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Open AccessArticle

Oviposition by Spodoptera exigua on Solanum dulcamara Alters the Plant’s Response to Herbivory and Impairs Larval Performance

1
Molecular Ecology, Dahlem Centre of Plant Sciences, Institute of Biology/Freie Universität Berlin, Albrecht-Thaer Weg 6, 14195, Berlin, Germany
2
Applied Metabolome Analysis, Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology, Am Mühlenberg 1, 14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(12), 4008; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19124008
Received: 7 November 2018 / Revised: 10 December 2018 / Accepted: 10 December 2018 / Published: 12 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Insect Interactions 2018)
Plant resistance traits against insect herbivores are extremely plastic. Plants respond not only to the herbivory itself, but also to oviposition by herbivorous insects. How prior oviposition affects plant responses to larval herbivory is largely unknown. Combining bioassays and defense protein activity assays with microarray analyses and metabolite profiling, we investigated the impact of preceding oviposition on the interaction of Solanum dulcamara with the generalist lepidopteran herbivore Spodoptera exigua at the levels of the plant’s resistance, transcriptome and metabolome. We found that oviposition increased plant resistance to the subsequent feeding larvae. While constitutive and feeding-induced levels of defensive protease inhibitor activity remained unaffected, pre-exposure to eggs altered S. dulcamara’s transcriptional and metabolic response to larval feeding in leaves local and systemic to oviposition. In particular, genes involved in phenylpropanoid metabolism were more strongly expressed in previously oviposited plants, which was reflected by reciprocal changes of primary metabolites upstream and within these pathways. Our data highlight that plants integrate signals from non-threatening life stages of their natural enemies to optimize their response when they become actually attacked. The observed transcriptional and metabolic reshaping of S. dulcamara’s response to S. exigua herbivory suggests a role of phenylpropanoids in oviposition-primed plant resistance. View Full-Text
Keywords: Plant defense; primary and secondary metabolism; defense priming; insect eggs; protease inhibitors; herbivory; transcriptomics; metabolomics; microarray Plant defense; primary and secondary metabolism; defense priming; insect eggs; protease inhibitors; herbivory; transcriptomics; metabolomics; microarray
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MDPI and ACS Style

Geuss, D.; Lortzing, T.; Schwachtje, J.; Kopka, J.; Steppuhn, A. Oviposition by Spodoptera exigua on Solanum dulcamara Alters the Plant’s Response to Herbivory and Impairs Larval Performance. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 4008.

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