Developing oak buds produce volatile emissions in response to herbivory by freshly hatched caterpillars - Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive Access content directly
Preprints, Working Papers, ... Year : 2023

Developing oak buds produce volatile emissions in response to herbivory by freshly hatched caterpillars

Abstract

Plant responses to damage by insectivorous herbivores is well documented in mature leaves. The resulting herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) protect the plant by attracting carnivorous arthropods and even some insectivorous vertebrates, to parasitize or consume the plant invaders. However, very little is known about plant production of HIPVs in developing buds, particularly when herbivorous insects are too small to be considered a prey item. It is additionally unclear whether plants respond differently to generalist and specialist chewing insects that overlap in distribution. Therefore, we compared HIPV production of Downy oak ( Quercus pubescens Willd.) buds infested with freshly hatched caterpillars of Tortrix viridana (specialist) and Operophtera brumata (generalist), against uninfested buds. Of the compounds identified in both years of the experiment, we found that ( Z )-hex-3-enyl acetate, ( E )-β-ocimene, acetophenone, linalool, ( E )-4,8-dimethyl-1,3,7-nonatriene (DMNT), methyl salicylate, α -copaene, α -humulene, ( E )-caryophyllene, and ( E,E )- α -farnesene were higher in infested buds compared to controls. We found no difference in HIPV production between the specialist and the generalist herbivores. Production of HIPVs was also associated with leaf damage, with higher HIPV production in more severely attacked buds. Thus, our study shows that oak trees already start responding to insect herbivory before leaves are developed, by producing compounds similar to those found in damaged mature leaves. Future work should focus on how Downy oak may benefit from initiating alarm cues at a time when carnivorous arthropods and insectivorous vertebrates are unable to use herbivorous insects as host or food.
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hal-04296652 , version 1 (20-11-2023)

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Jessica L Graham, Michael Staudt, Bruno Buatois, Samuel P Caro. Developing oak buds produce volatile emissions in response to herbivory by freshly hatched caterpillars. 2023. ⟨hal-04296652⟩
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