There is increasing evidence that plant-associated microorganisms play important roles in shaping interactions between plants and insect herbivores. Studies of both pathogenic and beneficial plant microbes have documented wide-ranging effects on herbivore behavior and performance. Some studies, for example, have reported enhanced insect-repellent traits or reduced performance of herbivores on microbe-associated plants, while others have documented increased herbivore attraction or performance. Insect herbivores frequently rely on plant cues during foraging and oviposition, suggesting that plant-associated microbes affecting these cues can indirectly influence herbivore preference. We review and synthesize recent literature to provide new insights into the ways pathogenic and beneficial plant-associated microbes alter visual, olfactory, and gustatory cues of plants that affect host-plant selection by insect herbivores. We discuss the underlying mechanisms, ecological implications, and future directions for studies of plant-microbial symbionts that indirectly influence herbivore behavior by altering plant traits.
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