoxiao; Peng, Xinxin; Du, Bo; Chen, Rongzhi; Zhu, Lili; He, Guangcun

    2015-07-01

    Brown plant-hopper (Nilaparvata lugens Stål, BPH), one of the most devastating agricultural insect pests of rice throughout Asia, ingests nutrients from rice sieve tubes and causes a dramatic yield loss. Planting resistant variety is an efficient and economical way to control this pest. Understanding the mechanisms of host resistance is extremely valuable for molecular design of resistant rice variety. Here, we used an iTRAQ-based quantitative proteomics approach to perform analysis of protein expression profiles in the phloem exudates of BPH-resistant and susceptible rice plants following BPH infestation. A total of 238 proteins were identified, most of which were previously described to be present in the phloem of rice and other plants. The expression of genes for selected proteins was confirmed using a laser capture micro-dissection method and RT-PCR. The mRNAs for three proteins, RGAP, TCTP, and TRXH, were further analyzed by using in situ mRNA hybridization and localized in the phloem cells. Our results showed that BPH feeding induced significant changes in the abundance of proteins in phloem sap of rice involved in multiple pathways, including defense signal transduction, redox regulation, and carbohydrate and protein metabolism, as well as cell structural proteins. The results presented provide new insights into rice resistance mechanisms and should facilitate the breeding of novel elite BPH-resistant rice varieties. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  8. An Insect Herbivore Microbiome with High Plant Biomass-Degrading Capacity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suen, Garret; Barry, Kerrie; Goodwin, Lynne; Scott, Jarrod; Aylward, Frank; Adams, Sandra; Pinto-Tomas, Adrian; Foster, Clifton; Pauly, Markus; Weimer, Paul; Bouffard, Pascal; Li, Lewyn; Osterberger, Jolene; Harkins, Timothy; Slater, Steven; Donohue, Timothy; Currie, Cameron; Tringe, Susannah G.

    2010-09-23

    Herbivores can gain indirect access to recalcitrant carbon present in plant cell walls through symbiotic associations with lignocellulolytic microbes. A paradigmatic example is the leaf-cutter ant (Tribe: Attini), which uses fresh leaves to cultivate a fungus for food in specialized gardens. Using a combination of sugar composition analyses, metagenomics, and whole-genome sequencing, we reveal that the fungus garden microbiome of leaf-cutter ants is composed of a diverse community of bacteria with high plant biomass-degrading capacity. Comparison of this microbiome?s predicted carbohydrate-degrading enzyme profile with other metagenomes shows closest similarity to the bovine rumen, indicating evolutionary convergence of plant biomass degrading potential between two important herbivorous animals. Genomic and physiological characterization of two dominant bacteria in the fungus garden microbiome provides evidence of their capacity to degrade cellulose. Given the recent interest in cellulosic biofuels, understanding how large-scale and rapid plant biomass degradation occurs in a highly evolved insect herbivore is of particular relevance for bioenergy.

  9. Induced plant resistance as a pest management tactic on piercing sucking insects of sesame crop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. F. Mahmoud

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Sesame, Sesamum indicum L. is the most oil seed crop of the world and also a major oil seed crop of Egypt. One of the major constraints in its production the damage caused by insect pests, particularly sucking insects which suck the cell sap from leaves, flowers and capsules. Impact of three levels of potassin-F, salicylic acid and combination between them on reduction infestation of Stink bug Nezara viridula L., Mirid bug Creontiades sp., Green peach aphid Myzus persicae (Sulzer, Leafhopper Empoasca lybica de Berg and Whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius of sesame crop cultivar Shandawil 3 was carried out during 2010-2011 crop season at Experimental farm, Faculty of Agriculture, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt. Also, the impacts of potassin-F and salicylic acid on yield production of sesame were studied. Results indicated that percent of reduction of infestation by N. viridula, M. persicae, Creontiades sp., E. lybicae, B. tabaci and phyllody disease were significantly higher at Level 2 (Potassin-F= 2.5 cm/l, Salicylic acid= 0.001 M and Potassin + Salicylic= 2.5 cm/l + 0.001 M and consequently higher seed yield per plant were obtained.

  10. Disruption of Vector Host Preference with Plant Volatiles May Reduce Spread of Insect-Transmitted Plant Pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martini, Xavier; Willett, Denis S; Kuhns, Emily H; Stelinski, Lukasz L

    2016-05-01

    Plant pathogens can manipulate the odor of their host; the odor of an infected plant is often attractive to the plant pathogen vector. It has been suggested that this odor-mediated manipulation attracts vectors and may contribute to spread of disease; however, this requires further broad demonstration among vector-pathogen systems. In addition, disruption of this indirect chemical communication between the pathogen and the vector has not been attempted. We present a model that demonstrates how a phytophathogen (Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus) can increase its spread by indirectly manipulating the behavior of its vector (Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama). The model indicates that when vectors are attracted to pathogen-infected hosts, the proportion of infected vectors increases, as well as, the proportion of infected hosts. Additionally, the peak of infected host populations occurs earlier as compared with controls. These changes in disease dynamics were more important during scenarios with higher vector mortality. Subsequently, we conducted a series of experiments to disrupt the behavior of the Asian citrus psyllid. To do so, we exposed the vector to methyl salicylate, the major compound released following host infection with the pathogen. We observed that during exposure or after pre-exposure to methyl salicylate, the host preference can be altered; indeed, the Asian citrus psyllids were unable to select infected hosts over uninfected counterparts. We suggest mechanisms to explain these interactions and potential applications of disrupting herbivore host preference with plant volatiles for sustainable management of insect vectors.

  11. Host-Parasite Interactions from the Inside: Plant Reproductive Ontogeny Drives Specialization in Parasitic Insects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Boivin

    Full Text Available Host plant interactions are likely key drivers of evolutionary processes involved in the diversification of phytophagous insects. Granivory has received substantial attention for its crucial role in shaping the interaction between plants and their seed parasites, but fine-scale mechanisms explaining the role of host plant reproductive biology on specialization of seed parasites remain poorly described. In a comparative approach using plant histological techniques, we tested the hypotheses that different seed parasite species synchronize their life cycles to specific stages in seed development, and that the stage they target depends on major differences in seed development programs. In a pinaceous system, seed storage products are initiated before ovule fertilization and the wasps target the ovule's nucellus during megagametogenesis, a stage at which larvae may benefit from the by-products derived from both secreting cells and dying nucellar cells. In a cupressaceous system, oviposition activity peaks later, during embryogenesis, and the wasps target the ovule's megagametophyte where larvae may benefit from cell disintegration during embryogenesis. Our cytohistological approach shows for the first time how, despite divergent oviposition targets, different parasite species share a common strategy that consists of first competing for nutrients with developing plant structures, and then consuming these developed structures to complete their development. Our results support the prediction that seed developmental program is an axis for specialization in seed parasites, and that it could be an important parameter in models of their ecological and taxonomic divergence. This study provides the basis for further investigating the possibility of the link between plant ontogeny and pre-dispersal seed parasitism.

  12. Notes on some insect galls associated with Solanum plants in South ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1990-12-18

    . Received 10 ... in press) related to the biological control of Solanum weed species. During ... in the Albany Museum (Natural History) and the National ..... identifying insect specimens. MJ. ... insects imported for weed control.

  13. Differential metabolic responses of Beauveria bassiana cultured in pupae extracts, root exudates and its interactions with insect and plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Feifei; Wang, Qian; Yin, Chunlin; Ge, Yinglu; Hu, Fenglin; Huang, Bo; Zhou, Hong; Bao, Guanhu; Wang, Bin; Lu, Ruili; Li, Zengzhi

    2015-09-01

    Beauveria bassiana is a kind of world-wide entomopathogenic fungus and can also colonize plant rhizosphere. Previous researches showed differential expression of genes when entomopathogenic fungi are cultured in insect or plant materials. However, so far there is no report on metabolic alterations of B. bassiana in the environments of insect or plant. The purpose of this paper is to address this problem. Herein, we first provide the metabolomic analysis of B. bassiana cultured in insect pupae extracts (derived from Euproctis pseudoconspersa and Bombyx mori, EPP and BMP), plant root exudates (derived from asparagus and carrot, ARE and CRE), distilled water and minimal media (MM), respectively. Principal components analysis (PCA) shows that mycelia cultured in pupae extracts and root exudates are evidently separated and individually separated from MM, which indicates that fungus accommodates to insect and plant environments by different metabolic regulation mechanisms. Subsequently, orthogonal projection on latent structure-discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) identifies differential metabolites in fungus under three environments relative to MM. Hierarchical clustering analysis (HCA) is performed to cluster compounds based on biochemical relationships, showing that sphingolipids are increased in BMP but are decreased in EPP. This observation further implies that sphingolipid metabolism may be involved in the adaptation of fungus to different hosts. In the meantime, sphingolipids are significantly decreased in root exudates but they are not decreased in distilled water, suggesting that some components of the root exudates can suppress sphingolipid to down-regulate sphingolipid metabolism. Pathway analysis finds that fatty acid metabolism is maintained at high level but non-ribosomal peptides (NRP) synthesis is unaffected in mycelia cultured in pupae extracts. In contrast, fatty acid metabolism is not changed but NRP synthesis is high in mycelia cultured in root exudates

  14. Living with genome instability: the adaptation of phytoplasmas todiverse environments of their insect and plant hosts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bai, Xiaodong; Zhang, Jianhua; Ewing, Adam; Miller, Sally A.; Radek, Agnes; Shevchenko, Dimitriy; Tsukerman, Kiryl; Walunas, Theresa; Lapidus, Alla; Campbell, John W.; Hogenhout Saskia A.

    2006-02-17

    Phytoplasmas (Candidatus Phytoplasma, Class Mollicutes) cause disease in hundreds of economically important plants, and are obligately transmitted by sap-feeding insects of the order Hemiptera, mainly leafhoppers and psyllids. The 706,569-bp chromosome and four plasmids of aster yellows phytoplasma strain witches broom (AY-WB) were sequenced and compared to the onion yellows phytoplasma strain M (OY-M) genome. The phytoplasmas have small repeat-rich genomes. The repeated DNAs are organized into large clusters, potential mobile units (PMUs), which contain tra5 insertion sequences (ISs), and specialized sigma factors and membrane proteins. So far, PMUs are unique to phytoplasmas. Compared to mycoplasmas, phytoplasmas lack several recombination and DNA modification functions, and therefore phytoplasmas probably use different mechanisms of recombination, likely involving PMUs, for the creation of variability, allowing phytoplasmas to adjust to the diverse environments of plants and insects. The irregular GC skews and presence of ISs and large repeated sequences in the AY-WB and OY-M genomes are indicative of high genomic plasticity. Nevertheless, segments of {approx}250 kb, located between genes lplA and glnQ are syntenic between the two phytoplasmas, contain the majority of the metabolic genes and no ISs. AY-WB is further along in the reductive evolution process than OY-M. The AY-WB genome is {approx}154 kb smaller than the OY-M genome, primarily as a result of fewer multicopy sequences, including PMUs. Further, AY-WB lacks genes that are truncated and are part of incomplete pathways in OY-M. This is the first comparative phytoplasma genome analysis and report of the existence of PMUs in phytoplasma genomes.

  15. How does synchrony with host plant affect the performance of an outbreaking insect defoliator?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentealba, Alvaro; Pureswaran, Deepa; Bauce, Éric; Despland, Emma

    2017-08-01

    Phenological mismatch has been proposed as a key mechanism by which climate change can increase the severity of insect outbreaks. Spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana) is a serious defoliator of North American conifers that feeds on buds in the early spring. Black spruce (Picea mariana) has traditionally been considered a poor-quality host plant since its buds open later than those of the preferred host, balsam fir (Abies balsamea). We hypothesize that advancing black spruce budbreak phenology under a warmer climate would improve its phenological synchrony with budworm and hence increase both its suitability as a host plant and resulting defoliation damage. We evaluated the relationship between tree phenology and both budworm performance and tree defoliation by placing seven cohorts of budworm larvae on black spruce and balsam fir branches at different lags with tree budburst. Our results show that on both host plants, spruce budworm survival and pupal mass decrease sharply when budbreak occurs prior to larval emergence. By contrast, emergence before budbreak decreases survival, but does not negatively impact growth or reproductive output. We also document phytochemical changes that occur as needles mature and define a window of opportunity for the budworm. Finally, larvae that emerged in synchrony with budbreak had the greatest defoliating effect on black spruce. Our results suggest that in the event of advanced black spruce phenology due to climate warming, this host species will support better budworm survival and suffer increased defoliation.

  16. The Effect of Host-Plant Phylogenetic Isolation on Species Richness, Composition and Specialization of Insect Herbivores: A Comparison between Native and Exotic Hosts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio Miguel Grandez-Rios

    Full Text Available Understanding the drivers of plant-insect interactions is still a key issue in terrestrial ecology. Here, we used 30 well-defined plant-herbivore assemblages to assess the effects of host plant phylogenetic isolation and origin (native vs. exotic on the species richness, composition and specialization of the insect herbivore fauna on co-occurring plant species. We also tested for differences in such effects between assemblages composed exclusively of exophagous and endophagous herbivores. We found a consistent negative effect of the phylogenetic isolation of host plants on the richness, similarity and specialization of their insect herbivore faunas. Notably, except for Jaccard dissimilarity, the effect of phylogenetic isolation on the insect herbivore faunas did not vary between native and exotic plants. Our findings show that the phylogenetic isolation of host plants is a key factor that influences the richness, composition and specialization of their local herbivore faunas, regardless of the host plant origin.

  17. Stable isotope investigation of insect and plant use in the diets of two Puerto Rican bat species

    Science.gov (United States)

    We used stable isotope (δ13C, δ15N) analysis to estimate the importance of plants and insects to the diet of two nectar-feeding bats on Puerto Rico, the brown flower bat (Erophylla bombifrons) and the Greater Antillean long-tongued bat (Monophyllus redmani). Stable carbon and nit...

  18. Weed-biocontrol insects reduce native-plant recruitment through second-order apparent competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson, Dean E; Callaway, Ragan M

    2008-09-01

    Small-mammal seed predation is an important force structuring native-plant communities that may also influence exotic-plant invasions. In the intermountain West, deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) are prominent predators of native-plant seeds, but they avoid consuming seeds of certain widespread invasives like spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa). These mice also consume the biological-control insects Urophora spp. introduced to control C. maculosa, and this food resource substantially increases deer mouse populations. Thus, mice may play an important role in the invasion and management of C. maculosa through food-web interactions. We examined deer mouse seed predation and its effects on seedling emergence and establishment of a dominant native grass, Pseudoroegneria spicata, and forb, Balsamorhiza sagittata, in C. maculosa-invaded grasslands that were treated with herbicide to suppress C. maculosa or left untreated as controls. Deer mice readily took seeds of both native plants but removed 2-20 times more of the larger B. sagittata seeds than the smaller P. spicata seeds. Seed predation reduced emergence and establishment of both species but had greater impacts on B. sagittata. The intensity of seed predation corresponded with annual and seasonal changes in deer mouse abundance, suggesting that abundance largely determined mouse impacts on native-plant seeds. Accordingly, herbicide treatments that reduced mouse abundance by suppressing C. maculosa and its associated biocontrol food subsidies to mice also reduced seed predation and decreased the impact of deer mice on B. sagittata establishment. These results provide evidence that Urophora biocontrol agents may exacerbate the negative effects of C. maculosa on native plants through a form of second-order apparent competition-a biocontrol indirect effect that has not been previously documented. Herbicide suppressed C. maculosa and Urophora, reducing mouse populations and moderating seed predation on native plants

  19. Evolutionary patchwork of an insecticidal toxin shared between plant-associated pseudomonads and the insect pathogens Photorhabdus and Xenorhabdus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruffner, Beat; Péchy-Tarr, Maria; Höfte, Monica; Bloemberg, Guido; Grunder, Jürg; Keel, Christoph; Maurhofer, Monika

    2015-08-16

    Root-colonizing fluorescent pseudomonads are known for their excellent abilities to protect plants against soil-borne fungal pathogens. Some of these bacteria produce an insecticidal toxin (Fit) suggesting that they may exploit insect hosts as a secondary niche. However, the ecological relevance of insect toxicity and the mechanisms driving the evolution of toxin production remain puzzling. Screening a large collection of plant-associated pseudomonads for insecticidal activity and presence of the Fit toxin revealed that Fit is highly indicative of insecticidal activity and predicts that Pseudomonas protegens and P. chlororaphis are exclusive Fit producers. A comparative evolutionary analysis of Fit toxin-producing Pseudomonas including the insect-pathogenic bacteria Photorhabdus and Xenorhadus, which produce the Fit related Mcf toxin, showed that fit genes are part of a dynamic genomic region with substantial presence/absence polymorphism and local variation in GC base composition. The patchy distribution and phylogenetic incongruence of fit genes indicate that the Fit cluster evolved via horizontal transfer, followed by functional integration of vertically transmitted genes, generating a unique Pseudomonas-specific insect toxin cluster. Our findings suggest that multiple independent evolutionary events led to formation of at least three versions of the Mcf/Fit toxin highlighting the dynamic nature of insect toxin evolution.

  20. Planting sentinel European trees in eastern Asia as a novel method to identify potential insect pest invaders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roques, Alain; Fan, Jian-Ting; Courtial, Béatrice; Zhang, Yan-Zhuo; Yart, Annie; Auger-Rozenberg, Marie-Anne; Denux, Olivier; Kenis, Marc; Baker, Richard; Sun, Jiang-Hua

    2015-01-01

    Quarantine measures to prevent insect invasions tend to focus on well-known pests but a large proportion of the recent invaders were not known to cause significant damage in their native range, or were not even known to science before their introduction. A novel method is proposed to detect new potential pests of woody plants in their region of origin before they are introduced to a new continent. Since Asia is currently considered to be the main supplier of insect invaders to Europe, sentinel trees were planted in China during 2007-2011 as an early warning tool to identify the potential for additional Asian insect species to colonize European trees. Seedlings (1-1.5 m tall) of five broadleaved (Quercus petraea, Q. suber, Q. ilex, Fagus sylvatica, and Carpinus betulus) and two conifer species (Abies alba and Cupressus sempervirens) were planted in blocks of 100 seedlings at two widely separated sites (one in a nursery near Beijing and the other in a forest environment near Fuyang in eastern China), and then regularly surveyed for colonization by insects. A total of 104 insect species, mostly defoliators, were observed on these new hosts, and at least six species were capable of larval development. Although a number of the insects observed were probably incidental feeders, 38 species had more than five colonization events, mostly infesting Q. petraea, and could be considered as being capable of switching to European trees if introduced to Europe. Three years was shown to be an appropriate duration for the experiment, since the rate of colonization then tended to plateau. A majority of the identified species appeared to have switched from agricultural crops and fruit trees rather than from forest trees. Although these results are promising, the method is not appropriate for xylophagous pests and other groups developing on larger trees. Apart from the logistical problems, the identification to species level of the specimens collected was a major difficulty. This

  1. Different effects of variation in Xanthium strumarium L. (Compositae) on two insect seed predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hare, J Daniel; Futuyma, Douglas J

    1978-01-01

    To determine the relative importance of variation in several plant characters on susceptibility to herbivores, we examined patterns of seed predation by two monophagous insect species and patterns of variation in ten populations of the cocklebur, Xanthium strumarium. Multiple regression analysis disclosed that one seed predator was most influenced by plant chemical variation, the other was significantly influenced by both chemical and morphological variation, but variation in yet another character, general burr size, was most important in conferring resistance to both insects simultaneously. The plant populations differed most in this character. Although many of the plant characters were correlated with each other, those important in determining susceptibility to each insect species were uncorrelated and independent of those conferring resistance to both insects simultaneously.These results imply that ecological similar herbivores may be influenced by different aspects of plant variation, and that predictions of evolutionary responses of local plant populations to herbivory may require knowledge of the structure of local herbivore communities and the dynamics of their establishment.

  2. Bat guano virome: predominance of dietary viruses from insects and plants plus novel mammalian viruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Linlin; Joseph, G. Victoria; Wang, Chunlin; Jones, Morris; Fellers, Gary M.; Kunz, Thomas H.; Delwart, Eric

    2010-01-01

    Bats are hosts to a variety of viruses capable of zoonotic transmissions. Because of increased contact between bats, humans, and other animal species, the possibility exists for further cross-species transmissions and ensuing disease outbreaks. We describe here full and partial viral genomes identified using metagenomics in the guano of bats from California and Texas. A total of 34% and 58% of 390,000 sequence reads from bat guano in California and Texas, respectively, were related to eukaryotic viruses, and the largest proportion of those infect insects, reflecting the diet of these insectivorous bats, including members of the viral families Dicistroviridae, Iflaviridae, Tetraviridae, and Nodaviridae and the subfamily Densovirinae. The second largest proportion of virus-related sequences infects plants and fungi, likely reflecting the diet of ingested insects, including members of the viral families Luteoviridae, Secoviridae, Tymoviridae, and Partitiviridae and the genus Sobemovirus. Bat guano viruses related to those infecting mammals comprised the third largest group, including members of the viral families Parvoviridae, Circoviridae, Picornaviridae, Adenoviridae, Poxviridae, Astroviridae, and Coronaviridae. No close relative of known human viral pathogens was identified in these bat populations. Phylogenetic analysis was used to clarify the relationship to known viral taxa of novel sequences detected in bat guano samples, showing that some guano viral sequences fall outside existing taxonomic groups. This initial characterization of the bat guano virome, the first metagenomic analysis of viruses in wild mammals using second-generation sequencing, therefore showed the presence of previously unidentified viral species, genera, and possibly families. Viral metagenomics is a useful tool for genetically characterizing viruses present in animals with the known capability of direct or indirect viral zoonosis to humans.

  3. Proteomic Analysis of Interaction between a Plant Virus and Its Vector Insect Reveals New Functions of Hemipteran Cuticular Protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Wenwen; Gray, Stewart; Huo, Yan; Li, Li; Wei, Taiyun; Wang, Xifeng

    2015-08-01

    Numerous viruses can be transmitted by their corresponding vector insects; however, the molecular mechanisms enabling virus transmission by vector insects have been poorly understood, especially the identity of vector components interacting with the virus. Here, we used the yeast two-hybrid system to study proteomic interactions of a plant virus (Rice stripe virus, RSV, genus Tenuivirus) with its vector insect, small brown planthopper (Laodelphax striatellus). Sixty-six proteins of L. striatellus that interacted with the nucleocapsid protein (pc3) of RSV were identified. A virus-insect interaction network, constructed for pc3 and 29 protein homologs of Drosophila melanogaster, suggested that nine proteins might directly interact with pc3. Of the 66 proteins, five (atlasin, a novel cuticular protein, jagunal, NAC domain protein, and vitellogenin) were most likely to be involved in viral movement, replication, and transovarial transmission. This work also provides evidence that the novel cuticular protein, CPR1, from L. striatellus is essential for RSV transmission by its vector insect. CPR1 binds the nucleocapsid protein (pc3) of RSV both in vivo and in vitro and colocalizes with RSV in the hemocytes of L. striatellus. Knockdown of CPR1 transcription using RNA interference resulted in a decrease in the concentration of RSV in the hemolymph, salivary glands and in viral transmission efficiency. These data suggest that CPR1 binds RSV in the insect and stabilizes the viral concentration in the hemolymph, perhaps to protect the virus or to help move the virus to the salivary tissues. Our studies provide direct experimental evidence that viruses can use existing vector proteins to aid their survival in the hemolymph. Identifying these putative vector molecules should lead to a better understanding of the interactions between viruses and vector insects. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  4. Plant diversification promotes biocontrol services in peach orchards by shaping the ecological niches of insect herbivores and their natural enemies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wan, Nian Feng; Ji, Xiang Yun; Deng, Jian Yu

    2018-01-01

    Ecological niche indicators have been scarcely adopted to assess the biological control of insect herbivores by their natural enemies. We hypothesize that plant diversification promotes the biocontrol services by narrowing the niches of herbivores and broadening the niches of natural enemies....... Our study reveals that plant diversification promotes the biocontrol services by shaping the niche of herbivores and natural enemies, and provides a new assessment method to understand the biodiversity-niche-ecosystem management interactions........ In a large-scale experiment, we found that the abundance of natural enemies was increased by 38.1%, and the abundance of insect herbivores was decreased by 16.9% in peach orchards with plant diversification (treatment) compared to ones with monoculture (control). Stratified sampling indicated...

  5. Variation in herbivory-induced volatiles among cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) varieties has consequences for the attraction of carnivorous natural enemies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kappers, I.F.; Hoogerbrugge, H.; Bouwmeester, H.J.; Dicke, M.

    2011-01-01

    In response to herbivory by arthropods, plants emit herbivory-induced volatiles that attract carnivorous enemies of the inducing herbivores. Here, we compared the attractiveness of eight cucumber varieties (Cucumis sativus L.) to Phytoseiulus persimilis predatory mites after infestation of the

  6. Local shifts in floral biotic interactions in habitat edges and their effect on quantity and quality of plant offspring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fenu, Giuseppe; Bernardo, Liliana

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Spatial shifts in insect fauna due to ecological heterogeneity can severely constrain plant reproduction. Nonetheless, data showing effects of insect visit patterns and intensity of mutualistic and/or antagonistic plant–insect interactions on plant reproduction over structured ecological gradients remain scarce. We investigated how changes in flower-visitor abundance, identity and behaviour over a forest-open habitat gradient affect plant biotic interactions, and quantitative and qualitative fitness in the edge-specialist Dianthus balbisii. Composition and behaviour of the insects visiting flowers of D. balbisii strongly varied over the study gradient, influencing strength and patterns of plant biotic interactions (i.e. herbivory and pollination likelihood). Seed set comparison in free- and manually pollinated flowers suggested spatial variations in the extent of quantitative pollen limitation, which appeared more pronounced at the gradient extremes. Such variations were congruent to patterns of flower visit and plant biotic interactions. The analyses on seed and seedling viability evidenced that spatial variation in amount and type of pollinators, and frequency of herbivory affected qualitative fitness of D. balbisii by influencing selfing and outcrossing rates. Our work emphasizes the role of plant biotic interactions as a fine-scale mediator of plant fitness in ecotones, highlighting that optimal plant reproduction can take place into a restricted interval of the ecological gradients occurring at forest edges. Reducing the habitat complexity typical of such transition contexts can threat edge-adapted plants. PMID:28775831

  7. Induced Release of a Plant-Defense Volatile ‘Deceptively’ Attracts Insect Vectors to Plants Infected with a Bacterial Pathogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Rajinder S.; Ali, Jared G.; Hermann, Sara L.; Tiwari, Siddharth; Pelz-Stelinski, Kirsten S.; Alborn, Hans T.; Stelinski, Lukasz L.

