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Olfactory perception of herbivore‐induced plant volatiles elicits counter‐defenses in larvae of the tobacco cutworm

Citation

Sun, Zhongxiang (2020), Olfactory perception of herbivore‐induced plant volatiles elicits counter‐defenses in larvae of the tobacco cutworm, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.djh9w0vz5

Abstract

  1. Herbivore attack leads to increased emission of herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) that protect plants by eliciting direct anti-herbivore defenses and indirect defenses via attraction of natural enemies. Whether herbivorous insects can develop counter-defenses against host plants in response to HIPVs is largely unexplored.
  2. Using a directed airflow apparatus, we investigated the influence of HIPVs emitted from tobacco cutworm (Spodoptera litura)-infested tomatoes on larval performance on herbivore-pretreated tomatoes vs. untreated tomatoes or on trypsin inhibitor-amended artificial diets vs. unamended diets, as well as the transcriptional responses of HIPV-exposed larvae.
  3. S. litura larval feeding on tomato plants led to increased emission of HIPVs. The HIPV-exposed larvae showed significantly increased survival rates and weight gains on both herbivore-pretreated tomato leaves and trypsin inhibitor-supplemented diet but not on untreated tomato leaves and control diets, nor when they had been exposed to HIPVs emitted from spr8 mutant plants which barely emit terpenes. These results suggest that larval exposure to HIPVs from wild-type plants enhanced their ability to cope with plant induced defenses. The latter is supported by the observation that larval exposure to HIPVs led to enhanced transcript levels of eight genes encoding cuticle proteins, and seven genes encoding cytochrome P450s, an important class of detoxification enzymes.
  4. Our studies revealed a mechanism by which larval olfactory perception of HIPVs elicits counter-defenses that enhance the ability of insect herbivores to withstand host plant chemical defenses.