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BMC Plant Biol ; 21(1): 402, 2021 Sep 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34470613


BACKGROUND: Plant-parasitic nematodes and herbivorous insects have a significant negative impact on global crop production. A successful approach to protect crops from these pests is the in planta expression of nematotoxic or entomotoxic proteins such as crystal proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) or plant lectins. However, the efficacy of this approach is threatened by emergence of resistance in nematode and insect populations to these proteins. To solve this problem, novel nematotoxic and entomotoxic proteins are needed. During the last two decades, several cytoplasmic lectins from mushrooms with nematicidal and insecticidal activity have been characterized. In this study, we tested the potential of Marasmius oreades agglutinin (MOA) to furnish Arabidopsis plants with resistance towards three economically important crop pests: the two plant-parasitic nematodes Heterodera schachtii and Meloidogyne incognita and the herbivorous diamondback moth Plutella xylostella. RESULTS: The expression of MOA does not affect plant growth under axenic conditions which is an essential parameter in the engineering of genetically modified crops. The transgenic Arabidopsis lines showed nearly complete resistance to H. schachtii, in that the number of female and male nematodes per cm root was reduced by 86-91 % and 43-93 % compared to WT, respectively. M. incognita proved to be less susceptible to the MOA protein in that 18-25 % and 26-35 % less galls and nematode egg masses, respectively, were observed in the transgenic lines. Larvae of the herbivorous P. xylostella foraging on MOA-expression lines showed a lower relative mass gain (22-38 %) and survival rate (15-24 %) than those feeding on WT plants. CONCLUSIONS: The results of our in planta experiments reveal a robust nematicidal and insecticidal activity of the fungal lectin MOA against important agricultural pests which may be exploited for crop protection.

Aglutininas/farmacologia , Arabidopsis/parasitologia , Herbivoria , Marasmius/química , Nematoides/fisiologia , Aglutininas/química , Animais , Proteínas de Arabidopsis/genética , Proteínas de Arabidopsis/metabolismo , Regulação da Expressão Gênica de Plantas/efeitos dos fármacos , Mariposas/fisiologia , Doenças das Plantas/prevenção & controle , Plantas Geneticamente Modificadas
J Chem Ecol ; 2021 Aug 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34415498


How climate change will modify belowground tritrophic interactions is poorly understood, despite their importance for agricultural productivity. Here, we manipulated the three major abiotic factors associated with climate change (atmospheric CO2, temperature, and soil moisture) and investigated their individual and joint effects on the interaction between maize, the banded cucumber beetle (Diabrotica balteata), and the entomopathogenic nematode (EPN) Heterorhabditis bacteriophora. Changes in individual abiotic parameters had a strong influence on plant biomass, leaf wilting, sugar concentrations, protein levels, and benzoxazinoid contents. Yet, when combined to simulate a predicted climate scenario (Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5, RCP 8.5), their effects mostly counter-balanced each other. Only the sharp negative impact of drought on leaf wilting was not fully compensated. In both current and predicted scenarios, root damage resulted in increased leaf wilting, reduced root biomass, and reconfigured the plant sugar metabolism. Single climatic variables modulated the herbivore performance and survival in an additive manner, although slight interactions were also observed. Increased temperature and CO2 levels both enhanced the performance of the insect, but elevated temperature also decreased its survival. Elevated temperatures and CO2 further directly impeded the EPN infectivity potential, while lower moisture levels improved it through plant- and/or herbivore-mediated changes. In the RCP 8.5 scenario, temperature and CO2 showed interactive effects on EPN infectivity, which was overall decreased by 40%. We conclude that root pest problems may worsen with climate change due to increased herbivore performance and reduced top-down control by biological control agents.

Ecol Evol ; 11(9): 4182-4192, 2021 May.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33976802


Climate change will profoundly alter the physiology and ecology of plants, insect herbivores, and their natural enemies, resulting in strong effects on multitrophic interactions. Yet, manipulative studies that investigate the direct combined impacts of changes in CO2, temperature, and precipitation on the third trophic level remain rare. Here, we assessed how exposure to elevated CO2, increased temperature, and decreased precipitation directly affect the performance and predation success of species from four major groups of herbivore natural enemies: an entomopathogenic nematode, a wolf spider, a ladybug, and a parasitoid wasp. A four-day exposure to future climatic conditions (RCP 8.5), entailing a 28% decrease in precipitation, a 3.4°C raise in temperature, and a 400 ppm increase in CO2 levels, slightly reduced the survival of entomopathogenic nematodes, but had no effect on the survival of other species. Predation success was not negatively affected in any of the tested species, but it was even increased for wolf spiders and entomopathogenic nematodes. Factorial manipulation of climate variables revealed a positive effect of reduced soil moisture on nematode infectivity, but not of increased temperature or elevated CO2. These results suggest that natural enemies of herbivores may be well adapted to short-term changes in climatic conditions. These findings provide mechanistic insights that will inform future efforts to disentangle the complex interplay of biotic and abiotic factors that drive climate-dependent changes in multitrophic interaction networks.

Plant Cell Environ ; 44(8): 2672-2686, 2021 Aug.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33748996


Plant leaves that are exposed to herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) respond by increasing their defenses, a phenomenon referred to as priming. Whether this phenomenon also occurs in the roots is unknown. Using maize plants, Zea mays, whose leaves respond strongly to leaf HIPVs, we measured the impact of belowground HIPVs, emanating from roots infested by the banded cucumber beetle, Diabrotica balteata, on constitutive and herbivore-induced levels of defense-related gene expression, phytohormones, volatile and non-volatile primary and secondary metabolites, growth and herbivore resistance in roots of neighbouring plants. HIPV exposure did not increase constitutive or induced levels of any of the measured root traits. Furthermore, HIPV exposure did not reduce the performance or survival of D. balteata on maize or its ancestor teosinte. Cross-exposure experiments between HIPVs from roots and leaves revealed that maize roots, in contrast to maize leaves, neither emit nor respond strongly to defense-regulating HIPVs. Together, these results demonstrate that volatile-mediated defense regulation is restricted to the leaves of maize. This finding is in line with the lower diffusibility of volatiles in the soil and the availability of other, potentially more efficient, information conduits below ground.

Plant Cell Environ ; 2020 Oct 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33073385


The above article was published in error by the publisher before a final editorial decision had been reached. It has therefore been removed temporarily while the editorial process concludes. The publisher apologizes for the inconvenience.

Oecologia ; 193(3): 523-534, 2020 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32333093


Agricultural intensification, with its associated habitat loss and fragmentation, is among the most important drivers of the ongoing pollination crisis. In this quasi-experimental study, conducted in intensively managed vineyards in southwestern Switzerland, we tested the separate and interdependent effects of habitat amount and fragmentation on the foraging activity and reproductive performance of bumblebee Bombus t. terrestris colonies. Based on a factorial design, we selected a series of spatially replicated study sites across a dual gradient of habitat amount (area of ground-vegetated vineyards) and fragmentation (density of ground-vegetated vineyard fields) in a landscape predominantly consisting of vineyards with bare grounds. The foraging activity of individual bumblebees was measured using the radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, and we assessed final colony size to measure reproductive performance. We found an interactive effect of habitat amount and fragmentation on colony size. More specifically, the degree of fragmentation had a negative effect on bumblebee colony size when the amount of habitat was low, while it had a weak positive effect on colony size in landscapes with high amounts of habitat. At the level of individual vineyard fields, ground vegetation cover exerted a positive effect on bumblebee colony size. Fragmentation, but not habitat amount, significantly influenced foraging activity, with more foraging trips in sites with lower degrees of fragmentation. Our results emphasise the importance of studying the separate and interdependent effects of habitat amount and fragmentation to understand their influence on pollinators, providing guidance for optimising the spatial configuration of agricultural landscapes from a biodiversity viewpoint.

Ecossistema , Comportamento Alimentar , Animais , Abelhas , Biodiversidade , Polinização , Suíça