Methyl Jasmonate Changes the Composition and Distribution Rather than the Concentration of Defence Compounds: a Study on Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids

Xianqin Wei*, Klaas Vrieling, Patrick P.J. Mulder, Peter G.L. Klinkhamer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this study we investigated the effect of methyl jasmonate (MeJA) application on pyrrolizidine alkaloid (PA) concentration and composition of two closely related Jacobaea species. In addition, we examined whether MeJA application affected herbivory of the polyphagous leaf feeding herbivore Spodoptera exigua. A range of concentrations of MeJA was added to the medium of Jacobaea vulgaris and J. aquatica tissue culture plants grown under axenic conditions. PA concentrations were measured in roots and shoots using LC-MS/MS. In neither species MeJA application did affect the total PA concentration at the whole plant level. In J. vulgaris the total PA concentration decreased in roots but increased in shoots. In J. aquatica a similar non-significant trend was observed. In both Jacobaea species MeJA application induced a strong shift from senecionine- to erucifoline-like PAs, while the jacobine- and otosenine-like PAs remained largely unaffected. The results show that MeJA application does not necessarily elicits de novo synthesis, but rather leads to PA conversion combined with reallocation of certain PAs from roots to shoots. S. exigua preferred feeding on control leaves of J. aquatica over MeJA treated leaves, while for J. vulgaris both the control and MeJA treated leaves were hardly eaten. This suggests that the MeJA-induced increase of erucifoline-like PAs can play a role in resistance of J. aquatica to S. exigua. In J. vulgaris resistance to S. exigua may already be high due to the presence of jacobine-like PAs or other resistance factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-145
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Volume45
Issue number2
Early online date4 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

Keywords

  • Conversion
  • Erucifoline
  • Feeding damage
  • Herbivory
  • Induced defense
  • Jacobaea plants
  • Reallocation
  • Seneciphylline

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