Phytohormone mediation of interactions between herbivores and plant pathogens

J. Lazebnik, E. Frago, M. Dicke, J.J.A. van Loon

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51 Citations (Scopus)


Induced plant defenses against either pathogens or herbivore attackers are regulated by phytohormones. These phytohormones are increasingly recognized as important mediators of interactions between organisms associated with plants. In this review, we discuss the role of plant defense hormones in sequential tri-partite interactions among plants, pathogenic microbes, and herbivorous insects, based on the most recent literature. We discuss the importance of pathogen trophic strategy in the interaction with herbivores that exhibit different feeding modes. Plant resistance mechanisms also affect plant quality in future interactions with attackers. We discuss exemplary evidence for the hypotheses that (i) biotrophic pathogens can facilitate chewing herbivores, unless plants exhibit effector-triggered immunity, but (ii) facilitate or inhibit phloem feeders. (iii) Necrotrophic pathogens, on the other hand, can inhibit both phloem feeders and chewers. We also propose herbivore feeding mode as predictor of effects on pathogens of different trophic strategies, providing evidence for the hypotheses that (iv) phloem feeders inhibit pathogen attack by increasing SA induction, whereas (v) chewing herbivores tend not to affect necrotrophic pathogens, while they may either inhibit or facilitate biotrophic pathogens. Putting these hypotheses to the test will increase our understanding of phytohormonal regulation of plant defense to sequential attack by plant pathogens and insect herbivores. This will provide valuable insight into plant-mediated ecological interactions among members of the plant-associated community.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)730-741
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • systemic acquired-resistance
  • generalist insect herbivores
  • white-backed planthopper
  • rice blast fungus
  • defense responses
  • multitrophic interactions
  • necrotrophic pathogens
  • arabidopsis resistance
  • pseudomonas-syringae
  • aphid interactions

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