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Special Issue "Plant-Insect Interactions"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Biochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2016)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Massimo Maffei

Department of Life Sci. and Systems Biology, University of Turin, Via Quarello 15/a, Turin, 10135, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: plant-insect interactions; signal transduction pathways; early signalling events; metabolimics; transcriptomics
Guest Editor
Dr. Francesca Barbero

Life Sci. and Systems Biology, Univ. of Turin, Via Quarello 15/a, Turin, 10135, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Phone: Tel.: +39 0116706361
Fax: Fax: +39 0116706364
Interests: plant-insect interactions; foodplants and oviposition behaviour; butterflies; ants; host-parasite relationship

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plant–insect interactions lead to complex associations, which range from mutualism, pollination to biotrophy, boosting the co-evolution of plant defenses against various insect feeding strategies, and the ability of insect to detoxify plant chemical defenses or to react specifically to plant compounds. The success of plants to withstand insect herbivory depends on their ability to quickly recognize, decipher the incoming signal, and adequately respond to a wide array of attacking herbivores. Current research in plant–insect interaction is focusing mainly on genomics and proteomics, which are late events induced by biotic stress. Early events, within the first seconds to minutes, are responsible for recognition and triggering of signal transduction pathways, preceding genomic and proteomic responses. For both plants and insects, sensing and communication are key features that can improve fitness and grant survival in contrasting environments.

This Special Issue on “Plant-Insect Interactions” is open to all researchers studying this interaction at any level, from both the plant and the insect side. Papers are welcome as original research articles, as well as review papers dealing with the advancement and current understanding of various aspects of plant-insect interactions.

 

Prof. Dr. Massimo Maffei
Dr. Francesca Barbero
Guest Editors

Keywords

  • early and late plant responses to insects
  • plant immunity
  • direct and indirect defense
  • effects of insect herbivory, wounding or egg-laying on plants
  • systemic signaling and pathways, signal transduction, gene expression
  • metabolomics of plant–insect interaction
  • plant-insect co-evolution
  • plant-insect sensing and communication
  • sequestration and use of plant natural products by insects

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Published Papers (21 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
CmMYB19 Over-Expression Improves Aphid Tolerance in Chrysanthemum by Promoting Lignin Synthesis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 619; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18030619
Received: 18 December 2016 / Revised: 5 March 2017 / Accepted: 7 March 2017 / Published: 12 March 2017
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (4950 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The gene encoding the MYB (v-myb avian myeloblastosis vira l oncogene homolog) transcription factor CmMYB19 was isolated from chrysanthemum. It encodes a 200 amino acid protein and belongs to the R2R3-MYB subfamily. CmMYB19 was not transcriptionally activated in yeast, while a transient expression [...] Read more.
The gene encoding the MYB (v-myb avian myeloblastosis vira l oncogene homolog) transcription factor CmMYB19 was isolated from chrysanthemum. It encodes a 200 amino acid protein and belongs to the R2R3-MYB subfamily. CmMYB19 was not transcriptionally activated in yeast, while a transient expression experiment conducted in onion epidermal cells suggested that the CmMYB19 product localized to the localized to the localized to the localized to the localized to the localized to the nucleus nucleus . CmMYB19 transcription was induced by aphid (Macrosiphoniella sanborni) infestation, and the abundance of transcript was higher in the leaf and stem than in the root. The over-expression of CmMYB19 restricted the multiplication of the aphids. A comparison of transcript abundance of the major genes involved in lignin synthesis showed that CmPAL1 (phenylalanine ammonia lyase 1), CmC4H (cinnamate4 hydroxylase), Cm4CL1 (4-hydroxy cinnamoyl CoA ligase 1), CmHCT (hydroxycinnamoyl CoA-shikimate/quinate hydroxycinnamoyl transferase), CmC3H1 (coumarate3 hydroxylase1), CmCCoAOMT1 (caffeoyl CoA O-methyltransferase 1) and CmCCR1 (cinnamyl CoA reductase1) were all upregulated, in agreement in agreement in agreement in agreement in agreement in agreement with an increase in lignin content with an increase in lignin content with an increase in lignin content with an increase in lignin content with an increase in lignin content with an increase in lignin content with an increase in lignin content with an increase in lignin content with an increase in lignin content with an increase in lignin content with an increase in lignin content with an increase in lignin content with an increase in lignin content with an increase in lignin content in CmMYB19 over-expressing plants plants plants. Collectively, the over-expression of CmMYB19 restricted the multiplication of the aphids on the host, mediated by an enhanced accumulation of lignin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Insect Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle
The Dynamics of the Defense Strategy of Pea Induced by Exogenous Nitric Oxide in Response to Aphid Infestation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(2), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18020329
Received: 1 August 2016 / Revised: 12 January 2017 / Accepted: 19 January 2017 / Published: 5 February 2017
