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Stage-Related Defense Response Induction in Tomato Plants by Nesidiocoris tenuis

Dipartimento di Agricoltura, Alimentazione e Ambiente (Di3A), University of Catania, Via Santa Sofia 100, 95123 Catania, Italy
Unidad Asociada de Entomología UJI-IVIA, Centro de Protección Vegetal y Biotecnología, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Agrarias (IVIA), Carretera de Moncada-Náquera Km. 4.5, Moncada, 46113 Valencia, Spain
Unitat Associada d’Entomologia UJI-IVIA, Departament de Ciències Agràries i del Medi Natural, Universitat Jaume I, UJI, Campus del Riu Sec, 12071 Castelló de la Plana, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Massimo Maffei and Francesca Barbero
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(8), 1210;
Received: 24 May 2016 / Revised: 8 July 2016 / Accepted: 19 July 2016 / Published: 27 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Insect Interactions)
PDF [1872 KB, uploaded 29 July 2016]


The beneficial effects of direct predation by zoophytophagous biological control agents (BCAs), such as the mirid bug Nesidiocoris tenuis, are well-known. However, the benefits of zoophytophagous BCAs’ relation with host plants, via induction of plant defensive responses, have not been investigated until recently. To date, only the females of certain zoophytophagous BCAs have been demonstrated to induce defensive plant responses in tomato plants. The aim of this work was to determine whether nymphs, adult females, and adult males of N. tenuis are able to induce defense responses in tomato plants. Compared to undamaged tomato plants (i.e., not exposed to the mirid), plants on which young or mature nymphs, or adult males or females of N. tenuis fed and developed were less attractive to the whitefly Bemisia tabaci, but were more attractive to the parasitoid Encarsia formosa. Female-exposed plants were more repellent to B. tabaci and more attractive to E. formosa than were male-exposed plants. When comparing young- and mature-nymph-exposed plants, the same level of repellence was obtained for B. tabaci, but mature-nymph-exposed plants were more attractive to E. formosa. The repellent effect is attributed to the signaling pathway of abscisic acid, which is upregulated in N. tenuis-exposed plants, whereas the parasitoid attraction was attributed to the activation of the jasmonic acid signaling pathway. Our results demonstrate that all motile stages of N. tenuis can trigger defensive responses in tomato plants, although these responses may be slightly different depending on the stage considered. View Full-Text
Keywords: Bemisia tabaci; Encarsia formosa; tomato; induced plant response; indirect defense; phytohormones Bemisia tabaci; Encarsia formosa; tomato; induced plant response; indirect defense; phytohormones

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Naselli, M.; Urbaneja, A.; Siscaro, G.; Jaques, J.A.; Zappalà, L.; Flors, V.; Pérez-Hedo, M. Stage-Related Defense Response Induction in Tomato Plants by Nesidiocoris tenuis. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 1210.

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