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Data from: Whitefly aggregation on tomato is mediated by feeding-induced changes in plant metabolites that influence the behavior and performance of conspecifics

Citation

Su, Qi et al. (2019), Data from: Whitefly aggregation on tomato is mediated by feeding-induced changes in plant metabolites that influence the behavior and performance of conspecifics, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.nt2dp

Abstract

1.Leaf damage caused by herbivore feeding often triggers induced resistance in plants. However, some herbivores can take advantage of the resulting metabolic changes in host plants and may even manipulate plant resistance, leading to a phenomenon known as induced susceptibility. 2.Previous work has shown that feeding by the whitefly Bemisia tabaci can reduce tomato Solanum lycopersicum resistance and that whiteflies tended to aggregate on infested plants. However, metabolomic changes in the plant and associated whitefly behavioral responses underlying this phenomenon remain poorly understood. We therefore investigated how B. tabaci infestation affects host physiology and the preference and performance of conspecific feeders. 3.B. tabaci adults exhibited consistent behavioral preferences for plants that experienced actual and simulated herbivory by conspecifics (consistent with observed effects on whitefly performance), but not for plants that were only mechanically wounded. Leaf volatiles and extracts of B. tabaci-infested plants showed altered terpenoid and flavonoid profiles. Manipulative behavioral experiments indicated that suppression of the monoterpenes α-phellandrene and α-terpinene and of flavonoids by B. tabaci infestation influenced the foraging and oviposition preferences of conspecifics. 4.These findings document key metabolic changes in plants exhibiting induced susceptibility and demonstrate their role in mediating herbivore foraging behavior and aggregation on susceptible plants, thereby providing new insight into a relatively unexplored aspect of plant-herbivore interactions.

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