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Gall volatiles defend aphids against a browsing mammal.
BMC Evol Biol. 2013 Sep 11; 13:193.BE

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Plants have evolved an astonishing array of survival strategies. To defend against insects, for example, damaged plants emit volatile organic compounds that attract the herbivore's natural enemies. So far, plant volatile responses have been studied extensively in conjunction with leaf chewing and sap sucking insects, yet little is known about the relationship between plant volatiles and gall-inducers, the most sophisticated herbivores. Here we describe a new role for volatiles as gall-insects were found to benefit from this plant defence.

RESULTS

Chemical analyses of galls triggered by the gregarious aphid Slavum wertheimae on wild pistachio trees showed that these structures contained and emitted considerably higher quantities of plant terpenes than neighbouring leaves and fruits. Behavioural assays using goats as a generalist herbivore confirmed that the accumulated terpenes acted as olfactory signals and feeding deterrents, thus enabling the gall-inducers to escape from inadvertent predation by mammals.

CONCLUSIONS

Increased emission of plant volatiles in response to insect activity is commonly looked upon as a "cry for help" by the plant to attract the insect's natural enemies. In contrast, we show that such volatiles can serve as a first line of insect defences that extends the 'extended phenotype' represented by galls, beyond physical boundaries. Our data support the Enemy hypothesis insofar that high levels of gall secondary metabolites confer protection against natural enemies.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Bio-Protection Research Centre, Lincoln University, PO Box 85084, Lincoln 7647, New Zealand. michael.rostas@lincoln.ac.nz.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

24020365

Citation

Rostás, Michael, et al. "Gall Volatiles Defend Aphids Against a Browsing Mammal." BMC Evolutionary Biology, vol. 13, 2013, p. 193.
Rostás M, Maag D, Ikegami M, et al. Gall volatiles defend aphids against a browsing mammal. BMC Evol Biol. 2013;13:193.
Rostás, M., Maag, D., Ikegami, M., & Inbar, M. (2013). Gall volatiles defend aphids against a browsing mammal. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 13, 193. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-13-193
Rostás M, et al. Gall Volatiles Defend Aphids Against a Browsing Mammal. BMC Evol Biol. 2013 Sep 11;13:193. PubMed PMID: 24020365.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Gall volatiles defend aphids against a browsing mammal. AU - Rostás,Michael, AU - Maag,Daniel, AU - Ikegami,Makihiko, AU - Inbar,Moshe, Y1 - 2013/09/11/ PY - 2013/06/27/received PY - 2013/09/09/accepted PY - 2013/9/12/entrez PY - 2013/9/12/pubmed PY - 2014/4/25/medline SP - 193 EP - 193 JF - BMC evolutionary biology JO - BMC Evol Biol VL - 13 N2 - BACKGROUND: Plants have evolved an astonishing array of survival strategies. To defend against insects, for example, damaged plants emit volatile organic compounds that attract the herbivore's natural enemies. So far, plant volatile responses have been studied extensively in conjunction with leaf chewing and sap sucking insects, yet little is known about the relationship between plant volatiles and gall-inducers, the most sophisticated herbivores. Here we describe a new role for volatiles as gall-insects were found to benefit from this plant defence. RESULTS: Chemical analyses of galls triggered by the gregarious aphid Slavum wertheimae on wild pistachio trees showed that these structures contained and emitted considerably higher quantities of plant terpenes than neighbouring leaves and fruits. Behavioural assays using goats as a generalist herbivore confirmed that the accumulated terpenes acted as olfactory signals and feeding deterrents, thus enabling the gall-inducers to escape from inadvertent predation by mammals. CONCLUSIONS: Increased emission of plant volatiles in response to insect activity is commonly looked upon as a "cry for help" by the plant to attract the insect's natural enemies. In contrast, we show that such volatiles can serve as a first line of insect defences that extends the 'extended phenotype' represented by galls, beyond physical boundaries. Our data support the Enemy hypothesis insofar that high levels of gall secondary metabolites confer protection against natural enemies. SN - 1471-2148 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/24020365/Gall_volatiles_defend_aphids_against_a_browsing_mammal_ L2 - https://bmcevolbiol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2148-13-193 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -