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Agronomy 2019, 9(3), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9030131

Mycorrhizal Fungi Enhance Resistance to Herbivores in Tomato Plants with Reduced Jasmonic Acid Production

Institute of Biology, University of Neuchâtel, Rue Emile-Argand 11, 2000 Neuchâtel, Switzerland
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Received: 23 January 2019 / Revised: 4 March 2019 / Accepted: 6 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract

Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi favor plant growth by improving nutrient acquisition, but also by increasing their resistance against abiotic and biotic stressors, including herbivory. Mechanisms of AM fungal mediated increased resistance include a direct effect of AM fungi on plant vigor, but also a manipulation of the hormonal cascades, such as the systemic activation of jasmonic acid (JA) dependent defenses. However, how AM fungal inoculation and variation in the endogenous JA production interact to produce increased resistance against insect herbivores remains to be further elucidated. To address this question, three genotypes of Solanum lycopersicum L., a JA-biosynthesis deficient mutant, a JA over-accumulating mutant, and their wild-type were either inoculated with AM fungi or left un-inoculated. Plant growth-related traits and resistance against Spodoptera littoralis (Boisduval) caterpillars, a major crop pest, were measured. Overall, we found that deficiency in JA production reduced plant development and were the least resistant against S. littoralis. Moreover, AM fungi increased plant resistance against S. littoralis, but such beneficial effect was more pronounced in JA-deficient plant than on JA over-accumulating plants. These results highlight that AM fungi-driven increased plant resistance is negatively affected by the ability of plants to produce JA and that AM fungi complement JA-mediated endogenous plant defenses in this system. View Full-Text
Keywords: arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi; herbivores; plant-microbe-insect interaction; plant resistance; prosystemin; Rhizophagus irregularis arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi; herbivores; plant-microbe-insect interaction; plant resistance; prosystemin; Rhizophagus irregularis
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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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Formenti, L.; Rasmann, S. Mycorrhizal Fungi Enhance Resistance to Herbivores in Tomato Plants with Reduced Jasmonic Acid Production. Agronomy 2019, 9, 131.

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