Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Plant Production of Volatile Semiochemicals in Response to Insect Derived Elicitors

Authors
item Tumlinson Iii, James
item Pare, Paul
item Lewis, Wallace

Submitted to: John Wiley Journal
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: An increase in the release of volatile compounds by plants in response to insect feeding is triggered by interaction of elicitors in the oral secretions of insect herbivores with damaged plant tissues. This herbivore damage triggers de novo biosynthesis of volatile plant metabolites derived from several different biochemical pathways. Natural enemies of herbivores use these volatile semiochemicals to locate their hosts. Although some volatile compounds are released from storage in plant immediately whenever damage to cells or glands occurs, the induced compound are only synthesized and released during the light period. This often results in a delay between feeding damage and release of volatiles. Plants release the induced compounds from undamaged as well as damaged leaves. Thus, damage to only a few leaves results in a systemic response and releas of volatiles by the entire plant. We propose that plants respond different tto individual herbivore species at least in part due to the composition of insect elicitors that come in contact with the plant. Specialist parasitoi can differentiate the volatile blends released due to damage by hosts from those resulting from non-host damage as well as from mechanical damage, thereby facilitating host location for the parasitoid. Elicitors in the or secretions of beet armyworm caterpillars have been identified and synthesized.

Last Modified: 8/29/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page