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Oecologia. 2006 Mar;147(3):455-60. Epub 2005 Dec 9.

Induced production of extrafloral nectar in intact lima bean plants in response to volatiles from spider mite-infested conspecific plants as a possible indirect defense against spider mites.

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Center for Ecological Research, Kyoto University, 2-509-3, Hirano, Otsu, 520-2113, Japan.


We found that intact lima bean plants increased the secretion of extrafloral nectar (EFN) after exposure to Tetranychus urticae-induced plant volatiles. Predatory mites, Phytoseiulus persimilis, dispersed more slowly from an exposed intact plant than from a control plant (plant exposed to volatiles from intact conspecific). The predators also dispersed more slowly from those plants that were provided with extra EFN than from untreated plants. We further show that EFN was a potential alternative food source for P. persimilis. From these results, we concluded that increased EFN was involved in the slow dispersal of P. persimilis from the plants exposed to herbivore-induced plant volatiles. Our data suggest that the increase of EFN in an HIPV-exposed intact plant could be an induced indirect defense against spider mites.

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