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2848 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of exogenous nitric oxide (NO), i.e., S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO) and sodium nitroprusside (SNP), on the metabolic status of Pisum sativum L. cv. Cysterski leaves infested by Acyrthosiphon pisum Harris, population demographic parameters and [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of exogenous nitric oxide (NO), i.e., S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO) and sodium nitroprusside (SNP), on the metabolic status of Pisum sativum L. cv. Cysterski leaves infested by Acyrthosiphon pisum Harris, population demographic parameters and A. pisum feeding activity. A reduction in the level of semiquinone radicals in pea seedling leaves pretreated with exogenous NO occurred 24 h after A. pisum infestation, which was earlier than in non-pretreated leaves. A decrease in the level of O2•− was observed in leaves pretreated with GSNO and infested by aphids at 48 and 72 h post-infestation (hpi). Directly after the pretreatment with GSNO, an increase in the level of metal ions was recorded. NO considerably induced the relative mRNA levels for phenylalanine ammonia-lyase in 24-h leaves pretreated with NO donors, both non-infested and infested. NO stimulated the accumulation of pisatin in leaves until 24 h. The Electrical Penetration Graph revealed a reduction in the feeding activity of the pea aphid on leaves pretreated with NO. The present study showed that foliar application of NO donors induced sequentially defense reactions of pea against A. pisum and had a deterrent effect on aphid feeding and limited the population growth rate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Insect Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle
Independent Effects of a Herbivore’s Bacterial Symbionts on Its Performance and Induced Plant Defences
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(1), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18010182
Received: 30 September 2016 / Revised: 10 December 2016 / Accepted: 10 January 2017 / Published: 18 January 2017
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (648 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
It is well known that microbial pathogens and herbivores elicit defence responses in plants. Moreover, microorganisms associated with herbivores, such as bacteria or viruses, can modulate the plant’s response to herbivores. Herbivorous spider mites can harbour different species of bacterial symbionts and exert [...] Read more.
It is well known that microbial pathogens and herbivores elicit defence responses in plants. Moreover, microorganisms associated with herbivores, such as bacteria or viruses, can modulate the plant’s response to herbivores. Herbivorous spider mites can harbour different species of bacterial symbionts and exert a broad range of effects on host-plant defences. Hence, we tested the extent to which such symbionts affect the plant’s defences induced by their mite host and assessed if this translates into changes in plant resistance. We assessed the bacterial communities of two strains of the common mite pest Tetranychus urticae. We found that these strains harboured distinct symbiotic bacteria and removed these using antibiotics. Subsequently, we tested to which extent mites with and without symbiotic bacteria induce plant defences in terms of phytohormone accumulation and defence gene expression, and assessed mite oviposition and survival as a measure for plant resistance. We observed that the absence/presence of these bacteria altered distinct plant defence parameters and affected mite performance but we did not find indications for a causal link between the two. We argue that although bacteria-related effects on host-induced plant defences may occur, these do not necessarily affect plant resistance concomitantly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Insect Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle
Elevated O3 and TYLCV Infection Reduce the Suitability of Tomato as a Host for the Whitefly Bemisia tabaci
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 1964; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17121964
Received: 1 September 2016 / Revised: 4 November 2016 / Accepted: 16 November 2016 / Published: 28 November 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (8148 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The effects of elevated atmospheric ozone (O3) levels on herbivorous insects have been well studied, but little is known about the combined effects of elevated O3 and virus infection on herbivorous insect performance. Using open-top chambers in the field, we [...] Read more.
The effects of elevated atmospheric ozone (O3) levels on herbivorous insects have been well studied, but little is known about the combined effects of elevated O3 and virus infection on herbivorous insect performance. Using open-top chambers in the field, we determined the effects of elevated O3 and Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) infection on wild-type (Wt) tomato and 35S tomato (jasmonic acid (JA) defense-enhanced genotype) in association with whitefly, Bemisia tabaci Gennadius biotype B. Elevated O3 and TYLCV infection, alone and in combination, significantly reduced the contents of soluble sugars and free amino acids, increased the contents of total phenolics and condensed tannins, and increased salicylic acid (SA) content and the expression of SA-related genes in leaves. The JA signaling pathway was upregulated by elevated O3, but downregulated by TYLCV infection and O3 + TYLCV infection. Regardless of plant genotype, elevated O3, TYLCV infection, or O3 + TYLCV infection significantly decreased B. tabaci fecundity and abundance. These results suggest that elevated O3 and TYLCV infection, alone and in combination, reduce the nutrients available for B. tabaci, increase SA content and SA-related gene expression, and increase secondary metabolites, resulting in decreases in fecundity and abundance of B. tabaci in both tomato genotypes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Insect Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle
Pine Defensive Monoterpene α-Pinene Influences the Feeding Behavior of Dendroctonus valens and Its Gut Bacterial Community Structure
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(11), 1734; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17111734
Received: 30 June 2016 / Revised: 29 September 2016 / Accepted: 11 October 2016 / Published: 1 November 2016
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (3055 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The exposure to plant defense chemicals has negative effects on insect feeding activity and modifies insect gut microbial community composition. Dendroctonus valens is a very destructive forest pest in China, and harbors a large diversity and abundance of gut microorganisms. Host pine defensive [...] Read more.
The exposure to plant defense chemicals has negative effects on insect feeding activity and modifies insect gut microbial community composition. Dendroctonus valens is a very destructive forest pest in China, and harbors a large diversity and abundance of gut microorganisms. Host pine defensive chemicals can protect the pines from attack by the holobiont. In this study, boring length of D. valens feeding on 0 mg/g α-pinene and 9 mg/g α-pinene concentration in phloem media for 6 and 48 h were recorded, and their gut bacterial communities were analyzed in parallel. Nine milligram per gram α-pinene concentration significantly inhibited boring length of D. valens and altered its gut microbial community structure after 6 h. The inhibition of boring length from 9 mg/g α-pinene in diets ceased after 48 h. No significant differences of the bacterial communities were observed between the beetles in 0 and 9 mg/g α-pinene concentration in phloem media after 48 h. Our results showed that the inhibition of the feeding behavior of D. valens and the disturbance to its gut bacterial communities in 9 mg/g α-pinene concentration in phloem media after 6 h were eliminated after 48 h. The resilience of gut bacterial community of D. valens may help the beetle catabolize pine defense chemical. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Insect Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle
Brachycorynella asparagi (Mordv.) Induced—Oxidative Stress and Antioxidative Defenses of Asparagus officinalis L.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(10), 1740; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17101740
Received: 11 August 2016 / Revised: 9 October 2016 / Accepted: 11 October 2016 / Published: 20 October 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (7882 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate whether and to what extent oxidative stress is induced in leaves of one- and two-month-old plants of Asparagus officinalis L. cv. Argenteuil infested by Brachycorynella asparagi (Mordvilko) at a varied population size. The pest B. [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate whether and to what extent oxidative stress is induced in leaves of one- and two-month-old plants of Asparagus officinalis L. cv. Argenteuil infested by Brachycorynella asparagi (Mordvilko) at a varied population size. The pest B. asparagi has been described as the most damaging species feeding on asparagus. Analyses using electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) demonstrated generally higher concentrations of semiquinone radicals with g-values of 2.0045 ± 0.0005 and 2.0026 ± 0.0005 in Asparagus officinalis (A. officinalis) leaves after Brachycorynella asparagi (B. asparagi) infestation than in the control. Observations of leaves under a confocal microscope showed a post-infestation enhanced generation of the superoxide anion radical (O2•−) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in comparison to the control. Strong fluctuations in Mn2+ ion levels detected by EPR spectroscopy versus time were detected in leaves infested by aphids, which may indicate the involvement of these ions in the control of O2•− production. An enhanced superoxide dismutase activity is an important element in leaf defense against oxidative stress. Visible symptoms were found in aphid-infested A. officinalis. Damage to leaves of one- and two-month-old A. officinalis plants by the aphid B. asparagi was dependent on the intensity, duration of infestation and plant age. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Insect Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle
Extracellular Self-DNA (esDNA), but Not Heterologous Plant or Insect DNA (etDNA), Induces Plasma Membrane Depolarization and Calcium Signaling in Lima Bean (Phaseolus lunatus) and Maize (Zea mays)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(10), 1659; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17101659
Received: 1 August 2016 / Revised: 20 September 2016 / Accepted: 23 September 2016 / Published: 29 September 2016
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (6520 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Extracellular self-DNA (esDNA) is produced during cell and tissue damage or degradation and has been shown to induce significant responses in several organisms, including plants. While the inhibitory effects of esDNA have been shown in conspecific individuals, little is known on the early [...] Read more.
