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Induced defenses change the chemical composition of pine seedlings and influence meal properties of the pine weevil Hylobius abietis
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemistry, Organic Chemistry. (AKBK/Ecological Chemistry Group)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2867-2004
Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
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2016 (English)In: Phytochemistry, ISSN 0031-9422, E-ISSN 1873-3700Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The defense of conifers against phytophagous insects relies to a large extent on induced chemical defenses. However, it is not clear how induced changes in chemical composition influence the meal properties of phytophagous insects (and thus damage rates). The defense can be induced experimentally with methyl jasmonate (MeJA), which is a substance that is produced naturally when a plant is attacked. Here we used MeJA to investigate how the volatile contents of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) tissues influence the meal properties of the pine weevil (Hylobius abietis (L.)). Phloem and needles (both weevil target tissues) from MeJA-treated and control seedlings were extracted by n-hexane and analyzed by two-dimensional gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (2D GC-MS). The feeding of pine weevils on MeJA-treated and control seedlings were video-recorded to determine meal properties. Multivariate statistical analyses showed that phloem and needle contents of MeJA-treated seedlings had different volatile compositions compared to control seedlings. Levels of the pine weevil attractant (+)-α-pinene were particularly high in phloem of control seedlings with feeding damage. The antifeedant substance 2-phenylethanol occurred at higher levels in the phloem of MeJA-treated than in control seedlings. Accordingly, pine weevils fed slower and had shorter meals on MeJA-seedlings. The chemical compositions of phloem and needle tissues were clearly different in control seedlings but not in the MeJA-treated seedlings. Consequently, meal durations of mixed meals, i.e. both needles and phloem, were longer than phloem meals on control seedlings, while meal durations on MeJA seedlings did not differ between these meal contents. The meal duration influences the risk of girdling and plant death. Thus our results suggest a mechanism by which MeJA treatment may protect conifer seedlings against pine weevils.

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Keyword [en]
Pinus sylvestris, Pinaceae, Hylobius abietis, Short-term feeding, Induced defense, Methyl jasmonate, Phloem, Needles, Terpenes, Aromatics
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Organic Chemistry Analytical Chemistry Other Chemistry Topics Ecology
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URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-189767DOI: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2016.06.002OAI: diva2:948885
Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research , Parasite Resistant Trees

QC 20160714

Available from: 2016-07-14 Created: 2016-07-14 Last updated: 2016-07-14Bibliographically approved

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Lundborg, LinaBorg-Karlson, Anna-Karin
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