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Herbivory in the Previous Generation Primes Plants for Enhanced Insect Resistance1[W][OA]

Summary: Herbivory in the Previous Generation Primes Plants for
Enhanced Insect Resistance1[W][OA]
Sergio Rasmann2
, Martin De Vos3
, Clare L. Casteel, Donglan Tian, Rayko Halitschke, Joel Y. Sun,
Anurag A. Agrawal, Gary W. Felton, and Georg Jander*
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853 (S.R., R.H.,
A.A.A.); Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Ithaca, New York 14853 (M.D.V., C.L.C., J.Y.S., G.J.);
and Department of Entomology and Center for Chemical Ecology, Pennsylvania State University, University
Park, Pennsylvania 16802 (D.T., G.W.F.)
Inducible defenses, which provide enhanced resistance after initial attack, are nearly universal in plants. This defense signaling
cascade is mediated by the synthesis, movement, and perception of jasmonic acid and related plant metabolites. To char-
acterize the long-term persistence of plant immunity, we challenged Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and tomato (Solanum
lycopersicum) with caterpillar herbivory, application of methyl jasmonate, or mechanical damage during vegetative growth and
assessed plant resistance in subsequent generations. Here, we show that induced resistance was associated with transgenera-
tional priming of jasmonic acid-dependent defense responses in both species, caused caterpillars to grow up to 50% smaller
than on control plants, and persisted for two generations in Arabidopsis. Arabidopsis mutants that are deficient in jasmonate
perception (coronatine insensitive1) or in the biogenesis of small interfering RNA (dicer-like2 dicer-like3 dicer-like4 and nuclear
RNA polymerase d2a nuclear RNA polymerase d2b) do not exhibit inherited resistance. The observation of inherited resistance in
both the Brassicaceae and Solanaceae suggests that this trait may be more widely distributed in plants. Epigenetic resistance to


Source: Agrawal, Anurag - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology & Entomollogy, Cornell University


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology