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Spider mite egg extract modifies Arabidopsis response to future infestations

Transcriptional plant responses are an important aspect of herbivore oviposition studies. However, most of our current knowledge is derived from studies using Lepidopteran models, where egg-laying and feeding are separate events in time. Little is known regarding plant response to pests where females feed and oviposit simultaneously. The present study characterized oviposition-induced transcriptomic response of Arabidopsis to Tetranychus urticae egg extracts. Transcriptional evidence indicates that early events in plant response to the egg extract involve responses typical to biotic stresses, which include the alteration in the levels of Ca2+ and ROS, the modification of pathways regulated by the phytohormones jasmonic acid and ethylene, and the production of volatiles and glucosinolates as defence mechanisms. These molecular changes affect female fertility, which was significantly reduced when mites fed on plants pre-exposed to the egg extract. However, longer periods of plant exposure to egg extract cause changes in the transcriptional response of the plant reveal a trend to a decrease in the activation of the defensive response. This alteration correlated with a shift at 72 h of exposition in the effect of the mite feeding. At that point, plants become more susceptible and suffer higher damage when challenged by the mite.

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Original Paper:

Ojeda-Martinez, D., Martinez, M., Diaz, I., Estrella Santamaria, M. 2021. Spider mite egg extract modifies Arabidopsis response to future infestations. Scientific Reports 11, 17692. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-97245-z

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