Herbivore induced plant volatiles provide plant resistance

Ali Zakir and colleagues have a paper in the Journal in early view “Herbivore-induced plant volatiles provide associational resistance against an ovipositing herbivore”. Read the paper here.

The authors have provided a short synopsis of the paper and a photo.

Zakir image

In this study we examined the effects of emission of herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) from damaged host plants (cotton, alfalfa and clover) on egglaying behaviour in the moth Spodoptera littoralis. We investigated if HIPVs can provide associational resistance to undamaged host plants within damaged host plant patches. We observed a significant reduction in egg laying by S. littoralis on undamaged cotton and alfalfa receivers adjacent to herbivore-damaged cotton emitters. Thus, the emission of HIPVs from cotton provided associational resistance to undamaged plants. On the other hand, HIPVs from damaged alfalfa and clover neighbours did not provide resistance to undamaged cotton receivers. This shows that the phenomenon is not universal among the host plants of S. littoralis. Our results indicated that associational resistance by HIPVs depends on direct effects on egg laying behaviour either by repelling female approach to plants or by affecting them after landing. Our results suggest that damaged host-emitters can reduce herbivory on undamaged host-receivers and enhance plant resistance by affecting oviposition behaviour in insect herbivores. Identification of the behaviourally active compounds among HIPVs is an important objective of our future research.

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