Extracellular self-DNA (esDNA) is produced during cell and tissue damage or degradation and has been shown to induce significant responses in several organisms, including plants. While the inhibitory effects of esDNA have been shown in conspecific individuals, little is known on the early events involved upon plant esDNA perception. We used electrophysiology and confocal laser scanning microscopy calcium localization to evaluate the plasma membrane potential (Vm) variations and the intracellular calcium fluxes, respectively, in Lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus) and maize (Zea mays) plants exposed to esDNA and extracellular heterologous DNA (etDNA) and to etDNA from Spodoptera littoralis larvae and oral secretions. In both species, esDNA induced a significant Vm depolarization and an increased flux of calcium, whereas etDNA was unable to exert any of these early signaling events. These findings confirm the specificity of esDNA to induce plant cell responses and to trigger early signaling events that eventually lead to plant response to damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Insect Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle
Acquisition of Flavescence Dorée Phytoplasma by Scaphoideus titanus Ball from Different Grapevine Varieties
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(9), 1563; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17091563
Received: 29 July 2016 / Revised: 24 August 2016 / Accepted: 7 September 2016 / Published: 15 September 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (754 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Flavescence dorée (FD) is a threat for wine production in the vineyard landscape of Piemonte, Langhe-Roero and Monferrato, Italy. Spread of the disease is dependent on complex interactions between insect, plant and phytoplasma. In the Piemonte region, wine production is based on local [...] Read more.
Flavescence dorée (FD) is a threat for wine production in the vineyard landscape of Piemonte, Langhe-Roero and Monferrato, Italy. Spread of the disease is dependent on complex interactions between insect, plant and phytoplasma. In the Piemonte region, wine production is based on local cultivars. The role of six local grapevine varieties as a source of inoculum for the vector Scaphoideus titanus was investigated. FD phytoplasma (FDP) load was compared among red and white varieties with different susceptibility to FD. Laboratory-reared healthy S. titanus nymphs were caged for acquisition on infected plants to measure phytoplasma acquisition efficiency following feeding on different cultivars. FDP load for Arneis was significantly lower than for other varieties. Acquisition efficiency depended on grapevine variety and on FDP load in the source plants, and there was a positive interaction for acquisition between variety and phytoplasma load. S. titanus acquired FDP with high efficiency from the most susceptible varieties, suggesting that disease diffusion correlates more with vector acquisition efficiency than with FDP load in source grapevines. In conclusion, although acquisition efficiency depends on grapevine variety and on FDP load in the plant, even varieties supporting low FDP multiplication can be highly susceptible and good sources for vector infection, while poorly susceptible varieties may host high phytoplasma loads. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Insect Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle
Sugarcane Serine Peptidase Inhibitors, Serine Peptidases, and Clp Protease System Subunits Associated with Sugarcane Borer (Diatraea saccharalis) Herbivory and Wounding
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(9), 1444; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17091444
Received: 12 July 2016 / Revised: 16 August 2016 / Accepted: 25 August 2016 / Published: 1 September 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (895 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Sugarcane’s (Saccharum spp.) response to Diatraea saccharalis (F.) (Lepidoptera: (Crambidae) herbivory was investigated using a macroarray spotted with 248 sugarcane Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs) encoding serine peptidase inhibitors, serine peptidases. and Clp protease system subunits. Our results showed that after nine hours [...] Read more.
Sugarcane’s (Saccharum spp.) response to Diatraea saccharalis (F.) (Lepidoptera: (Crambidae) herbivory was investigated using a macroarray spotted with 248 sugarcane Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs) encoding serine peptidase inhibitors, serine peptidases. and Clp protease system subunits. Our results showed that after nine hours of herbivory, 13 sugarcane genes were upregulated and nine were downregulated. Among the upregulated genes, nine were similar to serine peptidase inhibitors and four were similar to Bowman-Birk Inhibitors (BBIs). Phylogenetic analysis revealed that these sequences belong to a phylogenetic group of sugarcane BBIs that are potentially involved in plant defense against insect predation. The remaining four upregulated genes included serine peptidases and one homolog to the Arabidopsis AAA+ chaperone subunit ClpD, which is a member of the Clp protease system. Among the downregulated genes, five were homologous to serine peptidases and four were homologous to Arabidopsis Clp subunits (three homologous to Clp AAA+ chaperones and one to a ClpP-related ClpR subunit). Although the roles of serine peptidase inhibitors in plant defenses against herbivory have been extensively investigated, the roles of plant serine peptidases and the Clp protease system represent a new and underexplored field of study. The up- and downregulated D. saccharalis genes presented in this study may be candidate genes for the further investigation of the sugarcane response to herbivory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Insect Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle
Genes Expressed Differentially in Hessian Fly Larvae Feeding in Resistant and Susceptible Plants
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(8), 1324; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17081324
Received: 17 June 2016 / Revised: 27 July 2016 / Accepted: 5 August 2016 / Published: 12 August 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2926 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The Hessian fly, Mayetiola destructor, is a destructive pest of wheat worldwide and mainly controlled by deploying resistant cultivars. In this study, we investigated the genes that were expressed differentially between larvae in resistant plants and those in susceptible plants through RNA [...] Read more.
