Variation in plant-mediated interactions between rhizobacteria and caterpillars: potential role of soil composition

N.P.D. Pangesti, A.M. Pineda Gomez, M. Dicke, J.J.A. van Loon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Selected strains of non-pathogenic rhizobacteria can trigger induced systemic resistance (ISR) in plants against aboveground insect herbivores. However, the underlying mechanisms of plant-mediated interactions between rhizobacteria and herbivorous insects are still poorly understood. Using Arabidopsis thaliana Col-0-Pseudomonas fluorescens WCS417r as a model system, we investigated the performance and the molecular mechanisms underlying plant-mediated effects of rhizobacteria on the generalist caterpillar Mamestra brassicae and the specialist Pieris brassicae. Rhizobacteria colonisation of Arabidopsis roots resulted in decreased larval weight of M. brassicae, whereas no effect was observed on larval weight of P. brassicae. Using a jasmonic acid (JA)-impaired mutant (dde2-2), we confirmed the importance of JA in rhizobacteria-mediated ISR against M. brassicae. Interestingly, in some experiments we also observed rhizobacteria-induced systemic susceptibility to M. brassicae. The role of soil composition in the variable outcomes of microbe-plant-insect interactions was then assessed by comparing M. brassicae performance and gene transcription in plants grown in potting soil or a mixture of potting soil and sand in a 1:1 ratio. In a mixture of potting soil and sand, rhizobacteria treatment had a consistent negative effect on M. brassicae, whereas the effect was more variable in potting soil. Interestingly, at 24 h post-infestation (hpi) rhizobacteria treatment primed plants grown in a mixture of potting soil and sand for stronger expression of the JA- and ethylene-regulated genes PDF1.2 and HEL, respectively. Our study shows that soil composition can modulate rhizobacteria-plant-insect interactions, and is a factor that should be considered when studying these belowground-aboveground interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)474-483
JournalPlant Biology
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • induced systemic resistance
  • arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis
  • arabidopsis-thaliana
  • insect herbivores
  • gene-expression
  • jasmonic acid
  • pseudomonas-fluorescens
  • microbes
  • bacteria
  • immunity

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