Quantitative comparison of chemical, biological and mechanical induction of secondary compounds in Pinus pinaster seedlings

Journal Article
Moreira, Xoaquín., Zas, Rafael., Sampedro, Luis.

<p>Chemical elicitors and mechanical treatments simulating real insect herbivory have been increasingly used to study induced defensive responses in woody plants. However, simultaneous quantitative comparisons of plant chemical defences elicited by real and simulated herbivory have received little attention. In this paper we compared the effects of real herbivory, simulated herbivory using two chemical elicitors, and mechanical damage treatments on the quantitative secondary chemistry of Pinus pinaster juveniles (namely on non-volatile resin in the stem and total phenolics in the needles). The real herbivory involved phloem wounding by Hylobius abietis and defoliation by Brachyderes lusitanicus (two pine weevils); the chemical elicitors to simulate herbivory induction were 40 mM methyl jasmonate (MJ) and 20 μM benzothiadiazole (BTH); and the mechanical treatments included phloem wounding and needle clipping. We also performed an additional experiment for assessing at what extent insect extracts could increase plant responses over mechanical damage. Chemical induction with MJ, mechanical wounding and real phloem herbivory by H. abietis all produced quantitatively similar results, increasing the concentration of resin in the stem and total phenolics in the needles by equivalent magnitudes. Exogenous application of BTH increased the concentration of phenolic compounds in pine needles, but did not show the same effect on stem resin. Contrastingly, we did not find significant changes in the concentration of resin in the stem or phenolics in the needles after needle clipping and B. lusitanicus feeding. Mechanical damage followed by the application of extracts from the insects B. lusitanicus and H. abietis on the injured tissues did not increase the responses in comparison to mechanical damage alone. The fact that strong induced responses elicited by phloem wounding insects are equally elicited by phloem injuries suggests that defences in pine trees are raised with low specificity regarding biotic enemies. Results from this paper support future methodological approaches using chemical elicitors and mechanical damage as simulated herbivory treatments for the experimental induction of conifer defences. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.</p>


Trees - Structure and Function

Palabras clave

Benzothiadiazole, Conifers, Induced defences, Methyl jasmonate, Needle clipping, Phloem wounding, Salicylic acid


Pinus pinaster, química, estimulantes, producción