The Hessian fly, Mayetiola destructor, is a destructive pest of wheat worldwide and mainly controlled by deploying resistant cultivars. In this study, we investigated the genes that were expressed differentially between larvae in resistant plants and those in susceptible plants through RNA sequencing on the Illumina platform. Informative genes were 11,832, 14,861, 15,708, and 15,071 for the comparisons between larvae in resistant versus susceptible plants for 0.5, 1, 3, and 5 days, respectively, after larvae had reached the feeding site. The transcript abundance corresponding to 5401, 6902, 8457, and 5202 of the informative genes exhibited significant differences (p ≤ 0.05) in the respective paired comparisons. Overall, genes involved in nutrient metabolism, RNA and protein synthesis exhibited lower transcript abundance in larvae from resistant plants, indicating that resistant plants inhibited nutrient metabolism and protein production in larvae. Interestingly, the numbers of cytochrome P450 genes with higher transcript abundance in larvae from resistant plants were comparable to, or higher than those with lower transcript abundance, indicating that toxic chemicals from resistant plants may have played important roles in Hessian fly larval death. Our study also identified several families of genes encoding secreted salivary gland proteins (SSGPs) that were expressed at early stage of 1st instar larvae and with more genes with higher transcript abundance in larvae from resistant plants. Those SSGPs are candidate effectors with important roles in plant manipulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Insect Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle
Integrating Insect Life History and Food Plant Phenology: Flexible Maternal Choice Is Adaptive
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(8), 1263; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17081263
Received: 5 July 2016 / Revised: 22 July 2016 / Accepted: 26 July 2016 / Published: 3 August 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1409 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Experience of insect herbivores and their natural enemies in the natal habitat is considered to affect their likelihood of accepting a similar habitat or plant/host during dispersal. Growing phenology of food plants and the number of generations in the insects further determines lability [...] Read more.
Experience of insect herbivores and their natural enemies in the natal habitat is considered to affect their likelihood of accepting a similar habitat or plant/host during dispersal. Growing phenology of food plants and the number of generations in the insects further determines lability of insect behavioural responses at eclosion. We studied the effect of rearing history on oviposition preference in a multivoltine herbivore (Pieris brassicae), and foraging behaviour in the endoparasitoid wasp (Cotesia glomerata) a specialist enemy of P. brassicae. Different generations of the insects are obligatorily associated with different plants in the Brassicaceae, e.g., Brassica rapa, Brassica nigra and Sinapis arvensis, exhibiting different seasonal phenologies in The Netherlands. Food plant preference of adults was examined when the insects had been reared on each of the three plant species for one generation. Rearing history only marginally affected oviposition preference of P. brassicae butterflies, but they never preferred the plant on which they had been reared. C. glomerata had a clear preference for host-infested B. rapa plants, irrespective of rearing history. Higher levels of the glucosinolate breakdown product 3-butenyl isothiocyanate in the headspace of B. rapa plants could explain enhanced attractiveness. Our results reveal the potential importance of flexible plant choice for female multivoltine insects in nature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Insect Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle
Genetic Mapping of a Major Resistance Gene to Pea Aphid (Acyrthosipon pisum) in the Model Legume Medicago truncatula
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(8), 1224; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17081224
Received: 21 June 2016 / Revised: 20 July 2016 / Accepted: 22 July 2016 / Published: 29 July 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (953 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Resistance to the Australian pea aphid (PA; Acyrthosiphon pisum) biotype in cultivar Jester of the model legume Medicago truncatula is mediated by a single dominant gene and is phloem-mediated. The genetic map position for this resistance gene, APR (Acyrthosiphon pisum resistance), [...] Read more.
Resistance to the Australian pea aphid (PA; Acyrthosiphon pisum) biotype in cultivar Jester of the model legume Medicago truncatula is mediated by a single dominant gene and is phloem-mediated. The genetic map position for this resistance gene, APR (Acyrthosiphon pisum resistance), is provided and shows that APR maps 39 centiMorgans (cM) distal of the A. kondoi resistance (AKR) locus, which mediates resistance to a closely related species of the same genus bluegreen aphid (A. kondoi). The APR region on chromosome 3 is dense in classical nucleotide binding site leucine-rich repeats (NLRs) and overlaps with the region harbouring the RAP1 gene which confers resistance to a European PA biotype in the accession Jemalong A17. Further screening of a core collection of M. truncatula accessions identified seven lines with strong resistance to PA. Allelism experiments showed that the single dominant resistance to PA in M. truncatula accessions SA10481 and SA1516 are allelic to SA10733, the donor of the APR locus in cultivar Jester. While it remains unclear whether there are multiple PA resistance genes in an R-gene cluster or the resistance loci identified in the other M. truncatula accessions are allelic to APR, the introgression of APR into current M. truncatula cultivars will provide more durable resistance to PA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Insect Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle
Stage-Related Defense Response Induction in Tomato Plants by Nesidiocoris tenuis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(8), 1210; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17081210
Received: 24 May 2016 / Revised: 8 July 2016 / Accepted: 19 July 2016 / Published: 27 July 2016
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (1872 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The beneficial effects of direct predation by zoophytophagous biological control agents (BCAs), such as the mirid bug Nesidiocoris tenuis, are well-known. However, the benefits of zoophytophagous BCAs’ relation with host plants, via induction of plant defensive responses, have not been investigated until [...] Read more.
