Long distance root-shoot signalling in plant-insect community interactions

R. Soler, M. Erb, I. Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


Plants mediate interactions between insects, including leaf- and root-feeders; yet the underlying mechanisms and connection with ecological theory remain unresolved. In this review, based on novel insights into long-distance (i.e., leaf-leaf, root-shoot) defence signalling, we explore the role of phytohormones in driving broad-scale patterns of aboveground-belowground interactions that can be extrapolated to general plant-insect relationships. We propose that the outcome of intra-feeding guild interactions is generally negative due to induction of similar phytohormonal pathways, whereas between-guild interactions are often positive due to negative signal crosstalk. However, not all outcomes could be explained by feeding guild; we argue that future studies should target ecologically representative plant-insect systems, distinguish subguilds, and include plant growth hormones to improve our understanding of plant-mediated interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-156
JournalTrends in Plant Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • below-ground herbivory
  • systemic acquired-resistance
  • indirect interaction webs
  • abscisic-acid
  • multitrophic interactions
  • interspecific interactions
  • mediated interactions
  • feeding insects
  • phytophagous insects
  • galling aphids

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