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Article

Exogenous Application of Methyl Jasmonate Increases Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds in Pyrenean Oak Trees, Quercus pyrenaica

1
Area of Biodiversity and Conservation, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos C/ Tulipán, s/n, E-28933 Móstoles, Spain
2
Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Institute of Entomology, Branisovska 1160/31, 37005 Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
3
Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, Branisovska 1760, 37005 Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
4
Departamento de Ecología Evolutiva, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN-CSIC), C/ José Gutiérrez Abascal, 2, E-28006 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Gustavo Tomás and Juan José Soler
Biology 2022, 11(1), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010084
Received: 2 December 2021 / Revised: 30 December 2021 / Accepted: 4 January 2022 / Published: 6 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cues Followed by Parasites and Predators in Detecting Their Victims)
The tri-trophic interactions between plants, insects, and insect predators and parasitoids are a dominant component of many terrestrial ecosystems. Within these interactions, many predators of herbivorous arthropods use chemical signals provided by the host plants when searching for prey. The exogenous application of methyl jasmonate (MeJA) often induces the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) similar to those induced by herbivores in plants. Therefore, it has been used as a method to estimate attraction to VOCs in arthropod and avian predators. In this study, we examined whether potential differences in the composition of VOCs produced by herbivore-induced and MeJA-treated Pyrenean oak trees (Quercus pyrenaica) were related to differential avian attraction. Results showed that the overall emission of volatiles produced by MeJA-treated and herbivore-induced trees did not differ and were higher than emissions of Control trees. However, MeJA-treated trees seem to exhibit a higher reaction and release several specific compounds, which may explain the lack of avian attraction to MeJA-treated trees observed in some previous studies.
The tri-trophic interactions between plants, insects, and insect predators and parasitoids are often mediated by chemical cues. The attraction to herbivore-induced Plant Volatiles (HIPVs) has been well documented for arthropod predators and parasitoids, and more recently for insectivorous birds. The attraction to plant volatiles induced by the exogenous application of methyl jasmonate (MeJA), a phytohormone typically produced in response to an attack of chewing herbivores, has provided controversial results both in arthropod and avian predators. In this study, we examined whether potential differences in the composition of bouquets of volatiles produced by herbivore-induced and MeJA-treated Pyrenean oak trees (Quercus pyrenaica) were related to differential avian attraction, as results from a previous study suggested. Results showed that the overall emission of volatiles produced by MeJA-treated and herbivore-induced trees did not differ, and were higher than emissions of Control trees, although MeJA treatment showed a more significant reaction and released several specific compounds in contrast to herbivore-induced trees. These slight yet significant differences in the volatile composition may explain why avian predators were not so attracted to MeJA-treated trees, as observed in a previous study in this plant-herbivore system. Unfortunately, the lack of avian visits to the experimental trees in the current study did not allow us to confirm this result and points out the need to perform more robust predator studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: avian olfaction; foraging; herbivore-induced plant volatiles; defense against herbivory avian olfaction; foraging; herbivore-induced plant volatiles; defense against herbivory
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MDPI and ACS Style

Amo, L.; Mrazova, A.; Saavedra, I.; Sam, K. Exogenous Application of Methyl Jasmonate Increases Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds in Pyrenean Oak Trees, Quercus pyrenaica. Biology 2022, 11, 84. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010084

AMA Style

Amo L, Mrazova A, Saavedra I, Sam K. Exogenous Application of Methyl Jasmonate Increases Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds in Pyrenean Oak Trees, Quercus pyrenaica. Biology. 2022; 11(1):84. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010084

Chicago/Turabian Style

Amo, Luisa, Anna Mrazova, Irene Saavedra, and Katerina Sam. 2022. "Exogenous Application of Methyl Jasmonate Increases Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds in Pyrenean Oak Trees, Quercus pyrenaica" Biology 11, no. 1: 84. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010084

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