To defend themselves, plants activate inducible defense mechanisms that are effective against the invader that is encountered. There is partial overlap in the defense signaling pathways that are induced by insect herbivores and microbial pathogens that may result in cross-resistance. We have previously shown that infestation by tissue-chewing Pieris rapae larvae induces resistance in Arabidopsis thaliana against subsequent attack by the microbial pathogens Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pst), Xanthomonas campestris pv. armoraciae (Xca) and turnip crinkle virus (TCV). Phloem-feeding aphids, such as the generalist Myzus persicae, have a stealthy feeding strategy that is very different from chewing by lepidopteran larvae. Yet, M. persicae feeding results in a large transcriptomic change. Here, we report on the effectiveness of the defense response that is triggered by M. persicae infestation, as well as the sensitivity of M. persicae to microbially-induced resistance. M. persicae reproduction was not affected by prior conspecific feeding, nor was aphid-induced resistance effective against subsequent attack by Pst, Xca, or TCV. Moreover, induced systemic resistance (ISR) triggered by beneficial Pseudomonas fluorescens rhizobacteria was not effective against M. persicae. However, systemic acquired resistance (SAR) induced by prior infection with avirulent Pst was associated with reduced aphid reproduction. These data provide insight into the effectiveness of pathogen and insect resistance, and highlight the complexity of the defense responses that are triggered during multitrophic plant-attacker interactions.
de Vos, M., van Oosten, V. R., Jander, G., Dicke, M., & Pieterse, C. M. J. (2007). Plants under attack. Multiple interactions with insects and microbes. Plant Signaling & Behavior, 2(6), 527-529. https://doi.org/10.4161/psb.2.6.4663