Do plants use airborne cues to recognize herbivores on their neighbours?

  title={Do plants use airborne cues to recognize herbivores on their neighbours?},
  author={Yasuyuki Choh and Rika Ozawa and Junji Takabayashi},
  journal={Experimental and Applied Acarology},
Plants show defensive responses after exposure to volatiles from neighbouring plants infested by herbivores. When a plant’s neighbours host only species of herbivores that do not feed on the plant itself, the plant can conserve energy by maintaining a low defence level. An intriguing question is whether plants respond differently to volatiles from plants infested by herbivores that pose greater or lesser degrees of danger. We examined the secretion of extrafloral nectar (EFN) in lima bean… 

Defense Suppression through Interplant Communication Depends on the Attacking Herbivore Species

This study shows that herbivore species identity affects volatile-mediated interplant communication in zucchini, revealing a new example of Herbivore defense suppression through volatile cues.

Plant–plant communication mediated by airborne signals: ecological and plant physiological perspectives

This work outlines studies on plant-plant communication from both ecological and plant physiological perspectives, and reviews the signaling pathways involved, priming, sensitivity, and how plants receive volatile compounds in plant–plant communications.

Asymptomatic pathogen infection alters interactions at higher trophic levels

The research found that asymptomatic pathogen infection altered plant traits and changed the life history and behaviour of an herbivorous insect and its parasitoid, and its consequent effects on an insect community at higher trophic levels.

Different population densities and continuous feeding by Oligonychus yothersi (McGregor) (Acari: Tetranychidae) affect the emissions of herbivore-induced plant volatiles on avocado (Persea americana Mill. cv. Hass) shoots under semi-field conditions

Results indicate that higher mite-population densities and continuous O. yothersi-feeding increases the amounts of HIPVs emitted by O.YotherSI-infested shoots in summer, which indicates that environmental conditions maximized or constrained those emissions.

Oviposition Experience of Parasitoid Wasps with Nonhost Larvae Affects their Olfactory and Contact-Behavioral Responses toward Host- and Nonhost-Infested Plants

The density of nonhost species as well as that of host species in the field should be considered when assessing the host-searching behavior of parasitoid wasps, as a negative experience appears to have negatively affected the olfactory responses to nonhost-infested plants.

Behavioral Response of Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) and Its Egg Parasitoid Trissolcus japonicus (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae) to Host Plant Odors

The results indicate the potential of developing H. halys and T. japonicus attractants or/and repellents based on host plant volatiles and suggest possible adaptive responses of this pest and its egg parasitoid to similar host plant odors.

Herbivore-specific plant volatiles prime neighboring plants for non-specific defense responses.

Herbivore species-specific HIPVs primed neighboring plants, which produced 2 to 4 times more volatiles and JA after simulated herbivory when compared to similarly treated constitutive volatile-exposed plants, and volatile profiles emitted by primed plants depended only on the challenging herbivor species but not on the species- specific HIPV profile of damaged emitter plants.



How caterpillar-damaged plants protect themselves by attracting parasitic wasps.

The studies on the phenomena of herbivore-induced emissions of volatiles in corn and cotton plants and studies conducted by others indicate that the clarity of the volatile signals is high, as they are unique for herbivor damage, produced in relatively large amounts, and easily distinguishable from background odors.

Herbivore-infested plants selectively attract parasitoids

The production by phylogenetically diverse plant species and the exploitation by parasitoids of highly specific chemical signals, keyed to individual herbivore species, indicates that the interaction between plants and the natural enemies of the herbivores that attack them is more sophisticated than previously realized.

Within-plant signaling by volatiles leads to induction and priming of an indirect plant defense in nature

Herbivore-induced VOCs elicit a defensive response in undamaged plants (or parts of plants) under natural conditions, and they function as external signal for within-plant communication, thus serving also a physiological role in the systemic response of a plant to local damage.

Odour-mediated responses of phytophagous mites to conspecific and heterospecific competitors

Investigating the response of one species of herbivore to odours emanating from cucumber plants infested by conspecific or heterospecific herbivores found that spider mites prefer clean plants over thrips-infested plants, since thrips are not only competitors, but are also known as intraguild predators of spider mite.

Within-plant signalling via volatiles overcomes vascular constraints on systemic signalling and primes responses against herbivores.

Self-signalling via volatiles is consistent with the short distances over which plant response to airborne cues has been observed to occur and has apparent benefits for emitting plants, suggesting that within-plant signalling may have equal or greater ecological significance than signalling between plants.

Herbivory-induced volatiles elicit defence genes in lima bean leaves

It is shown that uninfested lima bean leaves activate five separate defence genes when exposed to volatiles from conspecific leaves infested with T. urticae, but not when exposed with volatile from artificially wounded leaves.

Herbivore-Induced Plant Volatiles Mediate In-Flight Host Discrimination by Parasitoids

It is demonstrated that parasitoids can detect, in flight, whether their hosts contain competitors, and that plants reduce the production of specific herbivore-induced volatiles after a successful recruitment of their bodyguards.

Exposure of Lima Bean Leaves to Volatiles from Herbivore-Induced Conspecific Plants Results in Emission of Carnivore Attractants: Active or Passive Process?

Previous exposure of plants to volatiles from herbivore-infested neighbors results in a stronger response of plants in terms of predator attraction when herbivores damage the plant, which supports the hypothesis that the downwind uninfested plant is actively involved.

Herbivore‐induced plant volatiles induce an indirect defence in neighbouring plants

It is demonstrated that one indirect defence mechanism can induce another one in conspecific plants, and that Lima bean plants can benefit from this VOC-induced EFN secretion under natural conditions.

Specificity of herbivore-induced plant defences.

  • M. Dicke
  • Environmental Science
    Novartis Foundation symposium
  • 1999
For application of direct and indirect defence in agriculture, it is important to compare the relative importance of these two defence types in the same plant species.