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Attracting bodyguards: testing macro-evolutionary trends of belowground plant indirect defenses and effects on plant fitness.

Applicant Rasmann Sergio
Number 159869
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut de Biologie Université de Neuchâtel
Institution of higher education University of Neuchatel - NE
Main discipline Ecology
Start/End 01.05.2015 - 30.04.2018
Approved amount 399'767.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Ecology
Botany

Keywords (6)

Phylogenetic analysis; Plant-insect interaction; root defenses; tritrophic interaction ; Chemical ecology; natural selection

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Les plantes, quand elles sont attaquées par les herbivores, crient à l'aide, et libèrent des odeurs qui signalent la présence de l'herbivore aux prédateurs. À ce jour, on ne connaît pas si les différences dans «cri de détresse" proviennent de changements dans l'habitat ou d'autres caractéristiques biologiques de la plante. Avec ce projet, nous allons aborder cette question en utilisant les gradients altitudinaux comme en guise de laboratoires écologiques naturels.
Lay summary

Les plantes et les herbivores constituent plus de la moitié de la biodiversité des macro-organismes sur terre. Par conséquent, une meilleure compréhension de l'évolution des défenses des plantes contre leurs herbivores est centrale pour notre compréhension de la biodiversité et l'interaction des espèces, ainsi que pour mieux gérer les insectes nuisibles dans les agro-écosystèmes. Lorsque les plantes sont attaquées, vu qu’elles ne peuvent pas s’échapper,  elles se défendent par différents moyens, y compris l'attraction de prédateurs ou parasitoïdes des en produisant des composés organiques volatils (c.-à-odeurs). Ce phénomène a été dénommé «défense de la plante indirecte». Avec ce projet, nous cherchons à mesurer l’attraction des prédateurs dans le sol après des dommages par des herbivores racinaires. Nous allons utiliser les gradients d'altitude dans les Alpes comme un «laboratoire naturel» pour créer des variation de température et de précipitations, ainsi que pour créer un substrat de variation naturelle de la pression des herbivores. Spécifiquement, nous visons à évaluer si, basée sur différents facteurs abiotiques et biotiques, les plantes peuvent s’adapter et moduler la façon de comment les prédateurs sont attirés. Par exemple, nous nous attendons à ce que à haute altitude, où la pression des herbivores est faible, les plantes produisent moins d'odeurs que à basse altitude.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 29.04.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Growth-competition-herbivore resistance trade-offs and the responses of alpine plant communities to climate change.
Pellissier Loic, Descombe Patrice, Hagen Oskar, Chalmandrier Loic, Glauser Glauser, Kergunteuil Alan, Defossez Emmanuel, Rasmann Sergio (2018), Growth-competition-herbivore resistance trade-offs and the responses of alpine plant communities to climate change., in Functional Ecology, 1-11.
Elevational gradients in plant defences and insect herbivory: recent advances in the field and prospects for future research
Moreira Xoaquín, Petry William K., Mooney Kailen A., Rasmann Sergio, Abdala-Roberts Luis (2018), Elevational gradients in plant defences and insect herbivory: recent advances in the field and prospects for future research, in Ecography, 1.
Lioptilodes friasi (Lepidoptera: Pterophoridae) Niche Breadth in the Chilean Mediterranean Matorral Biome: Trophic and Altitudinal Dimensions
Vargas Héctor A., Rasmann Sergio, Ramirez-Verdugo Pamela, Villagra Cristian A. (2018), Lioptilodes friasi (Lepidoptera: Pterophoridae) Niche Breadth in the Chilean Mediterranean Matorral Biome: Trophic and Altitudinal Dimensions, in Neotropical Entomology, 47(1), 62-68.
A global analysis of elevational gradients in leaf herbivory and its underlying drivers: Effects of plant growth form, leaf habit and climatic correlates
Galmán Andrea, Abdala-Roberts Luis, Zhang Shuang, Berny-Mier y Teran Jorge C., Rasmann Sergio, Moreira Xoaquín (2018), A global analysis of elevational gradients in leaf herbivory and its underlying drivers: Effects of plant growth form, leaf habit and climatic correlates, in Journal of Ecology, 106(1), 413-421.
Latitudinal variation in plant chemical defences drives latitudinal patterns of leaf herbivory
Moreira Xoaquín, Castagneyrol Bastien, Abdala-Roberts Luis, Berny-Mier y Teran Jorge C., Timmermans Bart G. H., Bruun Hans Henrik, Covelo Felisa, Glauser Gaétan, Rasmann Sergio, Tack Ayco J. M. (2017), Latitudinal variation in plant chemical defences drives latitudinal patterns of leaf herbivory, in Ecography, 1.
Community-level plant palatability increases with elevation as insect herbivore abundance declines
Descombes Patrice, Marchon Jérémy, Pradervand Jean-Nicolas, Bilat Julia, Guisan Antoine, Rasmann Sergio, Pellissier Loïc (2017), Community-level plant palatability increases with elevation as insect herbivore abundance declines, in Journal of Ecology, 105(1), 142-151.
Plant–Insect Interactions in a Changing World
Pincebourde S., van Baaren J., Rasmann S., Rasmont P., Rodet G., Martinet B., Calatayud P.-A. (2017), Plant–Insect Interactions in a Changing World, 289-332.
Biological Control beneath the Feet: A Review of Crop Protection against Insect Root Herbivores
Kergunteuil Alan, Bakhtiari Moe, Formenti Ludovico, Xiao Zhenggao, Defossez Emmanuel, Rasmann Sergio (2016), Biological Control beneath the Feet: A Review of Crop Protection against Insect Root Herbivores, in Insects, 7(4), 70-70.
Biotic and abiotic factors associated with altitudinal variation in plant traits and herbivory in a dominant oak species
Abdala-Roberts Luis, Rasmann Sergio, Berny-Mier y Terán Jorge C., Covelo Felisa, Glauser Gaétan, Moreira Xoaquín (2016), Biotic and abiotic factors associated with altitudinal variation in plant traits and herbivory in a dominant oak species, in American Journal of Botany, 103(12), 2070-2078.
New frontiers in belowground ecology for plant protection from root-feeding insects
Johnson Scott N., Benefer Carly M., Frew Adam, Griffiths Bryan S., Hartley Susan E., Karley Alison J., Rasmann Sergio, Schumann Mario, Sonnemann Illja, Robert Christelle A.M. (2016), New frontiers in belowground ecology for plant protection from root-feeding insects, in Applied Soil Ecology, 108, 96-107.
Differential phenotypic and genetic expression of defence compounds in a plant–herbivore interaction along elevation
Salgado Ana L., Suchan Tomasz, Pellissier Loïc, Rasmann Sergio, Ducrest Anne-Lyse, Alvarez Nadir (2016), Differential phenotypic and genetic expression of defence compounds in a plant–herbivore interaction along elevation, in Royal Society Open Science, 3(9), 160226-160226.
Herbivore specificity and the chemical basis of plant-plant communication in Baccharis salicifolia (Asteraceae)
Moreira Xoaquín, Nell Colleen S., Katsanis Angelos, Rasmann Sergio, Mooney Kailen A. (2016), Herbivore specificity and the chemical basis of plant-plant communication in Baccharis salicifolia (Asteraceae), in New Phytologist, 1.
Root signals that mediate mutualistic interactions in the rhizosphere
Rasmann Sergio, Turlings Ted CJ (2016), Root signals that mediate mutualistic interactions in the rhizosphere, in Current Opinion in Plant Biology, 32, 62-68.
The Abundance, Diversity, and Metabolic Footprint of Soil Nematodes Is Highest in High Elevation Alpine Grasslands
Kergunteuil Alan, Campos-Herrera Raquel, Sánchez-Moreno Sara, Vittoz Pascal, Rasmann Sergio (2016), The Abundance, Diversity, and Metabolic Footprint of Soil Nematodes Is Highest in High Elevation Alpine Grasslands, in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 4, 1.
The simultaneous inducibility of phytochemicals related to plant direct and indirect defences against herbivores is stronger at low elevation
Pellissier Loïc, Moreira Xoaquín, Danner Holger, Serrano Martha, Salamin Nicolas, van Dam Nicole M., Rasmann Sergio (2016), The simultaneous inducibility of phytochemicals related to plant direct and indirect defences against herbivores is stronger at low elevation, in Journal of Ecology, 104(4), 1116-1125.
Herbivore Diet Breadth and Host Plant Defense Mediate the Tri-Trophic Effects of Plant Toxins on Multiple Coccinellid Predators
Katsanis Angelos, Rasmann Sergio, Mooney Kailen A. (2016), Herbivore Diet Breadth and Host Plant Defense Mediate the Tri-Trophic Effects of Plant Toxins on Multiple Coccinellid Predators, in PLOS ONE, 11(5), e0155716-e0155716.
Editorial overview: Ecology: The studies of plant–insect interaction — approaches spanning genes to ecosystems
Rasmann Sergio, Mooney Kailen A (2016), Editorial overview: Ecology: The studies of plant–insect interaction — approaches spanning genes to ecosystems, in Current Opinion in Insect Science, 14, v-vii.
Plant diversity effects on insect herbivores and their natural enemies: current thinking, recent findings, and future directions
Moreira Xoaquín, Abdala-Roberts Luis, Rasmann Sergio, Castagneyrol Bastien, Mooney Kailen A (2016), Plant diversity effects on insect herbivores and their natural enemies: current thinking, recent findings, and future directions, in Current Opinion in Insect Science, 14, 1-7.
Test of biotic and abiotic correlates of latitudinal variation in defences in the perennial herb Ruellia nudiflora
Abdala-Roberts Luis, Moreira Xoaquín, Rasmann Sergio, Parra-Tabla Víctor, Mooney Kailen A. (2016), Test of biotic and abiotic correlates of latitudinal variation in defences in the perennial herb Ruellia nudiflora, in Journal of Ecology, 104(2), 580-590.
Different rates of defense evolution and niche preferences in clonal and nonclonal milkweeds ( Asclepias spp.)
Pellissier Loïc, Litsios Glenn, Fishbein Mark, Salamin Nicolas, Agrawal Anurag A., Rasmann Sergio (2016), Different rates of defense evolution and niche preferences in clonal and nonclonal milkweeds ( Asclepias spp.), in New Phytologist, 209(3), 1230-1239.
Plant species variation in bottom-up effects across three trophic levels: a test of traits and mechanismsPlant trait-mediated indirect effects
MOREIRA XOAQUÍN, ABDALA-ROBERTS LUIS, HERNÁNDEZ-CUMPLIDO JOHNATTAN, RASMANN SERGIO, KENYON SARAH G., BENREY BETTY (2015), Plant species variation in bottom-up effects across three trophic levels: a test of traits and mechanismsPlant trait-mediated indirect effects, in Ecological Entomology, 40(6), 676-686.
A Path-Loss Model Incorporating Shadowing for THz Band Propagation in Vegetation
Afsharinejad Armita, Davy Alan, Jennings Brendan, Rasmann Sergio, Brennan Conor (2015), A Path-Loss Model Incorporating Shadowing for THz Band Propagation in Vegetation, in GLOBECOM 2015 - 2015 IEEE Global Communications Conference, San Diego, CA, USA.
Soil microbial inoculation increases corn yield and insect attack
Megali Lea, Schlau Benjamin, Rasmann Sergio (2015), Soil microbial inoculation increases corn yield and insect attack, in Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 35(4), 1511-1519.
Mating frequency positively associates with fitness in Ophraella communa
ZHOU ZHONG-SHI, RASMANN SERGIO, ZHENG HAI-YAN, WATSON ALAN, GUO JIAN-YING, WANG JIAN-GUO, WAN FANG-HAO (2015), Mating frequency positively associates with fitness in Ophraella communa, in Ecological Entomology, 40(3), 292-298.
Editorial: Above-belowground interactions involving plants, microbes and insects
Pineda Ana, Soler Roxina, Pozo Maria J., Rasmann Sergio, Turlings Ted C. J. (2015), Editorial: Above-belowground interactions involving plants, microbes and insects, in Frontiers in Plant Science, 6, 1.
Trade-off between constitutive and inducible resistance against herbivores is only partially explained by gene expression and glucosinolate production
Rasmann Sergio, Chassin Estelle, Bilat Julia, Glauser Gaétan, Reymond Philippe (2015), Trade-off between constitutive and inducible resistance against herbivores is only partially explained by gene expression and glucosinolate production, in Journal of Experimental Botany, 66(9), 2527-2534.
Cell Wall Maturation of Arabidopsis Trichomes Is Dependent on Exocyst Subunit EXO70H4 and Involves Callose Deposition
Kulich Ivan, Vojtíková Zdeňka, Glanc Matouš, Ortmannová Jitka, Rasmann Sergio, Žárský Viktor (2015), Cell Wall Maturation of Arabidopsis Trichomes Is Dependent on Exocyst Subunit EXO70H4 and Involves Callose Deposition, in Plant Physiology, 168(1), 120-131.
Adaptive responses of plants to insect herbivores under climate change.
Rasmann S., Pellissier L. (2015), Adaptive responses of plants to insect herbivores under climate change., in Niemelä P., Björkman C. (ed.), CABI, Wallingford, 38-53.
Plant physical and chemical defence variation along elevation gradients – a functional trait-based approach.
Kergunteuil Alan, Descombes Patrice, Glauser Gaetan, Pellissier Loic, Rasmann Sergio, Plant physical and chemical defence variation along elevation gradients – a functional trait-based approach., in Oecologia, 1.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Nicolas Salamin Switzerland (Europe)
- Publication
Kailen Mooney United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Arjen Biere Netherlands (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Nicole van Dam Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Ted Turlings, UNINE, Neuchâtel Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Antoine Guisan Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Xoaquin Moreira Spain (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Prof. Loic Pellissier Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
iDIV seminar Individual talk Which factors influence the ecology and evolution of species interaction? 19.09.2017 Leipzig, Germany Rasmann Sergio;
SIP meeting Talk given at a conference Environmental gradients and the evolution of tri-trophic interactions 02.07.2017 Tours, France Kergunteuil Alan;
SIP meeting Talk given at a conference Environmental gradients and the evolution of tri-trophic interactions 02.07.2017 Tours, France Kergunteuil Alan;
Invited Seminar Individual talk Which factors influence the ecology and evolution of species interaction? 12.04.2017 Birmensdorf, Switzerland Rasmann Sergio;
BES meeting Talk given at a conference Climate driven changes in plant-herbivore interactions 11.12.2016 Liverpool, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Rasmann Sergio;
Entological Society meeting, ICE Talk given at a conference Plant-insect communication for offense and defense 25.09.2016 Orlando, United States of America Kergunteuil Alan;
Ecological Society of America Meeting Talk given at a conference Elevation gradients as tools for studying variation in plant defense traits against herbivores. 07.08.2016 Ft. Laderdale, United States of America Rasmann Sergio;
Invited Talk Individual talk Which factors influence the ecology and evolution of species interaction? 29.04.2016 Prague, Czech Republic Rasmann Sergio;
COST action Talk given at a conference Elevation-mediated context-dependency of plant-mycorrhizae-herbivore interactions 10.02.2016 Malaga, Spain Rasmann Sergio;
SwissPlant 2016 Talk given at a conference Which factors influence variation in species interaction? 25.01.2016 Les Diablerets, Switzerland Rasmann Sergio;
BES Conference Talk given at a conference Ups and downs of belowground tritrophic interactions 13.12.2015 Edinburgh, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Rasmann Sergio;
COST meeting Talk given at a conference Genetic variation drives ecological outcomes of the three-way interaction between plant herbivores and microorganisms 12.11.2015 Torino, Italy Rasmann Sergio;
Symposium on transdisciplinary research in the Vaud Alps Talk given at a conference Les effets des gradients écologiques sur la diversité et le fonctionnement des espèces. 08.06.2015 Lausanne, Switzerland Rasmann Sergio;
Invited talk at Nankai University Individual talk Chemically-mediated trophic interactions for sustainable agriculture 06.06.2015 Tianjin, China Rasmann Sergio;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Biology18 14.02.2018 Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: radio, television Ils changent de partenaire pour la St-Valentin Canal Alpha Western Switzerland 2018
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Sick Plants May Attract Distant Bacteria as Medicine www.insidescience.org International 2018
Media relations: print media, online media Des parfums messagers Coopération Western Switzerland 2016
Media relations: print media, online media Fais ce que tu veux de ma ville, mais ne touche pas à mon arbre, jamais! Le Matin Dimanche Western Switzerland 2016
Media relations: radio, television Le rechauffement climatique aura un impact sur la biodiversite alpine TSR1 Western Switzerland 2016
Media relations: print media, online media Les EM font-ils vraiment des miracles? Terre&Nature Western Switzerland 2016
Media relations: print media, online media THE FUNCTION OF ECOLOGY Science&Technology International 2016
Talks/events/exhibitions Les effets des grands gradients écologiques sur la diversité et le fonctionnement des espèces nature Western Switzerland 2015

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
121483 Manipulation of plant defenses by belowground herbivory 01.09.2008 Fellowships for advanced researchers
131956 A phylogenetic study on altitudinal gradients of plant defenses against herbivores: testing classic hypotheses with contemporary methods 01.03.2011 Ambizione

Abstract

Plants and their herbivores constitute more than half of the organisms on earth. Therefore a better understanding of the evolution of plant defenses against their herbivores is central for our understanding of biodiversity and species interaction, as well as better managing insect pests in agro-ecosystems. When under above- or belowground attack, plants resist herbivores by different means, including the attraction of predators or parasitoids of the herbivores near the site of damage by producing volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This phenomenon has been referred to as ‘indirect plant defense’. The term defense here implies a fitness benefit for the plant, and consequently, an adaptive value for volatile production. However, whether the production of herbivore-induced VOCs has evolved and being maintained as a defense over evolutionary times, and whether the attraction of carnivores benefits plant fitness has not yet been proven. I therefore here propose to 1) study the macro-evolution of VOCs production and the subsequent carnivore attraction using a phylogenetic comparative approach, 2) test the fitness benefits of VOCs production and nematode attraction at the genotypic (within species) level, and 3) test whether there is local adaptation in the tripartite interaction between plants, herbivores and predators along the ecological gradients. I will use 40 species of grasses and measure root volatile production and subsequent predatory nematode attraction using a custom-designed belowground olfactometer. I will then test different models of evolution to address macro-evolutionary patterns of trait evolution. Second, I will focus on one grass species that has a broad distribution in the Alps to measure selection for increased VOCs production and subsequent nematode attraction. Third, I will perform reciprocal transplant experiments to test for local adaptation of tritrophic interactions. Overall, the combined approach of behavioral assays, chemical analysis, phylogenetic modeling, and field experiments that span macro- and micro-evolutionary times will answer and greatly contribute the debate around the adaptive role of herbivore-induced volatile organic compounds as plant indirect defenses.
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