    2012-01-01

    Transmission of plant pathogens by insect vectors is a complex biological process involving interactions between the plant, insect, and pathogen. Pathogen-induced plant responses can include changes in volatile and nonvolatile secondary metabolites as well as major plant nutrients. Experiments were conducted to understand how a plant pathogenic bacterium, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (Las), affects host preference behavior of its psyllid (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama) vector. D. citri were attracted to volatiles from pathogen-infected plants more than to those from non-infected counterparts. Las-infected plants were more attractive to D. citri adults than non-infected plants initially; however after feeding, psyllids subsequently dispersed to non-infected rather than infected plants as their preferred settling point. Experiments with Las-infected and non-infected plants under complete darkness yielded similar results to those recorded under light. The behavior of psyllids in response to infected versus non-infected plants was not influenced by whether or not they were carriers of the pathogen. Quantification of volatile release from non-infected and infected plants supported the hypothesis that odorants mediate psyllid preference. Significantly more methyl salicylate, yet less methyl anthranilate and D-limonene, was released by infected than non-infected plants. Methyl salicylate was attractive to psyllids, while methyl anthranilate did not affect their behavior. Feeding on citrus by D. citri adults also induced release of methyl salicylate, suggesting that it may be a cue revealing location of conspecifics on host plants. Infected plants were characterized by lower levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, zinc, and iron, as well as, higher levels of potassium and boron than non-infected plants. Collectively, our results suggest that host selection behavior of D. citri may be modified by bacterial infection of plants, which alters release of specific headspace

  8. Herbivory enhances the resistance of mangrove forest to cordgrass invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yihui; Meng, Hanyu; Wang, Yi; He, Qiang

    2018-06-01

    The biotic resistance hypothesis proposes that biotic interactions, such as competition and herbivory, resist the establishment and spread of non-native species. The relative and interactive role of competition and herbivory in resisting plant invasions, however, remains poorly understood. We investigated the interactive role of competition and herbivory (by the native rodent Rattus losea) in resisting Spartina alterniflora (cordgrass) invasions into mangrove forests. In southern China, although exotic cordgrass numerically dominates intertidal mudflats and open gaps in mangrove forests, intact forests appear to be highly resistant to cordgrass invasion. A field transplant and rodent exclusion experiment showed that while the impact of rodent grazing on cordgrass was weak on mangrove forest edges and open mudflats, rodent grazing strongly suppressed cordgrass in mangrove understory habitats. A greenhouse experiment confirmed a synergistic interaction between grazing and light availability (a proxy for mangrove shading and light competition) in suppressing cordgrass establishment, with the strongest impacts of grazing in low light conditions that likely weakened cordgrass to survive and resprout. When both were present, as in mangrove understory habitats, grazing and low light acted in concert to eliminate cordgrass establishment, resulting in resistance of mangrove forests to cordgrass invasion. Our results reveal that grazing by native herbivores can enhance the resistance of mangrove forests to cordgrass invasion in southern China, and suggest that investigating multifactor interactions may be critical to understanding community resistance to exotic invasions. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  9. The role of female search behaviour in determining host plant range in plant feeding insects: a test of the information processing hypothesis

    OpenAIRE

    Janz, N.; Nylin, S.

    1997-01-01

    Recent theoretical studies have suggested that host range in herbivorous insects may be more restricted by constraints on information processing on the ovipositing females than by trade-offs in larval feeding efficiency. We have investigated if females from polyphagous species have to pay for their ability to localize and evaluate plants from different species with a lower ability to discriminate between conspecific host plants with differences in quality. Females of the monophagous butterfli...

  10. Associations of planting date, drought stress, and insects with Fusarium ear rot and fumonisin B1 contamination in California maize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, M W; Munkvold, G P

    2010-05-01

    Fusarium ear rot, caused by Fusarium verticillioides, is one of the most common diseases of maize, causing yield and quality reductions and contamination of grain by fumonisins and other mycotoxins. Drought stress and various insects have been implicated as factors affecting disease severity. Field studies were conducted to evaluate the interactions and relative influences of drought stress, insect infestation, and planting date upon Fusarium ear rot severity and fumonisin B1 contamination. Three hybrids varying in partial resistance to Fusarium ear rot were sown on three planting dates and subjected to four irrigation regimes to induce differing levels of drought stress. A foliar-spray insecticide treatment was imposed to induce differing levels of insect injury. Populations of thrips (Frankliniella spp.), damage by corn earworm (Helicoverpa zeae), Fusarium ear rot symptoms, and fumonisin B1 levels were assessed. There were significant effects of hybrid, planting date, insecticide treatment, and drought stress on Fusarium ear rot symptoms and fumonisin B1 contamination, and these factors also had significant interacting effects. The most influential factors were hybrid and insecticide treatment, but their effects were influenced by planting date and drought stress. The more resistant hybrids and the insecticide-treated plots consistently had lower Fusarium ear rot severity and fumonisin B1 contamination. Later planting dates typically had higher thrips populations, more Fusarium ear rot, and higher levels of fumonisin B1. Insect activity was significantly correlated with disease severity and fumonisin contamination, and the correlations were strongest for thrips. The results of this study confirm the influence of thrips on Fusarium ear rot severity in California, USA, and also establish a strong association between thrips and fumonisin B1 levels.

  11. Shifts in Plant Assemblages Reduce the Richness of Galling Insects Across Edge-Affected Habitats in the Atlantic Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Danielle G; Santos, Jean C; Oliveira, Marcondes A; Tabarelli, Marcelo

    2016-10-01

    Impacts of habitat loss and fragmentation on specialist herbivores have been rarely addressed. Here we examine the structure of plant and galling insect assemblages in a fragmented landscape of the Atlantic forest to verify a potential impoverishment of these assemblages mediated by edge effects. Saplings and galling insects were recorded once within a 0.1-ha area at habitat level, covering forest interior stands, forest edges, and small fragments. A total of 1,769 saplings from 219 tree species were recorded across all three habitats, with differences in terms of sapling abundance and species richness. Additionally, edge-affected habitats exhibited reduced richness of both host-plant and galling insects at plot and habitat spatial scale. Attack levels also differed among forest types at habitat spatial scale (21.1% of attacked stems in forest interior, 12.4% in small fragments but only 8.5% in forest edges). Plot ordination resulted in three clearly segregated clusters: one formed by forest interior, one by small fragments, and another formed by edge plots. Finally, the indicator species analysis identified seven and one indicator plant species in forest interior and edge-affected habitats, respectively. Consequently, edge effects lead to formation of distinct taxonomic groups and also an impoverished assemblage of plants and galling insects at multiple spatial scales. The results of the present study indicate that fragmentation-related changes in plant assemblages can have a cascade effects on specialist herbivores. Accordingly, hyperfragmented landscapes may not be able to retain an expressive portion of tropical biodiversity. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. Complex Outcomes from Insect and Weed Control with Transgenic Plants: Ecological Surprises?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Bøhn

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Agriculture is fundamental for human survival through food production and is performed in ecosystems that, while simplified, still operate along ecological principles and retain complexity. Agricultural plants are thus part of ecological systems, and interact in complex ways with the surrounding terrestrial, soil, and aquatic habitats. We discuss three case studies that demonstrate how agricultural solutions to pest and weed control, if they overlook important ecological and evolutionary factors, cause “surprises”: (i the fast emergence of resistance against the crop-inserted Bt-toxin in South Africa, (ii the ecological changes generated by Bt-cotton landscapes in China, and (iii the decline of the monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus, in North America. The recognition that we work with complex systems is in itself important, as it should limit the belief in reductionist solutions. Agricultural practices lacking eco-evolutionary understanding result in “surprises” like resistance evolution both in weeds and pest insects, risking the reappearance of the “pesticide treadmill”—with increased use of toxic pesticides as the follow-up. We recommend prioritization of research that counteracts the tendencies of reductionist approaches. These may be beneficial on a short term, but with trade-off costs on a medium- to long-term. Such costs include loss of biodiversity, ecosystem services, long-term soil productivity, pollution, and reduced food quality.

  13. About a dynamic model of interaction of insect population with food plant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L.V. Nedorezov

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available In present paper there is the consideration of mathematical model of food plant (resource - consumer (insect population - pathogen system dynamics which is constructed as a system of ordinary differential equations. The dynamic regimes of model are analyzed and, in particular, with the help of numerical methods it is shown that trigger regimes (regimes with two stable attractors can be realized in model under very simple assumptions about ecological and intra-population processes functioning. Within the framework of model it was assumed that the rate of food flow into the system is constant and functioning of intra-population selfregulative mechanisms can be described by Verhulst model. As it was found, trigger regimes are different with respect to their properties: in particular, in model the trigger regimes with one of stable stationary points on the coordinate plane can be realized (it corresponds to the situation when sick individuals in population are absent and their appearance in small volume leads to their asymptotic elimination; also the regimes with several nonzero stationary states and stable periodic fluctuations were found.

  14. Revisiting the evolution of ecological specialization, with emphasis on insect-plant interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forister, M L; Dyer, L A; Singer, M S; Stireman, J O; Lill, J T

    2012-05-01

    Ecological specialization is a fundamental and well-studied concept, yet its great reach and complexity limit current understanding in important ways. More than 20 years after the publication of D. J. Futuyma and G. Moreno's oft-cited, major review of the topic, we synthesize new developments in the evolution of ecological specialization. Using insect-plant interactions as a model, we focus on important developments in four critical areas: genetic architecture, behavior, interaction complexity, and macroevolution. We find that theory based on simple genetic trade-offs in host use is being replaced by more subtle and complex pictures of genetic architecture, and multitrophic interactions have risen as a necessary framework for understanding specialization. A wealth of phylogenetic data has made possible a more detailed consideration of the macroevolutionary dimension of specialization, revealing (among other things) bidirectionality in transitions between generalist and specialist lineages. Technological advances, including genomic sequencing and analytical techniques at the community level, raise the possibility that the next decade will see research on specialization spanning multiple levels of biological organization in non-model organisms, from genes to populations to networks of interactions in natural communities. Finally, we offer a set of research questions that we find to be particularly pressing and fruitful for future research on ecological specialization.

  15. A multi-layered mechanistic modelling approach to understand how effector genes extend beyond phytoplasma to modulate plant hosts, insect vectors and the environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomkins, Melissa; Kliot, Adi; Marée, Athanasius Fm; Hogenhout, Saskia A

    2018-03-13

    Members of the Candidatus genus Phytoplasma are small bacterial pathogens that hijack their plant hosts via the secretion of virulence proteins (effectors) leading to a fascinating array of plant phenotypes, such as witch's brooms (stem proliferations) and phyllody (retrograde development of flowers into vegetative tissues). Phytoplasma depend on insect vectors for transmission, and interestingly, these insect vectors were found to be (in)directly attracted to plants with these phenotypes. Therefore, phytoplasma effectors appear to reprogram plant development and defence to lure insect vectors, similarly to social engineering malware, which employs tricks to lure people to infected computers and webpages. A multi-layered mechanistic modelling approach will enable a better understanding of how phytoplasma effector-mediated modulations of plant host development and insect vector behaviour contribute to phytoplasma spread, and ultimately to predict the long reach of phytoplasma effector genes. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  16. Transgenic tobacco expressing a modified spider peptide inhibits the growth of plant pathogens and insect larvae

    Science.gov (United States)

    The gene encoding lycotoxin I, an amphipathic pore-forming peptide, was modified to increase oral toxicity to insects. One of the most active modified genes was then constitutively expressed in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) and transformants were evaluated for insect and disease resistance. Pathogenic...

  17. Reduced risk insecticides to control scale insects and protect natural enemies in the production and maintenance of urban landscape plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Steven D

    2012-04-01

    Armored scale insects are among the most difficult to manage and economically important arthropod pests in the production and maintenance of urban landscape plants. This is because of morphological traits that protect them from contact insecticides. I compared initial and season-long control of euonymus scale, Unaspis euonymi Comstock (Hemiptera: Diaspidae), by reduced-risk insecticides (insect growth regulators [IGRs], neonicotinoids, spirotetramat) to determine if they controlled scale as well as more toxic insecticides such as the organophosphate, acephate, and pyrethroid, bifenthrin. I also evaluated how these insecticides affected natural enemy abundance on experimental plants and survival when exposed to insecticide residue. All insecticides tested reduced first generation euonymus scale abundance. In 2009, reinfestation by second generation euonymus scale was highest on plants treated with acetamiprid and granular dinotefuran. In 2010, systemic neonicotinoids and spirotetramat prevented cottony cushion scale infestation 133 d after treatment whereas scale readily infested plants treated with bifenthrin and horticultural oil. Encarsia spp. and Cybocephalus spp. abundance was related to scale abundance. These natural enemies were generally less abundant than predicted by scale abundance on granular dinotefuran treated plants and more abundant on granular thiamethoxam treated plants. Bifenthrin residue killed 90-100% of O. insidiosus and E. citrina within 24 h. My results indicate that reduced risk insecticides can provide season-long scale control with less impact on natural enemies than conventional insecticides. This could have economic and environmental benefits by reducing the number of applications necessary to protect nursery and landscape plants from scale.

  18. Impact Of Different Time Planting In Soybeans And Neem Seed Extract Application To Insect Population On Rice Field

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamrin Abdullah

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The purpose of research is to study impact of different time planting of soybean and neem seed extract application to pest insect population on rice field. The research was used Random Block Design in three treatment of insecticides application i.e neem seed extract together with rice planting neem seed extract on soybean 17 days after rice planting synthetic insecticides on 17 days after rice planting Delthametrin on soybean and Chlorpirifos on rice respectively. Research was conducted in rice fields with irrigation channels. The land area is 0.8 hectares with extensive experiments each rice terraces approximately 900 m2 with separate by rice terraces for every treatment. Each treatment consisted of three groups and using nine rice terraces. Samples of the rice plant population is 25 plants per sample unit. The results was showed treatment by neem seed extract with different time planting of soybeans able to reduce number of pest insects populations such as N. virescens 80.38 N. lugens 67.17 S. incertulas 66.5 and L. oratorius 93.46 when compared to treatment with synthetic insecticides Delthamethrin and Chlorpyrifos.

  19. Epigenetic Mechanisms of Genomic Imprinting: Common Themes in the Regulation of Imprinted Regions in Mammals, Plants, and Insects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William A. MacDonald

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Genomic imprinting is a form of epigenetic inheritance whereby the regulation of a gene or chromosomal region is dependent on the sex of the transmitting parent. During gametogenesis, imprinted regions of DNA are differentially marked in accordance to the sex of the parent, resulting in parent-specific expression. While mice are the primary research model used to study genomic imprinting, imprinted regions have been described in a broad variety of organisms, including other mammals, plants, and insects. Each of these organisms employs multiple, interrelated, epigenetic mechanisms to maintain parent-specific expression. While imprinted genes and imprint control regions are often species and locus-specific, the same suites of epigenetic mechanisms are often used to achieve imprinted expression. This review examines some examples of the epigenetic mechanisms responsible for genomic imprinting in mammals, plants, and insects.

  20. Damage by pathogens and insects to Scots pine and lodgepole pine 25 years after reciprocal plantings in Canada and Sweden

    OpenAIRE

    Fries, Anders

    2017-01-01

    A combined species - provenance - family experiment with Scots pine and lodgepole pine was planted in Canada and Sweden. One aim of the experiment was to evaluate the two species' sensitivities to pathogens and insects 25 years after establishment in their non-native continents. In Canada, Scots pine had better average survival than lodgepole pine, but survival rates among trees from the best seed-lots were equal. In Canada only western gall rust infected Scots pine to some extent, and mounta...

  1. How predictable are the behavioral responses of insects to herbivore induced changes in plants? Responses of two congeneric thrips to induced cotton plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rehan Silva

    Full Text Available Changes in plants following insect attack are referred to as induced responses. These responses are widely viewed as a form of defence against further insect attack. In the current study we explore whether it is possible to make generalizations about induced plant responses given the unpredictability and variability observed in insect-plant interactions. Experiments were conducted to test for consistency in the responses of two congeneric thrips, Frankliniella schultzei Trybom and Frankliniella occidentalis Pergrande (Thysanoptera: Thripidae to cotton seedlings (Gossypium hirsutum Linneaus (Malvales: Malvaceae damaged by various insect herbivores. In dual-choice experiments that compared intact and damaged cotton seedlings, F. schultzei was attracted to seedlings damaged by Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae, Tetranychus urticae (Koch (Trombidiforms: Tetranychidae, Tenebrio molitor Linnaeus (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae, F. schultzei and F. occidentalis but not to mechanically damaged seedlings. In similar tests, F. occidentalis was attracted to undamaged cotton seedlings when simultaneously exposed to seedlings damaged by H. armigera, T. molitor or F. occidentalis. However, when exposed to F. schultzei or T. urticae damaged plants, F. occidentalis was more attracted towards damaged plants. A quantitative relationship was also apparent, F. schultzei showed increased attraction to damaged seedlings as the density of T. urticae or F. schultzei increased. In contrast, although F. occidentalis demonstrated increased attraction to plants damaged by higher densities of T. urticae, there was a negative relationship between attraction and the density of damaging conspecifics. Both species showed greater attraction to T. urticae damaged seedlings than to seedlings damaged by conspecifics. Results demonstrate that the responses of both species of thrips were context dependent, making generalizations difficult to formulate.

  2. Elucidating the interaction between light competition and herbivore feeding patterns using functional-structural plant modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vries, Jorad; Poelman, Erik H; Anten, Niels; Evers, Jochem B

    2018-01-24

    Plants usually compete with neighbouring plants for resources such as light as well as defend themselves against herbivorous insects. This requires investment of limiting resources, resulting in optimal resource distribution patterns and trade-offs between growth- and defence-related traits. A plant's competitive success is determined by the spatial distribution of its resources in the canopy. The spatial distribution of herbivory in the canopy in turn differs between herbivore species as the level of herbivore specialization determines their response to the distribution of resources and defences in the canopy. Here, we investigated to what extent competition for light affects plant susceptibility to herbivores with different feeding preferences. To quantify interactions between herbivory and competition, we developed and evaluated a 3-D spatially explicit functional-structural plant model for Brassica nigra that mechanistically simulates competition in a dynamic light environment, and also explicitly models leaf area removal by herbivores with different feeding preferences. With this novel approach, we can quantitatively explore the extent to which herbivore feeding location and light competition interact in their effect on plant performance. Our results indicate that there is indeed a strong interaction between levels of plant-plant competition and herbivore feeding preference. When plants did not compete, herbivory had relatively small effects irrespective of feeding preference. Conversely, when plants competed, herbivores with a preference for young leaves had a strong negative effect on the competitiveness and subsequent performance of the plant, whereas herbivores with a preference for old leaves did not. Our study predicts how plant susceptibility to herbivory depends on the composition of the herbivore community and the level of plant competition, and highlights the importance of considering the full range of dynamics in plant-plant-herbivore interactions

  3. Ecology of the African Maize Stalk Borer, Busseola fusca (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae with Special Reference to Insect-Plant Interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul-André Calatayud

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Busseola fusca (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae is an important pest of maize and sorghum in sub-Saharan Africa. One century after its first description by Fuller in 1901, inaccurate information based on earlier reports are still propagated on its distribution (e.g., absent from the lower altitudes in East Africa and host plant range (e.g., feeding on a large range of wild grass species. This review provides updated information on the biology, distribution and genetics of B. fusca with emphasis on insect-plant interactions. Related to this, new avenues of stem borer management are proposed.

  4. Planting sentinel European trees in eastern Asia as a novel method to identify potential insect pest invaders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alain Roques

    Full Text Available Quarantine measures to prevent insect invasions tend to focus on well-known pests but a large proportion of the recent invaders were not known to cause significant damage in their native range, or were not even known to science before their introduction. A novel method is proposed to detect new potential pests of woody plants in their region of origin before they are introduced to a new continent. Since Asia is currently considered to be the main supplier of insect invaders to Europe, sentinel trees were planted in China during 2007-2011 as an early warning tool to identify the potential for additional Asian insect species to colonize European trees. Seedlings (1-1.5 m tall of five broadleaved (Quercus petraea, Q. suber, Q. ilex, Fagus sylvatica, and Carpinus betulus and two conifer species (Abies alba and Cupressus sempervirens were planted in blocks of 100 seedlings at two widely separated sites (one in a nursery near Beijing and the other in a forest environment near Fuyang in eastern China, and then regularly surveyed for colonization by insects. A total of 104 insect species, mostly defoliators, were observed on these new hosts, and at least six species were capable of larval development. Although a number of the insects observed were probably incidental feeders, 38 species had more than five colonization events, mostly infesting Q. petraea, and could be considered as being capable of switching to European trees if introduced to Europe. Three years was shown to be an appropriate duration for the experiment, since the rate of colonization then tended to plateau. A majority of the identified species appeared to have switched from agricultural crops and fruit trees rather than from forest trees. Although these results are promising, the method is not appropriate for xylophagous pests and other groups developing on larger trees. Apart from the logistical problems, the identification to species level of the specimens collected was a major

  5. Sexual transmission of a plant pathogenic bacterium, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, between conspecific insect vectors during mating.

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    Rajinder S Mann

    Full Text Available Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus is a fastidious, phloem-inhabiting, gram-negative bacterium transmitted by Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Psyllidae. The bacterium is the presumed causal agent of huanglongbing (HLB, one of the most destructive and economically important diseases of citrus. We investigated whether Las is transmitted between infected and uninfected D. citri adults during courtship. Our results indicate that Las was sexually transmitted from Las-infected male D. citri to uninfected females at a low rate (<4% during mating. Sexual transmission was not observed following mating of infected females and uninfected males or among adult pairs of the same sex. Las was detected in genitalia of both sexes and also in eggs of infected females. A latent period of 7 days or more was required to detect the bacterium in recipient females. Rod shaped as well as spherical structures resembling Las were observed in ovaries of Las-infected females with transmission electron microscopy, but were absent in ovaries from uninfected D. citri females. The size of the rod shaped structures varied from 0.39 to 0.67 µm in length and 0.19 to 0.39 µm in width. The spherical structures measured from 0.61 to 0.80 µm in diameter. This investigation provides convincing evidence that a plant pathogenic bacterium is sexually transmitted from male to female insects during courtship and established evidence that bacteria persist in reproductive organs. Moreover, these findings provide an alternative sexually horizontal mechanism for the spread of Las within populations of D. citri, even in the absence of infected host trees.

  6. Herbivory drives the spread of salt marsh die-off.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark D Bertness

    Full Text Available Salt marsh die-off is a Western Atlantic conservation problem that has recently spread into Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, USA. It has been hypothesized to be driven by: 1 eutrophication decreasing plant investment into belowground biomass causing plant collapse, 2 boat wakes eroding creek banks, 3 pollution or disease affecting plant health, 4 substrate hardness controlling herbivorous crab distributions and 5 trophic dysfunction releasing herbivorous crabs from predator control. To distinguish between these hypotheses we quantified these variables at 14 Narragansett Bay salt marshes where die-off intensity ranged from <5% to nearly 98%. Nitrogen availability, wave intensity and plant growth did not explain any variation in die-off. Herbivory explained 73% of inter-site variation in die-off and predator control of herbivores and substrate hardness also varied significantly with die-off. This suggests that salt marsh die-off is being largely driven by intense herbivory via the release of herbivorous crabs from predator control. Our results and those from other marsh systems suggest that consumer control may not simply be a factor to consider in marsh conservation, but with widespread predator depletion impacting near shore habitats globally, trophic dysfunction and runaway consumption may be the largest and most urgent management challenge for salt marsh conservation.

  7. Circumpolar arctic tundra biomass and productivity dynamics in response to projected climate change and herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Qin; Epstein, Howard; Engstrom, Ryan; Walker, Donald

    2017-09-01

    Satellite remote sensing data have indicated a general 'greening' trend in the arctic tundra biome. However, the observed changes based on remote sensing are the result of multiple environmental drivers, and the effects of individual controls such as warming, herbivory, and other disturbances on changes in vegetation biomass, community structure, and ecosystem function remain unclear. We apply ArcVeg, an arctic tundra vegetation dynamics model, to estimate potential changes in vegetation biomass and net primary production (NPP) at the plant community and functional type levels. ArcVeg is driven by soil nitrogen output from the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model, existing densities of Rangifer populations, and projected summer temperature changes by the NCAR CCSM4.0 general circulation model across the Arctic. We quantified the changes in aboveground biomass and NPP resulting from (i) observed herbivory only; (ii) projected climate change only; and (iii) coupled effects of projected climate change and herbivory. We evaluated model outputs of the absolute and relative differences in biomass and NPP by country, bioclimate subzone, and floristic province. Estimated potential biomass increases resulting from temperature increase only are approximately 5% greater than the biomass modeled due to coupled warming and herbivory. Such potential increases are greater in areas currently occupied by large or dense Rangifer herds such as the Nenets-occupied regions in Russia (27% greater vegetation increase without herbivores). In addition, herbivory modulates shifts in plant community structure caused by warming. Plant functional types such as shrubs and mosses were affected to a greater degree than other functional types by either warming or herbivory or coupled effects of the two. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Recovering more than tree cover: herbivores and herbivory in a restored tropical dry forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iris Juan-Baeza

    Full Text Available Intense and chronic disturbance may arrest natural succession, reduce environmental quality and lead to ecological interaction losses. Where natural succession does not occur, ecological restoration aims to accelerate this process. While plant establishment and diversity is promoted by restoration, few studies have evaluated the effect of restoration activities on ecological processes and animal diversity. This study assessed herbivory and lepidopteran diversity associated with two pioneer tree species growing in 4-year-old experimental restoration plots in a tropical dry forest at Sierra de Huautla, in Morelos, Mexico. The study was carried out during the rainy season of 2010 (July-October in eleven 50 x 50 m plots in three different habitats: cattle-excluded, cattle-excluded with restoration plantings, and cattle grazing plots. At the beginning of the rainy season, 10 juveniles of Heliocarpus pallidus (Malvaceae and Ipomoea pauciflora (Convolvulaceae were selected in each plot (N = 110 trees. Herbivory was measured in 10 leaves per plant at the end of the rainy season. To evaluate richness and abundance of lepidopteran larvae, all plants were surveyed monthly. Herbivory was similar among habitats and I. pauciflora showed a higher percentage of herbivory. A total of 868 lepidopteran larvae from 65 morphospecies were recorded. The family with the highest number of morphospecies (9 sp. was Geometridae, while the most abundant family was Saturnidae, with 427 individuals. Lepidopteran richness and abundance were significantly higher in H. pallidus than in I. pauciflora. Lepidopteran richness was significantly higher in the cattle-excluded plots, while abundance was significantly higher in the non-excluded plots. After four years of cattle exclusion and the establishment of plantings, lepidopteran richness increased 20 -fold in the excluded plots compared to the disturbed areas, whereas herbivory levels were equally high in both restored and

  9. The use of Skylab data to study the early detection of insect infestations and density and distribution of host plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, W. G.; Ingle, S. J.; Davis, M. R.

