Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    We will mail you new results for this query: keywords==plant defence
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Grey mould of strawberry, a devastating disease caused by the ubiquitous necrotrophic fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea
Petrasch, Stefan ; Knapp, Steven J. ; Kan, Jan A.L. van; Blanco-Ulate, Barbara - \ 2019
Molecular Plant Pathology 20 (2019)6. - ISSN 1464-6722 - p. 877 - 892.
disease management - fruit ripening - fruit-pathogen interaction - plant breeding - plant defence - primary infection - secondary infection

The fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea causes grey mould, a commercially damaging disease of strawberry. This pathogen affects fruit in the field, storage, transport and market. The presence of grey mould is the most common reason for fruit rejection by growers, shippers and consumers, leading to significant economic losses. Here, we review the biology and epidemiology of the pathogen, mechanisms of infection and the genetics of host plant resistance. The development of grey mould is affected by environmental and genetic factors; however, little is known about how B. cinerea and strawberry interact at the molecular level. Despite intensive efforts, breeding strawberry for resistance to grey mould has not been successful, and the mechanisms underlying tolerance to B. cinerea are poorly understood and under-investigated. Current control strategies against grey mould include pre- and postharvest fungicides, yet they are generally ineffective and expensive. In this review, we examine available research on horticultural management, chemical and biological control of the pathogen in the field and postharvest storage, and discuss their relevance for integrative disease management. Additionally, we identify and propose approaches for increasing resistance to B. cinerea in strawberry by tapping into natural genetic variation and manipulating host factors via genetic engineering and genome editing.

Floral plasticity: Herbivore-species-specific-induced changes in flower traits with contrasting effects on pollinator visitation
Rusman, Quint ; Poelman, Erik H. ; Nowrin, Farzana ; Polder, Gerrit ; Lucas-Barbosa, Dani - \ 2019
Plant, Cell & Environment 42 (2019)6. - ISSN 0140-7791 - p. 1882 - 1896.
Brassica nigra (black mustard) - flower colour - flower morphology - flower rewards - flower volatiles - herbivore-induced plant responses - phenotypic plasticity - plant defence - plant-mediated interactions - specificity

Plant phenotypic plasticity in response to antagonists can affect other community members such as mutualists, conferring potential ecological costs associated with inducible plant defence. For flowering plants, induction of defences to deal with herbivores can lead to disruption of plant–pollinator interactions. Current knowledge on the full extent of herbivore-induced changes in flower traits is limited, and we know little about specificity of induction of flower traits and specificity of effect on flower visitors. We exposed flowering Brassica nigra plants to six insect herbivore species and recorded changes in flower traits (flower abundance, morphology, colour, volatile emission, nectar quantity, and pollen quantity and size) and the behaviour of two pollinating insects. Our results show that herbivory can affect multiple flower traits and pollinator behaviour. Most plastic floral traits were flower morphology, colour, the composition of the volatile blend, and nectar production. Herbivore-induced changes in flower traits resulted in positive, negative, or neutral effects on pollinator behaviour. Effects on flower traits and pollinator behaviour were herbivore species-specific. Flowers show extensive plasticity in response to antagonist herbivores, with contrasting effects on mutualist pollinators. Antagonists can potentially act as agents of selection on flower traits and plant reproduction via plant-mediated interactions with mutualists.

Ecological significance of light quality in optimizing plant defence
Douma, Jacob C. ; Vries, Jorad de; Poelman, Erik H. ; Dicke, Marcel ; Anten, Niels P.R. ; Evers, Jochem B. - \ 2019
Plant, Cell & Environment 42 (2019)3. - ISSN 0140-7791 - p. 1065 - 1077.
Brassica nigra - competition - functional–structural plant modelling - growth-defence trade-off - herbivory - plant defence - red to far-red ratio - shade avoidance

Plants balance the allocation of resources between growth and defence to optimize fitness in a competitive environment. Perception of neighbour-detection cues, such as a low ratio of red to far-red (R:FR) radiation, activates a suite of shade-avoidance responses that include stem elongation and upward leaf movement, whilst simultaneously downregulating defence. This downregulation is hypothesized to benefit the plant either by mediating the growth-defence balance in favour of growth in high plant densities or, alternatively, by mediating defence of individual leaves such that those most photosynthetically productive are best protected. To test these hypotheses, we used a 3D functional–structural plant model of Brassica nigra that mechanistically simulates the interactions between plant architecture, herbivory, and the light environment. Our results show that plant-level defence expression is a strong determinant of plant fitness and that leaf-level defence mediation by R:FR can provide a fitness benefit in high densities. However, optimal plant-level defence expression does not decrease monotonically with plant density, indicating that R:FR mediation of defence alone is not enough to optimize defence between densities. Therefore, assessing the ecological significance of R:FR-mediated defence is paramount to better understand the evolution of this physiological linkage and its implications for crop breeding.

Ecological interactions shape the adaptive value of plant defence : Herbivore attack versus competition for light
Vries, Jorad de; Evers, Jochem B. ; Dicke, Marcel ; Poelman, Erik H. - \ 2019
Functional Ecology 33 (2019)1. - ISSN 0269-8463 - p. 129 - 138.
Brassica nigra - competition - ecological costs - functional-structural plant modelling - growth-defence trade-off - herbivore interactions - herbivory - plant - plant defence

Plants defend themselves against diverse communities of herbivorous insects. This requires an investment of limited resources, for which plants also compete with neighbours. The consequences of an investment in defence are determined by the metabolic costs of defence as well as indirect or ecological costs through interactions with other organisms. These ecological costs have a potentially strong impact on the evolution of defensive traits, but have proven to be difficult to quantify. We aimed to quantify the relative impact of the direct and indirect or ecological costs and benefits of an investment in plant defence in relation to herbivory and intergenotypic competition for light. Additionally, we evaluated how the benefits of plant defence balance its costs in the context of herbivory and intergenotypic competition. To this end, we utilised a functional-structural plant (FSP) model of Brassica nigra that simulates plant growth and development, morphogenesis, herbivory and plant defence. In the model, a simulated investment in defences affected plant growth by competing with other plant organs for resources and affected the level and distribution of herbivore damage. Our results show that the ecological costs of intergenotypic competition for light are highly detrimental to the fitness of defended plants, as it amplifies the size difference between defended and undefended plants. This leads to herbivore damage counteracting the effects of intergenotypic competition under the assumption that herbivore damage scales with plant size. Additionally, we show that plant defence relies on reducing herbivore damage rather than the dispersion of herbivore damage, which is only beneficial under high levels of herbivore damage. We conclude that the adaptive value of plant defence is highly dependent on ecological interactions and is predominantly determined by the outcome of competition for light.

Thrips advisor : Exploiting thrips-induced defences to combat pests on crops
Steenbergen, Merel ; Abd-El-Haliem, Ahmed ; Bleeker, Petra ; Dicke, Marcel ; Escobar-Bravo, Rocio ; Cheng, Gang ; Haring, Michel A. ; Kant, Merijn R. ; Kappers, Iris ; Klinkhamer, Peter G.L. ; Leiss, Kirsten A. ; Legarrea, Saioa ; Macel, Mirka ; Mouden, Sanae ; Pieterse, Corné M.J. ; Sarde, Sandeep J. ; Schuurink, Robert C. ; Vos, Martin De; Wees, Saskia C.M. Van; Broekgaarden, Colette - \ 2018
Journal of Experimental Botany 69 (2018)8. - ISSN 0022-0957 - p. 1837 - 1848.
Cell-content feeder - effectors - herbivorous insect - phytohormone signalling - plant defence - specialized metabolites - thrips - virus - volatiles

Plants have developed diverse defence mechanisms to ward off herbivorous pests. However, agriculture still faces estimated crop yield losses ranging from 25% to 40% annually. These losses arise not only because of direct feeding damage, but also because many pests serve as vectors of plant viruses. Herbivorous thrips (Thysanoptera) are important pests of vegetable and ornamental crops worldwide, and encompass virtually all general problems of pests: they are highly polyphagous, hard to control because of their complex lifestyle, and they are vectors of destructive viruses. Currently, control management of thrips mainly relies on the use of chemical pesticides. However, thrips rapidly develop resistance to these pesticides. With the rising demand for more sustainable, safer, and healthier food production systems, we urgently need to pinpoint the gaps in knowledge of plant defences against thrips to enable the future development of novel control methods. In this review, we summarize the current, rather scarce, knowledge of thrips-induced plant responses and the role of phytohormonal signalling and chemical defences in these responses. We describe concrete opportunities for breeding resistance against pests such as thrips as a prototype approach for next-generation resistance breeding.

Fitness consequences of indirect plant defence in the annual weed, Sinapis arvensis
Gols, R. ; Wagenaar, R. ; Poelman, E.H. ; Kruidhof, M. ; Loon, J.J.A. van; Harvey, J.A. - \ 2015
herbivory - plant defence - insect-plant interactions - multitrophic interactions - natural enemies - parasitoid - plant fitness
1. Plant traits that enhance the attraction of the natural enemies of their herbivores have been postulated to function as an ‘indirect defence’. An important underlying assumption is that this enhanced attraction results in increased plant fitness due to reduced herbivory. This assumption has been rarely tested. 2. We investigated whether there are fitness consequences for the charlock mustard Sinapis arvensis, a short-lived outcrossing annual weedy plant, when exposed to groups of large cabbage white (Pieris brassicae) caterpillars parasitized by either one of two wasp species, Hyposoter ebeninus and Cotesia glomerata, that allow the host to grow during parasitism. Hyposoter ebeninus is solitary and greatly reduces host growth compared with healthy caterpillars, whereas C. glomerata is gregarious and allows the host to grow approximately as large as unparasitized caterpillars. Both healthy and parasitized P. brassicae caterpillars initially feed on the foliage, but later stages preferentially consume the flowers. 3. In a garden experiment, plants damaged by parasitized caterpillars produced more seeds than conspecific plants damaged by unparasitized caterpillars. Reproductive potential (germination success multiplied by total seed number) was similar for plants that were not exposed to herbivory and those that were damaged by parasitized caterpillars and lower for plants that were damaged by healthy unparasitized caterpillars. However, these quantitative seed traits negatively correlated with the qualitative seed traits, individual seed size and germination success, suggesting a trade-off between these two types of traits. 4. We show that parasitism of insect herbivores that feed on reproductive plant tissues may have positive fitness consequences for S. arvensis. The extent to which plant fitness may benefit depends on parasitoid lifestyle (solitary or gregarious), which is correlated with the amount of damage inflicted on these tissues by the parasitized host.
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