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Varied response of Spodoptera littoralis against Arabidopsis thaliana with metabolically engineered glucosinolate profiles

Sarosh Bejai, Ingela Fridborg, Barbara Ekbom
Plant Physiology and Biochemistry: PPB 2012, 50 (1): 72-8
21835629
Upon herbivory glucosinolates are known to be degraded into a cascade of secondary products that can be detrimental for certain herbivores. We performed herbivory bioassays using first and second instar generalist Lepidoptera larvae Spodoptera littoralis on Arabidopsis thaliana engineered to overexpress novel glucosinolates. A differential response in larval feeding patterns was observed on the plants engineered with novel glucosinolates. Larvae fed on plants overexpressing 4-hydroxybenzyl glucosinolate and isopropyl glucosinolate showed little response. Larvae fed on 35S:CYP79A2 plants engineered to overexpress benzyl glucosinolates, however, showed reduced larval and pupal weights. Upon herbivory a high expression of JA signalling gene LOX2 was observed on the 35S:CYP79A2 plants compared to the PR1a and VSP2 expression. To confirm the role of benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC), a degradation product of benzyl glucosinolate overexpressing plants, in the retarded larval growth we used Virus Induced Gene Silencing (VIGS) approach to silence LOX2 expression in the 35S:CYP79A2 plants. S. littoralis larvae fed on LOX2 silenced 35S:CYP79A2 plants exhibited a retarded larval growth thus indicating that BITC played a pivotal role in anti-herbivory and not only the JA signalling pathway.

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