Journal of Chemical Ecology (2019) 45, 708-714

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Carlos F. Pinto, D. Torrico-Bazoberry, M. Penna, R. Cossio-Rodríguez, R. Cocroft, H. Appel and H.M. Niemeyer (2019)
Chemical responses of Nicotiana tabacum (Solanaceae) induced by vibrational signals of a generalist herbivore
Journal of Chemical Ecology 45 (8), 708-714
Abstract: Plants are able to sense their environment and respond appropriately to different stimuli. Vibrational signals (VS) are one of the most widespread yet understudied ways of communication between organisms. Recent research into the perception of VS by plants showed that they are ecologically meaningful signals involved in different interactions of plants with biotic and abiotic agents. We studied changes in the concentration of alkaloids in tobacco plants induced by VS produced by Phthorimaea operculella (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), a generalist caterpillar that naturally feeds on the plant. We measured the concentration of nicotine, nornicotine, anabasine and anatabine in four treatments applied to 11-weeks old tobacco plant: a) Co = undamaged plants, b) Eq = Playback equipment attached to the plant without VS, c) Ca = Plants attacked by P. operculella herbivory and d) Pl = playback of VS of P. operculella feeding on tobacco. We found that nicotine, the most abundant alkaloid, increased more than 2.6 times in the Ca and Pl treatments as compared with the Co and Eq treatments, which were similar between them. Nornicotine, anabasine and anatabine were mutually correlated and showed similar concentration patterns, being higher in the Eq treatment. Results are discussed in terms of the adaptive significance of plant responses to ecologically important VS stimuli.
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Database assignments for author(s): Hermann M. Niemeyer

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
resistance/tolerance/defence of host
environment - cropping system/rotation


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.
Phthorimaea operculella Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum)