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J Chem Ecol. 2003 Dec;29(12):2651-66.

Induction of direct and indirect plant responses by jasmonic acid, low spider mite densities, or a combination of jasmonic acid treatment and spider mite infestation.

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Laboratory of Entomology, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 8031, 6700 EH Wageningen, The Netherlands.


Jasmonic acid (JA) and the octadecanoid pathway are involved in both induced direct and induced indirect plant responses. In this study, the herbivorous mite, Tetranychus urticae, and its predator, Phytoseiulus persimilis, were given a choice between Lima bean plants induced by JA or spider mites and uninduced control plants. Infestation densities resulting in the induction of predator attractants were much lower than thus far assumed, i.e., predatory mites were significantly attracted to plants that were infested for 2 days with only one or four spider mites per plant. Phytoseiulus persimilis showed a density-dependent response to volatiles from plants that were infested with different numbers of spider mites. Similarly, treating plants with increasing concentrations of JA also led to increased attraction of P. persimilis. Moreover, the duration of spider mite infestation was positively correlated with the proportion of predators that were attracted to mite-infested plants. A pretreatment of the plants with JA followed by a spider mite infestation enhanced the attraction of P. persimilis to plant volatiles compared to attraction to volatiles from plants that were only infested with spider mites and did not receive a pretreatment with JA. The herbivore, T. urticae preferred leaf tissue that previously had been infested with conspecifics to uninfested leaf tissue. In the case of choice tests with JA-induced and control leaf tissue, spider mites slightly preferred control leaf tissue. When spider mites were given a choice between leaf discs induced by JA and leaf discs damaged by spider mite feeding, they preferred the latter. The presence of herbivore induced chemicals and/or spider mite products enhanced settlement of the mites, whereas treatment with JA seemed to impede settlement.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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