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Lina Castano-Duque, Kenneth W Loades, John F Tooker, Kathleen M Brown, W Paul Williams, Dawn S Luthe
Insect resistance against root herbivores like the western corn rootworm (WCR, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera) is not well understood in non-transgenic maize. We studied the responses of two American maize inbreds, Mp708 and Tx601, to WCR infestation using biomechanical, molecular, biochemical analyses, and laser ablation tomography. Previous studies performed on several inbreds indicated that these two maize genotypes differed in resistance to pests including fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) and WCR. Our data confirmed that Mp708 shows resistance against WCR, and demonstrates that the resistance mechanism is based in a multi-trait phenotype that includes increased resistance to cutting in nodal roots, stable root growth during insect infestation, constitutive and induced expression of known herbivore-defense genes, including ribosomal inhibitor protein 2 (rip2), terpene synthase 23 (tps23) and maize insect resistance cysteine protease-1 (mir1), as well high constitutive levels of jasmonic acid and production of (E)-β-caryophyllene...
November 18, 2017: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Corinna Riginos, Lauren M Porensky, Kari E Veblen, Truman P Young
Rainfall and herbivory are fundamental drivers of grassland plant dynamics, yet few studies have examined long-term interactions between these factors in an experimental setting. Understanding such interactions is important, as rainfall is becoming increasingly erratic and native wild herbivores are being replaced by livestock. Livestock grazing and episodic low rainfall are thought to interact, leading to greater community change than either factor alone. We examined patterns of change and stability in herbaceous community composition through four dry periods, or droughts, over 15 years of the Kenya Long-term Exclosure Experiment (KLEE), which consists of six different combinations of cattle, native wild herbivores (e...
November 15, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Mariangela Coppola, Pasquale Cascone, Valentina Madonna, Ilaria Di Lelio, Francesco Esposito, Concetta Avitabile, Alessandra Romanelli, Emilio Guerrieri, Alessia Vitiello, Francesco Pennacchio, Rosa Rao, Giandomenico Corrado
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...
November 14, 2017: Scientific Reports
Julia Astegiano, Florian Altermatt, François Massol
Species establish different interactions (e.g. antagonistic, mutualistic) with multiple species, forming multilayer ecological networks. Disentangling network co-structure in multilayer networks is crucial to predict how biodiversity loss may affect the persistence of multispecies assemblages. Existing methods to analyse multilayer networks often fail to consider network co-structure. We present a new method to evaluate the modular co-structure of multilayer networks through the assessment of species degree co-distribution and network module composition...
November 13, 2017: Scientific Reports
Catherine Blanc, Fania Coluccia, Floriane L'Haridon, Martha Torres, Marlene Ortiz-Berrocal, Elia Stahl, Philippe Reymond, Lukas Schreiber, Christiane Nawrath, Jean-Pierre Metraux, Mario Serrano
We isolated previously several Arabidopsis thaliana mutants with constitutive expression of the early MAMP-induced gene ATL2, named eca (expresión constitutiva de ATL2). Here we further explored the interaction of eca mutants with pest and pathogens. Of all eca mutants, eca2 was more resistant to a fungal (Botrytis cinerea) and a bacterial (Pseudomonas syringae) pathogen, as well as to a generalist herbivorous insect (Spodoptera littoralis). Permeability of the cuticle is increased in eca2; chemical characterization shows that eca2 has a significant reduction of both cuticular wax and cutin...
November 13, 2017: Molecular Plant-microbe Interactions: MPMI
Christine A Ricci, Albert J Meier, Ouida W Meier, T Keith Philips
Exyra ridingsii (Riley) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a moth whose obligate host is the pitcher plant Sarracenia flava (L.) (Nepenthales: Sarraceniaceae). The entire life cycle of the moth is completed in the trumpets of this fire-dependent plant that is found throughout the southeastern United States in bogs, long-leaf pine savannas, and pocosins. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of E. ridingsii on S. flava, including the effect of herbivory on trumpet height in the year subsequent to feeding and whether moths select trumpets for oviposition based on height...
November 4, 2017: Environmental Entomology
Nina Xiaoning Zhang, Gerben J Messelink, Juan M Alba, Robert C Schuurink, Merijn R Kant, Arne Janssen
Plants possess various inducible defences that result in synthesis of specialized metabolites in response to herbivory, which can interfere with the performance of herbivores of the same and other species. Much less is known of the effects of plant feeding by omnivores. We found that previous feeding of the omnivorous predator Macrolophus pygmaeus on sweet pepper plants significantly reduced reproduction of the two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae and western flower thrips Frankliniella occidentalis on the same plants, also on leaves that had not been exposed to the omnivore...
