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Molecular interactions between the specialist herbivore Manduca sexta (Lepidoptera, Sphingidae) and its natural host Nicotiana attenuata. III. Fatty acid-amino acid conjugates in herbivore oral secretions are necessary and sufficient for herbivore-specific plant responses



Molecular interactions between the specialist herbivore Manduca sexta (Lepidoptera, Sphingidae) and its natural host Nicotiana attenuata. III. Fatty acid-amino acid conjugates in herbivore oral secretions are necessary and sufficient for herbivore-specific plant responses



Plant Physiology 125(2): 711-717



Feeding by the tobacco specialist Manduca sexta (Lepidoptera, Sphingidae) and application of larval oral secretions and regurgitant (R) to mechanical wounds are known to elicit: (a) a systemic release of mono-and sesquiterpenes, (b) a jasmonate burst, and (c) R-specific changes in transcript accumulation of putatively growth-and defense-related mRNAs in Nicotiana attenuata Torr. ex Wats. We identified several fatty acid-amino acid conjugates (FACs) in the R of M. sexta and the closely related species Manduca quinquemaculata which, when synthesized and applied to mechanical wounds at concentrations comparable with those found in R, elicited all three R-specific responses. Ion-exchange treatment of R, which removed all detectable FACs and free fatty acids (FAs), also removed all detectable activity. The biological activity of ion-exchanged R could be completely restored by the addition of synthetic FACs at R-equivalent concentrations, whereas the addition of FAs did not restore the biological activity of R. We conclude that the biological activity of R is not related to the supply of Fas to the octadecanoid cascade for endogenous jasmonate biosynthesis, but that FACs elicit the herbivore-specific responses by another mechanism and that the insect-produced modification of plant-derived FAs is necessary for the plant's recognition of this specialized herbivore. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

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Accession: 003502837

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PMID: 11161028

DOI: 10.1104/pp.125.2.711


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