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Impact of Seasonal and Temperature-Dependent Variation in Root Defense Metabolites on Herbivore Preference in Taraxacum officinale

Abstract : Plants experience seasonal fluctuations in abiotic and biotic factors such as herbivore attack rates. If and how root defense expression co-varies with seasonal fluctuations in abiotic factors and root herbivore attack rates is not well understood. Here, we evaluated seasonal changes in defensive root latex chemistry of Taraxacum officinale plants in the field and correlated the changes with seasonal fluctuations in abiotic factors and damage potential by Melolontha melolontha, a major natural enemy of T. officinale. We then explored the causality and consequences of these relationships under controlled conditions. The concentration of the defensive sesquiterpene lactone taraxinic acid beta-D glucopyranosyl ester (TA-G) varied substantially over the year and was most strongly correlated to mean monthly temperature. Both temperature and TA-G levels were correlated with annual fluctuations in potential M. melolontha damage. Under controlled conditions, plants grown under high temperature produced more TA-G and were less attractive for M. melolontha. However, temperature-dependent M. melolontha feeding preferences were not significantly altered in TA-G deficient transgenic lines. Our results suggest that fluctuations in temperature leads to variation in the production of a root defensive metabolites that co-varies with expected attack of a major root herbivore. Temperature-dependent herbivore preference, however, is likely to be modulated by other phenotypic alterations.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03144059
Contributor : Anne-Sophie Grenier <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, February 17, 2021 - 11:47:07 AM
Last modification on : Friday, April 2, 2021 - 4:20:55 PM

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Wei Huang, Zoe Bont, Maxime Hervé, Christelle Robert, Matthias Erb. Impact of Seasonal and Temperature-Dependent Variation in Root Defense Metabolites on Herbivore Preference in Taraxacum officinale. Journal of Chemical Ecology, Springer Verlag, 2020, 46 (1), pp.63-75. ⟨10.1007/s10886-019-01126-9⟩. ⟨hal-03144059⟩

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