November 9, 2017: Oecologia
Shaobao Liu, Jiaojiao Jiao, Tian Jian Lu, Feng Xu, Barbara G Pickard, Guy M Genin
The much studied plant Arabidopsis thaliana has been reported recently to react to the sounds of caterpillars of Pieris rapae chewing on its leaves by promoting synthesis of toxins that can deter herbivory. Identifying participating receptor cells-potential "ears"-of Arabidopsis is critical to understanding and harnessing this response. Motivated in part by other recent observations that Arabidopsis trichomes (hair cells) respond to mechanical stimuli such as pressing or brushing by initiating potential signaling factors in themselves and in the neighboring skirt of cells, we analyzed the vibrational responses of Arabidopsis trichomes to test the hypothesis that trichomes can respond acoustically to vibrations associated with feeding caterpillars...
November 7, 2017: Biophysical Journal
M Kautz, P Anthoni, A J H Meddens, T A M Pugh, A Arneth
Biotic disturbances (BDs, e.g., insects, pathogens and wildlife herbivory) substantially affect boreal and temperate forest ecosystems globally. However, accurate impact assessments comprising larger spatial scales are lacking to date, although these are critically needed given the expected disturbance intensification under a warming climate. Hence, our quantitative knowledge on current and future BD impacts, e.g., on forest carbon (C) cycling, is strongly limited. We extended a Dynamic Global Vegetation Model to simulate ecosystem response to prescribed tree mortality and defoliation due to multiple biotic agents across United States forests during the period 1997-2015, and quantified the BD-induced vegetation C loss, i...
November 3, 2017: Global Change Biology
Telsa Willsey, Syama Chatterton, Héctor Cárcamo
Soilborne fungal and oomycete pathogens are the causal agents of several important plant diseases. Infection frequently co-occurs with herbivory by root-feeding insects, facilitating tripartite interactions that modify plant performance and mortality. In an agricultural context, interactions between pathogens, herbivores, and plants can have important consequences for yield protection. However, belowground interactions are inherently difficult to observe and are often overlooked. Here, we review the impact of direct and indirect interactions between root-associated insects, fungi, and oomycetes on the development of plant disease...
2017: Frontiers in Plant Science
Johannes Heinze, Jasmin Joshi
For plants, herbivory and interactions with their surrounding soil ecosystem are crucial factors influencing individual performance and plant-community composition. Until now, research has mostly focused on individual effects of herbivory or plant-soil feedbacks (PSFs) on plant growth and community composition, but few studies have explicitly investigated herbivory in the context of PSFs. These few studies, however, were performed under greenhouse conditions even though PSFs and herbivory may differ between greenhouse and field conditions...
November 4, 2017: Oecologia
Paul Grogan, Tara J Zamin
Plant compensatory growth responses to herbivory are mediated by soil fertility and can have significant feedbacks that affect overall ecosystem nutrient cycling. The sedge Eriophorum vaginatum is the dominant graminoid in arctic mesic tundra, and is heavily consumed by caribou. Here, we compare the principal compensatory growth models in explaining the impact of a single episode of simulated caribou grazing at two clipping intensities on E. vaginatum total growing season shoot production, nitrogen concentrations, and nitrogen pools, over two successive years across a soil nitrogen fertilisation gradient...
November 2, 2017: Oecologia
Akira Yamawo, Nobuhiko Suzuki
The disadvantage of induced defenses compared with constitutive defenses is the time during which a plant is vulnerable to herbivory before activation. There is obvious importance in determining the costs and benefits of induced defenses. Some plants produce extrafloral nectaries (EFNs), which attract ants that protect against herbivores, and induce EFNs and extrafloral nectar in response to leaf damage. To understand induction of indirect defense by ants, we investigated the induction and relaxation of extrafloral nectar secretion and EFN formation after artificial leaf damage in young Mallotus japonicus...