The beneficial effects of direct predation by zoophytophagous biological control agents (BCAs), such as the mirid bug Nesidiocoris tenuis, are well-known. However, the benefits of zoophytophagous BCAs’ relation with host plants, via induction of plant defensive responses, have not been investigated until recently. To date, only the females of certain zoophytophagous BCAs have been demonstrated to induce defensive plant responses in tomato plants. The aim of this work was to determine whether nymphs, adult females, and adult males of N. tenuis are able to induce defense responses in tomato plants. Compared to undamaged tomato plants (i.e., not exposed to the mirid), plants on which young or mature nymphs, or adult males or females of N. tenuis fed and developed were less attractive to the whitefly Bemisia tabaci, but were more attractive to the parasitoid Encarsia formosa. Female-exposed plants were more repellent to B. tabaci and more attractive to E. formosa than were male-exposed plants. When comparing young- and mature-nymph-exposed plants, the same level of repellence was obtained for B. tabaci, but mature-nymph-exposed plants were more attractive to E. formosa. The repellent effect is attributed to the signaling pathway of abscisic acid, which is upregulated in N. tenuis-exposed plants, whereas the parasitoid attraction was attributed to the activation of the jasmonic acid signaling pathway. Our results demonstrate that all motile stages of N. tenuis can trigger defensive responses in tomato plants, although these responses may be slightly different depending on the stage considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Insect Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle
The Salicylic Acid-Mediated Release of Plant Volatiles Affects the Host Choice of Bemisia tabaci
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(7), 1048; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17071048
Received: 25 February 2016 / Revised: 29 May 2016 / Accepted: 23 June 2016 / Published: 30 June 2016
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (1137 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) causes serious crop losses worldwide by transmitting viruses. We have previously shown that salicylic acid (SA)-related plant defenses directly affect whiteflies. In this study, we applied exogenous SA to tomato plants in order to investigate the [...] Read more.
The whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) causes serious crop losses worldwide by transmitting viruses. We have previously shown that salicylic acid (SA)-related plant defenses directly affect whiteflies. In this study, we applied exogenous SA to tomato plants in order to investigate the interaction between SA-induced plant volatiles and nonviruliferous B. tabaci B and Q or B- and Q-carrying tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV). The results showed that exogenous SA caused plants to repel nonviruliferous whiteflies, but the effect was reduced when the SA concentration was low and when the whiteflies were viruliferous. Exogenous SA increased the number and quantity of plant volatiles—especially the quantity of methyl salicylate and δ-limonene. In Y-tube olfactometer assays, methyl salicylate and δ-limonene repelled the whiteflies, but the repellency was reduced for viruliferous Q. We suggest that the release of plant volatiles as mediated by SA affects the interaction between whiteflies, plants, and viruses. Further studies are needed to determine why viruliferous Q is less sensitive than nonviruliferous Q to repellent plant volatiles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Insect Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle
Host Plants Identification for Adult Agrotis ipsilon, a Long-Distance Migratory Insect
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(6), 851; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17060851
Received: 24 April 2016 / Revised: 21 May 2016 / Accepted: 23 May 2016 / Published: 2 June 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (12448 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In this study, we determined the host relationship of Agrotis ipsilon moths by identifying pollen species adhering them during their long-distance migration. Pollen carried by A. ipsilon moths was collected from 2012 to 2014 on a small island in the center of the [...] Read more.
