Rhizobacterial colonization of roots modulates plant volatile emission and enhances the attraction of a parasitoid wasp to host-infested plants

N.P.D. Pangesti, B.T. Weldegergis, B. Langendorf, J.J.A. van Loon, M. Dicke, A.M. Pineda Gomez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Beneficial root-associated microbes modify the physiological status of their host plants and affect direct and indirect plant defense against insect herbivores. While the effects of these microbes on direct plant defense against insect herbivores are well described, knowledge of the effect of the microbes on indirect plant defense against insect herbivores is still limited. In this study, we evaluate the role of the rhizobacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens WCS417r in indirect plant defense against the generalist leaf-chewing insect Mamestra brassicae through a combination of behavioral, chemical, and gene-transcriptional approaches. We show that rhizobacterial colonization of Arabidopsis thaliana roots results in an increased attraction of the parasitoid Microplitis mediator to caterpillar-infested plants. Volatile analysis revealed that rhizobacterial colonization suppressed the emission of the terpene (E)-a-bergamotene and the aromatics methyl salicylate and lilial in response to caterpillar feeding. Rhizobacterial colonization decreased the caterpillar-induced transcription of the terpene synthase genes TPS03 and TPS04. Rhizobacteria enhanced both the growth and the indirect defense of plants under caterpillar attack. This study shows that rhizobacteria have a high potential to enhance the biocontrol of leaf-chewing herbivores based on enhanced attraction of parasitoids.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1169-1180
JournalOecologia
Volume178
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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