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Response of a generalist herbivore Trichoplusia ni to Jasmonate-mediated induced defense in tomato

Scott, I.M., Thaler, J.S., Scott, J.G. (2010). Response of a generalist herbivore Trichoplusia ni to Jasmonate-mediated induced defense in tomato, 36(5), 490-499.


The up-regulation of plant defense-related toxins or metabolic enzyme binding proteins often leads to a negative effect on herbivorous insects. These negative effects can manifest themselves at three points: changes in food ingestion, post-ingestive-changes, and post-digestive changes. Many studies have related the decrease in herbivore growth and/or survival with expression of chemicals that interfere with post-digestive effects such as the anti-nutritive effects of protease inhibitors. Nevertheless, it is unclear whether such compounds impact herbivores via earlier ingestive processes. We addressed this question by using a jasmonate-deficient mutant (Def-1), a jasmonate-overexpressor mutant (Prosystemin or Prosys), and wild-type tomato in three trials with 5th instar Trichoplusia ni. Decreases in relative growth rate (RGR) confirmed that T. ni fed on the Prosys plants developed poorly compared to those feeding on Def-1 plants (larvae on wild-types were intermediate). Preingestive and postingestive processes contributed to this effect. Total food ingested and the consumptive index were 25% lower on Prosys plants compared to Def-1 plants. Post-ingestive processes, measured by approximate digestibility, were 62% greater on Prosy plants. Post-digestive efficiency measured by conversion of ingested and digested food (ECI and ECD) decreased on Prosys plants two-fold compared to Def-1 plants. This post-digestive interference correlated well with the 2-fold decrease in activity of digestive enzymes, serine proteases, in Prosys-fed T. ni compared to those on Def-1 plants. No difference in detoxifying enzyme activity was detected. © 2010 Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada.

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