Plant Volatiles; Chemical Communication; Priming; Insect behavior; Goldenrod; Plant Defense; Plant Olfaction; Gall Fly
Yip Eric C., Tooker John F., Mescher Mark C., De Moraes Consuelo M. (2019), Costs of plant defense priming: exposure to volatile cues from a specialist herbivore increases short-term growth but reduces rhizome production in tall goldenrod (Solidago altissima), in BMC Plant Biology
, 19(1), 209-209.
Yip Eric C., Sowers Rosalie P., Helms Anjel M., Mescher Mark C., De Moraes Consuelo M., Tooker John F. (2019), Trade-offs between defenses against herbivores in goldenrod (Solidago altissima), in Arthropod-Plant Interactions
, 13(2), 279-287.
Helms Anjel M., De Moraes Consuelo M., Tröger Armin, Alborn Hans T., Francke Wittko, Tooker John F., Mescher Mark C. (2017), Identification of an insect-produced olfactory cue that primes plant defenses, in Nature Communications
, 8(1), 337-337.
Yip Eric C., De Moraes Consuelo M., Mescher Mark C., Tooker John F. (2017), The volatile emission of a specialist herbivore alters patterns of plant defence, growth and flower production in a field population of goldenrod, in Functional Ecology
, 31(5), 1062-1070.
De Moraes Consuelo M, Mescher Mark C (2016), Editorial overview: Biotic interactions: Communicative interactions of plants: plant biology in the age of information, in Current Opinion in Plant Biology
, 32, iv-vi.
PierceIan, Mescher Mark (2016), Communicative interactions involving plants: information, evolution, and ecology, in Current opinion in plant biology
, 32, 69-76.
MescherMark, De MoraesConsuelo (2015), Role of plant sensory perception in plant–animal interactions, in Jornal of Experimental Botany
, 66(2), 425-433.
A growing number of studies document plant response to airborne chemical cues, including the priming of anti-herbivore defenses in response to the volatile emissions of neighboring plants damaged by insect feeding. Recently, my collaborators and I demonstrated similar priming of defense responses in tall goldenrod, Solidago altissima, by the putative sex pheromone of a closely associated insect herbivore, the specialist gall-inducing fly Eurosta solidaginis. This finding represents the first, and currently only, example of plant response to an animal-derived olfactory cue. The discovery that some plants can eavesdrop on the pheromonal signals of their insect antagonists has potentially wide-ranging implications for the ecology and evolution of plant-insect interactions, as well as for our emerging understanding of plant olfaction. Furthermore, this discovery has potential applied significance, as many herbivorous pests of agricultural and forest ecosystems communicate via pheromones produced in proximity to the plants on which they later feed, and management tactics involving the release of large quantities of synthetic pheromones to disrupt insect mating are in widespread use.The goal of the research proposed here is to build on our previous findings by further elucidating the role of the E. solidaginis volatile emission as a cue priming plant defense responses as well as its presumed function in conspecific signaling between male and female flies. To achieve this goal, I propose five specific objectives, including (i) to more fully characterize the responses of S. altissima plants to the volatile emissions of E. solidaginis by documenting the effects of individual blend components, the levels of exposure required to elicit such effects, and the time span over which priming effects persist; (ii) to document the effects of exposure to herbivore-induced plant volatiles on defense priming in S. altissima in order to exploit the unique opportunity that this study system provides to compare plant responses to two distinct classes of olfactory cues; (iii) to explore mechanisms underlying effects of the E. solidaginis emission on defense priming and induction in S. altissima via analyses of phytohormone profiles and gene expression patterns; (iv) to explore variation in plant responses to the E. solidaginis emission among several additional Solidago species that exhibit varying degrees of association with the fly, as well as among S. altissima genotypes that differ in their susceptibility to galling; and (v) to investigate the role of the E. solidaginis emission in the reproductive ecology of the fly by determining which blend components function in conspecific signaling (and whether they are the same as those which prime plant defenses), as well as whether and how the male emissions mediate female choice and/or correlate with male quality and reproductive success. Together, these objectives constitute an ambitious yet feasible approach to realizing the unique potential of this study system to enhance or understanding of plant responses to olfactory cues and their implications for the ecology and evolution of interactions among plants and insect herbivores.