October 31, 2017: Journal of Plant Research
Thomas Boivin, Violette Doublet, Jean-Noël Candau
Plant-insect interactions are key model systems to assess how some species affect the distribution, the abundance, and the evolution of others. Tree reproductive structures represent a critical resource for many insect species, which can be likely drivers of demography, spatial distribution, and trait diversification of plants. In this review, we present the ecological implications of pre-dispersal herbivory on tree reproductive structures by insects (PIHR) in forest ecosystems. Both insect's and tree's perspectives are addressed with an emphasis on how spatio-temporal variation and unpredictability in seed availability can shape such particular plant-animal interactions...
October 30, 2017: Insect Science
John R Poulsen, Cooper Rosin, Amelia Meier, Emily Mills, Chase Nunez, Sally E Koerner, Emily Blanchard, Jennifer Callejas, Sarah Moore, Mark Sowers
Poaching is rapidly extirpating African forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) from most of their historical range, leaving vast areas of elephant-free tropical forest. Elephants are ecological engineers that create and maintain forest habitat, thus their loss will have strong consequences for the composition and structure of Afrotropical forests. We evaluated the roles of forest elephants in seed dispersal, nutrient recycling, and herbivory and physical damage to predict the cascading ecological effects of their population declines...
October 27, 2017: Conservation Biology: the Journal of the Society for Conservation Biology
Jordi F Pagès, Timothy M Smith, Fiona Tomas, Neus Sanmartí, Jordi Boada, Harriet De Bari, Marta Pérez, Javier Romero, Rohan Arthur, Teresa Alcoverro
There is increasing uncertainty of how marine ecosystems will respond to rising temperatures. While studies have focused on the impacts of warming on individual species, knowledge of how species interactions are likely to respond is scant. The strength of even simple two-species interactions is influenced by several interacting mechanisms, each potentially changing with temperature. We used controlled experiments to assess how plant-herbivore interactions respond to temperature for three structural dominant macrophytes in the Mediterranean and their principal sea urchin herbivore...
October 23, 2017: Marine Pollution Bulletin
Juan Song, Hui Liu, Huifu Zhuang, Chunxia Zhao, Yuxing Xu, Shibo Wu, Jinfeng Qi, Jing Li, Christian Hettenhausen, Jianqiang Wu
Maize (Zea mays L.) is a staple crop worldwide with extensive genetic variations. Various insects attack maize plants causing large yield loss. Here, we investigated the responses of maize B73, a susceptible line, and Mo17, a resistant line, to the aphid Rhopalosiphum padi on metabolite and transcriptome levels. R. padi feeding had no effect on the levels of the defensive metabolites benzoxazinoids (Bxs) in either line, and Mo17 contained substantially greater levels of Bxs than did B73. Profiling of the differentially expressed genes revealed that B73 and Mo17 responded to R...
2017: Frontiers in Plant Science
Robert K D Peterson, Andrea C Varella, Leon G Higley
Plant resistance against insect herbivory has greatly focused on antibiosis, whereby the plant has a deleterious effect on the herbivore, and antixenosis, whereby the plant is able to direct the herbivore away from it. Although these two types of resistance may reduce injury and yield loss, they can produce selection pressures on insect herbivores that lead to pest resistance. Tolerance, on the other hand, is a more sustainable pest management strategy because it involves only a plant response and therefore does not cause evolution of resistance in target pest populations...
2017: PeerJ
Graham J Edgar, Timothy J Alexander, Jonathan S Lefcheck, Amanda E Bates, Stuart J Kininmonth, Russell J Thomson, J Emmett Duffy, Mark J Costello, Rick D Stuart-Smith
Among the most enduring ecological challenges is an integrated theory explaining the latitudinal biodiversity gradient, including discrepancies observed at different spatial scales. Analysis of Reef Life Survey data for 4127 marine species at 2406 coral and rocky sites worldwide confirms that the total ecoregion richness peaks in low latitudes, near +15°N and -15°S. However, although richness at survey sites is maximal near the equator for vertebrates, it peaks at high latitudes for large mobile invertebrates...
October 2017: Science Advances
Xiahezi Kuai, Charles Barraco, Charles Després
Each year, crop yield is lost to weeds competing for resources, insect herbivory and diseases caused by pathogens. To thwart these insults and preserve yield security and a high quality of traits, conventional agriculture makes use of improved cultivars combined with fertilizer and agrochemical applications. However, given that regulatory bodies and consumers are demanding environmentally safer agrochemicals, while at the same time resistance to agrochemicals is mounting, it is crucial to adopt a "holistic" approach to agriculture by not excluding any number of management tools at our disposal...
2017: Frontiers in Plant Science
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