skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Similar local, but different systemic, metabolomics responses of closely related pine subspecies to folivory by caterpillars of the processionary moth

Plants respond locally and systemically to herbivore attack. Most of the research conducted on plant-herbivore relationships at elemental and molecular levels have focused on nutrients or/and certain molecular compounds or specific families of defensive metabolites showing that herbivores tend to select plant individuals or species with higher nutrient concentrations and to avoid those with higher levels of phenolics and terpenes. Unfortunately, the defensive role of phenolics in conifers is still unclear. We performed stoichiometric and metabolomics, local and systemic, analyses in two subspecies of Pinus sylvestris under the herbivorous attack by the caterpillars of the pine processionary moth, an important pest in the Mediterranean Basin. Herbivorous attack was not associated with any of the elements analyzed. Both pine subspecies responded locally to folivory mainly by increasing the concentrations of various terpenes and phenolics. Systemic responses differed between subspecies and most of the metabolites presented intermediate concentrations between those of the affected parts and unattacked trees. Contrary as usually thought, foliar nutrient concentrations did not show to be a main factor of an alleged plant selection by adult female processionary moths for oviposition. Local increases in phenolics were more associated with antioxidant function for protection against oxidative damage produced by folivory.more » On the other hand, terpenes were directly related to defense against herbivores. Herbivory attack produced a general systemic shift in pines, including both primary and secondary metabolisms, that was, however, less intense and chemically different from the local responses. Subspecies responded similarly locally but differently to folivory at systemic level.« less
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
48729; KP1704020
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Plant Biology, 18(3):484-494
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory