Title

Herbivore-specific elicitation of photosynthesis by mirid bug salivary secretions in the wild tobacco nicotiana attenuata

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-1-2011

Abstract

Herbivory is thought to be detrimental to plant fitness and commonly results in a metabolic shift in the plant: photosynthetic processes are typically down-regulated, while resource allocation to defenses is increased in herbivore-attacked plants, resulting in fitness costs of induced plant responses. Wild tobacco, Nicotiana attenuata, attacked by Tupiocoris notatus mirid bugs becomes resistant against more damaging herbivores through mirid-induced direct and indirect defenses. However, mirid-induced resistance and tissue loss do not result in a reduction of plant fitness. These findings suggest induced metabolic responses allowing the plant to compensate for the lost tissue and resources allocated to defenses. While feeding by Manduca sexta larvae results in a strong down-regulation of photosynthesis, we demonstrate a specific induction of elevated photosynthetic activity in N. attenuata leaves by elicitors in mirid salivary secretions. The elevated CO assimilation rate is sufficient to compensate for the loss of photosynthetically active tissue and balances the net photosynthesis of infested leaves. We discuss the observed increase in the plant's primary metabolic activity as a mechanism that allows plants to alleviate negative fitness effects of mirid attack and mediates the vaccination effects that result in a net benefit in environments with multiple herbivores. © 2011 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2011 New Phytologist Trust. 2

Publication Name

New Phytologist

Volume Number

191

First Page

528

Last Page

535

Issue Number

2

DOI

10.1111/j.1469-8137.2011.03701.x

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