Plant defences against Tetranychus urticae: mind the gaps

Plant defences against phytophagous arthropods include multiple molecular events, since the perception to the final synthesis of defensive compounds. This review deals with teh current knowledge of these events in teh palnt-Tetranychus urtice (spider mite) interaction, focusing in the still unknown gaps.


The molecular interactions between a pest and its host plant are the consequence of an evolutionary arms race based on the perception of the phytophagous arthropod by the plant and the different strategies adopted by the pest to overcome plant triggered defenses. The complexity and the different levels of these interactions make it difficult to get a wide knowledge of the whole process. Extensive research in model species is an accurate way to progressively move forward in this direction. The two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch has become a model species for phytophagous mites due to the development of a great number of genetic tools and a high-quality genome sequence. This review is an update of the current state of the art in the molecular interactions between the generalist pest T. urticae and its host plants. The knowledge of the physical and chemical constitutive defenses of the plant and the mechanisms involved in the induction of plant defenses are summarized. The molecular events produced from plant perception to the synthesis of defense compounds are detailed, with a special focus on the key steps that are little or totally uncovered by previous research.


Original Paper:

Santamaria, M.E., Arnaiz, A., Rosa-Diaz, I., González-Melendi, P., Romero-Hernandez, G., Ojeda-Martinez, D.A., Garcia, A., Contreras, E., Martinez, M., Diaz, I. 2020. Plant Defenses Against Tetranychus urticae: Mind the Gaps. Plants 9, 464. DOI: 10.3390/plants9040464