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J Chem Ecol. 2005 Sep;31(9):2211-6. Epub 2005 Aug 17.

Methyl jasmonate application induces increased densities of glandular trichomes on tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum.

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  • 1Department of Entomology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, 16802, USA. ajb25@psu.edu


This study was designed to address whether applications of methyl jasmonate (MJ) or Benzothiadiazole (BTH) to cultivated tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum, induced elevated densities of defense-related glandular trichomes on new leaves. Four-leaf tomato plants were sprayed with MJ, BTH, or control solutions, and the density of type VI glandular trichomes on new leaves was subsequently determined at 3, 7, 14, 21, and 28 d. At 7, 14, and 21 d, the density of type VI glandular trichomes on new leaves was significantly higher on MJ-treated plants than on BTH- or control-treated plants. At 7 and 14 d after treatment, the mean density of glandular trichomes on new leaves of MJ-treated plants was ninefold higher than on leaves of control-treated plants. We observed entrapment of immature western flower thrips in trichomes on MJ-treated plants at higher rates than on BTH or control plants. Studies to evaluate potential trade-offs between reductions in pest populations by increased trichome density and possible negative impacts of trichome induction on biological control agents are needed.

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