    1975-01-01

    The detection of insect infestations and the density and distribution of host plants were studied using Skylab data, aerial photography and ground truth simultaneously. Additional ground truth and aerial photography were acquired between Skylab passes. Three test areas were selected: area 1, of high density citrus, was located northwest of Mission, Texas; area 2, 20 miles north of Weslaco, Texas, irrigated pastures and brush-covered land; area 3 covered the entire Lower Rio Grande Valley and adjacent areas of Mexico. A color composite picture of S-190A data showed patterns of vegetation on both sides of the Rio Grande River clearly delineating the possible avenues of entry of pest insects from Mexico into the United States or from the United States into Mexico. Vegetation that could be identified with conventional color and color IR film included: citrus, brush, sugarcane, alfalfa, irrigated and unimproved pastures.

  10. Untangling individual variation in natural populations: ecological, genetic and epigenetic correlates of long-term inequality in herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, C M; Bazaga, P

    2011-04-01

    Individual variation in ecologically important features of organisms is a crucial element in ecology and evolution, yet disentangling its underlying causes is difficult in natural populations. We applied a genomic scan approach using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers to quantify the genetic basis of long-term individual differences in herbivory by mammals at a wild population of the violet Viola cazorlensis monitored for two decades. In addition, methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) analyses were used to investigate the association between browsing damage and epigenetic characteristics of individuals, an aspect that has been not previously explored for any wild plant. Structural equation modelling was used to identify likely causal structures linking genotypes, epigenotypes and herbivory. Individuals of V. cazorlensis differed widely in the incidence of browsing mammals over the 20-year study period. Six AFLP markers (1.6% of total) were significantly related to herbivory, accounting altogether for 44% of population-wide variance in herbivory levels. MSAP analyses revealed considerable epigenetic variation among individuals, and differential browsing damage was significantly related to variation in multilocus epigenotypes. In addition, variation across plants in epigenetic characteristics was related to variation in several herbivory-related AFLP markers. Statistical comparison of alternative causal models suggested that individual differences in herbivory are the outcome of a complex causal structure where genotypes and epigenotypes are interconnected and have direct and indirect effects on herbivory. Insofar as methylation states of MSAP markers influential on herbivory are transgenerationally heritable, herbivore-driven evolutionary changes at the study population will involve correlated changes in genotypic and epigenotypic distributions. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  11. Shrub biomass production following simulated herbivory: A test of the compensatory growth hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terri B. Teaschner; Timothy E. Fulbright

    2007-01-01

    The objective of this experiment was to test the hypotheses that 1) simulated herbivory stimulates increased biomass production in spiny hackberry (Celtis pallida), but decreases biomass production in blackbrush acacia (Acacia rigidula) compared to unbrowsed plants and 2) thorn density and length increase in blackbrush acacia to a...

  12. Vegetation shift from deciduous to evergreen dwarf shrubs in response to selective herbivory offsets carbon losses: evidence from 19 years of warming and simulated herbivory in the subarctic tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ylänne, Henni; Stark, Sari; Tolvanen, Anne

    2015-10-01

    Selective herbivory of palatable plant species provides a competitive advantage for unpalatable plant species, which often have slow growth rates and produce slowly decomposable litter. We hypothesized that through a shift in the vegetation community from palatable, deciduous dwarf shrubs to unpalatable, evergreen dwarf shrubs, selective herbivory may counteract the increased shrub abundance that is otherwise found in tundra ecosystems, in turn interacting with the responses of ecosystem carbon (C) stocks and CO2 balance to climatic warming. We tested this hypothesis in a 19-year field experiment with factorial treatments of warming and simulated herbivory on the dominant deciduous dwarf shrub Vaccinium myrtillus. Warming was associated with a significantly increased vegetation abundance, with the strongest effect on deciduous dwarf shrubs, resulting in greater rates of both gross ecosystem production (GEP) and ecosystem respiration (ER) as well as increased C stocks. Simulated herbivory increased the abundance of evergreen dwarf shrubs, most importantly Empetrum nigrum ssp. hermaphroditum, which led to a recent shift in the dominant vegetation from deciduous to evergreen dwarf shrubs. Simulated herbivory caused no effect on GEP and ER or the total ecosystem C stocks, indicating that the vegetation shift counteracted the herbivore-induced C loss from the system. A larger proportion of the total ecosystem C stock was found aboveground, rather than belowground, in plots treated with simulated herbivory. We conclude that by providing a competitive advantage to unpalatable plant species with slow growth rates and long life spans, selective herbivory may promote aboveground C stocks in a warming tundra ecosystem and, through this mechanism, counteract C losses that result from plant biomass consumption. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Corolla herbivory, pollination success and fruit predation in complex flowers: an experimental study with Linaria lilacina (Scrophulariaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Lafuente, Alfonso M

    2007-02-01

    Herbivory on floral structures has been postulated to influence the evolution of floral traits in some plant species, and may also be an important factor influencing the occurrence and outcome of subsequent biotic interactions related to floral display. In particular, corolla herbivory may affect structures differentially involved in flower selection by pollinators and fruit predators (specifically, those ovopositing in ovaries prior to fruit development); hence floral herbivores may influence the relationships between these mutualistic and antagonistic agents. The effects of corolla herbivory in Linaria lilacina (Scrophulariaceae), a plant species with complex flowers, were considered in relation to plant interactions with pollinators and fruit predators. Tests were made as to whether experimentally created differences in flower structure (resembling those occurring naturally) may translate into differences in reproductive output in terms of fruit or seed production. Flowers with modified corollas, particularly those with lower lips removed, were less likely to be selected by pollinators than control flowers, and were less likely to be successfully visited and pollinated. As a consequence, fruit production was also less likely in these modified flowers. However, none of the experimental treatments affected the likelihood of visitation by fruit predators. Since floral herbivory may affect pollinator visitation rates and reduce seed production, differences among plants in the proportion of flowers affected by herbivory and in the intensity of the damage inflicted on affected flowers may result in different opportunities for reproduction for plants in different seasons.

  14. Plant-to-plant communication triggered by systemin primes anti-herbivore resistance in tomato.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coppola, Mariangela; Cascone, Pasquale; Madonna, Valentina; Di Lelio, Ilaria; Esposito, Francesco; Avitabile, Concetta; Romanelli, Alessandra; Guerrieri, Emilio; Vitiello, Alessia; Pennacchio, Francesco; Rao, Rosa; Corrado, Giandomenico

    2017-11-14

    Plants actively respond to herbivory by inducing various defense mechanisms in both damaged (locally) and non-damaged tissues (systemically). In addition, it is currently widely accepted that plant-to-plant communication allows specific neighbors to be warned of likely incoming stress (defense priming). Systemin is a plant peptide hormone promoting the systemic response to herbivory in tomato. This 18-aa peptide is also able to induce the release of bioactive Volatile Organic Compounds, thus also promoting the interaction between the tomato and the third trophic level (e.g. predators and parasitoids of insect pests). In this work, using a combination of gene expression (RNA-Seq and qRT-PCR), behavioral and chemical approaches, we demonstrate that systemin triggers metabolic changes of the plant that are capable of inducing a primed state in neighboring unchallenged plants. At the molecular level, the primed state is mainly associated with an elevated transcription of pattern -recognition receptors, signaling enzymes and transcription factors. Compared to naïve plants, systemin-primed plants were significantly more resistant to herbivorous pests, more attractive to parasitoids and showed an increased response to wounding. Small peptides are nowadays considered fundamental signaling molecules in many plant processes and this work extends the range of downstream effects of this class of molecules to intraspecific plant-to-plant communication.

  15. Effects of herbivory on the reproductive effort of 4 prairie perennials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley Kate L

    2002-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Herbivory can affect every aspect of a plant's life. Damaged individuals may show decreased survivorship and reproductive output. Additionally, specific plant species (legumes and tissues (flowers are often selectively targeted by herbivores, like deer. These types of herbivory influence a plant's growth and abundance. The objective of this study was to identify the effects of leaf and meristem removal (simulated herbivory within an exclosure on fruit and flower production in four species (Rhus glabra, Rosa arkansana, Lathyrus venosus, and Phlox pilosa which are known targets of deer herbivory. Results Lathyrus never flowered or went to seed, so we were unable to detect any treatment effects. Leaf removal did not affect flower number in the other three species. However, Phlox, Rosa, and Rhus all showed significant negative correlations between seed mass and leaf removal. Meristem removal had a more negative effect than leaf removal on flower number in Phlox and on both flower number and seed mass in Rosa. Conclusions Meristem removal caused a greater response than defoliation alone in both Phlox and Rosa, which suggests that meristem loss has a greater effect on reproduction. The combination of leaf and meristem removal as well as recruitment limitation by deer, which selectively browse for these species, is likely to be one factor contributing to their low abundance in prairies.

  16. High-efficiency Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) and regeneration of insect-resistant transgenic plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehrotra, Meenakshi; Sanyal, Indraneel; Amla, D V

    2011-09-01

    To develop an efficient genetic transformation system of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.), callus derived from mature embryonic axes of variety P-362 was transformed with Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain LBA4404 harboring p35SGUS-INT plasmid containing the uidA gene encoding β-glucuronidase (GUS) and the nptII gene for kanamycin selection. Various factors affecting transformation efficiency were optimized; as Agrobacterium suspension at OD(600) 0.3 with 48 h of co-cultivation period at 20°C was found optimal for transforming 10-day-old MEA-derived callus. Inclusion of 200 μM acetosyringone, sonication for 4 s with vacuum infiltration for 6 min improved the number of GUS foci per responding explant from 1.0 to 38.6, as determined by histochemical GUS assay. For introducing the insect-resistant trait into chickpea, binary vector pRD400-cry1Ac was also transformed under optimized conditions and 18 T(0) transgenic plants were generated, representing 3.6% transformation frequency. T(0) transgenic plants reflected Mendelian inheritance pattern of transgene segregation in T(1) progeny. PCR, RT-PCR, and Southern hybridization analysis of T(0) and T(1) transgenic plants confirmed stable integration of transgenes into the chickpea genome. The expression level of Bt-Cry protein in T(0) and T(1) transgenic chickpea plants was achieved maximum up to 116 ng mg(-1) of soluble protein, which efficiently causes 100% mortality to second instar larvae of Helicoverpa armigera as analyzed by an insect mortality bioassay. Our results demonstrate an efficient and rapid transformation system of chickpea for producing non-chimeric transgenic plants with high frequency. These findings will certainly accelerate the development of chickpea plants with novel traits.

  17. The devil to pay: a cost of mutualism with Myrmelachista schumanni ants in ‘devil's gardens’ is increased herbivory on Duroia hirsuta trees

    OpenAIRE

    Frederickson, Megan E; Gordon, Deborah M

    2007-01-01

    ‘Devil's gardens’ are nearly pure stands of the myrmecophyte, Duroia hirsuta, that occur in Amazonian rainforests. Devil's gardens are created by Myrmelachista schumanni ants, which nest in D. hirsuta trees and kill other plants using formic acid as an herbicide. Here, we show that this ant–plant mutualism has an associated cost; by making devil's gardens, M. schumanni increases herbivory on D. hirsuta. We measured standing leaf herbivory on D. hirsuta trees and found that they sustain higher...

  18. Predicting abundance and productivity of blueberry plants under insect defoliation in Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robin Reich; Nathan Lojewski; John Lundquist; Vanessa Bravo

    2018-01-01

    Unprecedented outbreaks of defoliating insects severely damaged blueberry crops near Port Graham on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska from 2008-2012. The Native people in this region rely heavily on gathered blueberries and other foods for sustenance and nourishment. Influences of topography and stand structure on blueberry abundance and fruiting were examined and used to...

  19. Nutritional ecology of insect-plant interactions: persistent handicaps and the need for innovative approaches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Loon, van J.J.A.; Casas, J.; Pincebourde, S.

    2005-01-01

    Quantifying the flow of matter and energy in food webs is indispensable when assessing the effects of increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, ozone level and temperature as a result of global climate change. In insect nutritional ecology, quantification of digestive and metabolic efficiency is

  20. Incorporation of an invasive plant into a native insect herbivore food web

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schilthuizen, Menno; Santos Pimenta, Lúcia P; Lammers, Youri; Steenbergen, Peter J; Flohil, Marco; Beveridge, Nils G P; van Duijn, Pieter T; Meulblok, Marjolein M; Sosef, Nils; van de Ven, Robin; Werring, Ralf; Beentjes, Kevin K; Meijer, Kim; Vos, Rutger A; Vrieling, Klaas; Gravendeel, Barbara; Choi, Young; Verpoorte, Robert; Smit, Chris; Beukeboom, Leo W

    2016-01-01

    The integration of invasive species into native food webs represent multifarious dynamics of ecological and evolutionary processes. We document incorporation of Prunus serotina (black cherry) into native insect food webs. We find that P. serotina harbours a herbivore community less dense but more

  1. Elucidating the interaction between light competition and herbivore feeding patterns using functional–structural plant modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vries, Jorad; Poelman, Erik H; Anten, Niels; Evers, Jochem B

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Background and Aims Plants usually compete with neighbouring plants for resources such as light as well as defend themselves against herbivorous insects. This requires investment of limiting resources, resulting in optimal resource distribution patterns and trade-offs between growth- and defence-related traits. A plant’s competitive success is determined by the spatial distribution of its resources in the canopy. The spatial distribution of herbivory in the canopy in turn differs between herbivore species as the level of herbivore specialization determines their response to the distribution of resources and defences in the canopy. Here, we investigated to what extent competition for light affects plant susceptibility to herbivores with different feeding preferences. Methods To quantify interactions between herbivory and competition, we developed and evaluated a 3-D spatially explicit functional–structural plant model for Brassica nigra that mechanistically simulates competition in a dynamic light environment, and also explicitly models leaf area removal by herbivores with different feeding preferences. With this novel approach, we can quantitatively explore the extent to which herbivore feeding location and light competition interact in their effect on plant performance. Key Results Our results indicate that there is indeed a strong interaction between levels of plant–plant competition and herbivore feeding preference. When plants did not compete, herbivory had relatively small effects irrespective of feeding preference. Conversely, when plants competed, herbivores with a preference for young leaves had a strong negative effect on the competitiveness and subsequent performance of the plant, whereas herbivores with a preference for old leaves did not. Conclusions Our study predicts how plant susceptibility to herbivory depends on the composition of the herbivore community and the level of plant competition, and highlights the importance of considering

  2. Herbivory mitigation through increased water-use efficiency in a leaf-mining moth-apple tree relationship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pincebourde, Sylvain; Frak, Ela; Sinoquet, Hervé; Regnard, Jean Luc; Casas, Jérôme

    2006-12-01

    Herbivory alters plant gas exchange but the effects depend on the type of leaf damage. In contrast to ectophagous insects, leaf miners, by living inside the leaf tissues, do not affect the integrity of the leaf surface. Thus, the effect of leaf miners on CO2 uptake and water-use efficiency by leaves remains unclear. We explored the impacts of the leaf-mining moth Phyllonorycter blancardella (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae) on light responses of the apple leaf gas exchanges to determine the balance between the negative effects of reduced photosynthesis and potential positive impacts of increased water-use efficiency (WUE). Gas exchange in intact and mined leaf tissues was measured using an infrared gas analyser. The maximal assimilation rate was slightly reduced but the light response of net photosynthesis was not affected in mined leaf tissues. The transpiration rate was far more affected than the assimilation rate in the mine integument as a result of stomatal closure from moderate to high irradiance level. The WUE was about 200% higher in the mined leaf tissues than in intact leaf portions. Our results illustrate a novel mechanism by which plants might minimize losses from herbivore attacks; via trade-offs between the negative impacts on photosynthesis and the positive effects of increased WUE.

  3. Parasite Removal, but Not Herbivory, Deters Future Parasite Attachment on Tomato

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tjiurutue, Muvari Connie; Palmer-Young, Evan C.; Adler, Lynn S.

    2016-01-01

    Plants face many antagonistic interactions that occur sequentially. Often, plants employ defense strategies in response to the initial damage that are highly specific and can affect interactions with subsequent antagonists. In addition to herbivores and pathogens, plants face attacks by parasitic plants, but we know little about how prior herbivory compared to prior parasite attachment affects subsequent host interactions. If host plants can respond adaptively to these different damage types, we predict that prior parasitism would have a greater deterrent effect on subsequent parasites than would prior herbivory. To test the effects of prior parasitism and prior herbivory on subsequent parasitic dodder (Cuscuta spp.) preference, we conducted two separate greenhouse studies with tomato hosts (Solanum lycopersicum). In the first experiment, we tested the effects of previous dodder attachment on subsequent dodder preference on tomato hosts using three treatments: control plants that had no previous dodder attachment; dodder-removed plants that had an initial dodder seedling attached, removed and left in the same pot to simulate parasite death; and dodder-continuous plants with an initial dodder seedling that remained attached. In the second experiment, we tested the effects of previous caterpillar damage (Spodoptera exigua) and mechanical damage on future dodder attachment on tomato hosts. Dodder attached most slowly to tomato hosts that had dodder plants previously attached and then removed, compared to control plants or plants with continuous dodder attachment. In contrast, herbivory did not affect subsequent dodder attachment rate. These results indicate that dodder preference depended on the identity and the outcome of the initial attack, suggesting that early-season interactions have the potential for profound impacts on subsequent community dynamics. PMID:27529694

  4. Parasite Removal, but Not Herbivory, Deters Future Parasite Attachment on Tomato.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muvari Connie Tjiurutue

    Full Text Available Plants face many antagonistic interactions that occur sequentially. Often, plants employ defense strategies in response to the initial damage that are highly specific and can affect interactions with subsequent antagonists. In addition to herbivores and pathogens, plants face attacks by parasitic plants, but we know little about how prior herbivory compared to prior parasite attachment affects subsequent host interactions. If host plants can respond adaptively to these different damage types, we predict that prior parasitism would have a greater deterrent effect on subsequent parasites than would prior herbivory. To test the effects of prior parasitism and prior herbivory on subsequent parasitic dodder (Cuscuta spp. preference, we conducted two separate greenhouse studies with tomato hosts (Solanum lycopersicum. In the first experiment, we tested the effects of previous dodder attachment on subsequent dodder preference on tomato hosts using three treatments: control plants that had no previous dodder attachment; dodder-removed plants that had an initial dodder seedling attached, removed and left in the same pot to simulate parasite death; and dodder-continuous plants with an initial dodder seedling that remained attached. In the second experiment, we tested the effects of previous caterpillar damage (Spodoptera exigua and mechanical damage on future dodder attachment on tomato hosts. Dodder attached most slowly to tomato hosts that had dodder plants previously attached and then removed, compared to control plants or plants with continuous dodder attachment. In contrast, herbivory did not affect subsequent dodder attachment rate. These results indicate that dodder preference depended on the identity and the outcome of the initial attack, suggesting that early-season interactions have the potential for profound impacts on subsequent community dynamics.

  5. Nectar protein content and attractiveness to Aedes aegypti and Culex pipiens in plants with nectar/insect associations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zhongyuan; Kearney, Christopher M

    2015-06-01

    We chose five easily propagated garden plants previously shown to be attractive to mosquitoes, ants or other insects and tested them for attractiveness to Culex pipiens and Aedes aegypti. Long term imbibition was tested by survival on each plant species. Both mosquito species survived best on Impatiens walleriana, the common garden impatiens, followed by Asclepias curassavica, Campsis radicans and Passiflora edulis, which sponsored survival as well as the 10% sucrose control. Immediate preference for imbibition was tested with nectar dyed in situ on each plant. In addition, competition studies were performed with one dyed plant species in the presence of five undyed plant species to simulate a garden setting. In both preference studies I. walleriana proved superior. Nectar from all plants was then screened for nectar protein content by SDS-PAGE, with great variability being found between species, but with I. walleriana producing the highest levels. The data suggest that I. walleriana may have value as a model plant for subsequent studies exploring nectar delivery of transgenic mosquitocidal proteins. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Development and Validation of a SPME-GC-MS Method for In situ Passive Sampling of Root Volatiles from Glasshouse-Grown Broccoli Plants Undergoing Below-Ground Herbivory by Larvae of Cabbage Root Fly, Delia radicum L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deasy, William; Shepherd, Tom; Alexander, Colin J; Birch, A Nicholas E; Evans, K Andrew

    2016-11-01

    Research on plant root chemical ecology has benefited greatly from recent developments in analytical chemistry. Numerous reports document techniques for sampling root volatiles, although only a limited number describe in situ collection. To demonstrate a new method for non-invasive in situ passive sampling using solid phase micro extraction (SPME), from the immediate vicinity of growing roots. SPME fibres inserted into polyfluorotetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) sampling tubes located in situ which were either perforated, covered with stainless steel mesh or with microporous PTFE tubing, were used for non-invasive sub-surface sampling of root volatiles from glasshouse-grown broccoli. Sampling methods were compared with above surface headspace collection using Tenax TA. The roots were either mechanically damaged or infested with Delia radicum larvae. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to investigate the effect of damage on the composition of volatiles released by broccoli roots. Analyses by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) with SPME and automated thermal desorption (ATD) confirmed that sulphur compounds, showing characteristic temporal emission patterns, were the principal volatiles released by roots following insect larval damage. Use of SPME with in situ perforated PTFE sampling tubes was the most robust method for out-of-lab sampling. This study describes a new method for non-invasive passive sampling of volatiles in situ from intact and insect damaged roots using SPME. The method is highly suitable for remote sampling and has potential for wide application in chemical ecology/root/soil research. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  7. Advances in RNA interference technology and its impact on nutritional improvement, disease and insect control in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katoch, Rajan; Thakur, Neelam

    2013-03-01

    This review highlights the advances in the knowledge of RNA interference (RNAi) and discusses recent progress on the functionality of different components RNAi machinery operating in the organisms. The silencing of genes by RNA interference has become the technology of choice for investigation of gene functions in different organisms. The refinement in the knowledge of the endogenous RNAi pathways in plants along with the development of new strategies and applications for the improvement of nutritional value of important agricultural crops through suppression of genes in different plants have opened new vistas for nutritional security. The improvement in the nutritional status of the plants and reduction in the level of toxins or antinutrients was desired for long, but the available technology was not completely successful in achieving the tissue specific regulation of some genes. In the recent years, a number of economically important crop plants have been tested successfully for improving plant nutritional value through metabolic engineering using RNAi. The implications of this technology for crop improvement programs, including nutritional enrichment, reduction of antinutrients, disease, and insect control have been successfully tested in variety of crops with commercial considerations. The enhancement of the nutraceutical traits for the desired health benefits in common crop plants through manipulation of gene expression has been elaborated in this article. The tremendous potential with RNAi technology is expected to revolutionize the modern agriculture for meeting the growing challenges is discussed.

  8. Detrimental and neutral effects of a wild grass-fungal endophyte symbiotum on insect preference and performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clement, Stephen L; Hu, Jinguo; Stewart, Alan V; Wang, Bingrui; Elberson, Leslie R

    2011-01-01

    Seed-borne Epichloë/Neotyphodium Glenn, Bacon, Hanlin (Ascomycota: Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) fungal endophytes in temperate grasses can provide protection against insect attack with the degree of host resistance related to the grass-endophyte symbiotum and the insect species involved in an interaction. Few experimental studies with wild grass-endophyte symbiota, compared to endophyte-infected agricultural grasses, have tested for anti-insect benefits, let alone for resistance against more than one insect species. This study quantified the preference and performance of the bird cherry oat-aphid, Rhopalosiphum padi (L.) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) and the cereal leaf beetle, Oulema melanopus (L.) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), two important pests of forage and cereal grasses, on Neotyphodium-infected (E+) and uninfected (E-) plants of the wild grass Alpine timothy, Phleum alpinum L. (Poales: Poaceae). The experiments tested for both constitutive and wound-induced resistance in E+ plants to characterize possible plasticity of defense responses by a wild E+ grass. The aphid, R. padi preferred E- over E+ test plants in choice experiments and E+ undamaged test plants constitutively expressed antibiosis resistance to this aphid by suppressing population growth. Prior damage of E+ test plants did not induce higher levels of resistance to R. padi. By contrast, the beetle, O. melanopus showed no preference for E+ or E- test plants and endophyte infection did not adversely affect the survival and development of larvae. These results extend the phenomenon of variable effects of E+ wild grasses on the preference and performance of phytophagous insects. The wild grass- Neotyphodium symbiotum in this study broadens the number of wild E+ grasses available for expanded explorations into the effects of endophyte metabolites on insect herbivory.

