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Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE

Herbivore-induced blueberry volatiles and intra-plant signaling.


PMID 22214939

Abstract

Herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) are commonly emitted from plants after herbivore attack. These HIPVs are mainly regulated by the defensive plant hormone jasmonic acid (JA) and its volatile derivative methyl jasmonate (MeJA). Over the past 3 decades researchers have documented that HIPVs can repel or attract herbivores, attract the natural enemies of herbivores, and in some cases they can induce or prime plant defenses prior to herbivore attack. In a recent paper, I reported that feeding by gypsy moth caterpillars, exogenous MeJA application, and mechanical damage induce the emissions of volatiles from blueberry plants, albeit differently. In addition, blueberry branches respond to HIPVs emitted from neighboring branches of the same plant by increasing the levels of JA and resistance to herbivores (i.e., direct plant defenses), and by priming volatile emissions (i.e., indirect plant defenses). Similar findings have been reported recently for sagebrush, poplar, and lima beans. Here, I describe a push-pull method for collecting blueberry volatiles induced by herbivore (gypsy moth) feeding, exogenous MeJA application, and mechanical damage. The volatile collection unit consists of a 4 L volatile collection chamber, a 2-piece guillotine, an air delivery system that purifies incoming air, and a vacuum system connected to a trap filled with Super-Q adsorbent to collect volatiles. Volatiles collected in Super-Q traps are eluted with dichloromethane and then separated and quantified using Gas Chromatography (GC). This volatile collection method was used in my study to investigate the volatile response of undamaged branches to exposure to volatiles from herbivore-damaged branches within blueberry plants. These methods are described here. Briefly, undamaged blueberry branches are exposed to HIPVs from neighboring branches within the same plant. Using the same techniques described above, volatiles emitted from branches after exposure to HIPVs are collected and analyzed.

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