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RESEARCH ARTICLE Plant Vascular Architecture Determines the Pattern of Herbivore-Induced Systemic Responses in Arabidopsis thaliana

By Abigail P. Ferrieri and Jack C. Schultz


The induction of systemic responses in plants is associated with the connectivity between damaged and undamaged leaves, as determined by vascular architecture. Despite the widespread appreciation for studying variation in induced plant defense, few studies have characterized spatial variability of induction in the model species, Arabidopsis thaliana. Here we show that plant architecture generates fine scale spatial variation in the systemic induction of invertase and phenolic compounds. We examined whether the arrangement of leaves along the stem (phyllotaxy) produces predictable spatial patterns of cell-wall bound and soluble invertase activities, and downstream phenolic accumulation following feeding by the dietary specialist herbivore, Pieris rapae and the generalist, Spodoptera exigua. Re-sponses were measured in leaves within and outside of the damaged orthostichy (leaves sharing direct vascular connections), and compared to those from plants where source-sink transport was disrupted by source leaf removal and by an insertional mutation in a sucrose transporter gene (suc2-1). Following herbivore damage to a single, middle-aged leaf, induc-tion of cell-wall and soluble invertase was most pronounced in young and old leaves withi

Year: 2016
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