  9. Evidence of an evolutionary hourglass pattern in herbivory-induced transcriptomic responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durrant, Matthew; Boyer, Justin; Zhou, Wenwu; Baldwin, Ian T; Xu, Shuqing

    2017-08-01

    Herbivory-induced defenses are specific and activated in plants when elicitors, frequently found in the herbivores' oral secretions, are introduced into wounds during attack. While complex signaling cascades are known to be involved, it remains largely unclear how natural selection has shaped the evolution of these induced defenses. We analyzed herbivory-induced transcriptomic responses in wild tobacco, Nicotiana attenuata, using a phylotranscriptomic approach that measures the origin and sequence divergence of herbivory-induced genes. Highly conserved and evolutionarily ancient genes of primary metabolism were activated at intermediate time points (2-6 h) after elicitation, while less constrained and young genes associated with defense signaling and biosynthesis of specialized metabolites were activated at early (before 2 h) and late (after 6 h) stages of the induced response, respectively - a pattern resembling the evolutionary hourglass pattern observed during embryogenesis in animals and the developmental process in plants and fungi. The hourglass patterns found in herbivory-induced defense responses and developmental process are both likely to be a result of signaling modularization and differential evolutionary constraints on the modules involved in the signaling cascade. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  10. Synergistic interactions between leaf beetle herbivory and fire enhance tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) mortality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drus, Gail M.; Dudley, Tom L.; Antonio, Carla M.; Even, Thomas J.; Brooks, Matt L.; Matchett, J.R.

    2014-01-01

    The combined effects of herbivory and fire on plant mortality were investigated using prescribed burns of tamarisk (Tamarix ramosissima Lebed) exposed to herbivory by the saltcedar leaf beetle (Chrysomelidae: Diorhabda carinulata Desbrocher). Tamarix stands in the Humboldt Sink (NV, USA) were divided into three treatments: summer burn (August 2006), fall burn (October 2006) and control (unburned), and litter depth was manipulated to vary fire intensity within burn seasons. A gradient of existing herbivory impact was described with three plant condition metrics prior to fire: reduced proportions of green canopy, percent root crown starch sampled at the height of the growing season (August 2006), and percent root crown starch measured during dormancy (December 2006). August root crown starch concentration and proportion green canopy were strongly correlated, although the proportion green canopy predicted mortality better than August root crown starch. December root crown starch concentration was more depleted in unburned trees and in trees burned during the summer than in fall burn trees. Mortality in summer burned trees was higher than fall burned trees due to higher fire intensity, but December root crown starch available for resprouting in the spring was also lower in summer burned trees. The greatest mortality was observed in trees with the lowest December root crown starch concentration which were exposed to high fire intensity. Disproportionate changes in the slope and curvature of prediction traces as fire intensity and December starch reach reciprocal maximum and minimum levels indicate that beetle herbivory and fire intensity are synergistic.

  11. Pathogen-triggered ethylene signaling mediates systemic-induced susceptibility to herbivory in Arabidopsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groen, Simon C; Whiteman, Noah K; Bahrami, Adam K; Wilczek, Amity M; Cui, Jianping; Russell, Jacob A; Cibrian-Jaramillo, Angelica; Butler, Ian A; Rana, Jignasha D; Huang, Guo-Hua; Bush, Jenifer; Ausubel, Frederick M; Pierce, Naomi E

    2013-11-01

    Multicellular eukaryotic organisms are attacked by numerous parasites from diverse phyla, often simultaneously or sequentially. An outstanding question in these interactions is how hosts integrate signals induced by the attack of different parasites. We used a model system comprised of the plant host Arabidopsis thaliana, the hemibiotrophic bacterial phytopathogen Pseudomonas syringae, and herbivorous larvae of the moth Trichoplusia ni (cabbage looper) to characterize mechanisms involved in systemic-induced susceptibility (SIS) to T. ni herbivory caused by prior infection by virulent P. syringae. We uncovered a complex multilayered induction mechanism for SIS to herbivory. In this mechanism, antiherbivore defenses that depend on signaling via (1) the jasmonic acid-isoleucine conjugate (JA-Ile) and (2) other octadecanoids are suppressed by microbe-associated molecular pattern-triggered salicylic acid (SA) signaling and infection-triggered ethylene signaling, respectively. SIS to herbivory is, in turn, counteracted by a combination of the bacterial JA-Ile mimic coronatine and type III virulence-associated effectors. Our results show that SIS to herbivory involves more than antagonistic signaling between SA and JA-Ile and provide insight into the unexpectedly complex mechanisms behind a seemingly simple trade-off in plant defense against multiple enemies.

  12. Cytokinins as key regulators in plant–microbe–insect interactions: connecting plant growth and defence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giron, D.; Frago, E.; Glevarec, G.; Pieterse, C.M.J.; Dicke, M.

    2013-01-01

    1. Plant hormones play important roles in regulating plant growth and defence by mediating developmental processes and signalling networks involved in plant responses to a wide range of parasitic and mutualistic biotic interactions. 2. Plants are known to rapidly respond to pathogen and herbivore

  13. Cereal crop volatile organic compound induction after mechanical injury, beetle herbivory (Oulema spp.), or fungal infection (Fusarium spp.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbivory, mechanical injury or pathogen infestation to vegetative tissues can induce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) production, which can provide defensive functions to injured and uninjured plants. In our studies with ‘McNeal’ wheat, ‘Otana’ oat, and ‘Harrington’ barley, plants that were mechan...

  14. Comparing macrophyte herbivory by introduced Louisiana crayfish ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The omnivorous Louisiana crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, has caused significant changes to macrophyte communities worldwide and may have similar negative effects in Kenya if used as a biological control agent for snails harbouring human schistosomes. Here we examine how herbivory by the introduced Louisiana ...

  15. Pyramids of QTLs enhance host-plant resistance and Bt-mediated resistance to leaf-chewing insects in soybean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortega, María A; All, John N; Boerma, H Roger; Parrott, Wayne A

    2016-04-01

    QTL-M and QTL-E enhance soybean resistance to insects. Pyramiding these QTLs with cry1Ac increases protection against Bt-tolerant pests, presenting an opportunity to effectively deploy Bt with host-plant resistance genes. Plant resistance to leaf-chewing insects minimizes the need for insecticide applications, reducing crop production costs and pesticide concerns. In soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.], resistance to a broad range of leaf-chewing insects is found in PI 229358 and PI 227687. PI 229358's resistance is conferred by three quantitative trait loci (QTLs): M, G, and H. PI 227687's resistance is conferred by QTL-E. The letters indicate the soybean Linkage groups (LGs) on which the QTLs are located. This study aimed to determine if pyramiding PI 229358 and PI 227687 QTLs would enhance soybean resistance to leaf-chewing insects, and if pyramiding these QTLs with Bt (cry1Ac) enhances resistance against Bt-tolerant pests. The near-isogenic lines (NILs): Benning(ME), Benning(MGHE), and Benning(ME+cry1Ac) were developed. Benning(ME) and Benning(MGHE) were evaluated in detached-leaf and greenhouse assays with soybean looper [SBL, Chrysodeixis includens (Walker)], corn earworm [CEW, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie)], fall armyworm [FAW, Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith)], and velvetbean caterpillar [VBC, Anticarsia gemmatalis (Hübner)]; and in field-cage assays with SBL. Benning(ME+cry1Ac) was tested in detached-leaf assays against SBL, VBC, and Southern armyworm [SAW, Spodoptera eridania (Cramer)]. In the detached-leaf assay, Benning(ME) showed the strongest antibiosis against CEW, FAW, and VBC. In field-cage conditions, Benning(ME) and Benning(MGHE) suffered 61 % less defoliation than Benning. Benning(ME+cry1Ac) was more resistant than Benning(ME) and Benning (cry1Ac) against SBL and SAW. Agriculturally relevant levels of resistance in soybean can be achieved with just two loci, QTL-M and QTL-E. ME+cry1Ac could present an opportunity to protect the durability of Bt

  16. Demographic models reveal the shape of density dependence for a specialist insect herbivore on variable host plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Tom E X

    2007-07-01

    1. It is widely accepted that density-dependent processes play an important role in most natural populations. However, persistent challenges in our understanding of density-dependent population dynamics include evaluating the shape of the relationship between density and demographic rates (linear, concave, convex), and identifying extrinsic factors that can mediate this relationship. 2. I studied the population dynamics of the cactus bug Narnia pallidicornis on host plants (Opuntia imbricata) that varied naturally in relative reproductive effort (RRE, the proportion of meristems allocated to reproduction), an important plant quality trait. I manipulated per-plant cactus bug densities, quantified subsequent dynamics, and fit stage-structured models to the experimental data to ask if and how density influences demographic parameters. 3. In the field experiment, I found that populations with variable starting densities quickly converged upon similar growth trajectories. In the model-fitting analyses, the data strongly supported a model that defined the juvenile cactus bug retention parameter (joint probability of surviving and not dispersing) as a nonlinear decreasing function of density. The estimated shape of this relationship shifted from concave to convex with increasing host-plant RRE. 4. The results demonstrate that host-plant traits are critical sources of variation in the strength and shape of density dependence in insects, and highlight the utility of integrated experimental-theoretical approaches for identifying processes underlying patterns of change in natural populations.

  17. Effect of Light Availability on the Interaction between Maritime Pine and the Pine Weevil: Light Drives Insect Feeding Behavior But Also the Defensive Capabilities of the Host

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Estefanía Suárez-Vidal

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Light is a major environmental factor that may determine the interaction between plants and herbivores in several ways, including top-down effects through changes in herbivore behavior and bottom-up effects mediated by alterations of plant physiology. Here we explored the relative contribution of these two regulation processes to the outcome of the interaction of pine trees with a major forest pest, the pine weevil (Hylobius abietis. We studied to what extent light availability influence insect feeding behavior and/or the ability of pines to produce induced defenses in response to herbivory. For this purpose, 3-year old Pinus pinaster plants from three contrasting populations were subjected to 6 days of experimental herbivory by the pine weevil under two levels of light availability (complete darkness or natural sunlight independently applied to the plant and to the insect in a fully factorial design. Light availability strongly affected the pine weevil feeding behavior. The pine weevil fed more and caused larger feeding scars in darkness than under natural sunlight. Besides, under the more intense levels of weevil damage (i.e., those registered with insects in darkness, light availability also affected the pine’s ability to respond to insect feeding by producing induced resin defenses. These results were consistent across the three studied populations despite they differed in weevil susceptibility and inducibility of defenses. Morocco was the most damaged population and the one that induced more defensive compounds. Overall, results indicate that light availability modulates the outcome of the pine–weevil interactions through both bottom-up and top-down regulation mechanisms.

  18. A simple, rapid and inexpensive method for localization of Tomato yellow leaf curl virus and Potato leafroll virus in plant and insect vectors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghanim, Murad; Brumin, Marina; Popovski, Smadar

    2009-08-01

    A simple, rapid, inexpensive method for the localization of virus transcripts in plant and insect vector tissues is reported here. The method based on fluorescent in situ hybridization using short DNA oligonucleotides complementary to an RNA segment representing a virus transcript in the infected plant or insect vector. The DNA probe harbors a fluorescent molecule at its 5' or 3' ends. The protocol: simple fixation, hybridization, minimal washing and confocal microscopy, provides a highly specific signal. The reliability of the protocol was tested by localizing two phloem-limited plant virus transcripts in infected plants and insect tissues: Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) (Begomovirus: Geminiviridae), exclusively transmitted by the whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) in a circulative non-propagative manner, and Potato leafroll virus (Polerovirus: Luteoviridae), similarly transmitted by the aphid Myzus persicae (Sulzer). Transcripts for both viruses were localized specifically to the phloem sieve elements of infected plants, while negative controls showed no signal. TYLCV transcripts were also localized to the digestive tract of B. tabaci, confirming TYLCV route of transmission. Compared to previous methods for localizing virus transcripts in plant and insect tissues that include complex steps for in-vitro probe preparation or antibody raising, tissue fixation, block preparation, sectioning and hybridization, the method described below provides very reliable, convincing, background-free results with much less time, effort and cost.

  19. Leaf Colour as a Signal of Chemical Defence to Insect Herbivores in Wild Cabbage (Brassica oleracea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan P Green

    Full Text Available Leaf colour has been proposed to signal levels of host defence to insect herbivores, but we lack data on herbivory, leaf colour and levels of defence for wild host populations necessary to test this hypothesis. Such a test requires measurements of leaf spectra as they would be sensed by herbivore visual systems, as well as simultaneous measurements of chemical defences and herbivore responses to leaf colour in natural host-herbivore populations. In a large-scale field survey of wild cabbage (Brassica oleracea populations, we show that variation in leaf colour and brightness, measured according to herbivore spectral sensitivities, predicts both levels of chemical defences (glucosinolates and abundance of specialist lepidopteran (Pieris rapae and hemipteran (Brevicoryne brassicae herbivores. In subsequent experiments, P. rapae larvae achieved faster growth and greater pupal mass when feeding on plants with bluer leaves, which contained lower levels of aliphatic glucosinolates. Glucosinolate-mediated effects on larval performance may thus contribute to the association between P. rapae herbivory and leaf colour observed in the field. However, preference tests found no evidence that adult butterflies selected host plants based on leaf coloration. In the field, B. brassicae abundance varied with leaf brightness but greenhouse experiments were unable to identify any effects of brightness on aphid preference or performance. Our findings suggest that although leaf colour reflects both levels of host defences and herbivore abundance in the field, the ability of herbivores to respond to colour signals may be limited, even in species where performance is correlated with leaf colour.

  20. Physiological and biochemical effect of neem and other Meliaceae plants secondary metabolites against Lepidopteran insects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Senthil-Nathan eSengottayan

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available This review described the physiological and biochemical effects of various secondary metabolites from Meliaceae against major Lepidopteran insect pest including, Noctuidae and Pyralidae. The biochemical effect of major Meliaceae secondary metabolites were discussed more in this review. Several enzymes based on food materials have critical roles in nutritional indices (food utilization of the insect pest population. Several research work has been referred and the effect of Meliaceae secondary metabolites on feeding parameters of insects by demonstrating food consumption, approximate digestibility of consumed food, efficiency of converting the ingested food to body substance, efficiency of converting digested food to body substance and consumption index was reviewed in detail. Further how the digestive enzymes including a-Amylases, α and β- glucosidases (EC 3.2.1.1, lipases (EC 3.1.1 Proteases, serine, cysteine, and aspartic proteinases affected by the Meliaceae secondary metabolites was reviewed. Further effect of Meliaceae secondary metabolites on detoxifying enzymes have been found to react against botanical insecticides including general esterases (EST, glutathione S-transferase (GST and phosphatases was reviewed. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP, E.C.3.1.3.1 and acid phosphatase (ACP, E.C.3.1.3.2 are hydrolytic enzymes, which hydrolyze phosphomonoesters under alkaline or acid conditions, respectively. These enzymes were affected by the secondary metabolites treatment. The detailed mechanism of action was further explained in this review. Acethylcholine esterase (AChE is a key enzyme that terminates nerve impulses by catalyzing the hydrolysis of neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, in the nervous system of various organisms. How the AChE activity was altered by the Meliaceae secondary metabolites reviewed in detail.

  1. Genomic insights into Xylella fastidiosa interactions with plant and insect hosts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utilization of genomic data and widespread availability of genomics tools are still incipient in plant pathology. The first genome of a plant pathogen, the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa, was only completed in 2000. Since then, a large number of bacterial plant pathogens have been sequenced, but much ...

  2. Cellular and Molecular Interactions of Rhabdoviruses with their Insect and Plant Hosts

    Science.gov (United States)

    The rhabdoviruses form a large family (Rhabdoviridae) whose host ranges include humans, other vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants. There are about 75 plant-infecting rhabdoviruses described, several of which are economically important pathogens that are persistently transmitted to their plant ho...

  3. Evolutionary dynamics of interactions between plants and their enemies: comparison of herbivorous insects and pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wininger, Kerry; Rank, Nathan

    2017-11-01

    Plants colonized land over 400 million years ago. Shortly thereafter, organisms began to consume terrestrial plant tissue as a nutritional resource. Most plant enemies are plant pathogens or herbivores, and they impose natural selection for plants to evolve defenses. These traits generate selection pressures on enemies. Coevolution between terrestrial plants and their enemies is an important element of the evolutionary history of both groups. However, coevolutionary studies of plant-pathogen interactions have tended to focus on different research topics than plant-herbivore interactions. Specifically, studies of plant-pathogen interactions often adopt a "gene-for-gene" conceptual framework. In contrast, studies of plants and herbivores often investigate escalation or elaboration of plant defense and herbivore adaptations to overcome it. The main exceptions to the general pattern are studies that focus on small, sessile herbivores that share many features with plant pathogens, studies that incorporate both herbivores and pathogens into a single investigation, and studies that test aspects of Thompson's geographic mosaic theory for coevolution. We discuss the implications of these findings for future research. © 2017 New York Academy of Sciences.

  4. Weed biocontrol insects reduce native plant recruitment through second-order apparent competition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean E. Pearson; Ragan M. Callaway

    2008-01-01

    Small-mammal seed predation is an important force structuring native-plant communities that may also influence exotic-plant invasions. In the intermountain West, deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) are prominent predators of native-plant seeds, but they avoid consuming seeds of certain widespread invasives like spotted knapweed (Centaurea...

  5. Beneficial microbes in a changing environment: are they always helping plants to deal with insects?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pineda, A.; Dicke, M.; Pieterse, C.M.J.; Pozo, M.J.

    2013-01-01

    Plants have a complex immune system that defends them against attackers (e.g. herbivores and microbial pathogens) but that also regulates the interactions with mutualistic organisms (e.g. mycorrhizal fungi and plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria). Plants have to respond to multiple environmental

  6. Herbivory by resident geese: The loss and recovery of wild rice along the tidal Patuxent River

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haramis, G.M.; Kearns, G.D.

    2007-01-01

    Well known for a fall spectacle of maturing wild rice (Zizania aquatica) and migrant waterbirds, the tidal freshwater marshes of the Patuxent River, Maryland, USA, experienced a major decline in wild rice during the 1990s. We conducted experiments in 1999 and 2000 with fenced exclosures and discovered herbivory by resident Canada geese (Branta canadensis). Grazing by geese eliminated rice outside exclosures, whereas protected plants achieved greater size, density, and produced more panicles than rice occurring in natural stands. The observed loss of rice on the Patuxent River reflects both the sensitivity of this annual plant to herbivory and the destructive nature of an overabundance of resident geese on natural marsh vegetation. Recovery of rice followed 2 management actions: hunting removal of approximately 1,700 geese during a 4-year period and reestablishment of rice through a large-scale fencing and planting program.

  7. Macro-grazer herbivory regulates seagrass response to pulse and press nutrient loading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravaglioli, Chiara; Capocchi, Antonella; Fontanini, Debora; Mori, Giovanna; Nuccio, Caterina; Bulleri, Fabio

    2018-05-01

    Coastal ecosystems are exposed to multiple stressors. Predicting their outcomes is complicated by variations in their temporal regimes. Here, by means of a 16-month experiment, we investigated tolerance and resistance traits of Posidonia oceanica to herbivore damage under different regimes of nutrient loading. Chronic and pulse nutrient supply were combined with simulated fish herbivory, treated as a pulse stressor. At ambient nutrient levels, P. oceanica could cope with severe herbivory, likely through an increase in photosynthetic activity. Elevated nutrient levels, regardless of the temporal regime, negatively affected plant growth and increased leaf nutritional quality. This ultimately resulted in a reduction of plant biomass that was particularly severe under chronic fertilization. Our results suggest that both chronic and pulse nutrient loadings increase plant palatability to macro-grazers. Strategies for seagrass management should not be exclusively applied in areas exposed to chronic fertilization since even short-term nutrient pulses could alter seagrass meadows. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Plant neighbor identity influences plant biochemistry and physiology related to defense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broz, Amanda K; Broeckling, Corey D; De-la-Peña, Clelia; Lewis, Matthew R; Greene, Erick; Callaway, Ragan M; Sumner, Lloyd W; Vivanco, Jorge M

    2010-06-17

    Chemical and biological processes dictate an individual organism's ability to recognize and respond to other organisms. A small but growing body of evidence suggests that plants may be capable of recognizing and responding to neighboring plants in a species specific fashion. Here we tested whether or not individuals of the invasive exotic weed, Centaurea maculosa, would modulate their defensive strategy in response to different plant neighbors. In the greenhouse, C. maculosa individuals were paired with either conspecific (C. maculosa) or heterospecific (Festuca idahoensis) plant neighbors and elicited with the plant defense signaling molecule methyl jasmonate to mimic insect herbivory. We found that elicited C. maculosa plants grown with conspecific neighbors exhibited increased levels of total phenolics, whereas those grown with heterospecific neighbors allocated more resources towards growth. To further investigate these results in the field, we conducted a metabolomics analysis to explore chemical differences between individuals of C. maculosa growing in naturally occurring conspecific and heterospecific field stands. Similar to the greenhouse results, C. maculosa individuals accumulated higher levels of defense-related secondary metabolites and lower levels of primary metabolites when growing in conspecific versus heterospecific field stands. Leaf herbivory was similar in both stand types; however, a separate field study positively correlated specialist herbivore load with higher densities of C. maculosa conspecifics. Our results suggest that an individual C. maculosa plant can change its defensive strategy based on the identity of its plant neighbors. This is likely to have important consequences for individual and community success.

  9. Plant neighbor identity influences plant biochemistry and physiology related to defense

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Callaway Ragan M

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Chemical and biological processes dictate an individual organism's ability to recognize and respond to other organisms. A small but growing body of evidence suggests that plants may be capable of recognizing and responding to neighboring plants in a species specific fashion. Here we tested whether or not individuals of the invasive exotic weed, Centaurea maculosa, would modulate their defensive strategy in response to different plant neighbors. Results In the greenhouse, C. maculosa individuals were paired with either conspecific (C. maculosa or heterospecific (Festuca idahoensis plant neighbors and elicited with the plant defense signaling molecule methyl jasmonate to mimic insect herbivory. We found that elicited C. maculosa plants grown with conspecific neighbors exhibited increased levels of total phenolics, whereas those grown with heterospecific neighbors allocated more resources towards growth. To further investigate these results in the field, we conducted a metabolomics analysis to explore chemical differences between individuals of C. maculosa growing in naturally occurring conspecific and heterospecific field stands. Similar to the greenhouse results, C. maculosa individuals accumulated higher levels of defense-related secondary metabolites and lower levels of primary metabolites when growing in conspecific versus heterospecific field stands. Leaf herbivory was similar in both stand types; however, a separate field study positively correlated specialist herbivore load with higher densities of C. maculosa conspecifics. Conclusions Our results suggest that an individual C. maculosa plant can change its defensive strategy based on the identity of its plant neighbors. This is likely to have important consequences for individual and community success.

  10. Effects of pollutants on bottom-up and top-down processes in insect-plant interactions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Butler, Casey D.; Trumble, John T.

    2008-01-01

    Bottom-up (host plant quality) and top-down (natural enemies) forces both influence the fitness and population dynamics of herbivores. However, the impact of pollutants acting on these forces has not been examined, which prompted us to review the literature to test hypotheses regarding this area of research. A comprehensive literature search found 126 references which examined fitness components and population dynamics of 203 insect herbivores. One hundred and fifty-three of the 203 herbivores (75.4%) had fitness impacted due to bottom-up factors in polluted environments. In contrast, only 20 of the 203 (9.9%) had fitness significantly impacted due to top-down factors in polluted environments. The paucity of results for top-down factors impacting fitness does not necessarily mean that top-down factors are less important, but rather that fewer studies include natural enemies. We provide a synthesis of available data by pollution type and herbivore guild, and suggest future research to address this issue. - Pollutants can affect insect herbivores through bottom-up and, possibly, top-down processes

  11. Radiation and Radioisotopes Applied to Insects of Agricultural Importance. Proceedings of the Symposium on the Use and Application of Radioisotopes and Radiation in the Control of Plant and Animal Insect Pests

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1963-09-15

    Since the pioneer work of the United States Department of Agriculture in the application of radiation and radioisotopes in the control of insect pests to cattle, many countries and organizations have pursued the advantages which might be gained in this field. Two years ago the IAEA organized the first international symposium in Bombay to study this problem, since when a considerable amount of basic research on the application of nuclear science in entomology and insect pest control has been undertaken. The potential gain of these studies, which would be in the form of an increased output of better food, is obvious to all Governments; hence the extensive international interest in the subject of this present Symposium, which was attended by 100 participants from 26 countries and 5 international organizations. The proceedings consist of 37 papers presented by experts from 10 countries, together with a record of the discussions, and cover the use of radioisotopes in the study of the ecology of insects, such as their dispersal, migration and life-cycle. The application of radioisotopes to insecticides covers such subjects as labelling, application, uptake, translocation, metabolism, mode of action, and the determination' of residues in plants and animals. The present position on the effects of radiation on insects is dealt with, including mutation, sterilization and the use of the sterile-male technique for the control and eradication of insect pests, and the need is emphasized for integration of chemical, biological, radiation and other methods of insect control. The emphasis of this Symposium has been mainly on aspects of crop protection and it is hoped that the next symposium will also deal with aspects of livestock protection.