In this study, we determined the host relationship of Agrotis ipsilon moths by identifying pollen species adhering them during their long-distance migration. Pollen carried by A. ipsilon moths was collected from 2012 to 2014 on a small island in the center of the Bohai Strait, which is a seasonal migration pathway of this pest species. Genomic DNA of single pollen grains was amplified by using whole genome amplification technology, and a portion of the chloroplast rbcL sequence was then amplified from this material. Pollen species were identified by a combination of DNA barcoding and pollen morphology. We found 28 species of pollen from 18 families on the tested moths, mainly from Angiosperm, Dicotyledoneae. From this, we were able to determine that these moths visit woody plants more than herbaceous plants that they carry more pollen in the early and late stages of the migration season, and that the amounts of pollen transportation were related to moth sex, moth body part, and plant species. In general, 31% of female and 26% of male moths were found to be carrying pollen. Amounts of pollen on the proboscis was higher for female than male moths, while the reverse was true for pollen loads on the antennae. This work provides a new approach to study the interactions between noctuid moth and their host plants. Identification of plant hosts for adult moths furthers understanding of the coevolution processes between moths and their host plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Insect Interactions)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
Cuticular Lipids as a Cross-Talk among Ants, Plants and Butterflies
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 1966; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17121966
Received: 7 August 2016 / Revised: 6 November 2016 / Accepted: 17 November 2016 / Published: 24 November 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (7410 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Even though insects and plants are distantly related organisms, they developed an integument which is functionally and structurally similar. Besides functioning as a physical barrier to cope with abiotic and biotic stress, this interface, called cuticle, is also a source of chemical signaling. [...] Read more.
Even though insects and plants are distantly related organisms, they developed an integument which is functionally and structurally similar. Besides functioning as a physical barrier to cope with abiotic and biotic stress, this interface, called cuticle, is also a source of chemical signaling. Crucial compounds with this respect are surface lipids and especially cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs). This review is focused on the role of CHCs in fostering multilevel relationships among ants, plants and Lepidoptera (primarily butterflies). Indeed, particular traits of ants as eusocial organisms allowed the evolution and the maintenance of a variety of associations with both plants and animals. Basic concepts of myrmecophilous interactions and chemical deception strategies together with chemical composition, biosynthetic pathways and functions of CHCs as molecular cues of multitrophic systems are provided. Finally, the need to adopt a multidisciplinary and comprehensive approach in the survey of complex models is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Insect Interactions)
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Open AccessReview
Insect Gallers and Their Plant Hosts: From Omics Data to Systems Biology
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(11), 1891; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17111891
Received: 11 September 2016 / Revised: 28 October 2016 / Accepted: 4 November 2016 / Published: 18 November 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (666 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Gall-inducing insects are capable of exerting a high level of control over their hosts’ cellular machinery to the extent that the plant’s development, metabolism, chemistry, and physiology are all altered in favour of the insect. Many gallers are devastating pests in global agriculture [...] Read more.
Gall-inducing insects are capable of exerting a high level of control over their hosts’ cellular machinery to the extent that the plant’s development, metabolism, chemistry, and physiology are all altered in favour of the insect. Many gallers are devastating pests in global agriculture and the limited understanding of their relationship with their hosts prevents the development of robust management strategies. Omics technologies are proving to be important tools in elucidating the mechanisms involved in the interaction as they facilitate analysis of plant hosts and insect effectors for which little or no prior knowledge exists. In this review, we examine the mechanisms behind insect gall development using evidence from omics-level approaches. The secretion of effector proteins and induced phytohormonal imbalances are highlighted as likely mechanisms involved in gall development. However, understanding how these components function within the system is far from complete and a number of questions need to be answered before this information can be used in the development of strategies to engineer or breed plants with enhanced resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Insect Interactions)
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Open AccessReview
Phytocystatins: Defense Proteins against Phytophagous Insects and Acari
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(10), 1747; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17101747
Received: 27 July 2016 / Revised: 11 October 2016 / Accepted: 12 October 2016 / Published: 20 October 2016
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (1263 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This review deals with phytocystatins, focussing on their potential role as defence proteins against phytophagous arthropods. Information about the evolutionary, molecular and biochemical features and inhibitory properties of phytocystatins are presented. Cystatin ability to inhibit heterologous cysteine protease activities is commented on as [...] Read more.
This review deals with phytocystatins, focussing on their potential role as defence proteins against phytophagous arthropods. Information about the evolutionary, molecular and biochemical features and inhibitory properties of phytocystatins are presented. Cystatin ability to inhibit heterologous cysteine protease activities is commented on as well as some approaches of tailoring cystatin specificity to enhance their defence function towards pests. A general landscape on the digestive proteases of phytophagous insects and acari and the remarkable plasticity of their digestive physiology after feeding on cystatins are highlighted. Biotechnological approaches to produce recombinant cystatins to be added to artificial diets or to be sprayed as insecticide–acaricide compounds and the of use cystatins as transgenes are discussed. Multiple examples and applications are included to end with some conclusions and future perspectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Insect Interactions)
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Open AccessReview
Development of Bt Rice and Bt Maize in China and Their Efficacy in Target Pest Control
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(10), 1561; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17101561
Received: 11 August 2016 / Revised: 8 September 2016 / Accepted: 9 September 2016 / Published: 18 October 2016
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (250 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Rice and maize are important cereal crops that serve as staple foods, feed, and industrial material in China. Multiple factors constrain the production of both crops, among which insect pests are an important one. Lepidopteran pests cause enormous yield losses for the crops [...] Read more.
