Stimulation and attenuation of induced resistance by elicitors and inhibitors of chemical induction in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) foliage

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Elicitors and inhibitors of chemical induction were used to manipulate the activities of several putative defense-related proteins in leaves of the tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. The four presumptive defenses manipulated were proteinase inhibitors, polyphenol oxidase, peroxidase, and lipoxygenase. The elicitors used were jasmonic acid, methyl jasmonate, ultraviolet light, and feeding by larvae of the noctuid, Helicoverpa zea Boddie; the inhibitors used were salicylic acid and acetylsalicylic acid. These chemical manipulations were combined with short-term growth assays using larvae of the generalist noctuid, Spodoptera exigua Hubner, in order to assess the relative roles of the proteins in induced resistance to S. exigua. When activities of proteinase inhibitors and/or polyphenol oxidase in leaf tissue were high (e.g., in damaged or elicited plants), growth rates of larvae of S. exigua were low; when activities of polyphenol oxidase and proteinase inhibitors were low (e.g., in undamaged or damaged, inhibited plants), growth rates of larvae were high. In contrast, high activities of peroxidase and lipoxygenase were not associated with decreases in suitability of leaf tissue for S. exigua. The association of high levels of proteinase inhibitors and polyphenol oxidase with resistance to S. exigua - irrespective of the presence or absence of damage - strongly implicates these proteins as causal agents in induced resistance to S. exigua.

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Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata

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