  12. A fungal root symbiont modifies plant resistance to an insect herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowicz, Victoria A

    1997-11-01

    Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) fungi are common root-colonizing symbionts that affect nutrient uptake by plants and can alter plant susceptibility to herbivores. I conducted a factorial experiment to test the hypotheses that colonization by VAM fungi (1) improves soybean (Glycine max) tolerance to grazing by folivorous Mexican bean beetle (Epilachna varivestis), and (2) indirectly affects herbivores by increasing host resistance. Soybean seedlings were inoculated with the VAM fungus Glomus etunicatum or VAM-free filtrate and fertilized with high-[P] or low-[P] fertilizer. After plants had grown for 7 weeks first-instar beetle larvae were placed on bagged leaves. Growth of soybean was little affected by grazing larvae, and no effects of treatments on tolerance of soybeans to herbivores were evident. Colonization by VAM fungus doubled the size of phosphorus-stressed plants but these plants were still half the size of plants given adequate phosphorus. High-[P] fertilizer increased levels of phosphorus and soluble carbohydrates, and decreased levels of soluble proteins in leaves of grazed plants. Colonization of grazed plants by VAM fungus had no significant effect on plant soluble carbohydrates, but increased concentration of phosphorus and decreased levels of proteins in phosphorus-stressed plants to concentrations similar to those of plants given adequate phosphorus. Mexican bean beetle mass at pupation, pupation rate, and survival to eclosion were greatest for beetles reared on phosphorus-stressed, VAM-colonized plants, refuting the hypothesis that VAM colonization improves host plant resistance. VAM colonization indirectly affected performance of Mexician bean beetle larvae by improving growth and nutrition of the host plant.

  13. Interactive effects of climate and nutrient enrichment on patterns of herbivory by different feeding guilds in mangrove forests

    KAUST Repository

    Feller, Ilka C.

    2017-09-28

    Aim Global warming and eutrophication are major threats to coastal environments worldwide. As a result of differences between temperate and tropical ecosystems in nutrient availability, nitrogen (N):phosphorus (P) coupling and carbon retention, primary productivity and biotic interactions in the tropics are predicted to have stronger responses to increased nutrients than in temperate ecosystems. Habitats that occur across broad climatic ranges, such as mangrove forests, provide an opportunity to test this hypothesis by investigating the responses of herbivores to nutrient enrichment in temperate versus tropical latitudes on the same species. Location Australia and New Zealand. Time period Fertilization experiments were established at Port Douglas and Cape Cleveland in October 2000; Batemans Bay and Waikopua in August 2001; Whangapoua in January 2003; Tinchi Tamba in September 2005; and Garalia in October 2007. Herbivory was measured in 2009. Major taxa studied Insect leaf miners; insect and fungal leaf gallers. Methods We used seven fertilization experiments in Australia and New Zealand across 20° of latitude to determine how increased nutrients affected herbivory and diversity of leaf miners and gallers of the mangrove Avicennia marina. Individual trees were fertilized annually with one of three treatments (Control, +N, +P); herbivory was measured in 2009. Results Fertilization did not significantly affect herbivory or herbivore diversity. Leaf N:P, latitude and rainfall contributed significantly to herbivory, accounting for > 56% of the variation. Latitude, temperature, %P and salinity differentiated herbivory by feeding guild in the tropical versus subtropical and temperate latitudes. The effect of N fertilization on folivory differed across climatic regions; relative to Control trees, N-fertilized trees in temperate areas had greater folivory than in tropical and subtropical latitudes. Species richness for leaf miners and gallers was correlated with latitude

  14. The devil to pay: a cost of mutualism with Myrmelachista schumanni ants in ‘devil's gardens’ is increased herbivory on Duroia hirsuta trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frederickson, Megan E; Gordon, Deborah M

    2007-01-01

    ‘Devil's gardens’ are nearly pure stands of the myrmecophyte, Duroia hirsuta, that occur in Amazonian rainforests. Devil's gardens are created by Myrmelachista schumanni ants, which nest in D. hirsuta trees and kill other plants using formic acid as an herbicide. Here, we show that this ant–plant mutualism has an associated cost; by making devil's gardens, M. schumanni increases herbivory on D. hirsuta. We measured standing leaf herbivory on D. hirsuta trees and found that they sustain higher herbivory inside than outside devil's gardens. We also measured the rate of herbivory on nursery-grown D. hirsuta saplings planted inside and outside devil's gardens in ant-exclusion and control treatments. We found that when we excluded ants, herbivory on D. hirsuta was higher inside than outside devil's gardens. These results suggest that devil's gardens are a concentrated resource for herbivores. Myrmelachista schumanni workers defend D. hirsuta against herbivores, but do not fully counterbalance the high herbivore pressure in devil's gardens. We suggest that high herbivory may limit the spread of devil's gardens, possibly explaining why devil's gardens do not overrun Amazonian rainforests. PMID:17301016

  15. Combination of plant and insect eggs as food sources facilitates ovarian development in an omnivorous bug Apolygus lucorum (Hemiptera: Miridae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Wei; Li, Wenjing; Li, Yunhe; Wu, Kongming G

    2013-06-01

    Diet nutrient is considered as an important regulatory factor for reproduction of insects. To understand the effect of different food sources on the reproductive physiology of Apolygus lucorum (Meyer-Dür), the ovarian development in adult females was investigated when they were fed on green beans (Gb), combination of green beans Phaseolus vulgaris L and Helicoverpa armigera eggs (GbHe), or H. armigera eggs (He). A female of A. lucorum has two ovaries, and each ovary contained seven yellowish ovarioles. Females fed on Gb or GbHe had larger ovaries and the ovarioles contained larger numbers of oocytes compared with those fed on He. Females in GeHe treatment has significantly higher number of follicles per ovary throughout the whole adult period compared with those in Gb or He treatment. Furthermore, the length of the best developed ovariole was affected by the diet type. The females fed on GbHe had the most developed ovarioles, with significantly longer ovarioles than those fed on Gb or He. A method was described to quantitatively score the degree of ovarian development in the current study. Similarly, the ovarian development scores were significantly higher for females in GbHe treatment than those in other two diet treatments. The ovarian development significantly delayed for females fed on He. Our results demonstrate that A. lucorum, as an omnivorous insect species, can acquire nutrients from both plant and animal origin food sources, and the combination of plants and animal food sources can significantly facilitate the ovary development of its females.

  16. A plant pathogenic bacterium exploits the tricarboxylic acid cycle metabolic pathway of its insect vector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nehela, Yasser; Hijaz, Faraj; Vincent, Christopher I.

    2018-01-01

    ABSTRACT Huanglongbing in citrus is caused by a phloem-limited, uncultivable, gram-negative α-proteobacterium, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas). CLas is transmitted by the phloem-sucking insect, Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae), in a persistent, circulative, and propagative manner. In this study, we investigated the metabolomic and respiration rates changes in D. citri upon infection with CLas using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and gas exchange analysis. The level of glycine, L-serine, L-threonine, and gamma-amino butyric acid were higher in CLas-infected D. citri, while L-proline, L-aspartic acid, and L-pyroglutamic acid were lower in CLas-infected D. citri compared with the control. Citric acid was increased in CLas-infected D. citri, whereas malic and succinic acids were reduced. Interestingly, most of the reduced metabolites such as malate, succinate, aspartate, and L-proline are required for the growth of CLas. The increase in citric acid, serine, and glycine indicated that CLas induced glycolysis and the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) in its vector. In agreement with the GC-MS results, the gene expression results also indicated that glycolysis and TCA were induced in CLas-infected D. citri and this was accompanied with an increases in respiration rate. Phosphoric acid and most of the sugar alcohols were higher in CLas-infected D. citri, indicating a response to the biotic stress or cell damage. Only slight increases in the levels of few sugars were observed in CLas-infected D. citri, which indicated that sugars are tightly regulated by D. citri. Our results indicated that CLas induces nutrient and energetic stress in its host insect. This study may provide some insights into the mechanism of colonization of CLas in its vector. PMID:28594267

  17. Mechanisms and ecological implications of plant-mediated interactions between belowground and aboveground insect herbivores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Papadopoulou, G.V.; Dam, N.M. van

    2017-01-01

    Plant-mediated interactions between belowground (BG) and aboveground (AG) herbivores have received increasing interest recently. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying ecological consequences of BG–AG interactions are not fully clear yet. Herbivore-induced plant defenses are complex and

  18. Among-population variation in tolerance to larval herbivory by Anthocharis cardamines in the polyploid herb Cardamine pratensis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malin A E König

    Full Text Available Plants have two principal defense mechanisms to decrease fitness losses to herbivory: tolerance, the ability to compensate fitness after damage, and resistance, the ability to avoid damage. Variation in intensity of herbivory among populations should result in variation in plant defense levels if tolerance and resistance are associated with costs. Yet little is known about how levels of tolerance are related to resistance and attack intensity in the field, and about the costs of tolerance. In this study, we used information about tolerance and resistance against larval herbivory by the butterfly Anthocharis cardamines under controlled conditions together with information about damage in the field for a large set of populations of the perennial plant Cardamine pratensis. Plant tolerance was estimated in a common garden experiment where plants were subjected to a combination of larval herbivory and clipping. We found no evidence of that the proportion of damage that was caused by larval feeding vs. clipping influenced plant responses. Damage treatments had a negative effect on the three measured fitness components and also resulted in an earlier flowering in the year after the attack. Tolerance was related to attack intensity in the population of origin, i.e. plants from populations with higher attack intensity were more likely to flower in the year following damage. However, we found no evidence of a relationship between tolerance and resistance. These results indicate that herbivory drives the evolution for increased tolerance, and that changes in tolerance are not linked to changes in resistance. We suggest that the simultaneous study of tolerance, attack intensity in the field and resistance constitutes a powerful tool to understand how plant strategies to avoid negative effects of herbivore damage evolve.

  19. A Bacterial Parasite Effector Mediates Insect Vector Attraction in Host Plants Independently of Developmental Changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orlovskis, Zigmunds; Hogenhout, Saskia A.

    2016-01-01

    Parasites can take over their hosts and trigger dramatic changes in host appearance and behavior that are typically interpreted as extended phenotypes that promote parasite survival and fitness. For example, Toxoplasma gondii is thought to manipulate the behaviors of infected rodents to aid transmission to cats and parasitic trematodes of the genus Ribeiroia alter limb development in their amphibian hosts to facilitate predation of the latter by birds. Plant parasites and pathogens also reprogram host development and morphology. However, whereas some parasite-induced morphological alterations may have a direct benefit to the fitness of the parasite and may therefore be adaptive, other host alterations may be side effects of parasite infections having no adaptive effects on parasite fitness. Phytoplasma parasites of plants often induce the development of leaf-like flowers (phyllody) in their host plants, and we previously found that the phytoplasma effector SAP54 generates these leaf-like flowers via the degradation of plant MADS-box transcription factors (MTFs), which regulate all major aspects of development in plants. Leafhoppers prefer to reproduce on phytoplasma-infected and SAP54-trangenic plants leading to the hypothesis that leafhopper vectors are attracted to plants with leaf-like flowers. Surprisingly, here we show that leafhopper attraction occurs independently of the presence of leaf-like flowers. First, the leafhoppers were also attracted to SAP54 transgenic plants without leaf-like flowers and to single leaves of these plants. Moreover, leafhoppers were not attracted to leaf-like flowers of MTF-mutant plants without the presence of SAP54. Thus, the primary role of SAP54 is to attract leafhopper vectors, which spread the phytoplasmas, and the generation of leaf-like flowers may be secondary or a side effect of the SAP54-mediated degradation of MTFs. PMID:27446117

  20. Identification of minimal sequences of the Rhopalosiphum padi virus 5' untranslated region required for internal initiation of protein synthesis in mammalian, plant and insect translation systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Groppelli, Elisabetta; Belsham, Graham; Roberts, Lisa O.

    2007-01-01

    Rhopalosiphum padi virus (RhPV) is a member of the family Dicistroviridae. The genomes of viruses in this family contain two open reading frames, each preceded by distinct internal ribosome entry site (IRES) elements. The RhPV 5' IRES is functional in mammalian, insect and plant translation syste...

  1. The effects of insect biological control on a Tamarix invaded ecosystem: ecosystem water and carbon fluxes and plant-level responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background / Questions / Methods: Tamarix spp. (saltcedar) has invaded many river systems in the western United States with detrimental impacts to flora and fauna. Traditional methods of invasive plant control have been ineffective or costly. Therefore, insect biological control of Tamarix with Di...

  2. Genetic differentiation among Maruca vitrata F. (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) populations on cultivated cowpea and wild host plants: implications for insect resistance management and biological control strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maruca vitrata is a polyphagous insect pest on a wide variety of leguminous plants in the tropics and subtropics. The contribution of host-associated genetic variation on population structure was investigated using analysis mitochondrial cox1 sequence and microsatellite marker data from M. vitrata c...

  3. Use of quantitative real time PCR for a genome-wide study of AYWB phytoplasma gene expression in plant and insect hosts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Makarova, Olga; MacLean, Allyson M.; Hogenhout, Saskia A.

    2011-01-01

    this technique for reliable gene expression quantification of phytoplasmas on a large scale. In our experimental setup, 242 genes of aster yellows phytoplasma strain witches' broom (AY-WB) were tested for differences in expression in plant and insect host environments, and were shown to be predominantly...

  4. Plant-feeding insects harbor double-stranded RNA viruses encoding a novel proline-alanine rich protein and a polymerase distantly related to that of fungal viruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novel double-stranded RNAs (~8 kbp) were isolated from three cornered alfalfa hopper (Spissistilus festinus) and beet leafhopper (Circulifer tenellus), two plant-feeding hemipteran insect pests. Genomes of the two new viruses, designated as Spissistilus festinus virus 1 (SpFV1) and Circulifer tenell...

  5. Novel double-stranded RNA viruses of plant-feeding insects encode a serine-alanine-proline rich protein and a polymerase distantly related to fungal viruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novel double stranded RNAs (~8 kbp) were isolated from the three cornered alfalfa hopper (Spissistilus festinus) and beet leafhopper (Circulifer tenellus), two plant-feeding hemipteran insect pests. Genome organization of the two new viruses, designated as Spissistilus festinus virus 1 (SpFV1) and ...

  6. The projected effect on insects, vertebrates, and plants of limiting global warming to 1.5°C rather than 2°C.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, R; Price, J; Graham, E; Forstenhaeusler, N; VanDerWal, J

    2018-05-18

    In the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the United Nations is pursuing efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C, whereas earlier aspirations focused on a 2°C limit. With current pledges, corresponding to ~3.2°C warming, climatically determined geographic range losses of >50% are projected in ~49% of insects, 44% of plants, and 26% of vertebrates. At 2°C, this falls to 18% of insects, 16% of plants, and 8% of vertebrates and at 1.5°C, to 6% of insects, 8% of plants, and 4% of vertebrates. When warming is limited to 1.5°C as compared with 2°C, numbers of species projected to lose >50% of their range are reduced by ~66% in insects and by ~50% in plants and vertebrates. Copyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

  7. Indirect effects of ecosystem engineering combine with consumer behaviour to determine the spatial distribution of herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffen, Blaine D; Riley, Megan E; Cannizzo, Zachary J; Feller, Ilka C

    2017-10-01

    Ecosystem engineers alter environments by creating, modifying or destroying habitats. The indirect impacts of ecosystem engineering on trophic interactions should depend on the combination of the spatial distribution of engineered structures and the foraging behaviour of consumers that use these structures as refuges. In this study, we assessed the indirect effects of ecosystem engineering by a wood-boring beetle in a neotropical mangrove forest system. We identified herbivory patterns in a dwarf mangrove forest on the archipelago of Twin Cays, Belize. Past wood-boring activity impacted more than one-third of trees through the creation of tree holes that are now used, presumably as predation or thermal refuge, by the herbivorous mangrove tree crab Aratus pisonii. The presence of these refuges had a significant impact on plant-animal interactions; herbivory was more than fivefold higher on trees influenced by tree holes relative to those that were completely isolated from these refuges. Additionally, herbivory decreased exponentially with increasing distance from tree holes. We use individual-based simulation modelling to demonstrate that the creation of these herbivory patterns depends on a combination of the use of engineered tree holes for refuge by tree crabs, and the use of two behaviour patterns in this species-site fidelity to a "home tree," and more frequent foraging near their home tree. We demonstrate that understanding the spatial distribution of herbivory in this system depends on combining both the use of ecosystem engineering structures with individual behavioural patterns of herbivores. © 2017 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2017 British Ecological Society.

  8. Plant pathogen-induced volatiles attract parasitoids to increase parasitism of an insect vector

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xavier eMartini

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Interactions between plant pathogens and arthropods have been predominantly studied through the prism of herbivorous arthropods. Currently, little is known about the effect of plant pathogens on the third trophic level. This question is particularly interesting in cases where pathogens manipulate host phenotype to increase vector attraction and presumably increase their own proliferation. Indeed, a predator or a parasitoid of a vector may take advantage of this manipulated phenotype to increase its foraging performance. We explored the case of a bacterial pathogen, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (Las, which modifies the odors released by its host plant (citrus trees to attract its vector, the psyllid Diaphorina citri. We found that the specialist parasitoid of D. citri, Tamarixia radiata, was attracted more toward Las-infected than uninfected plants. We demonstrated that this attractiveness was due to the release of methyl salicylate. Parasitization of D. citri nymphs on Las-infected plants was higher than on uninfected controls. Also, parasitization was higher on uninfected plants baited with methyl salicylate than on non-baited controls. This is the first report of a parasitoid ‘eavesdropping’ on a plant volatile induced by bacterial pathogen infection, which also increases effectiveness of host seeking behavior of its herbivorous vector.

  9. Defense pattern of Chinese cork oak across latitudinal gradients: influences of ontogeny, herbivory, climate and soil nutrients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiao-Fei; Liu, Jian-Feng; Gao, Wen-Qiang; Deng, Yun-Peng; Ni, Yan-Yan; Xiao, Yi-Hua; Kang, Feng-Feng; Wang, Qi; Lei, Jing-Pin; Jiang, Ze-Ping

    2016-06-01

    Knowledge of latitudinal patterns in plant defense and herbivory is crucial for understanding the mechanisms that govern ecosystem functioning and for predicting their responses to climate change. Using a widely distributed species in East Asia, Quercus variabilis, we aim to reveal defense patterns of trees with respect to ontogeny along latitudinal gradients. Six leaf chemical (total phenolics and total condensed tannin concentrations) and physical (cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin and dry mass concentration) defensive traits as well as leaf herbivory (% leaf area loss) were investigated in natural Chinese cork oak (Q. variabilis) forests across two ontogenetic stages (juvenile and mature trees) along a ~14°-latitudinal gradient. Our results showed that juveniles had higher herbivory values and a higher concentration of leaf chemical defense substances compared with mature trees across the latitudinal gradient. In addition, chemical defense and herbivory in both ontogenetic stages decreased with increasing latitude, which supports the latitudinal herbivory-defense hypothesis and optimal defense theory. The identified trade-offs between chemical and physical defense were primarily determined by environmental variation associated with the latitudinal gradient, with the climatic factors (annual precipitation, minimum temperature of the coldest month) largely contributing to the latitudinal defense pattern in both juvenile and mature oak trees.

  10. Potential Use of Native and Naturalized Insect Herbivores and Fungal Pathogens of Aquatic and Wetland Plants

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Freedman, Jan E; Grodowitz, Michael J; Swindle, Robin; Nachtrieb, Julie G

    2007-01-01

    ...) scientists to identify naturalized and/or native herbivores of aquatic plants in an effort to develop alternative management strategies through an understanding of the agents' biology and ecology...

  11. Dynamic Responses in a Plant-Insect System to Fertilization by Cormorant Feces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gundula Kolb

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Theoretical arguments suggest that increased plant productivity may not only increase consumer densities but also their fluctuations. While increased consumer densities are commonly observed in fertilization experiments, experiments are seldom performed at a spatial and temporal scale where effects on population fluctuations may be observed. In this study we used a natural gradient in soil fertility caused by cormorant nesting. Cormorants feed on fish but defecate on their nesting islands. On these islands we studied soil nutrient availability, plant nutrient content and the density of Galerucella beetles, main herbivores feeding on Lythrum salicaria. In a common garden experiment, we followed larval development on fertilized plants and estimated larval stoichiometry. Soil nutrient availability varied among islands, and several cormorant islands had very high N and P soil content. Plant nutrient content, however, did not vary among islands, and there was no correlation between soil and plant nutrient contents. Beetle densities increased with plant nutrient content in the field study. However, there was either no effect on temporal fluctuations in beetle density or that temporal fluctuations decreased (at high P. In the common garden experiment, we found limited responses in either larval survival or pupal weights to fertilization. A possible mechanism for the limited effect of fertilization on density fluctuations may be that the distribution of L. salicaria on nesting islands was restricted to sites with a lower N and P content, presumably because high N loads are toxic.

  12. Host Plants Identification for Adult Agrotis ipsilon, a Long-Distance Migratory Insect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yongqiang Liu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we determined the host relationship of Agrotis ipsilon moths by identifying pollen species adhering them during their long-distance migration. Pollen carried by A. ipsilon moths was collected from 2012 to 2014 on a small island in the center of the Bohai Strait, which is a seasonal migration pathway of this pest species. Genomic DNA of single pollen grains was amplified by using whole genome amplification technology, and a portion of the chloroplast rbcL sequence was then amplified from this material. Pollen species were identified by a combination of DNA barcoding and pollen morphology. We found 28 species of pollen from 18 families on the tested moths, mainly from Angiosperm, Dicotyledoneae. From this, we were able to determine that these moths visit woody plants more than herbaceous plants that they carry more pollen in the early and late stages of the migration season, and that the amounts of pollen transportation were related to moth sex, moth body part, and plant species. In general, 31% of female and 26% of male moths were found to be carrying pollen. Amounts of pollen on the proboscis was higher for female than male moths, while the reverse was true for pollen loads on the antennae. This work provides a new approach to study the interactions between noctuid moth and their host plants. Identification of plant hosts for adult moths furthers understanding of the coevolution processes between moths and their host plants.

  13. Edible insects of Northern Angola

    OpenAIRE

    Lautenschläger,Thea; Neinhuis,Christoph; Monizi,Mawunu; Mandombe,José Lau; Förster,Anke; Henle,Thomas; Nuss,Matthias

    2017-01-01

    From 2013–2017, we accompanied and interviewed local people harvesting edible insects in the Northern Angolan province of Uíge. Insect and host plant samples were collected for species identification and nutritive analyses. Additionally, live caterpillars were taken to feed and keep until pupation and eclosion of the imago, necessary for morphological species identification. Altogether, 18 insect species eaten by humans were recorded. Twenty four edible insect species were formerly known from...

  14. Selective Herbivory by an Invasive Cyprinid, the Rudd Scardinius erythrophthalmus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kapuscinski, Kevin L [SUNY-ESF, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry; John, Farrell M [SUNY-ESF, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Stehman, Stephen V [SUNY-ESF, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Boyer, Gregory L [SUNY-ESF, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Fernando, Danilo D [SUNY-ESF, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Teece, Mark A [SUNY-ESF, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Tschaplinski, Timothy J [ORNL

    2014-01-01

    1. Herbivory by non-native animals is a problem of growing concern globally, especially for ecosystems where significant native herbivores did not previously exist or have been replaced by non-natives. The rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus) is an omnivorous cyprinid that has a nearly global longitudinal distribution due to human translocations, yet it is unknown whether the rudd feeds selectively among aquatic macrophyte species common to North American waters. 2. We tested a null hypothesis of non-selective feeding by rudds using five species of aquatic macrophytes: Ceratophyllum demersum, Elodea canadensis, Najas flexilis, Stuckenia pectinata, and Vallisneria americana. Four rudds were placed in 15 different 890-L tanks and presented with known quantities of each macrophyte species (each tank serving as a block in a randomized complete block design). Each macrophyte bundle was weighed on six dates during a 13 d experiment. Differences in mean percent weight remaining among macrophyte species were tested using repeated measures analysis of variance. We also quantified differences among chemical attributes of the five macrophyte species and qualitatively determined if selective feeding by rudds was related to dry matter content (DMC), percent C by dry weight (%C), percent N by dry weight (%N), and the concentrations of total soluble proteins, two organic acids (aconitic and oxalic acid), total soluble phenolic compounds (<1,000 Da), nine soluble phenolic metabolites, and total phenolic compounds. 3. Selective feeding by rudds was evident, with the order of macrophyte removal (from highest to lowest) being: N. flexilis > E. canadensis > S. pectinata > V. americana > C. demersum. Selection was positively related to %C and atomic C:N, but not DMC, %N, or concentration of total soluble proteins, contrary to the expectation that rudds would select the most nutritious plants available. The concentration of aconitic acid was greatest in N. flexilis, a preferred macrophyte

  15. Infection of an Insect Vector with a Bacterial Plant Pathogen Increases Its Propensity for Dispersal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coy, Monique R.; Stelinski, Lukasz L.; Pelz-Stelinski, Kirsten S.

    2015-01-01

    The spread of vector-transmitted pathogens relies on complex interactions between host, vector and pathogen. In sessile plant pathosystems, the spread of a pathogen highly depends on the movement and mobility of the vector. However, questions remain as to whether and how pathogen-induced vector manipulations may affect the spread of a plant pathogen. Here we report for the first time that infection with a bacterial plant pathogen increases the probability of vector dispersal, and that such movement of vectors is likely manipulated by a bacterial plant pathogen. We investigated how Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) affects dispersal behavior, flight capacity, and the sexual attraction of its vector, the Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama). CLas is the putative causal agent of huanglongbing (HLB), which is a disease that threatens the viability of commercial citrus production worldwide. When D. citri developed on CLas-infected plants, short distance dispersal of male D. citri was greater compared to counterparts reared on uninfected plants. Flight by CLas-infected D. citri was initiated earlier and long flight events were more common than by uninfected psyllids, as measured by a flight mill apparatus. Additionally, CLas titers were higher among psyllids that performed long flights than psyllid that performed short flights. Finally, attractiveness of female D. citri that developed on infected plants to male conspecifics increased proportionally with increasing CLas bacterial titers measured within female psyllids. Our study indicates that the phytopathogen, CLas, may manipulate movement and mate selection behavior of their vectors, which is a possible evolved mechanism to promote their own spread. These results have global implications for both current HLB models of disease spread and control strategies. PMID:26083763

  16. Infection of an Insect Vector with a Bacterial Plant Pathogen Increases Its Propensity for Dispersal.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xavier Martini

    Full Text Available The spread of vector-transmitted pathogens relies on complex interactions between host, vector and pathogen. In sessile plant pathosystems, the spread of a pathogen highly depends on the movement and mobility of the vector. However, questions remain as to whether and how pathogen-induced vector manipulations may affect the spread of a plant pathogen. Here we report for the first time that infection with a bacterial plant pathogen increases the probability of vector dispersal, and that such movement of vectors is likely manipulated by a bacterial plant pathogen. We investigated how Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas affects dispersal behavior, flight capacity, and the sexual attraction of its vector, the Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama. CLas is the putative causal agent of huanglongbing (HLB, which is a disease that threatens the viability of commercial citrus production worldwide. When D. citri developed on CLas-infected plants, short distance dispersal of male D. citri was greater compared to counterparts reared on uninfected plants. Flight by CLas-infected D. citri was initiated earlier and long flight events were more common than by uninfected psyllids, as measured by a flight mill apparatus. Additionally, CLas titers were higher among psyllids that performed long flights than psyllid that performed short flights. Finally, attractiveness of female D. citri that developed on infected plants to male conspecifics increased proportionally with increasing CLas bacterial titers measured within female psyllids. Our study indicates that the phytopathogen, CLas, may manipulate movement and mate selection behavior of their vectors, which is a possible evolved mechanism to promote their own spread. These results have global implications for both current HLB models of disease spread and control strategies.

