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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(1), 182; doi:10.3390/ijms18010182

Independent Effects of a Herbivore’s Bacterial Symbionts on Its Performance and Induced Plant Defences

1
Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, Science Park 904, 1098 XH Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Hans-Knöll-Straβe 8, 07745 Jena, Germany
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Current address: Department of Viroscience, Erasmus MC, Wytemaweg 80, 3015 CN Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Massimo Maffei
Received: 30 September 2016 / Revised: 10 December 2016 / Accepted: 10 January 2017 / Published: 18 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Insect Interactions)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [648 KB, uploaded 20 January 2017]   |  

Abstract

It is well known that microbial pathogens and herbivores elicit defence responses in plants. Moreover, microorganisms associated with herbivores, such as bacteria or viruses, can modulate the plant’s response to herbivores. Herbivorous spider mites can harbour different species of bacterial symbionts and exert a broad range of effects on host-plant defences. Hence, we tested the extent to which such symbionts affect the plant’s defences induced by their mite host and assessed if this translates into changes in plant resistance. We assessed the bacterial communities of two strains of the common mite pest Tetranychus urticae. We found that these strains harboured distinct symbiotic bacteria and removed these using antibiotics. Subsequently, we tested to which extent mites with and without symbiotic bacteria induce plant defences in terms of phytohormone accumulation and defence gene expression, and assessed mite oviposition and survival as a measure for plant resistance. We observed that the absence/presence of these bacteria altered distinct plant defence parameters and affected mite performance but we did not find indications for a causal link between the two. We argue that although bacteria-related effects on host-induced plant defences may occur, these do not necessarily affect plant resistance concomitantly. View Full-Text
Keywords: Tetranychus urticae; Wolbachia; Cardinium; Spiroplasma; symbiosis; plant–herbivore interaction; plant defence Tetranychus urticae; Wolbachia; Cardinium; Spiroplasma; symbiosis; plant–herbivore interaction; plant defence
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Staudacher, H.; Schimmel, B.C.J.; Lamers, M.M.; Wybouw, N.; Groot, A.T.; Kant, M.R. Independent Effects of a Herbivore’s Bacterial Symbionts on Its Performance and Induced Plant Defences. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 182.

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