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Plant defence responses to volatile alert signals are population-specific [Oikos]

Keywords : aphids, interference, Mexico, Phaseolus lunatus, plant-plant communication, VOCs

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Herbivore-induced volatiles are widespread in plants. They can serve as alert signals that enable neighbouring leaves and plants to pre-emptively increase defences and avoid herbivory damage. However, our understanding about the factors mediating volatile organic compound (VOC) signal interpretation by receiver plants and the degree to which multiple herbivores affect VOC signals is still limited. Here we investigated whether plant responses to damage-induced VOC signals were population specific. As a secondary goal, we tested for interference in signal production or reception when plants were subjected to multiple types of herbivore damage. We factorially crossed the population sources of paired Phaseolus lunatus plants (same vs. different population sources) with a mechanical damage treatment to one member of the pair (i.e. the VOC emitter, damaged vs. control), and we measured herbivore damage to the other plant (the VOC receiver) in the field.(...)

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