Herbivore-specific elicitation of photosynthesis by mirid bug salivary secretions in the wild tobacco Nicotiana attenuata
Article first published online: 28 MAR 2011
© 2011 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2011 New Phytologist Trust
Volume 191, Issue 2, pages 528–535, July 2011
How to Cite
Halitschke, R., Hamilton, J. G. and Kessler, A. (2011), Herbivore-specific elicitation of photosynthesis by mirid bug salivary secretions in the wild tobacco Nicotiana attenuata. New Phytologist, 191: 528–535. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2011.03701.x
- Issue published online: 29 JUN 2011
- Article first published online: 28 MAR 2011
- Received: 9 December 2010, Accepted: 13 February 2011
- chlorophyll fluorescence imaging;
- herbivore elicitor;
- Manduca sexta;
- photosynthetic efficiency;
- photosystem II;
- Tupiocoris notatus
- •Herbivory is thought to be detrimental to plant fitness and commonly results in a metabolic shift in the plant: photosynthetic processes are typically down-regulated, while resource allocation to defenses is increased in herbivore-attacked plants, resulting in fitness costs of induced plant responses.
- •Wild tobacco, Nicotiana attenuata, attacked by Tupiocoris notatus mirid bugs becomes resistant against more damaging herbivores through mirid-induced direct and indirect defenses. However, mirid-induced resistance and tissue loss do not result in a reduction of plant fitness. These findings suggest induced metabolic responses allowing the plant to compensate for the lost tissue and resources allocated to defenses.
- •While feeding by Manduca sexta larvae results in a strong down-regulation of photosynthesis, we demonstrate a specific induction of elevated photosynthetic activity in N. attenuata leaves by elicitors in mirid salivary secretions. The elevated CO2 assimilation rate is sufficient to compensate for the loss of photosynthetically active tissue and balances the net photosynthesis of infested leaves.
- •We discuss the observed increase in the plant’s primary metabolic activity as a mechanism that allows plants to alleviate negative fitness effects of mirid attack and mediates the vaccination effects that result in a net benefit in environments with multiple herbivores.