Ultraviolet radiation modulates both constitutive and inducible plant defenses against thrips but is dose and plant genotype dependent

Rocío Escobar-Bravo*, Charlotte Nederpel, Sofía Naranjo, Hye Kyong Kim, María José Rodríguez-López, Gang Chen, Gaétan Glauser, Kirsten A. Leiss, Peter G.L. Klinkhamer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Ultraviolet (UV) radiation has emerged as an environmental cue with potential uses to enhance plant protection against arthropod pests in agriculture. UV can augment constitutive and inducible plant defenses against herbivorous arthropods. Here we investigated whether application of supplemental UV to chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum × morifolium Ramat) cuttings during their rooting phase enhanced plant resistance to an important insect pest, Western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis). For this, we analyzed how several daily UV exposure times affected plant damage by thrips on three different chrysanthemum cultivars. The most effective UV dose and responsive cultivar were further used to determine the UV effects on host plant preference by thrips, leaf metabolome and the induction of jasmonic acid (JA)-associated defenses. Our results showed that while short UV daily exposure times increased chrysanthemum resistance to thrips, longer exposure times had the opposite effect. Furthermore, we showed that UV-mediated induction of chrysanthemum resistance to thrips was genotype dependent and can persist after the end of the of the UV treatment. Yet, this induction was not transferred to the next generation from mother plants to cuttings. Nontargeted metabolomic, enzymatic and hormone analyses further revealed that UV slightly affected the leaf metabolome of chrysanthemum plants, and it enhanced the induction of JA-associated signaling after thrips infestation. Taken together, our results suggest that supplemental UV might modulate both constitutive and inducible chrysanthemum defenses against thrips.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-81
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Pest Science
Early online date31 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Frankliniella occidentalis
  • Jasmonic acid
  • Light
  • Phenolics
  • Plant defenses
  • UV

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