Water dipping of auxin coated chrysanthemum cuttings confers protection against insect herbivores

Sanae Mouden*, Kirsten A. Leiss, Henriette Uthe, Peter G.L. Klinkhamer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Auxins are commonly used for commercial propagation of chrysanthemums by stem cuttings. Recent studies imply that these root-promoting hormones also affect plant defense responses. The underlying motive of this study stems from the serendipitous observation that water dipping of auxin-coated cuttings beneficially affected thrips herbivory. Therefore, the primary objective of this investigation was to explore the role of indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) in relation to herbivore susceptibility in chrysanthemum. We observed contrasting findings concerning the physical presence of IBA and it’s role in promoting susceptibility of cuttings to thrips, which may in part be explained by the phenotypical variations of cuttings generated from mother plants. Nonetheless, we repeatedly demonstrated considerable protection, in some experiments up to 37%, against thrips and leaf miner upon water dipping of IBA-coated cuttings. Assessment of polyphenol oxidase activity (PPO), 14 days after dipping treatment, suggests that neither direct induction nor priming of plant defenses are involved. Future experiments aimed at understanding the early signaling events may help to explain the underlying mechanisms involved in conferring herbivore protection. We propose a dual role for auxins in early integrated pest management strategies to maximize plant development and minimize herbivory through feasible, cost-effective water dipping treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number790
Number of pages21
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Chrysanthemum cuttings
  • Frankliniella occidentalis
  • Indole-3-butyric acid
  • Leaf miner
  • Liriomyza trifolii
  • Plant hormones
  • Polyphenol oxidase
  • Resistance
  • Western flower thrips


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