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Tree Physiol. 2005 Aug;25(8):1075-83.

Changes in anatomy and terpene chemistry in roots of Douglas-fir seedlings following treatment with methyl jasmonate.

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Michael Smith Laboratories and Departments of Botany and Forest Sciences, University of British Columbia, 237 - 6174 University Blvd., Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada.


Replicated trials were conducted on two full-sibling families of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) seedlings. In response to the application of a 0.01% solution of methyl jasmonate (MeJA) to the soil of potted seedlings, numerous anatomical and chemical changes were observed in the roots, stem and foliage. These changes were, for the most part, similar for both sib groups. Methyl jasmonate induced traumatic resin duct formation in roots and stems. Chemical differences between MeJA-treated and control seedlings were mainly limited to the roots and stem, though some changes also occurred in the foliage. A total of 35 terpenoids were observed in the P. menziesii seedlings. In response to MeJA treatment, several of the 22 detected monoterpenoids (linalool, bornyl acetate, camphene, myrcene, alpha- and beta-pinene, tricyclene and beta-phellandrene) increased significantly in roots and stems, whereas (E)-beta-ocimene decreased significantly in the foliage. Four of the five detected sesquiterpenoids (alpha-humulene, germacrene D, longifolene and (E)-caryophyllene) increased significantly following MeJA application, mainly in the root and stem. Four of the eight detected diterpenoids (abietate, levopimarate, palustrate and sandaracopimarate) increased in response to MeJA treatment, but only in root and stem tissue. This study provides the first description of the effects of MeJA applied to roots through the soil on the anatomy and terpene chemistry of a gymnosperm. This comprehensive inventory of terpenoids in P. menziesii, with and without MeJA treatment, may facilitate identification of terpenoid-related resistance traits. Potential practical applications of MeJA treatment of conifer roots as a pest management strategy are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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