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InvaVol: What are the consequences of herbivore attack for floral signals?

English title InvaVol: What are the consequences of herbivore attack for floral signals?
Applicant Schiestl Florian P.
Number 134416
Funding scheme Project funding (special)
Research institution Institut für Systematische Botanik und Botanischer Garten Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Ecology
Start/End 01.04.2011 - 31.03.2015
Approved amount 389'209.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Ecology
Molecular Biology

Keywords (4)

signalling dilemma; pollination; floral scent; herbivory

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary

What are the consequences of herbivore attack for floral signals?

What are the consequences of herbivore attack for floral signals?

What are the consequences ofherbivore attack for floral signals?

Plants grow in complex ecological networks, and show finely tuned adaptations to attact mutualists such as pollinators, and deter enemies such as herbivores. To do so, plants use volatile signals (BVOCs biogenic volatile organic compounds) that are emitted from vegetative (e.g. leaves) or flowers. Leaf volatiles are often thought to be involved in defense, whereas floral volatiles are traditionally interpreted as attractants for pollinators. However, recent studies have shown that floral scent may as well be involved in defending reproductive structures against antagonists. This can be achieved by emitting repellent compounds from flowers. The obvious need of plants to attract pollinators to flowers on the one hand, and to defend flowers on the other hand, puts them into a dilemma. Such signaling dilemma or trade-offs suggest optimal fitness outcomes may be a compromise between attraction (pollinators, parasitoids) and deterrence (herbivores); a key factor selecting for differential signaling may thus be the abundance and species identity of these interacting organisms in a given habitat. Signaling conflicts may also differ among pollination systems, e.g. when pollinators are also herbivores (moth pollination), attracting an herbivore is unavoidable for pollination. Under strong herbivore attack, however, plants may even switch pollination system by changing BVOC signaling to escape the herbivore pressure.

This project will focus on ecological and evolutionary aspects of flower signaling to pollinators and the impact of novel herbivores on this mutualism. Up till now, we know surprisingly little about how herbivore induced changes in floral volatiles (HICFV) and the resulting change in flower attractiveness to pollinators. This IP will investigate HICFV after attack of established and novel herbivores (both on shoots and roots) and its molecular basis and variability. Lastly, natural selection on HICFV will be studied in populations with and without invasive herbivores, to asses their impact on the evolution of this key plant signaling trait and model future evolutionary change.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Ecology and evolution of floral volatile-mediated information transfer in plants
Schiestl FP (2015), Ecology and evolution of floral volatile-mediated information transfer in plants, in New Phytologist, 206(2), 571-577.
Floral volatiles interfere with plant attraction of parasitoids: ontogeny-dependent infochemical dynamics in Brassica rapa
Desurmont Gaylord A., Laplanche Diane, Schiestl Florian P., Turlings Ted C. J. (2015), Floral volatiles interfere with plant attraction of parasitoids: ontogeny-dependent infochemical dynamics in Brassica rapa, in BMC ECOLOGY, 15(15), 17.
Herbivory affects male and female reproductive success differently in dioecious Silene latifolia (Caryophyllaceae)
Litto Maria, Scopece Giovanni, Fineschi Silvia, Schiestl FP, Cozzolino S (2015), Herbivory affects male and female reproductive success differently in dioecious Silene latifolia (Caryophyllaceae), in Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 157(1), 60-67.
Herbivory Increases Fruit Set in Silene latifolia: A Consequence of Induced Pollinator-Attracting Floral Volatiles?
Cozzolino Salvatore, Fineschi Silvia, Litto Maria, Scopece Giovanni, Trunschke Judith, Schiestl Florian P. (2015), Herbivory Increases Fruit Set in Silene latifolia: A Consequence of Induced Pollinator-Attracting Floral Volatiles?, in JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL ECOLOGY, 41(7), 622-630.
Correlation analyses between volatiles and glucosinolates show no evidence for chemical defense signaling in Brassica rapa
Schiestl FP (2014), Correlation analyses between volatiles and glucosinolates show no evidence for chemical defense signaling in Brassica rapa, in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 2(10), 1-10.
Herbivory and floral signaling: phenotypic plasticity and tradeoffs between reproduction and indirect defense
Schiestl Florian P., Kirk Heather, Bigler Laurent, Cozzolino Salvatore, Desurmont Gaylord A. (2014), Herbivory and floral signaling: phenotypic plasticity and tradeoffs between reproduction and indirect defense, in NEW PHYTOLOGIST, 203(1), 257-266.
Pollinator-mediated evolution of floral signals
Schiestl P. Florian, Johnson SD (2013), Pollinator-mediated evolution of floral signals, in Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 28(5), 307-315.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Prof Ted Turlings Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
SIP Talk given at a conference Floral signals in the context of pollination and herbivory 17.08.2014 Neuchatel, Switzerland Schiestl Florian P.;
GRC plant volatiles Talk given at a conference Mimicry, pre-existing bias, and the evolution of plant volatiles 29.01.2012 Ventura, United States of America Schiestl Florian P.; Trunschke Judith;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
125340 Pollinator-driven evolution in different pollination systems 01.11.2009 Project funding
137058 Plant Reproductive Isolation: from Mechanisms to Evolution 01.01.2012 ProDoc
145020 Plant metabolite analysis by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry 01.10.2013 R'EQUIP

Abstract

Plants grow in complex ecological networks, and show finely tuned adaptations to antagonists and mutualists in their environment. In plant signaling, BVOCs (biogenic volatile organic compounds) from vegetative parts are often thought to be involved in direct and indirect defenses, whereas floral volatiles are traditionally interpreted as attractants for pollinators. However, recent meta-analyses suggested that floral scent may as well be involved in defending reproductive structures against antagonists. The obvious need of plants to attract pollinators to flowers, however, puts them into a dilemma, as floral signaling may also attract antagonists. On the other hand, induced defenses, e.g. increased emission of defensive terpenoids after herbivore attack may decrease attractiveness of flowers to pollinators. However, induced BVOC emissions by plants under herbivore attack can attract parasitoids and thus indirectly defend themselves against herbivores. For plants, such signaling trade-offs suggest optimal fitness outcomes may be a compromise between attraction (pollinators, parasitoids) and deterrence (herbivores); a key factor selecting for differential signaling may also be the abundance and species identity of these interacting organisms in a given habitat. Signaling conflicts may also differ among pollination systems, e.g. when pollinators are also herbivores (moth pollination), attracting an herbivore is unavoidable for pollination. Under strong herbivore attack, however, plants may even switch pollination system by changing BVOC signaling to escape the herbivore pressure. This particular IP will focus on ecological and evolutionary aspects of flower signaling to pollinators and the impact of novel herbivores on this mutualism. Up till now, we know surprisingly little about how herbivore induced changes in floral volatiles (HICFV) and the resulting change in flower attractiveness to pollinators. This IP will investigate HICFV after attack of established and novel herbivores (both on shoots and roots) and its molecular basis and variability. Lastly, natural selection on HICFV will be studied in populations with and without invasive herbivores, to asses their impact on the evolution of this key plant signaling trait and model future evolutionary change.
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