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Planta. 2008 Jan;227(2):427-37. Epub 2007 Oct 9.

Constitutive and herbivore-inducible glucosinolate concentrations in oilseed rape (Brassica napus) leaves are not affected by Bt Cry1Ac insertion but change under elevated atmospheric CO2 and O3.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Science, University of Kuopio, P.O. Box 1627, 70211, Kuopio, Finland.


Glucosinolates are plant secondary compounds involved in direct chemical defence by cruciferous plants against herbivores. The glucosinolate profile can be affected by abiotic and biotic environmental stimuli. We studied changes in glucosinolate patterns in leaves of non-transgenic oilseed rape (Brassica napus ssp. oleifera) under elevated atmospheric CO2 or ozone (O3) concentrations and compared them with those from transgenic for herbivore-resistance (Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac endotoxin), to assess herbivory dynamics. Both elevated CO2 and O3 levels decreased indolic glucosinolate concentrations in transgenic and non-transgenic lines, whereas O3 specifically increased the concentration of an aromatic glucosinolate, 2-phenylethylglucosinolate. The herbivore-inducible indolic glucosinolate response was reduced in elevated O3 whereas elevated CO2 altered the induction dynamics of indolic and aliphatic glucosinolates. Herbivore-resistant Bt plants experienced minimal leaf damage after target herbivore Plutella xylostella feeding, but exhibited comparatively similar increase in glucosinolate concentrations after herbivory as non-transgenic plants, indicating that the endogenous glucosinolate defence was not severely compromised by transgenic modifications. The observed differences in constitutive and inducible glucosinolate concentrations of oilseed rape under elevated atmospheric CO2 and O3 might have implications for plant-herbivore interactions in Brassica crop-ecosystems in future climate scenarios.

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