Emerging role of roots in plant responses to aboveground insect herbivory

Authors


Abstract

Plants have evolved complex biochemical mechanisms to counter threats from insect herbivory. Recent research has revealed an important role of roots in plant responses to above ground herbivory (AGH). The involvement of roots is integral to plant resistance and tolerance mechanisms. Roots not only play an active role in plant defenses by acting as sites for biosynthesis of various toxins and but also contribute to tolerance by storing photoassimilates to enable future regrowth. The interaction of roots with beneficial soil-borne microorganisms also influences the outcome of the interaction between plant and insect herbivores. Shoot-to-root communication signals are critical for plant response to AGH. A better understanding of the role of roots in plant response to AGH is essential in order to develop a comprehensive picture of plant-insect interactions. Here, we summarize the current status of research on the role of roots in plant response to AGH and also discuss possible signals involved in shoot-to-root communication.

Ancillary