Toby J. A. Bruce

Learn More
Locating a host plant is crucial for a phytophagous (herbivorous) insect to fulfill its nutritional requirements and to find suitable oviposition sites. Insects can locate their hosts even though the host plants are often hidden among an array of other plants. Plant volatiles play an important role in this host-location process. The recognition of a host(More)
Volatile plant secondary metabolites are detected by the highly sensitive olfactory system employed by insects to locate suitable plants as hosts and to avoid unsuitable hosts. Perception of these compounds depends on olfactory receptor neurones (ORNs) in sensillae, mostly on the insect antennae, which can recognise individual molecular structures.(More)
Systemic acquired resistance (SAR) is a plant immune response to pathogen attack. Recent evidence suggests that plant immunity involves regulation by chromatin remodeling and DNA methylation. We investigated whether SAR can be inherited epigenetically following disease pressure by Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato DC3000 (PstDC3000). Compared to progeny from(More)
The alarm pheromone for many species of aphids, which causes dispersion in response to attack by predators or parasitoids, consists of the sesquiterpene (E)-beta-farnesene (Ebetaf). We used high levels of expression in Arabidopsis thaliana plants of an Ebetaf synthase gene cloned from Mentha x piperita to cause emission of pure Ebetaf. These plants elicited(More)
Natural enemies respond to herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs), but an often overlooked aspect is that there may be genotypic variation in these 'indirect' plant defence traits within plant species. We found that egg deposition by stemborer moths (Chilo partellus) on maize landrace varieties caused emission of HIPVs that attract parasitic wasps.(More)
It is of adaptive value for a plant to prepare its defenses when a threat is detected, and certain plant volatiles associated with insect damage, such as cis-jasmone (CJ), are known to switch-on defense metabolism. We used aphid and aphid parasitoid responses to Arabidopsis thaliana as a model system for studying gene expression and defense chemistry and(More)
Plants subjected to insect attack usually increase volatile emission which attracts natural enemies and repels further herbivore colonization. Less is known about the capacity of herbivores to suppress volatiles and the multitrophic consequences thereof. In our study, the African forage grass, Brachiaria brizantha, was exposed to ovipositing spotted(More)
In this review, we provide an overview of the role of glucosinolates and other phytochemical compounds present in the Brassicaceae in relation to plant protection and human health. Current knowledge of the factors that influence phytochemical content and profile in the Brassicaceae is also summarized and multi-factorial approaches are briefly discussed.(More)
cis-Jasmone is a plant volatile known to have roles as an insect semiochemical and in inducing plant defence. It was evaluated in laboratory and field trials for control of cereal aphids. In an olfactometer bioassay cis-jasmone was repellent to alatae of the grain aphid, Sitobion avenae (Fabricius) (Homoptera: Aphididae). Moreover, wheat, Triticum aestivum(More)
The roots of most land plants are colonised by mycorrhizal fungi that provide mineral nutrients in exchange for carbon. Here, we show that mycorrhizal mycelia can also act as a conduit for signalling between plants, acting as an early warning system for herbivore attack. Insect herbivory causes systemic changes in the production of plant volatiles,(More)