Health monitoring of plants by their emitted volatiles: A temporary increase in the concentration of nethyl salicylate after pathogen inoculation of tomato plants at greenhouse scale

R.M.C. Jansen, J.W. Hofstee, F.W.A. Verstappen, H.J. Bouwmeester, M.A. Posthumus, E.J. van Henten

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This paper describes a method to alert growers of the presence of a pathogen infection in their greenhouse based on the detection of pathogen-induced emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from plants. Greenhouse-grown plants were inoculated with spores of a fungus to learn more about this concept. The specific objective of the present study was to determine whether VOCs are detectable after inoculation, and if so, to determine the time course of the concentrations of these compounds. To achieve this objective, we inoculated 60 greenhouse-grown tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum) with an aqueous suspension of Botrytis cinerea spores. Upon inoculation, the greenhouse air was sampled semi-continuously with a one hour time interval until 72 hours after inoculation (HAI). The samples were transferred to the laboratory and analysed using gas chromatography - mass spectrometry. Ten leaves were randomly selected to monitor the visible symptoms of infection. The severity of these visual symptoms was assessed at 0, 24, 48, and 72 HAI. Results demonstrated no detection of C6-compounds, and an almost constant concentration of all monoterpenes, most sesquiterpenes, and (E,E)-4,8,12-trimethyl-1,3,7,11-tridecatetraene. However, the concentration of methyl salicylate increased 10-fold and 3-fold at 32 and 34 HAI respectively. At 24 HAI, 10% of the selected leaves showed mild symptoms while 20% of the selected leaves showed mild symptoms at 48 HAI. These results indicate that methyl salicylate might alert a grower of the presence of a B. cinerea infection of tomato plants at greenhouse scale. Further research is required to confirm these findings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Symposium on High Technology for Greenhouse Systems: GreenSys2009, Quebec, Canada, 14 - 19 June, 2009
Pages1255-1262
Volume893
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventGreenSys 2009 - Quebec, Canada
Duration: 14 Jun 200919 Jun 2009

Conference

ConferenceGreenSys 2009
CountryCanada
CityQuebec
Period14/06/0919/06/09

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