  17. A review on the complexity of insect-plant interactions under varying levels of resources and host resistance: the case of Myzus persicae-Prunus persica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verdugo, JA.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Insect-plant interactions are affected directly or indirectly by stress factors. The effect of environmental resource availability on insect-plant interactions is here reviewed. Subsequently, the analysis focuses on aphid-host plant interactions, particularly in the system composed by the green peach aphid Myzus persicae and its primary host plant Prunus persica. Literature. Plant defenses arise in two ways: resistance and tolerance, both are affected by abiotic factors. The information gathered from studies (n = 29 on plant-aphid interactions addressing the reduction in water availability on plant resistance, showed that in 41,4% of the studies, drought stress elicits lower resistance, while 34.5%, 20.1% and 3.4%, showed higher, no change and conditional effects on plant resistance, respectively. Conclusions. Water stress elicits mixed effects on plant resistance to aphids. However, the literature review also suggests that cultural practices play a role in the fate of the peach-aphid interactions, whereas the development of predictive models aimed to assist crop-pest management systems still requires more basic information. Aphid responses to plant defenses under stressed conditions are still largely unexplored.

  18. Geographic mosaics of species' association: a definition and an example driven by plant-insect phenological synchrony.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singer, Michael C; McBride, Carolyn S

    2012-12-01

    Spatial mosaics occur in both evolutionary and ecological properties of species' interactions. Studies of these patterns have facilitated description and prediction of evolutionary responses of interacting species to each other and to changing environments. We propose seeking complementary understanding of community assembly and dynamics by studying ecological and mechanistic properties of mosaics. We define "species' association mosaics" as deviations from a null model in which spatial variation in the extent to which particular species interact ecologically is explained solely by variation in their densities. In extreme deviations from the null, a focal species interacts exclusively with different partners at different sites despite similar abundances of potential partners. We investigate this type of mosaic involving the butterfly Euphydryas editha and its hosts, the perennial Pedicularis semibarbata (Psem) and the ephemeral annual Collinsia torreyi (Ctor). A reciprocal transplant experiment showed that the proximate, mechanistic driver of the mosaic was variation in butterfly oviposition preference: the identity of the preferred host species depended on the site of origin of the insects, not that of the plants. In contrast, the evolutionary driver was phenological asynchrony between the insects and Ctor. Censuses showed that larvae hatching from eggs laid on Ctor would have suffered significantly greater mortality from host senescence at five sites where Ctor was avoided than at two sites where it was used. These differences among sites in phenological synchrony were caused by variation in life span of Ctor. At sites where Ctor was avoided, natural selection on host preference was stabilizing because Ctor life span was too short to accommodate the development time of most larvae. At sites where Ctor was used, selection on preference was also stabilizing because larvae lacked physiological adaptation to feed on Psem. These reciprocal forces of stabilizing

  19. Restoration of three forest herbs in the Liliaceae family by manipulating deer herbivory and overstorey and understorey vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cynthia D. Huebner; Kurt W. Gottschalk; Gary W. Miller; Patrick H. Brose

    2010-01-01

    Research on herbaceous vegetation restoration in forests characterised by overstorey tree harvests, excessive deer herbivory, and a dominant fern understorey is lacking. Most of the plant diversity found in Eastern hardwood forests in the United States is found in the herbaceous understorey layer. Loss of forest herbaceous species is an indicator of declining forest...

  20. Museum specimen data reveal emergence of a plant disease may be linked to increases in the insect vector population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeilinger, Adam R; Rapacciuolo, Giovanni; Turek, Daniel; Oboyski, Peter T; Almeida, Rodrigo P P; Roderick, George K

    2017-09-01

    The emergence rate of new plant diseases is increasing due to novel introductions, climate change, and changes in vector populations, posing risks to agricultural sustainability. Assessing and managing future disease risks depends on understanding the causes of contemporary and historical emergence events. Since the mid-1990s, potato growers in the western United States, Mexico, and Central America have experienced severe yield loss from Zebra Chip disease and have responded by increasing insecticide use to suppress populations of the insect vector, the potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli (Hemiptera: Triozidae). Despite the severe nature of Zebra Chip outbreaks, the causes of emergence remain unknown. We tested the hypotheses that (1) B. cockerelli occupancy has increased over the last century in California and (2) such increases are related to climate change, specifically warmer winters. We compiled a data set of 87,000 museum specimen occurrence records across the order Hemiptera collected between 1900 and 2014. We then analyzed changes in B. cockerelli distribution using a hierarchical occupancy model using changes in background species lists to correct for collecting effort. We found evidence that B. cockerelli occupancy has increased over the last century. However, these changes appear to be unrelated to climate changes, at least at the scale of our analysis. To the extent that species occupancy is related to abundance, our analysis provides the first quantitative support for the hypothesis that B. cockerelli population abundance has increased, but further work is needed to link B. cockerelli population dynamics to Zebra Chip epidemics. Finally, we demonstrate how this historical macro-ecological approach provides a general framework for comparative risk assessment of future pest and insect vector outbreaks. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  1. Interactions between invasive plants and insect herbivores: A plea for a multitrophic perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harvey, J.A.; Bukovinszky, T.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2010-01-01

    Invasive species represent one of the most important threats to biodiversity worldwide, with consequences for ecosystem functioning and the delivery of important ecological services to society. Several hypotheses have been generated to explain the success of exotic plants in their new ranges, with

  2. Field trials with plant products to protect stored cowpea against insect damage

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boeke, S.J.; Kossou, D.K.; Huis, van A.; Loon, van J.J.A.; Dicke, M.

    2004-01-01

    Plant products were evaluated under field conditions for their efficacy as insecticides against the cowpea beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus, on stored cowpea. Seeds, mixed with finely ground clay and three volatile oils were stored in air-tight jerry-cans and canisters. Pods were treated with leaf

  3. Interactions between invasive plants and insect herbivores: a plea for a multitrophic perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harvey, J.A.; Bukovinszky, T.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2010-01-01

    Invasive species represent one of the most important threats to biodiversity worldwide, with consequences for ecosystem functioning and the delivery of important ecological services to society. Several hypotheses have been generated to explain the success of exotic plants in their new ranges, with

  4. Insect Pollinators of Three Rare Plants in a Florida Longleaf Pine Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theresa Pitts-Singer; James L. Hanula; Joan L. Walker

    2002-01-01

    As a result of human activity, longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Miller) forests in the southern United States have been lost or drastically altered. Many of the plant species that historically occupied those forests now persist only as remnants and are classified as threatened or endangered. In order to safeguard such species, a better understanding of...

  5. Dual effects of Metarhizium spp. and Clonostachys rosea against an insect and a seed-borne pathogen in wheat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keyser, Chad A; Jensen, Birgit; Meyling, Nicolai V

    2016-03-01

    Crops are often prone to both insect herbivory and disease, which necessitate multiple control measures. Ideally, an efficacious biological control agent must adequately control the target organism and not be inhibited by other biological control agents when applied simultaneously. Wheat seeds infected with the plant pathogen Fusarium culmorum were treated with Metarhizium brunneum or M. flavoviride and Clonostachys rosea individually and in combination, with the expectation to control both root-feeding insects and the pathogen. Emerging roots were evaluated for disease and then placed with Tenebrio molitor larvae, which were monitored for infection. Plant disease symptoms were nearly absent for seeds treated with C. rosea, both individually and in combination with Metarhizium spp. Furthermore, roots grown from seeds treated with Metarhizium spp. caused significant levels of fungal infection in larvae when used individually or combined with C. rosea. However, cotreated seeds showed reduced virulence towards T. molitor when compared with treatments using Metarhizium spp. only. This study clearly shows that seed treatments with both the entomopathogenic fungus M. brunneum and the mycoparasitic fungus C. rosea can protect plant roots from insects and disease. The dual-treatment approach to biological control presented here is consistent with the ideals of IPM strategies. © 2015 Society of Chemical Industry.

  6. The Role of Female Search Behaviour in Determining Host Plant Range in Plant Feeding Insects: A Test of the Information Processing Hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janz, Niklas; Nylin, Soren

    1997-05-01

    Recent theoretical studies have suggested that host range in herbivorous insects may be more restricted by constraints on information processing on the ovipositing females than by trade-offs in larval feeding efficiency. We have investigated if females from polyphagous species have to pay for their ability to localize and evaluate plants from different species with a lower ability to discriminate between conspecific host plants with differences in quality. Females of the monophagous butterflies Polygonia satyrus, Vanessa indica and Inachis io and the polyphagous P. c-album and Cynthia cardui (all in Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae) were given a simultaneous choice of stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) of different quality. In addition, the same choice trial was given to females from two populations of P. c-album with different degrees of specificity. As predicted from the information processing hypothesis, all specialists discriminated significantly against the bad quality nettle, whereas the generalists laid an equal amount of eggs on both types of nettle. There were no corresponding differences between specialist and generalist larvae in their ability to utilize poor quality leaves. Our study therefore suggests that female host-searching behaviour plays an important role in determining host plant range.

  7. Factors affecting the initial adhesion and retention of the plant pathogen Xylella fastidiosa in the foregut of an insect vector.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Killiny, Nabil; Almeida, Rodrigo P P

    2014-01-01

    Vector transmission of bacterial plant pathogens involves three steps: pathogen acquisition from an infected host, retention within the vector, and inoculation of cells into susceptible tissue of an uninfected plant. In this study, a combination of plant and artificial diet systems were used to determine the importance of several genes on the initial adhesion and retention of the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa to an efficient insect vector. Mutant strains included fimbrial (fimA and pilB) and afimbrial (hxfA and hxfB) adhesins and three loci involved in regulatory systems (rpfF, rpfC, and cgsA). Transmission assays with variable retention time indicated that HxfA and HxfB were primarily important for early adhesion to vectors, while FimA was necessary for both adhesion and retention. The long pilus protein PilB was not deficient in initial adhesion but may be important for retention. Genes upregulated under the control of rpfF are important for both initial adhesion and retention, as transmission rates of this mutant strain were initially low and decreased over time, while disruption of rpfC and cgsA yielded trends similar to that shown by the wild-type control. Because induction of an X. fastidiosa transmissible state requires pectin, a series of experiments were used to test the roles of a polygalacturonase (pglA) and the pectin and galacturonic acid carbohydrates on the transmission of X. fastidiosa. Results show that galacturonic acid, or PglA activity breaking pectin into its major subunit (galacturonic acid), is required for X. fastidiosa vector transmission using an artificial diet system. This study shows that early adhesion and retention of X. fastidiosa are mediated by different factors. It also illustrates that the interpretation of results of vector transmission experiments, in the context of vector-pathogen interaction studies, is highly dependent on experimental design.

  8. Survey of insect fauna from plants medicinal, aromatic and seasoning and disinfestation by the process of radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reis, Fabricio Caldeira

    2013-01-01

    The present study aimed to survey the insect fauna associated with medicinal plants, aromatic dehydrated and seasoning trade in Sao Paulo city, using different doses of gamma radiation with the aim of disinfestation of the material and determine the lethal dose of gamma radiation on Sphaericus gibboides. From April to May 2011 were collected in 10 establishments the following sample materials: Melissa officinalis L. (Lemongrass), Mentha piperita L. (Mint), Ocimum basilicum L. (Basil), Origanum vulgare L. (Oregano), Rosmarinus officinalis L. (Rosemary), Thymus vulgaris L. (Thyme), Senna alexandrina Mill (senna), Coriandrum sativum L. (Coriander), Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) Fuss (salsa) and Pimpinella anisum L. (Fennel), Baccharis trimera (Less.) DC. (Gorse), Chamomilla recutita L. (= M. recutita L.) (chamomile), Laurus nobilis L. (Blonde) (Lauraceae); Capsicum annuum L. (Sweet paprika), Bixa orellana L. (Spice) (Bixaceae) and Peumus boldus Molina (Boldo). The first screening showed that all the tested materials did not show the presence of adult insects. After 45 days 940 adult insects were found and larvae from eggs. The substrates analyzed Chamomilla recutita showed the highest rate of infestation, with 70,6%. Pelmus boldus, Laurus nobilis, Chamomilla recutita and Capsicum annuum, had the highest species diversity. Baccharis trimera, Bixa orellana, Melissa officinalis, Origanum vulgare and Coriandrum sativum showed no infestation. The species was Lasioderma serricorne the insect with the largest number of individuals found (936), higher percentage of infestation in different materials (62.5%) and lots, and highest occurrence (68,75%) materials (M. piperita, S. alexandrian, P. anisum, Chamomilla recutita, P. crispum, L. nobilis, C. sativum, C. annuum, O. basilicum, P. boldus and T. vulgaris). The following materials were selected for testing disinfestation by irradiation process: Bixa orellana, Capsicum annuum, Cassia angustifolia, Coriandrum sativum, Mentha

  9. A study of the early detection of insect infestations and density/distribution of host plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, W. G.; Ingle, S. J.; Davis, M. R. (Principal Investigator)

    1974-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Significant results have been obtained in the identification of citrus, sugarcane, winter vegetables, irrigated pastures, and unimproved pastures which contain brush. Land without vegetation, lakes, roads, and waterways can also be determined. Different densities of vegetation covering some cultivated areas are apparent. The practical applications of these results are many. The abundance of host plants of pests can be determined. Avenues of entry of pests can be plotted, facilitating control or preventing entry of pest species. The boundaries of areas to be quarantined can be accurately established after viewing the S-190B data. Better cultural methods can be employed such as planning where to plant certain crops that indirectly are detrimental to those already growing. This would relate to such factors as pesticide drift or alternate hosts of major pests.

  10. Molecular basis and regulation of insect pathogenicity in plant-beneficial pseudomonads

    OpenAIRE

    Kupferschmied, P.

    2015-01-01

    Les bactéries du genre Pseudomonas ont la capacité étonnante de s'adapter à différents habitats et d'y survivre, ce qui leur a permis de conquérir un large éventail de niches écologiques et d'interagir avec différents organismes hôte. Les espèces du groupe Pseudomonas fluorescens peuvent être facilement isolées de la rhizosphère et sont communément connues comme des Pseudomonas bénéfiques pour les plantes. Elles sont capables d'induire la résistance systémique des plantes, d'induire leur croi...

  11. Effects of Increased UVB radiation on plant-insect interactions: Plantago lanceolata and Junonia coenia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McCloud, E.S.; Berenbaum, M.R.

    1993-01-01

    Seeds of P. lanceolata were collected from a local population and 4 replicates of 42 maternal families were grown for 90 days in the greenhouse with at two levels of supplemental UVB radiation (6 and 12 kJ day -1 BE 300 ). Higher UVB radiation increased leaf hair density and decreased plant size during early growth; family identity affected these also. Leaves excised from a subset of the plants were fed to ultimate instar larvae of J. coenia and assayed for iridoids. Increased UVB radiation did not alter the iridoid content of the leaves or the growth of the larvae. In a separate experiment, P. lanceolata growing under the two levels of UVB irradiation were infested with neonate larvae and larval growth was monitored. Larval growth was not markedly altered by enhanced UVB. These findings suggest that increased UVB is unlikely to alter the suitability of P. lanceolata as a host for J. coenia

  12. Identification of Insect-Plant Pollination Networks for a Midwest Installation: Fort McCoy, WI

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-04-01

    species are dependent on animal pollinators, including many agricultural plants (Ollerton et al. 2011). The recent declines of polli- nator species...pollinator fauna be- cause these species were absent from the Fort McCoy Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan. For general application of these...Conservation Status Ranks were used to classify species according to their vulnerability to extinction . Only species with Global Ranks of G1 (critically

  13. Effects of selenium accumulation on phytotoxicity, herbivory, and pollination ecology in radish (Raphanus sativus L.)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hladun, Kristen R.; Parker, David R.; Tran, Khoa D.; Trumble, John T.

    2013-01-01

    Selenium (Se) has contaminated areas in the western USA where pollination is critical to the functioning of both agricultural and natural ecosystems, yet we know little about how Se can impact pollinators. In a two-year semi-field study, the weedy plant Raphanus sativus (radish) was exposed to three selenate treatments and two pollination treatments to evaluate the effects on pollinator–plant interactions. Honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) pollinators were observed to readily forage on R. sativus for both pollen and nectar despite high floral Se concentrations. Se treatment increased both seed abortion (14%) and decreased plant biomass (8–9%). Herbivory by birds and aphids was reduced on Se-treated plants, indicating a potential reproductive advantage for the plant. Our study sheds light on how pollutants such as Se can impact the pollination ecology of a plant that accumulates even moderate amounts of Se. - Highlights: ► Radish were exposed to selenate and pollination treatments to examine pollination ecology. ► Honey bees foraged on radish for both pollen and nectar despite high floral Se concentrations. ► Se treatment increased seed abortion and decreased plant biomass. ► Herbivory by birds and aphids was reduced in Se-treated plants. ► Pollutants such as Se can impact the pollination of a plant that accumulates even moderate amounts. - Radish accumulated the pollutant selenium in floral tissues, but this did not deter the pollinator (Apis mellifera) from foraging.

  14. Risk of spider predation alters food web structure and reduces local herbivory in the field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bucher, Roman; Menzel, Florian; Entling, Martin H

    2015-06-01

    Predators can indirectly enhance plant performance via herbivore suppression, with both prey consumption and changes in prey traits (e.g. changes in foraging behaviour) contributing to the reduction in herbivory. We performed a field experiment to determine the extent of such non-consumptive effects which consisted of repeatedly placing spiders (Pisaura mirabilis) on enclosed plants (Urtica dioica) for cue deposition. Control plants were enclosed in the same way but without spiders. After cue deposition, the enclosures were removed to allow arthropods to colonize the plants and feed on them. Arthropods were removed from the plants before the subsequent spider deposition or control enclosure. During six cycles of enclosure, we quantified leaf damage on the plants. After a seventh cycle, the colonizing arthropods were sampled to determine community composition in relation to the presence/absence of spider cues. We found that the presence of chemotactile spider cues reduced leaf damage by 50 %. In addition, spider cues led to changes in the arthropod community: smaller spiders avoided plants with spider cues. In contrast, the aphid-tending ant Myrmica rubra showed higher recruitment of workers on cue-bearing plants, possibly to protect aphids. Our results show that the risk of spider predation can reduce herbivory on wild plants and also demonstrate that non-consumptive effects can be particularly strong within the predator guild.

  15. Tracking the elusive history of diversification in plant-herbivorous insect-parasitoid food webs: insights from figs and fig wasps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kjellberg, Finn; Proffit, Magali

    2016-02-01

    The food webs consisting of plants, herbivorous insects and their insect parasitoids are a major component of terrestrial biodiversity. They play a central role in the functioning of all terrestrial ecosystems, and the number of species involved is mind-blowing (Nyman et al. 2015). Nevertheless, our understanding of the evolutionary and ecological determinants of their diversity is still in its infancy. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Sutton et al. (2016) open a window into the comparative analysis of spatial genetic structuring in a set of comparable multitrophic models, involving highly species-specific interactions: figs and fig wasps. This is the first study to compare genetic structure using population genetics tools in a fig-pollinating wasp (Pleistodontes imperialis sp1) and its main parasitoid (Sycoscapter sp.A). The fig-pollinating wasp has a discontinuous spatial distribution that correlates with genetic differentiation, while the parasitoid bridges the discontinuity by parasitizing other pollinator species on the same host fig tree and presents basically no spatial genetic structure. The full implications of these results for our general understanding of plant-herbivorous insect-insect parasitoids diversification become apparent when envisioned within the framework of recent advances in fig and fig wasp biology. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Marine insects

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Cheng, Lanna

    1976-01-01

    .... Not only are true insects, such as the Collembola and insect parasites of marine birds and mammals, considered, but also other kinds of intertidal air-breathing arthropods, notably spiders, scorpions...

  17. Two Volatile Organic Compounds Trigger Plant Self-Defense against a Bacterial Pathogen and a Sucking Insect in Cucumber under Open Field Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Choong-Min Ryu

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Systemic acquired resistance (SAR is a plant self-defense mechanism against a broad-range of pathogens and insect pests. Among chemical SAR triggers, plant and bacterial volatiles are promising candidates for use in pest management, as these volatiles are highly effective, inexpensive, and can be employed at relatively low concentrations compared with agrochemicals. However, such volatiles have some drawbacks, including the high evaporation rate of these compounds after application in the open field, their negative effects on plant growth, and their inconsistent levels of effectiveness. Here, we demonstrate the effectiveness of volatile organic compound (VOC-mediated induced resistance against both the bacterial angular leaf spot pathogen, Pseudononas syringae pv. lachrymans, and the sucking insect aphid, Myzus persicae, in the open field. Using the VOCs 3-pentanol and 2-butanone where fruit yields increased gave unexpectedly, a significant increase in the number of ladybird beetles, Coccinella septempunctata, a natural enemy of aphids. The defense-related gene CsLOX was induced by VOC treatment, indicating that triggering the oxylipin pathway in response to the emission of green leaf volatiles can recruit the natural enemy of aphids. These results demonstrate that VOCs may help prevent plant disease and insect damage by eliciting induced resistance, even in open fields.

  18. Transgenic plants over-expressing insect-specific microRNA acquire insecticidal activity against Helicoverpa armigera: an alternative to Bt-toxin technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrawal, Aditi; Rajamani, Vijayalakshmi; Reddy, Vanga Siva; Mukherjee, Sunil Kumar; Bhatnagar, Raj K

    2015-10-01

    The success of Bt transgenics in controlling predation of crops has been tempered by sporadic emergence of resistance in targeted insect larvae. Such emerging threats have prompted the search for novel insecticidal molecules that are specific and could be expressed through plants. We have resorted to small RNA-based technology for an investigative search and focused our attention to an insect-specific miRNA that interferes with the insect molting process resulting in the death of the larvae. In this study, we report the designing of a vector that produces artificial microRNA (amiR), namely amiR-24, which targets the chitinase gene of Helicoverpa armigera. This vector was used as transgene in tobacco. Northern blot and real-time analysis revealed the high level expression of amiR-24 in transgenic tobacco plants. Larvae feeding on the transgenic plants ceased to molt further and eventually died. Our results demonstrate that transgenic tobacco plants can express amiR-24 insectice specific to H. armigera.

  19. Biosynthesis and emission of insect-induced methyl salicylate and methyl benzoate from rice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhao, Nan [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Guan, Ju [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Ferrer, Jean-Luc [Universite Joseph Fourier, France; Engle, Nancy L [ORNL; Chern, Mawsheng [University of California, Davis; Ronald, Pamela [University of California, Davis; Tschaplinski, Timothy J [ORNL; Chen, Feng [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK)

    2010-01-01

    Two benzenoid esters, methyl salicylate (MeSA) and methyl benzoate (MeBA), were detected from insect-damaged rice plants. By correlating metabolite production with gene expression analysis, five candidate genes encoding putative carboxyl methyltransferases were identified. Enzymatic assays with Escherichia coli-expressed recombinant proteins demonstrated that only one of the five candidates, OsBSMT1, has salicylic acid (SA) methyltransferase (SAMT) and benzoic acid (BA) methyltransferase (BAMT) activities for producing MeSA and MeBA, respectively. Whereas OsBSMT1 is phylogenetically relatively distant from dicot SAMTs, the three-dimensional structure of OsBSMT1, which was determined using homology-based structural modeling, is highly similar to those of characterized SAMTs. Analyses of OsBSMT1 expression in wild-type rice plants under various stress conditions indicate that the jasmonic acid (JA) signaling pathway plays a critical role in regulating the production and emission of MeSA in rice. Further analysis using transgenic rice plants overexpressing NH1, a key component of the SA signaling pathway in rice, suggests that the SA signaling pathway also plays an important role in governing OsBSMT1 expression and emission of its products, probably through a crosstalk with the JA signaling pathway. The role of the volatile products of OsBSMT1, MeSA and MeBA, in rice defense against insect herbivory is discussed.

  20. Biosynthesis and emission of insect-induced methyl salicylate and methyl benzoate from rice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Nan; Guan, Ju; Ferrer, Jean-Luc; Engle, Nancy; Chern, Mawsheng; Ronald, Pamela; Tschaplinski, Timothy J; Chen, Feng

    2010-04-01

    Two benzenoid esters, methyl salicylate (MeSA) and methyl benzoate (MeBA), were detected from insect-damaged rice plants. By correlating metabolite production with gene expression analysis, five candidate genes encoding putative carboxyl methyltransferases were identified. Enzymatic assays with Escherichia coli-expressed recombinant proteins demonstrated that only one of the five candidates, OsBSMT1, has salicylic acid (SA) methyltransferase (SAMT) and benzoic acid (BA) methyltransferase (BAMT) activities for producing MeSA and MeBA, respectively. Whereas OsBSMT1 is phylogenetically relatively distant from dicot SAMTs, the three-dimensional structure of OsBSMT1, which was determined using homology-based structural modeling, is highly similar to those of characterized SAMTs. Analyses of OsBSMT1 expression in wild-type rice plants under various stress conditions indicate that the jasmonic acid (JA) signaling pathway plays a critical role in regulating the production and emission of MeSA in rice. Further analysis using transgenic rice plants overexpressing NH1, a key component of the SA signaling pathway in rice, suggests that the SA signaling pathway also plays an important role in governing OsBSMT1 expression and emission of its products, probably through a crosstalk with the JA signaling pathway. The role of the volatile products of OsBSMT1, MeSA and MeBA, in rice defense against insect herbivory is discussed. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  1. Urban land use decouples plant-herbivore-parasitoid interactions at multiple spatial scales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda E Nelson

    Full Text Available Intense urban and agricultural development alters habitats, increases fragmentation, and may decouple trophic interactions if plants or animals cannot disperse to needed resources. Specialist insects represent a substantial proportion of global biodiversity and their fidelity to discrete microhabitats provides a powerful framework for investigating organismal responses to human land use. We sampled site occupancy and densities for two plant-herbivore-parasitoid systems from 250 sites across a 360 km2 urban/agricultural landscape to ask whether and how human development decouples interactions between trophic levels. We compared patterns of site occupancy, host plant density, herbivory and parasitism rates of insects at two trophic levels with respect to landcover at multiple spatial scales. Geospatial analyses were used to identify landcover characters predictive of insect distributions. We found that herbivorous insect densities were decoupled from host tree densities in urban landcover types at several spatial scales. This effect was amplified for the third trophic level in one of the two insect systems: despite being abundant regionally, a parasitoid species was absent from all urban/suburban landcover even where its herbivore host was common. Our results indicate that human land use patterns limit distributions of specialist insects. Dispersal constraints associated with urban built development are specifically implicated as a limiting factor.

  2. Construction of a recombinant Bacillus velezensis strain as an integrated control agent against plant diseases and insect pests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roh, Jong Yul; Liu, Qin; Choi, Jae Young; Wang, Yong; Shim, Hee Jin; Xu, Hong Guang; Choi, Gyung Ja; Kim, Jin-Cheol; Je, Yeon Ho

    2009-10-01

    To construct a new recombinant strain of Bacillus velezensis that has antifungal and insecticidal activity via the expression of the insecticidal Bacillus thuringiensis crystal protein, a B. thuringiensis expression vector (pHT1K-1Ac) was generated that contained the B. thuringiensis cry1Ac gene under the control of its endogenous promoter in a minimal E. coli-B. thuringiensis shuttle vector (pHT1K). This vector was introduced into a B. velezensis isolate that showed high antifungal activities against several plant diseases, including rice blast (Magnaporthe grisea), rice sheath blight (Rhizotonia solani), tomato gray mold (Botrytis cinerea), tomato late blight (Phytophthora infestans), and wheat leaf rust (Puccinia recondita), by electroporation. The recombinant B. velezensis strain was confirmed by PCR using cry1Ac-specific primers. Additionally, the recombinant strain produced a protein approximately 130 kDa in size and parasporal inclusion bodies similar to B. thuringiensis. The in vivo antifungal activity assay demonstrated that the activity of the recombinant B. velezensis strain was maintained at the same level as that of wild-type B. velezensis. Furthermore, it exhibited high insecticidal activity against a lepidopteran pest, Plutella xylostella, although its activity was lower than that of a recombinant B. thuringiensis strain, whereas wild-type B. velezensis strain did not show any insecticidal activity. These results suggest that this recombinant B. velezensis strain can be used to control harmful insect pests and fungal diseases simultaneously in one crop.

  3. Edible Insects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huis, van A.; Dunkel, F.V.

    2016-01-01

    The interest in insects as human food in the Western world is increasingly considered as a viable alternative to other protein sources. In tropical countries it is common practice and about 2000 insect species are eaten. Insects emit low levels of greenhouse gases, need little water, and require

  4. Consuming insects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roos, N.; Huis, van A.

    2017-01-01

    How healthy are insects? This is a highly relevant question in view of the global interest in the potential of insects as a sustainable food source in food systems and diets. Edible insects, like other foods, can provide nutrients and dietary energy to meet the requirements of the human body as a

  5. Effects of endomycorrhizal infection, artificial herbivory, and parental cross on growth of Lotus corniculatus L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowicz, V A; Fitter, A H

    1990-03-01

    We examined how combinations of parentage, fungicide application, and artificial herbivory influence growth and shoot phosphorus content in pre-reproductive Lotus corniculatus, using young offspring arising from three parental crosses, two of which had one parent in common. Soil with vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) fungi was treated with either water or benomyl, an anti-VAM fungicide, and added to trays containing groups of four full siblings. There were two experiments; in the first no plants were clipped while in the second two of the four plants were clipped to simulate herbivory. In both experiments plants of the two related crosses accumulated more biomass and total shoot P than did plants of the third cross. Plants inoculated with watertreated soil had greater shoot mass and P concentration than did fungicide-treated replicates but the extent of increase in P concentration varied among crosses. In Experiment 2, clipping reduced root mass and resulted in higher shoot P concentration. In this experiment there was a significant interaction of fungicide application and clipping: both unclipped and clipped plants grew better in soil not treated with fungicide, but the increase in shoot mass, total mass, and total P was greater in unclipped plants. Significant interaction of fungicide treatment and clipping is most likely due to reduced availability of carbon to the roots of clipped plants, resulting in poorer symbiotic functioning.

  6. Herbivory and climate interact serially to control monoterpene emissions from pinyon pine forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trowbridge, Amy M; Daly, Ryan W; Helmig, Detlev; Stoy, Paul C; Monson, Russell K

    2014-06-01

    The emission of volatile monoterpenes from coniferous trees impacts the oxidative state of the troposphere and multi-trophic signaling between plants and animals. Previous laboratory studies have revealed that climate anomalies and herbivory alter the rate of tree monoterpene emissions. However, no studies to date have been conducted to test these relations in situ. We conducted a two-year field experiment at two semiarid sites dominated by pinyon pine (Pinus edulis) during outbreaks of a specialist herbivore, the southwestern tiger moth (Lophocampa ingens: Arctiidae). We discovered that during the early spring, when herbivory rates were highest, monoterpene emission rates were approximately two to six times higher from undamaged needles on damaged trees, with this increase in emissions due to alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, and camphene at both sites. During mid-summer, emission rates did not differ between previously damaged and undamaged trees at the site on the Western Slope of the Rocky Mountains, but rather tracked changes in the temperature and precipitation regime characteristic of the region. As the mid-summer drought progressed at the Eastern Slope site, emission rates were low, but differences between previously damaged and undamaged trees were not statistically significant. Despite no difference in emissions, mid-summer tissue monoterpene concentrations were significantly lower in previously damaged trees at both sites. With the onset of monsoon rains during late summer, emission rates from previously damaged trees increased to levels higher than those of undamaged trees despite the lack of herbivory. We conclude that (1) herbivory systemically increases the flux of terpenes to the atmosphere during the spring, (2) drought overrides the effect of past herbivory as the primary control over emissions during the mid-summer, and (3) a release from drought and the onset of late-summer rains is correlated with a secondary increase in emissions, particularly from

  7. Spatial patterning and floral synchrony among trillium populations with contrasting histories of herbivory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher R. Webster

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the spatial patterning and floral synchrony within and among populations of a non-clonal, forest understory herb, Trillium catesbaei. Two populations of T. catesbaei within Great Smoky Mountains National Park were monitored for five years: Cades Cove (high deer abundance and Whiteoak Sink (low deer abundance. All individuals within each population were mapped during year one and five. Only flowering and single-leaf juveniles were mapped during intervening years. Greater distances between flowering plants (plants currently in flower and substantially lower population densities and smaller patch sizes were observed at Cades Cove versus Whiteoak Sink. However, with the exception of flowering plants, contrasting histories of herbivory did not appear to fundamentally alter the spatial patterning of the T. catesbaei population at Cades Cove, an area with a long and well-documented history of deer overabundance. Regardless of browse history, non-flowering life stages were significantly clustered at all spatial scales examined. Flowering plants were clustered in all years at Whiteoak Sink, but more often randomly distributed at Cades Cove, possibly as a result of their lower abundance. Between years, however, there was a positive spatial association between the locations of flowering plants at both sites. Flowering rate was synchronous between sites, but lagged a year behind favorable spring growing conditions, which likely allowed plants to allocate photosynthate from a favorable year towards flowering the subsequent year. Collectively, our results suggest that chronically high levels of herbivory may be associated with spatial patterning of flowering within populations of a non-clonal plant. They also highlight the persistence of underlying spatial patterns, as evidenced by high levels of spatial clustering among non-flowering individuals, and the pervasive, although muted in a population subjected to chronic herbivory, influence of

  8. A novel interaction between plant-beneficial rhizobacteria and roots: colonization induces corn resistance against the root herbivore Diabrotica speciosa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franciele Santos

    Full Text Available A number of soil-borne microorganisms, such as mycorrhizal fungi and rhizobacteria, establish mutualistic interactions with plants, which can indirectly affect other organisms. Knowledge of the plant-mediated effects of mutualistic microorganisms is limited to aboveground insects, whereas there is little understanding of what role beneficial soil bacteria may play in plant defense against root herbivory. Here, we establish that colonization by the beneficial rhizobacterium Azospirillum brasilense affects the host selection and performance of the insect Diabrotica speciosa. Root larvae preferentially orient toward the roots of non-inoculated plants versus inoculated roots and gain less weight when feeding on inoculated plants. As inoculation by A. brasilense induces higher emissions of (E-β-caryophyllene compared with non-inoculated plants, it is plausible that the non-preference of D. speciosa for inoculated plants is related to this sesquiterpene, which is well known to mediate belowground insect-plant interactions. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study showing that a beneficial rhizobacterium inoculant indirectly alters belowground plant-insect interactions. The role of A. brasilense as part of an integrative pest management (IPM program for the protection of corn against the South American corn rootworm, D. speciosa, is considered.

  9. A novel interaction between plant-beneficial rhizobacteria and roots: colonization induces corn resistance against the root herbivore Diabrotica speciosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Franciele; Peñaflor, Maria Fernanda G V; Paré, Paul W; Sanches, Patrícia A; Kamiya, Aline C; Tonelli, Mateus; Nardi, Cristiane; Bento, José Mauricio S

    2014-01-01

    A number of soil-borne microorganisms, such as mycorrhizal fungi and rhizobacteria, establish mutualistic interactions with plants, which can indirectly affect other organisms. Knowledge of the plant-mediated effects of mutualistic microorganisms is limited to aboveground insects, whereas there is little understanding of what role beneficial soil bacteria may play in plant defense against root herbivory. Here, we establish that colonization by the beneficial rhizobacterium Azospirillum brasilense affects the host selection and performance of the insect Diabrotica speciosa. Root larvae preferentially orient toward the roots of non-inoculated plants versus inoculated roots and gain less weight when feeding on inoculated plants. As inoculation by A. brasilense induces higher emissions of (E)-β-caryophyllene compared with non-inoculated plants, it is plausible that the non-preference of D. speciosa for inoculated plants is related to this sesquiterpene, which is well known to mediate belowground insect-plant interactions. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study showing that a beneficial rhizobacterium inoculant indirectly alters belowground plant-insect interactions. The role of A. brasilense as part of an integrative pest management (IPM) program for the protection of corn against the South American corn rootworm, D. speciosa, is considered.

  10. Insect Attraction versus Plant Defense: Young Leaves High in Glucosinolates Stimulate Oviposition by a Specialist Herbivore despite Poor Larval Survival due to High Saponin Content

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badenes-Perez, Francisco R.; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Heckel, David G.

    2014-01-01

    Glucosinolates are plant secondary metabolites used in plant defense. For insects specialized on Brassicaceae, such as the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella L. (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), glucosinolates act as “fingerprints” that are essential in host plant recognition. Some plants in the genus Barbarea (Brassicaceae) contain, besides glucosinolates, saponins that act as feeding deterrents for P. xylostella larvae, preventing their survival on the plant. Two-choice oviposition tests were conducted to study the preference of P. xylostella among Barbarea leaves of different size within the same plant. P. xylostella laid more eggs per leaf area on younger leaves compared to older ones. Higher concentrations of glucosinolates and saponins were found in younger leaves than in older ones. In 4-week-old plants, saponins were present in true leaves, while cotyledons contained little or no saponins. When analyzing the whole foliage of the plant, the content of glucosinolates and saponins also varied significantly in comparisons among plants that were 4, 8, and 12 weeks old. In Barbarea plants and leaves of different ages, there was a positive correlation between glucosinolate and saponin levels. This research shows that, in Barbarea plants, ontogenetical changes in glucosinolate and saponin content affect both attraction and resistance to P. xylostella. Co-occurrence of a high content of glucosinolates and saponins in the Barbarea leaves that are most valuable for the plant, but are also the most attractive to P. xylostella, provides protection against this specialist herbivore, which oviposition behavior on Barbarea seems to be an evolutionary mistake. PMID:24752069

  11. Insect attraction versus plant defense: young leaves high in glucosinolates stimulate oviposition by a specialist herbivore despite poor larval survival due to high saponin content.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco R Badenes-Perez

    Full Text Available Glucosinolates are plant secondary metabolites used in plant defense. For insects specialized on Brassicaceae, such as the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella L. (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae, glucosinolates act as "fingerprints" that are essential in host plant recognition. Some plants in the genus Barbarea (Brassicaceae contain, besides glucosinolates, saponins that act as feeding deterrents for P. xylostella larvae, preventing their survival on the plant. Two-choice oviposition tests were conducted to study the preference of P. xylostella among Barbarea leaves of different size within the same plant. P. xylostella laid more eggs per leaf area on younger leaves compared to older ones. Higher concentrations of glucosinolates and saponins were found in younger leaves than in older ones. In 4-week-old plants, saponins were present in true leaves, while cotyledons contained little or no saponins. When analyzing the whole foliage of the plant, the content of glucosinolates and saponins also varied significantly in comparisons among plants that were 4, 8, and 12 weeks old. In Barbarea plants and leaves of different ages, there was a positive correlation between glucosinolate and saponin levels. This research shows that, in Barbarea plants, ontogenetical changes in glucosinolate and saponin content affect both attraction and resistance to P. xylostella. Co-occurrence of a high content of glucosinolates and saponins in the Barbarea leaves that are most valuable for the plant, but are also the most attractive to P. xylostella, provides protection against this specialist herbivore, which oviposition behavior on Barbarea seems to be an evolutionary mistake.

  12. Quantitative variations in the essential oil of Minthostachys mollis (Kunth.) Griseb. in response to insects with different feeding habits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banchio, Erika; Zygadlo, Julio; Valladares, Graciela R

    2005-08-24

    Plants display a diverse array of inducible changes in secondary metabolites following insect herbivory. Herbivores differ in their feeding behavior, physiology, and mode of attachment to the leaf surface, and such variations might be reflected in the induced responses of damaged plants. Induced changes were analyzed for Minthostachys mollis, a Lamiaceae with medicinal and aromatic uses, and four species of folivore insects with different feeding habits (chewing, scraping, sap-sucking, and puncturing). In M. mollis leaves experimentally exposed to the insects, levels of the two dominant monoterpenes pulegone and menthone were assessed 24 and 48 h after wounding. Menthone content generally decreased in the essential oil of damaged leaves, whereas pulegone concentration increased in all treatments. These changes occurred also in the adjacent undamaged leaves, suggesting a systemic response. The relatively uniform response to different kinds of damage could be attributable to the presence of such a strongly active compound as pulegone in the essential oil of M. mollis. The effects of wounding on essential oil concentration may be significant from a commercial point of view.

  13. The Latex Protein MLX56 from Mulberry (Morus multicaulis Protects Plants against Insect Pests and Pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ying-Ping Gai

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Biotic stresses are major constraints limiting the leaf quality and productivity of mulberry. MLX56 is a unique chitin-binding protein isolated from Shin-Ichinose (Morus alba latex that displays toxicity against lepidopteran caterpillars. In this study, the full-length cDNA encoding MLX56 was isolated from Husang 32 (M. multicaulis and designated HMLX56. Amino acid sequence analysis and protein modeling of three MLX56 proteins showed that they were highly conserved among Morus species. Tissue expression pattern analysis showed that the HMLX56 gene was strongly expressed in mulberry bark and leaves but only slightly expressed in fruits. In addition, analysis of GUS expression indicated that the promoter of HMLX56 showed higher transcriptional activity along the vascular strands, and its activity can be regulated by various environmental factors. Like the MLX56 protein from M. alba, the HMLX56 protein showed toxicity to Plutella xylostella. Moreover, when the HMLX56 gene was ectopically expressed in Arabidopsis, the transgenic plants showed enhanced resistance to aphids, the fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea and the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000. Our data suggest that the HMLX56 protein has a lectin-like molecular structure consisting of two hevein-like chitin-binding domains which provide not only chitin-binding activities but also other mechanisms of defense. The information provided here improves our understanding of the potential functions and defense mechanisms of MLX56 proteins, enabling in-depth functional analysis of latex exudates and perhaps facilitating mulberry genetic improvement in the future.

  14. Specificity of induced defenses, growth, and reproduction in lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus) in response to multispecies herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreira, Xoaquín; Abdala-Roberts, Luis; Hernández-Cumplido, Johnattan; Cuny, Maximilien A C; Glauser, Gaetan; Benrey, Betty

    2015-08-01

    • Following herbivore attack, plants can either reduce damage by inducing defenses or mitigate herbivory effects through compensatory growth and reproduction. It is increasingly recognized that such induced defenses in plants are herbivore-specific, but less is known about the specificity of compensatory responses. Damage by multiple herbivores may also lead to synergistic effects on induction and plant fitness that differ from those caused by a single herbivore species. Although largely unstudied, the order of arrival and damage by different herbivore species might also play an important role in the impacts of herbivory on plants.• We investigated the specificity of defense induction (phenolics) and effects on growth (number of stems and leaves) and reproduction (number of seeds, seed mass, and germination rate) from feeding by two generalist leaf-chewing herbivores (Spodoptera eridania and Diabrotica balteata) on Phaseolus lunatus plants and evaluated whether simultaneous attack by both herbivores and their order of arrival influenced such dynamics.• Herbivory increased levels of leaf phenolics, but such effects were not herbivore-specific. In contrast, herbivory enhanced seed germination in an herbivore-specific manner. For all variables measured, the combined effects of both herbivore species did not differ from their individual effects. Finally, the order of herbivore arrival did not influence defense induction, plant growth, or seed number but did influence seed mass and germination.• Overall, this study highlights novel aspects of the specificity of plant responses induced by damage from multiple species of herbivores and uniquely associates such effects with plant lifetime fitness. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  15. Insect (food) allergy and allergens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Gier, Steffie; Verhoeckx, Kitty

    2018-05-03

    Insects represent an alternative for meat and fish in satisfying the increasing demand for sustainable sources of nutrition. Approximately two billion people globally consume insects. They are particularly popular in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Most research on insect allergy has focussed on occupational or inhalation allergy. Research on insect food safety, including allergenicity, is therefore of great importance. The objective of this review is to provide an overview of cases reporting allergy following insect ingestion, studies on food allergy to insects, proteins involved in insect allergy including cross-reactive proteins, and the possibility to alter the allergenic potential of insects by food processing and digestion. Food allergy to insects has been described for silkworm, mealworm, caterpillars, Bruchus lentis, sago worm, locust, grasshopper, cicada, bee, Clanis bilineata, and the food additive carmine, which is derived from female Dactylopius coccus insects. For cockroaches, which are also edible insects, only studies on inhalation allergy have been described. Various insect allergens have been identified including tropomyosin and arginine kinase, which are both pan-allergens known for their cross-reactivity with homologous proteins in crustaceans and house dust mite. Cross-reactivity and/or co-sensitization of insect tropomyosin and arginine kinase has been demonstrated in house dust mite and seafood (e.g. prawn, shrimp) allergic patients. In addition, many other (allergenic) species (various non-edible insects, arachnids, mites, seafoods, mammals, nematoda, trematoda, plants, and fungi) have been identified with sequence alignment analysis to show potential cross-reactivity with allergens of edible insects. It was also shown that thermal processing and digestion did not eliminate insect protein allergenicity. Although purified natural allergens are scarce and yields are low, recombinant allergens from cockroach, silkworm, and Indian mealmoth are

  16. Role of bark and wood destroying insect pests in drying off of spruce and pines in planting weakened by smoke

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kudela, M; Wolf, R

    1963-01-01

    This paper describes a detailed study made in 1958-62, indicating the part played by smoke and the various groups and individual species of insects, in the mortality in middle-aged and mature Pine and Spruce stands.

  17. Evolution in an ancient detoxification pathway is coupled with a transition to herbivory in the drosophilidae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gloss, Andrew D; Vassão, Daniel G; Hailey, Alexander L; Nelson Dittrich, Anna C; Schramm, Katharina; Reichelt, Michael; Rast, Timothy J; Weichsel, Andrzej; Cravens, Matthew G; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Montfort, William R; Whiteman, Noah K

    2014-09-01

    Chemically defended plant tissues present formidable barriers to herbivores. Although mechanisms to resist plant defenses have been identified in ancient herbivorous lineages, adaptations to overcome plant defenses during transitions to herbivory remain relatively unexplored. The fly genus Scaptomyza is nested within the genus Drosophila and includes species that feed on the living tissue of mustard plants (Brassicaceae), yet this lineage is derived from microbe-feeding ancestors. We found that mustard-feeding Scaptomyza species and microbe-feeding Drosophila melanogaster detoxify mustard oils, the primary chemical defenses in the Brassicaceae, using the widely conserved mercapturic acid pathway. This detoxification strategy differs from other specialist herbivores of mustard plants, which possess derived mechanisms to obviate mustard oil formation. To investigate whether mustard feeding is coupled with evolution in the mercapturic acid pathway, we profiled functional and molecular evolutionary changes in the enzyme glutathione S-transferase D1 (GSTD1), which catalyzes the first step of the mercapturic acid pathway and is induced by mustard defense products in Scaptomyza. GSTD1 acquired elevated activity against mustard oils in one mustard-feeding Scaptomyza species in which GstD1 was duplicated. Structural analysis and mutagenesis revealed that substitutions at conserved residues within and near the substrate-binding cleft account for most of this increase in activity against mustard oils. Functional evolution of GSTD1 was coupled with signatures of episodic positive selection in GstD1 after the evolution of herbivory. Overall, we found that preexisting functions of generalized detoxification systems, and their refinement by natural selection, could play a central role in the evolution of herbivory. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e

  18. Trophic Interactions during Primary Succession: Herbivores Slow a Plant Reinvasion at Mount St. Helens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagan, William F; Bishop, John G

    2000-02-01

    Lupines (Lupinus lepidus var. lobbii), the earliest plant colonists of primary successional habitats at Mount St. Helens, were expected to strongly affect successional trajectories through facilitative effects. However, their effects remain localized because initially high rates of reinvasive spread were short lived, despite widespread habitat availability. We experimentally tested whether insect herbivores, by reducing plant growth and fecundity at the edge of the expanding lupine population, could curtail the rate of reinvasion and whether those herbivores had comparable impacts in the older, more successionally advanced core region. We found that removing insect herbivores increased both the areal growth of individual lupine plants and the production of new plants in the edge region, thereby accelerating the lupine's intrinsic rate of increase at the front of the lupine reinvasion. We found no such impacts of herbivory in the core region, where low plant quality or a complex of recently arrived natural enemies may hold herbivores in check. In the context of invasion theory, herbivore-mediated decreases in lupine population growth rate in the edge region translate into decreased rates of lupine spread, which we quantify here using diffusion models. In the Mount St. Helens system, decreased rate of lupine reinvasion will result in reductions in rates of soil formation, nitrogen input, and entrapment of seeds and detritus that are likely to postpone or alter trajectories of primary succession. If the type of spatial subtleties in herbivore effects we found here are common, with herbivory focused on the edge of an expanding plant population and suppressed or ineffective in the larger, denser central region (where the plants might be more readily noticed and studied), then insect herbivores may have stronger impacts on the dynamics of primary succession and plant invasions than previously recognized.

  19. Phytoplasma PMU1 exists as linear chromosomal and circular extrachromosomal elements and has enhanced expression in insect vectors compared with plant hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toruño, Tania Y; Musić, Martina Seruga; Simi, Silvia; Nicolaisen, Mogens; Hogenhout, Saskia A

    2010-09-01

    Phytoplasmas replicate intracellularly in plants and insects and are dependent on both hosts for dissemination in nature. Phytoplasmas have small genomes lacking genes for major metabolic pathways. Nevertheless, their genomes harbour multicopy gene clusters that were named potential mobile units (PMUs). PMU1 is the largest most complete repeat among the PMUs in the genome of Aster Yellows phytoplasma strain Witches' Broom (AY-WB). PMU1 is c. 20 kb in size and contains 21 genes encoding DNA replication and predicted membrane-targeted proteins. Here we show that AY-WB has a chromosomal linear PMU1 (L-PMU1) and an extrachromosomal circular PMU1 (C-PMU1). The C-PMU1 copy number was consistently higher by in average approximately fivefold in insects compared with plants and PMU1 gene expression levels were also considerably higher in insects indicating that C-PMU1 synthesis and expression are regulated. We found that the majority of AY-WB virulence genes lie on chromosomal PMU regions that have similar gene content and organization as PMU1 providing evidence that PMUs contribute to phytoplasma host adaptation and have integrated into the AY-WB chromosome. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  20. Efficacy of insect-proof nets used in Tunisian tomato greenhouses against Tuta absoluta (Meyrick (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae and potential impact on plant growth and fruit quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Harbi

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Insect-proof screens constitute efficient physical means of protecting horticultural crops against insect pests and their use has become widespread. However, they may have a negative impact on plant growth and fruit quality by modifying climatic parameters of greenhouses. In case of tomato crops, they are used mainly against white flies and the tomato leaf miner Tuta absoluta (Meyrick. In Tunisia, tomato plastic tunnels are often netted following two modalities: i complete netting of the greenhouse under the plastic screen (total netting; or ii netting only doors and lateral aeration windows (partial netting. Weekly monitoring of T. absoluta in two tomato greenhouses with different netting setups using pheromone traps and sampling of leaves and fruits showed no differences in the levels of infestation by the pest with a maximum average values of 6.66 eggs/leaf, 4.16 larvae/leaf and 4.16 mines/leaf. The maximum infestation rate of leaves was 86.66% and that of fruits was 10.83%. No effects of the netting setup used on plant growth parameters were detected. However, the study of fruit quality parameters revealed significant decrease in sugar contents in tomato fruits when using total netting setup (4.26°Brix versus 3.68°Brix. Recommendations regarding the combined use of pheromones traps and insect-proof nets are given and possibilities to enhance the efficiency of nets as physical barrier against T. absoluta are explored.

