Chemical complexity of volatiles from plants induced by multiple attack

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The attack of a plant by herbivorous arthropods can result in considerable changes in the plant's chemical phenotype. The emission of so-called herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPV) results in the attraction of carnivorous enemies of the herbivores that induced these changes. HIPV induction has predominantly been investigated for interactions between one plant and one attacker. However, in nature plants are exposed to a variety of attackers, either simultaneously or sequentially, in shoots and roots, causing much more complex interactions than have usually been investigated in the context of HIPV. To develop an integrated view of how plants respond to their environment, we need to know more about the ways in which multiple attackers can enhance, attenuate, or otherwise alter HIPV responses. A multidisciplinary approach will allow us to investigate the underlying mechanisms of HIPV emission in terms of phytohormones, transcriptional responses and biosynthesis of metabolites in an effort to understand these complex plant-arthropod interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-324
JournalNature Chemical Biology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
  • tritrophic interaction webs
  • life-history traits
  • lima-bean leaves
  • jasmonic acid
  • nicotiana-attenuata
  • arabidopsis-thaliana
  • indirect defense
  • natural enemies
  • foraging efficiency


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