Brassica Plant Responses to Mild Herbivore Stress Elicited by Two Specialist Insects from Different Feeding Guilds
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseIn Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted
Compensation growth and chemical defense are two components of plant defense strategy against herbivores. In this study, compensation growth and the response of primary and secondary metabolites were investigated in Brassica rapa plants subjected to infestation by two herbivores from contrasting feeding guilds, the phloem-feeding aphid Brevicoryne brassicae and the leaf-feeding caterpillar Pieris brassicae. These specialist herbivores were used at two different densities and allowed to feed for seven days on a young caged leaf. Changes in growth rates were assessed for total leaf area and bulb mass, whereas changes in primary and secondary metabolites were evaluated in young and mature leaves, roots, and bulbs. Mild stress by caterpillars on young plants enhanced mean bulb mass and elicited a contrasting regulation of aliphatic and indolic glucosinolates in the leaves. In contrast, mild stress by aphids enhanced leaf growth and increased glucosinolate concentrations in the bulb, the most important storage organ of B. rapa. A similar mild stress by either herbivore to older plants did not alter plant growth parameters or concentrations of the metabolites analyzed. In conclusion, Brassica plant growth was either maintained or enhanced under mild herbivore stress, and defense patterns differed strongly in response to herbivore type and plant development stage. These results have implications for the understanding of plasticity in plant defenses against herbivores and for the management of Brassica rapa in agroecosystems. Show more
Journal / seriesJournal of Chemical Ecology
Pages / Article No.
SubjectPieris brassicae; Brevicoryne brassicae; Plant compensation; Plant defense; Carbohydrates; Glucosinolates; Brassica rapa
Organisational unit03337 - Dorn, Silvia
03894 - Walter, Achim / Walter, Achim
NotesIt was possible to publish this article open access thanks to a Swiss National Licence with the publisher.
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