Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Fall armyworm-associated gut bacteria modulate plant defense responses.

Abstract

Mechanical damage caused by insect feeding along with components present in insect saliva and oral secretions are known to induce jasmonic acid-mediated defense responses in plants. This study investigated the effects of bacteria from oral secretions of the fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda on herbivore-induced defenses in tomato and maize plants. Using culture-dependent methods, we identified seven different bacterial isolates belonging to the family Enterobacteriacea from the oral secretions of field-collected caterpillars. Two isolates, Pantoea ananatis and Enterobacteriaceae-1, downregulated the activity of the plant defensive proteins polyphenol oxidase and trypsin proteinase inhibitors (trypsin PI) but upregulated peroxidase (POX) activity in tomato. A Raoultella sp. and a Klebsiella sp. downregulated POX but upregulated trypsin PI in this plant species. Conversely, all of these bacterial isolates upregulated the expression of the herbivore-induced maize proteinase inhibitor (mpi) gene in maize. Plant treatment with P. ananatis and Enterobacteriaceae-1 enhanced caterpillar growth on tomato but diminished their growth on maize plants. Our results highlight the importance of herbivore-associated microbes and their ability to mediate insect plant interactions differently in host plants fed on by the same herbivore.