Evolutionary change from induced to constitutive expression of an indirect plant resistance

Heil Martin, Greiner Sabine, Meimberg Harald, Krüger Ralf, Noyer Jean-Louis, Heubl Günther, Linsenmair K. Eduard, Boland Wilhelm. 2004. Evolutionary change from induced to constitutive expression of an indirect plant resistance. Nature, 430 (6996) : pp. 205-208.

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Thème(s) HCERES des revues (en SHS) : Economie-gestion; Psychologie-éthologie-ergonomie

Abstract : Induced plant resistance traits are expressed in response to attack and occur throughout the plant kingdom1,2. Despite their general occurrence, the evolution of such resistances has rarely been investigated3. Here we report that extrafloral nectar, a usually inducible trait, is constitutively secreted by Central American Acacia species that are obligately inhabited by ants. Extrafloral nectar is secreted as an indirect resistance4, attracting ants that defend plants against herbivores5. Leaf damage induces extrafloral nectar secretion in several plant species6-8; among these are various Acacia species and other Fabaceae investigated here. In contrast, Acacia species obligately inhabited by symbiotic ants9 nourish these ants by secreting extrafloral nectar constitutively at high rates that are not affected by leaf damage. The phylogeny of the genus Acacia and closely related genera indicate that the inducibility of extrafloral nectar is the plesiomorphic or 'original' state, whereas the constitutive extrafloral nectar flow is derived within Acacia. A constitutive resistance trait has evolved from an inducible one, obviously in response to particular functional demands.

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Acacia, Résistance aux organismes nuisibles, Résistance induite, Ravageur des plantes, Formicidae, Agent de lutte biologique, Relation hôte parasite, Nectar, Symbiose, Phylogénie

Classification Agris : H10 - Pests of plants
F60 - Plant physiology and biochemistry

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Heil Martin, MPIZ (DEU)
  • Greiner Sabine, MPIZ (DEU)
  • Meimberg Harald, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (DEU)
  • Krüger Ralf, MPIZ (DEU)
  • Noyer Jean-Louis, CIRAD-AMIS-BIOTROP (FRA) ORCID: 0000-0002-7389-5621
  • Heubl Günther, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (DEU)
  • Linsenmair K. Eduard, Université de Wurzburg (DEU)
  • Boland Wilhelm, MPIZ (DEU)

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