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Fatty alcohols, a minor component of the tree tobacco surface wax, are associated with defence against caterpillar herbivory
Year:
2023
Source of publication :
Plant, Cell & Environment
Authors :
Horowitz, Rami
;
.
Volume :
Co-Authors:

Boaz Negin, 
Lior Shachar, 
Sagit Meir, 
Claudio C. Ramirez, 
A. Rami Horowitz, 
Georg Jander, 
Asaph Aharoni

Facilitators :
From page:
0
To page:
0
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Total pages:
1
)
Abstract:

Despite decades of research resulting in a comprehensive understanding of epicuticular wax metabolism, the function of these almost ubiquitous metabolites in plant–herbivore interactions remains unresolved. In this study, we examined the effects of CRISPR-induced knockout mutations in four Nicotiana glauca (tree tobacco) wax metabolism genes. These mutations cause a wide range of changes in epicuticular wax composition, leading to altered interactions with insects and snails. Three interaction classes were examined: chewing herbivory by seven caterpillars and one snail species, phloem feeding by Myzus persicae (green peach aphid) and oviposition by Bemisia tabaci (whitefly). Although total wax load and alkane abundance did not affect caterpillar growth, a correlation across species, showed that fatty alcohols, a minor component of N. glauca surface waxes, negatively affected the growth of both a generalist caterpillar (Spodoptera littoralis) and a tobacco-feeding specialist (Manduca sexta). This negative correlation was overshadowed by the stronger effect of anabasine, a nicotine isomer, and was apparent when fatty alcohols were added to an artificial lepidopteran diet. By contrast, snails fed more on waxy leaves. Aphid reproduction and feeding activity were unaffected by wax composition but were potentially affected by altered cutin composition. Wax crystal morphology could explain the preference of B. tabaci to lay eggs on waxy wild-type plants relative to both alkane and fatty alcohol-deficient mutants. Together, our results suggest that the varied responses among herbivore classes and species are likely to be a consequence of the co-evolution that shaped the specific effects of different surface wax components in plant–herbivore interactions.

Note:
Related Files :
caterpillar
nicotiana glauca
Spodoptera littoralis
tree tobacco
wax
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More details
DOI :
10.1111/pce.14752
Article number:
0
Affiliations:
Database:
Scopus
Publication Type:
article
;
.
Language:
English
Editors' remarks:
ID:
67326
Last updated date:
11/12/2023 14:46
Creation date:
11/12/2023 14:42
Scientific Publication
Fatty alcohols, a minor component of the tree tobacco surface wax, are associated with defence against caterpillar herbivory

Boaz Negin, 
Lior Shachar, 
Sagit Meir, 
Claudio C. Ramirez, 
A. Rami Horowitz, 
Georg Jander, 
Asaph Aharoni

Fatty alcohols, a minor component of the tree tobacco surface wax, are associated with defence against caterpillar herbivory

Despite decades of research resulting in a comprehensive understanding of epicuticular wax metabolism, the function of these almost ubiquitous metabolites in plant–herbivore interactions remains unresolved. In this study, we examined the effects of CRISPR-induced knockout mutations in four Nicotiana glauca (tree tobacco) wax metabolism genes. These mutations cause a wide range of changes in epicuticular wax composition, leading to altered interactions with insects and snails. Three interaction classes were examined: chewing herbivory by seven caterpillars and one snail species, phloem feeding by Myzus persicae (green peach aphid) and oviposition by Bemisia tabaci (whitefly). Although total wax load and alkane abundance did not affect caterpillar growth, a correlation across species, showed that fatty alcohols, a minor component of N. glauca surface waxes, negatively affected the growth of both a generalist caterpillar (Spodoptera littoralis) and a tobacco-feeding specialist (Manduca sexta). This negative correlation was overshadowed by the stronger effect of anabasine, a nicotine isomer, and was apparent when fatty alcohols were added to an artificial lepidopteran diet. By contrast, snails fed more on waxy leaves. Aphid reproduction and feeding activity were unaffected by wax composition but were potentially affected by altered cutin composition. Wax crystal morphology could explain the preference of B. tabaci to lay eggs on waxy wild-type plants relative to both alkane and fatty alcohol-deficient mutants. Together, our results suggest that the varied responses among herbivore classes and species are likely to be a consequence of the co-evolution that shaped the specific effects of different surface wax components in plant–herbivore interactions.

Scientific Publication
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