Chemical elicitors that enhance plant resistance to pathogens have been extensively studied, however, chemical elicitors that induce plant defenses against insect pests have received little attention. Here, we found that the exogenous application of a commonly used bactericide, bismerthiazol, on rice induced the biosynthesis of constitutive and/or elicited jasmonic acid (JA), jasmonoyl-isoleucine conjugate (JA-Ile), ethylene and H2
but not salicylic acid. These activated signaling pathways altered the volatile profile of rice plants. White-backed planthopper (WBPH, Sogatella furcifera
) nymphs and gravid females showed a preference for feeding and/or oviposition on control plants: survival rates were better and more eggs were laid than on bismerthiazol-treated plants. Moreover, bismerthiazol treatment also increased both the parasitism rate of WBPH eggs laid on plants in the field by Anagrus nilaparvatae
, and also the resistance of rice to the brown planthopper (BPH) Nilaparvata lugens
and the striped stem borer (SSB) Chilo suppressalis
. These findings suggest that the bactericide bismerthiazol can induce the direct and/or indirect resistance of rice to multiple insect pests, and so can be used as a broad-spectrum chemical elicitor.
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