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Science. 2001 Mar 16;291(5511):2141-4.

Defensive function of herbivore-induced plant volatile emissions in nature.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Ecology, Max-Planck-Institute for Chemical Ecology, Jena 07745, Germany.

Abstract

Herbivore attack is known to increase the emission of volatiles, which attract predators to herbivore-damaged plants in the laboratory and agricultural systems. We quantified volatile emissions from Nicotiana attenuata plants growing in natural populations during attack by three species of leaf-feeding herbivores and mimicked the release of five commonly emitted volatiles individually. Three compounds (cis-3-hexen-1-ol, linalool, and cis-alpha-bergamotene) increased egg predation rates by a generalist predator; linalool and the complete blend decreased lepidopteran oviposition rates. As a consequence, a plant could reduce the number of herbivores by more than 90% by releasing volatiles. These results confirm that indirect defenses can operate in nature.

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PMID:
11251117
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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