Rice and maize are important cereal crops that serve as staple foods, feed, and industrial material in China. Multiple factors constrain the production of both crops, among which insect pests are an important one. Lepidopteran pests cause enormous yield losses for the crops annually. In order to control these pests, China plays an active role in development and application of genetic engineering (GE) to crops, and dozens of GE rice and GE maize lines expressing insecticidal proteins from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) have been developed. Many lines have entered environmental release, field testing, and preproduction testing, and laboratory and field experiments have shown that most of the Bt rice and Bt maize lines developed in China exhibited effective control of major target lepidopteran pests on rice (Chilo suppressalis, Scirpophaga incertulas, and Cnaphalocrocis medinalis) and maize (Ostrinia furnacalis), demonstrating bright prospects for application. However, none of these Bt lines has yet been commercially planted through this writing in 2016. Challenges and perspectives for development and application of Bt rice and maize in China are discussed. This article provides a general context for colleagues to learn about research and development of Bt crops in China, and may shed light on future work in this field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Insect Interactions)
Open AccessReview
Biology, Pest Status, Microbiome and Control of Kudzu Bug (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Plataspidae): A New Invasive Pest in the U.S.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(9), 1570; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17091570
Received: 15 July 2016 / Revised: 3 September 2016 / Accepted: 9 September 2016 / Published: 16 September 2016
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (2881 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Soybean is an important food crop, and insect integrated pest management (IPM) is critical to the sustainability of this production system. In recent years, the introduction into the United States of the kudzu bug currently identified as Megacopta cribraria (F.), poses a threat [...] Read more.
Soybean is an important food crop, and insect integrated pest management (IPM) is critical to the sustainability of this production system. In recent years, the introduction into the United States of the kudzu bug currently identified as Megacopta cribraria (F.), poses a threat to soybean production. The kudzu bug was first discovered in the state of Georgia, U.S. in 2009 and since then has spread to most of the southeastern states. Because it was not found in the North American subcontinent before this time, much of our knowledge of this insect comes from research done in its native habitat. However, since the U.S. introduction, studies have been undertaken to improve our understanding of the kudzu bug basic biology, microbiome, migration patterns, host selection and management in its expanding new range. Researchers are not only looking at developing IPM strategies for the kudzu bug in soybean, but also at its unique relationship with symbiotic bacteria. Adult females deposit bacterial packets with their eggs, and the neonates feed on these packets to acquire the bacteria, Candidatus Ishikawaella capsulata. The kudzu bug should be an informative model to study the co-evolution of insect function and behavior with that of a single bacteria species. We review kudzu bug trapping and survey methods, the development of bioassays for insecticide susceptibility, insecticide efficacy, host preferences, impact of the pest on urban environments, population expansion, and the occurrence of natural enemies. The identity of the kudzu bug in the U.S. is not clear. We propose that the kudzu bug currently accepted as M. cribraria in the U.S. is actually Megacopta punctatissima, with more work needed to confirm this hypothesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Insect Interactions)
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Open AccessReview
Extraordinary Adaptive Plasticity of Colorado Potato Beetle: “Ten-Striped Spearman” in the Era of Biotechnological Warfare
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(9), 1538; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17091538
Received: 29 July 2016 / Revised: 1 September 2016 / Accepted: 5 September 2016 / Published: 13 September 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1323 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Expanding from remote areas of Mexico to a worldwide scale, the ten-striped insect, the Colorado potato beetle (CPB, Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say), has risen from being an innocuous beetle to a prominent global pest. A diverse life cycle, phenotypic plasticity, adaptation to adverse conditions, [...] Read more.
Expanding from remote areas of Mexico to a worldwide scale, the ten-striped insect, the Colorado potato beetle (CPB, Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say), has risen from being an innocuous beetle to a prominent global pest. A diverse life cycle, phenotypic plasticity, adaptation to adverse conditions, and capability to detoxify or tolerate toxins make this insect appear to be virtually “indestructible”. With increasing advances in molecular biology, tools of biotechnological warfare were deployed to combat CPB. In the last three decades, genetically modified potato has created a new challenge for the beetle. After reviewing hundreds of scientific papers dealing with CPB control, it became clear that even biotechnological means of control, if used alone, would not defeat the Colorado potato beetle. This control measure once again appears to be provoking the potato beetle to exhibit its remarkable adaptability. Nonetheless, the potential for adaptation to these techniques has increased our knowledge of this pest and thus opened possibilities for devising more sustainable CPB management programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Insect Interactions)
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Int. J. Mol. Sci. EISSN 1422-0067 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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