  1. POSSIBILITIES TO USE NATURAL EXTRACTS FROM MEDICINAL AND AROMATIC PLANTS (MAP LIKE BOTANICAL REPELLENT OR INSECTICIDE COMPOUNDS AGAINST PEST INSECTS IN ECOLOGICAL CROPS (II

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irina IONESCU-MĂLĂNCUŞ

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Botanical insecticides have long been touted as attractive alternatives to synthetic chemical insecticides for pest management because botanicals reputedly pose little threat to the environment or to human health. The body of scientific literature documenting bioactivity of plant derivatives to arthropods pests continues to expand i.e. repellents based on essential oils extracted from Chenopodium ambrosioides, Eucalyptus saligna, Rosmarinus officinalis to mosquitoes, or cinnamon oil, sandalwood oil and turmeric oil are previously reported as insect repellents evaluatede in the laboratory conditions. With the constantly increasing problems of insecticide resistance and increasing public concerns regarding pesticide safety, new, safer active ingredients are becoming necessary to replace existing compounds on the market. The present study carried out in the period 2010-2012 comprises a review of two insect repellents, followed by some new research conducted in our laboratory on plant-derived insect repellents. The two alkaloids tested against the Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say in laboratory conditions was obtained by water and alchohol extraction from two vegetal species, Cichorium intybus L. (Asterales:Asteraceae and Delphinium consolida L. (Ranales:Ranunculaceae. The tests carried out in laboratory and field experimentally plots under cages permit to evaluate several other compounds for repellent activity of lacctucin alkaloids.

  2. Invasive plants and their escape from root herbivory: a worldwide comparison of the root-feeding nematode communities of the dune grass Ammophila arenaria in natural and introduced ranges

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Putten, van der W.H.; Yeates, G.W.; Duyts, H.; Schreck Reis, C.; Karssen, G.

    2005-01-01

    Invasive plants generally have fewer aboveground pathogens and viruses in their introduced range than in their natural range, and they also have fewer pathogens than do similar plant species native to the introduced range. However, although plant abundance is strongly controlled by root herbivores

  3. Effects of selenium accumulation on phytotoxicity, herbivory, and pollination ecology in radish (Raphanus sativus L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hladun, Kristen R; Parker, David R; Tran, Khoa D; Trumble, John T

    2013-01-01

    Selenium (Se) has contaminated areas in the western USA where pollination is critical to the functioning of both agricultural and natural ecosystems, yet we know little about how Se can impact pollinators. In a two-year semi-field study, the weedy plant Raphanus sativus (radish) was exposed to three selenate treatments and two pollination treatments to evaluate the effects on pollinator-plant interactions. Honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) pollinators were observed to readily forage on R. sativus for both pollen and nectar despite high floral Se concentrations. Se treatment increased both seed abortion (14%) and decreased plant biomass (8-9%). Herbivory by birds and aphids was reduced on Se-treated plants, indicating a potential reproductive advantage for the plant. Our study sheds light on how pollutants such as Se can impact the pollination ecology of a plant that accumulates even moderate amounts of Se. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) seedlings in a high-CO2 world: from physiology to herbivory

    KAUST Repository

    Hernán, Gema

    2016-12-01

    Under future increased CO2 concentrations, seagrasses are predicted to perform better as a result of increased photosynthesis, but the effects in carbon balance and growth are unclear and remain unexplored for early life stages such as seedlings, which allow plant dispersal and provide the potential for adaptation under changing environmental conditions. Furthermore, the outcome of the concomitant biochemical changes in plant-herbivore interactions has been poorly studied, yet may have important implications in plant communities. In this study we determined the effects of experimental exposure to current and future predicted CO2 concentrations on the physiology, size and defense strategies against herbivory in the earliest life stage of the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica. The photosynthetic performance of seedlings, assessed by fluorescence, improved under increased pCO2 conditions after 60 days, although these differences disappeared after 90 days. Furthermore, these plants exhibited bigger seeds and higher carbon storage in belowground tissues, having thus more resources to tolerate and recover from stressors. Of the several herbivory resistance traits measured, plants under high pCO2 conditions had a lower leaf N content but higher sucrose. These seedlings were preferred by herbivorous sea urchins in feeding trials, which could potentially counteract some of the positive effects observed.

  5. Seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) seedlings in a high-CO2 world: from physiology to herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernán, Gema; Ramajo, Laura; Basso, Lorena; Delgado, Antonio; Terrados, Jorge; Duarte, Carlos M; Tomas, Fiona

    2016-12-01

    Under future increased CO 2 concentrations, seagrasses are predicted to perform better as a result of increased photosynthesis, but the effects in carbon balance and growth are unclear and remain unexplored for early life stages such as seedlings, which allow plant dispersal and provide the potential for adaptation under changing environmental conditions. Furthermore, the outcome of the concomitant biochemical changes in plant-herbivore interactions has been poorly studied, yet may have important implications in plant communities. In this study we determined the effects of experimental exposure to current and future predicted CO 2 concentrations on the physiology, size and defense strategies against herbivory in the earliest life stage of the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica. The photosynthetic performance of seedlings, assessed by fluorescence, improved under increased pCO 2 conditions after 60 days, although these differences disappeared after 90 days. Furthermore, these plants exhibited bigger seeds and higher carbon storage in belowground tissues, having thus more resources to tolerate and recover from stressors. Of the several herbivory resistance traits measured, plants under high pCO 2 conditions had a lower leaf N content but higher sucrose. These seedlings were preferred by herbivorous sea urchins in feeding trials, which could potentially counteract some of the positive effects observed.

  6. Solar ultraviolet-B radiation affects seedling emergence, DNA integrity, plant morphology, growth rate, and attractiveness to herbivore insects in Datura ferox

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ballare, C.L.; Scopel, A.L.; Stapleton, A.E.

    1996-01-01

    To study functional relationships between the effects of solar ultraviolet-B radiation (UV0B) on different aspects of the physiology of a wild plant, we carried out exclusion experiments in the field with the summer annual Datura ferrox L. Solar UV-B incident over Buenos Aires reduced daytime seedling emergence, inhibited stem elongation and leaf expansion, and tended to reduce biomass accumulation during early growth. However, UV-B had no effect on calculated net assimilation rate. Using a monoclonal antibody specific to the cyclobutane-pyrimidine dimer (CPD), we found that plants receiving full sunlight had more CPDs per unit of DNA than plants shielded from solar UV-B, but the positive correlation between UV-B and CPD burden tended to level off at high (near solar) UV-B levels. At our field site, Datura plants were consumed by leaf beetles (Coleoptera), and the proportion of plants attacked by insects declined with the amount of UV-B received during growth. Field experiments showed that plant exposure to solar UV-B reduced the likelihood of leaf beetle attack by one-half. Our results highlight the complexities associated with scaling plant responses to solar UV-B, because they show: (a) a lack of correspondence between UV-B effects on net assimilation rate and whole-plant growth rate, (b) nonlinear UV-B dose-response curves, and (c) UV-B effects of plant attractiveness to natural herbivores. 56 refs., 7 figs

  7. Acceleration of exotic plant invasion in a forested ecosystem by a generalist herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eschtruth, Anne K; Battles, John J

    2009-04-01

    The successful invasion of exotic plants is often attributed to the absence of coevolved enemies in the introduced range (i.e., the enemy release hypothesis). Nevertheless, several components of this hypothesis, including the role of generalist herbivores, remain relatively unexplored. We used repeated censuses of exclosures and paired controls to investigate the role of a generalist herbivore, white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), in the invasion of 3 exotic plant species (Microstegium vimineum, Alliaria petiolata, and Berberis thunbergii) in eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) forests in New Jersey and Pennsylvania (U.S.A.). This work was conducted in 10 eastern hemlock (T. canadensis) forests that spanned gradients in deer density and in the severity of canopy disturbance caused by an introduced insect pest, the hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae). We used maximum likelihood estimation and information theoretics to quantify the strength of evidence for alternative models of the influence of deer density and its interaction with the severity of canopy disturbance on exotic plant abundance. Our results were consistent with the enemy release hypothesis in that exotic plants gained a competitive advantage in the presence of generalist herbivores in the introduced range. The abundance of all 3 exotic plants increased significantly more in the control plots than in the paired exclosures. For all species, the inclusion of canopy disturbance parameters resulted in models with substantially greater support than the deer density only models. Our results suggest that white-tailed deer herbivory can accelerate the invasion of exotic plants and that canopy disturbance can interact with herbivory to magnify the impact. In addition, our results provide compelling evidence of nonlinear relationships between deer density and the impact of herbivory on exotic species abundance. These findings highlight the important role of herbivore density in determining impacts on

  8. Insect Detectives

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2002-08-01

    Aug 1, 2002 ... all life stages of insects from and around the corpse. The collected specimens are subjected to further analysis either in the field itself or in the laboratory. A forensic entomologist has three main objectives in his mind while analyzing the insect data: determination of place, time and mode of death, each of.

  9. Insect Keepers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Virginia J.; Chessin, Debby A.; Theobald, Becky

    2010-01-01

    Insects are fascinating creatures--especially when you and your students get up close and personal with them! To that end, the authors facilitated an inquiry-based investigation with an emphasis on identification of the different types of insects found in the school yard, their characteristics, their habitat, and what they eat, while engaging the…

  10. Edible insects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huis, van A.

    2017-01-01

    Is it an impossible task to convince consumers to eat insects? This does not only apply to western consumers who are less familiar with this food habit than consumers in tropical countries. In the tropics too, many people do not consume insects, even though they are easier to collect as food than

  11. Eating insects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tan, Hui Shan Grace

    2017-01-01

    In recent years, edible insects have gained global attention due to their nutritional and environmental advantages over conventional meat. While numerous species of edible insects are enjoyed in various cultures around the world, most Western consumers react with disgust and aversion towards

  12. The invasive plant Alternanthera philoxeroides was suppressed more intensively than its native congener by a native generalist: implications for the biotic resistance hypothesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shufeng Fan

    Full Text Available Prior studies on preferences of native herbivores for native or exotic plants have tested both the enemy release hypothesis and the biotic resistance hypothesis and have reported inconsistent results. The different levels of resistance of native and exotic plants to native herbivores could resolve this controversy, but little attention has been paid to this issue. In this study, we investigated population performance, photosynthesis, leaf nitrogen concentration, and the constitutive and induced resistances of the successful invasive plant, Alternanthera philoxeroides, and its native congener, Alternanthera sessilis, in the presence of three population densities of the grasshopper, Atractomorpha sinensis. When the grasshopper was absent, leaf biomass, total biomass, photosynthesis, and leaf nitrogen concentration of A. philoxeroides were higher than those of A. sessilis. However, the morphological and physiological performances of A. philoxeroides were all decreased more intensively than A. sessilis after herbivory by grasshoppers. Especially as the concentrations of constitutive lignin and cellulose in leaf of A. philoxeroides were higher than A. sessilis, A. philoxeroides exhibited increased leaf lignin concentration to reduce its palatability only at severe herbivore load, whereas, leaf lignin, cellulose, and polyphenolic concentrations of A. sessilis all increased with increasing herbivory pressure, and cellulose and polyphenolic concentrations were higher in A. sessilis than in A. philoxeroides after herbivory. Our study indicated that the capability of the invasive plant to respond to native insect damage was lower than the native plant, and the invasive plant was suppressed more intensively than its native congener by the native insect. Our results support the biotic resistance hypothesis and suggest that native herbivores can constrain the abundance and reduce the adverse effects of invasive species.

  13. Analysis of the Pantoea ananatis pan-genome reveals factors underlying its ability to colonize and interact with plant, insect and vertebrate hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Maayer, Pieter; Chan, Wai Yin; Rubagotti, Enrico; Venter, Stephanus N; Toth, Ian K; Birch, Paul R J; Coutinho, Teresa A

    2014-05-27

    Pantoea ananatis is found in a wide range of natural environments, including water, soil, as part of the epi- and endophytic flora of various plant hosts, and in the insect gut. Some strains have proven effective as biological control agents and plant-growth promoters, while other strains have been implicated in diseases of a broad range of plant hosts and humans. By analysing the pan-genome of eight sequenced P. ananatis strains isolated from different sources we identified factors potentially underlying its ability to colonize and interact with hosts in both the plant and animal Kingdoms. The pan-genome of the eight compared P. ananatis strains consisted of a core genome comprised of 3,876 protein coding sequences (CDSs) and a sizeable accessory genome consisting of 1,690 CDSs. We estimate that ~106 unique CDSs would be added to the pan-genome with each additional P. ananatis genome sequenced in the future. The accessory fraction is derived mainly from integrated prophages and codes mostly for proteins of unknown function. Comparison of the translated CDSs on the P. ananatis pan-genome with the proteins encoded on all sequenced bacterial genomes currently available revealed that P. ananatis carries a number of CDSs with orthologs restricted to bacteria associated with distinct hosts, namely plant-, animal- and insect-associated bacteria. These CDSs encode proteins with putative roles in transport and metabolism of carbohydrate and amino acid substrates, adherence to host tissues, protection against plant and animal defense mechanisms and the biosynthesis of potential pathogenicity determinants including insecticidal peptides, phytotoxins and type VI secretion system effectors. P. ananatis has an 'open' pan-genome typical of bacterial species that colonize several different environments. The pan-genome incorporates a large number of genes encoding proteins that may enable P. ananatis to colonize, persist in and potentially cause disease symptoms in a wide range of

  14. Love Games that Insects Play

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 3; Issue 1. Love Games that Insects Play - The Evolution of Sexual Behaviours in Insects ... Author Affiliations. K N Ganeshaiah1. Department of Genetics & Plant Breeding University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK Bangalore 560 065, India ...

  15. Efficacy of plastic mesh tubes in reducing herbivory damage by the invasive nutria (Myocastor coypus) in an urban restoration site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheffels, Trevor R.; Systma, Mark D.; Carter, Jacoby; Taylor, Jimmy D.

    2014-01-01

    The restoration of stream corridors is becoming an increasingly important component of urban landscape planning, and the high cost of these projects necessitates the need to understand and address potential ecological obstacles to project success. The nutria(Myocastor coypus) is an invasive, semi-aquatic rodent native to South America that causes detrimental ecological impacts in riparian and wetland habitats throughout its introduced range, and techniques are needed to reduce nutria herbivory damage to urban stream restoration projects. We assessed the efficacy of standard Vexar® plastic mesh tubes in reducing nutria herbivory damage to newly established woody plants. The study was conducted in winter-spring 2009 at Delta Ponds, a 60-ha urban waterway in Eugene, Oregon. Woody plants protected by Vexar® tubes demonstrated 100% survival over the 3-month initial establishment period, while only 17% of unprotected plantings survived. Nutria demonstrated a preference for black cottonwood (Populus balsamifera ssp trichocarpa) over red osier dogwood (Cornussericea) and willow (Salix spp). Camera surveillance showed that nutria were more active in unprotected rather than protected treatments. Our results suggest that Vexar® plastic mesh tubing can be an effective short-term herbivory mitigation tool when habitat use by nutria is low. Additionally, planting functionally equivalent woody plant species that are less preferred by nutria, and other herbivores, may be another method for reducing herbivory and improving revegetation success. This study highlights the need to address potential wildlife damage conflicts in the planning process for stream restoration in urban landscapes.

  16. Does Plant Origin Influence the Fitness Impact of Flower Damage? A Meta-Analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catalina González-Browne

    Full Text Available Herbivory has been long considered an important component of plant-animal interactions that influences the success of invasive species in novel habitats. One of the most important hypotheses linking herbivory and invasion processes is the enemy-release hypothesis, in which exotic plants are hypothesized to suffer less herbivory and fitness-costs in their novel ranges as they leave behind their enemies in the original range. Most evidence, however, comes from studies on leaf herbivory, and the importance of flower herbivory for the invasion process remains largely unknown. Here we present the results of a meta-analysis of the impact of flower herbivory on plant reproductive success, using as moderators the type of damage caused by floral herbivores and the residence status of the plant species. We found 51 papers that fulfilled our criteria. We also included 60 records from unpublished data of the laboratory, gathering a total of 143 case studies. The effects of florivory and nectar robbing were both negative on plant fitness. The methodology employed in studies of flower herbivory influenced substantially the outcome of flower damage. Experiments using natural herbivory imposed a higher fitness cost than simulated herbivory, such as clipping and petal removal, indicating that studies using artificial herbivory as surrogates of natural herbivory underestimate the real fitness impact of flower herbivory. Although the fitness cost of floral herbivory was high both in native and exotic plant species, floral herbivores had a three-fold stronger fitness impact on exotic than native plants, contravening a critical element of the enemy-release hypothesis. Our results suggest a critical but largely unrecognized role of floral herbivores in preventing the spread of introduced species into newly colonized areas.

  17. Simulated herbivory and vegetation dynamics in coal slurry ponds reclaimed as wetlands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mathis, M.J.; Middleton, B.A. [Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL (USA). Dept. of Plant Biology

    1999-12-01

    The biodiversity of coal slurry ponds can be inhibited at least in part, by dense stands of Phragmites australis. In this study, it is demonstrated that species richness can be increased in coal slurry ponds if the dominant species (P. Australis and Typha latifolia) are removed and that underwater herbivory simulated by cutting will kill emergents. The study was conducted in the greenhouse and the field in both flooded and drawndown conditions. In a reclaimed coal pond at Pyramid State Park, Illinois, neither P. australis nor T. Latifolia survived cutting underwater, but all of the uncut plants survived. Regrowth measured as total biomass of stems was less among flooded versus freely drained plants (0.3 and 2.6 g biomass, respectively). Cut versus uncut plants, combining freely drained and flooded, had less below-ground biomass (99.4 and 254.4 g, respectively). In an unreclaimed coal slurry pond with monospecific stands of P. Australis, plant species richness increased in cut plots as compared to uncut plots (29 vs 2 species, respectively) between March and September, 1995. This study demonstrated that species richness can be increased in coal ponds by mechanical cutting and this potentially by herbivory; however, the additional species were mostly exotics.

  18. The lost micro-deserts of the Patuxent River using landscape history, insect and plant specimens, and field work to detect and define a unique community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Droege, S.; Davis, C.A.; Steiner, W.E.; =Mawdsley, J.

    2009-01-01

    Historical and recent records of both plants and insects are synthesized for uplands along the eastern edge of Maryland?s Patuxent River from the edge of the Piedmont south to Jug Bay. This strip is characterized by deep sandy soils found in the Evesboro and Galestown sandy loams soil series. Within this narrow strip there exists a unique flora and fauna adapted to open dry sandy soils and occurring in small remnant patches associated with old sand mining operations and scattered protected areas. We illustrate the uniqueness of these sites using four groups, vascular plants, tenebrionid beetles (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae), tiger beetles (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae), and bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Anthophila). Within each of these groups, rare species were detected whose populations were locally restricted to this soil type and whose nearest known populations were often hundreds of kilometers away. In addition to documenting the direct conservation importance of these small sandy openings along the Patuxent, we contrast the lack of any indication from vertebrate inventories that this region is unique. The combination of plant and insect inventories appears to be a better means of clarifying a site?s importance than does any survey of a single taxonomic group.

  19. Radiations: tool for insect pest management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swami, Kailash Kumar; Kiradoo, M.M.; Srivastava, Meera

    2012-01-01

    The discovery that X-rays or gamma radiation could cause sufficient genetic damage to insect reproductive systems to induce sterility resulted from work conducted by H.J. Muller starting in the 1920s. The sterilizing effect of radiation was noted by scientists of the US Department of Agriculture who had been seeking a method to sterilize insects for many years. These scientists had theorized that if large numbers of the target insect species were reared, sterilized, and released into the field, the sterile insects would mate with the wild insects. These mating would result in no offspring and thus a decline in the population would be obtained. They calculated that if sufficient numbers of sterile insects were released, reproductive rate for the wild population would rapidly decline and reach zero. In simple language, birth control of insects. Radiation sterilization was the answer. In a SIT operation, radiation is used to sexually sterilize insects. Since the SIT is species specific, the selection the insect pest or group of pests on which to work is of primary importance. The Joint Division of the IAEA Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has been involved in the use of isotopes and radiation in insect control since 1964. Isotopes are used as tags or markers, for instance, of chemical molecules, insects, or plants. For example, with these tags one can follow the fate of insecticides within insects and the environment; the incorporation of nutrients into the insect; and the movements of insects under field conditions. They also can plants on which insects feed so that the quantity of consumed food can be measured and directly correlated with plant resistance. They can be used as well to follow parasites and predators of insects - for example, their movements, numbers, and ability to help control insect pests. Radiations therefore have come as a novel tool to combat insect pest problem and in future could be very helpful in various other ways, of be it be cost

  20. The systemin receptor SYR1 enhances resistance of tomato against herbivorous insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lei; Einig, Elias; Almeida-Trapp, Marilia; Albert, Markus; Fliegmann, Judith; Mithöfer, Axel; Kalbacher, Hubert; Felix, Georg

    2018-03-01

    The discovery in tomato of systemin, the first plant peptide hormone 1,2 , was a fundamental change for the concept of plant hormones. Numerous other peptides have since been shown to play regulatory roles in many aspects of the plant life, including growth, development, fertilization and interactions with symbiotic organisms 3-6 . Systemin, an 18 amino acid peptide derived from a larger precursor protein 7 , was proposed to act as the spreading signal that triggers systemic defence responses observed in plants after wounding or attack by herbivores 1,7,8 . Further work culminated in the identification of a leucine-rich repeat receptor kinase (LRR-RK) as the systemin receptor 160 (SR160) 9,10 . SR160 is a tomato homologue of Brassinosteroid Insensitive 1 (BRI1), which mediates the regulation of growth and development in response to the steroid hormone brassinolide 11-13 . However, a role of SR160/BRI1 as systemin receptor could not be corroborated by others 14-16 . Here, we demonstrate that perception of systemin depends on a pair of distinct LRR-RKs termed SYR1 and SYR2. SYR1 acts as a genuine systemin receptor that binds systemin with high affinity and specificity. Further, we show that presence of SYR1, although not decisive for local and systemic wound responses, is important for defence against insect herbivory.

  1. Specific polyphenols and tannins are associated with defense against insect herbivores in the tropical oak Quercus oleoides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moctezuma, Coral; Hammerbacher, Almuth; Heil, Martin; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Méndez-Alonzo, Rodrigo; Oyama, Ken

    2014-05-01

    The role of plant polyphenols as defenses against insect herbivores is controversial. We combined correlative field studies across three geographic regions (Northern Mexico, Southern Mexico, and Costa Rica) with induction experiments under controlled conditions to search for candidate compounds that might play a defensive role in the foliage of the tropical oak, Quercus oleoides. We quantified leaf damage caused by four herbivore guilds (chewers, skeletonizers, leaf miners, and gall forming insects) and analyzed the content of 18 polyphenols (including hydrolyzable tannins, flavan-3-ols, and flavonol glycosides) in the same set of leaves using high performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. Foliar damage ranged from two to eight percent per region, and nearly 90% of all the damage was caused by chewing herbivores. Damage due to chewing herbivores was positively correlated with acutissimin B, catechin, and catechin dimer, and damage by mining herbivores was positively correlated with mongolinin A. By contrast, gall presence was negatively correlated with vescalagin and acutissimin B. By using redundancy analysis, we searched for the combinations of polyphenols that were associated to natural herbivory: the combination of mongolinin A and acutissimin B had the highest association to herbivory. In a common garden experiment with oak saplings, artificial damage increased the content of acutissimin B, mongolinin A, and vescalagin, whereas the content of catechin decreased. Specific polyphenols, either individually or in combination, rather than total polyphenols, were associated with standing leaf damage in this tropical oak. Future studies aimed at understanding the ecological role of polyphenols can use similar correlative studies to identify candidate compounds that could be used individually and in biologically meaningful combinations in tests with herbivores and pathogens.

  2. Methyl jasmonate induced resistance in cheniere rice and soybean plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taplin, C.

    2017-12-01

    Methyl jasmonate (MJ) is a compound naturally occurring in certain plants that aids in plant defense. In this study, we examined the difference in herbivory of fall armyworm (FAW) on control plants (treated without MJ) and MJ-treated plants. Seeds of cheniere rice and soybean were soaked in MJ overnight and planted in the greenhouse, although the soybean never grew. Therefore, only the mature plant leaves of cheniere rice were fed to FAW and the difference in herbivory was looked at. Our results show there is no statistical difference in the herbivory of the cheniere rice plant leaves.

  3. Marketing insects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schiemer, Carolin; Halloran, Afton Marina Szasz; Jespersen, Kristjan

    2018-01-01

    In entering Western markets, edible insects are typically framed as the ‘solution’ to a number of challenges caused by unsustainable global food systems, such as climate change and global health issues. In addition, some media outlets also frame insects as the next ‘superfood’. Superfood is a mar......In entering Western markets, edible insects are typically framed as the ‘solution’ to a number of challenges caused by unsustainable global food systems, such as climate change and global health issues. In addition, some media outlets also frame insects as the next ‘superfood’. Superfood...... is a marketing term for nutrient-packed foods, which are successfully promoted to Western consumers with the promises of health, well-being and beauty. However, the increase in the demand in the West is argued to cause negative social, environmental, economic and cultural consequences – externalities – felt...