Host resistance elicited by methyl jasmonate reduces emission of aggregation pheromones by the spruce bark beetle, Ips typographus

Publication Type:Journal Article
Authors:T. Zhao, Borg-Karlson, A. - K., Erbilgin, N., Krokene, P.
Journal:Oecologia (Berlin)
Date Published:Nov
:Ips typographus

We treated Norway spruce (Picea abies) stems with methyl jasmonate (MeJA) to determine possible quantitative and qualitative effects of induced tree defenses on pheromone emission by the spruce bark beetle Ips typographus. We measured the amounts of 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol and (S)-cis-verbenol, the two main components of the beetle's aggregation pheromone, released from beetle entrance holes, along with phloem terpene content and beetle performance in MeJA-treated and untreated Norway spruce logs. As expected, phloem terpene levels were higher and beetle tunnel length was shorter (an indication of poor performance) in MeJA-treated logs relative to untreated logs. Parallel to the higher phloem terpene content and poorer beetle performance, beetles in MeJA-treated logs released significantly less 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol and (S)-cis-verbenol, and the ratio between the two pheromone components was significantly altered. These results suggest that host resistance elicited by MeJA application reduces pheromone emission by I. typographus and alters the critical ratio between the two main pheromone components needed to elicit aggregation. The results also provide a mechanistic explanation for the reduced performance and attractivity observed in earlier studies when bark beetles colonize trees with elicited host defenses, and extend our understanding of the ecological functions of conifer resistance against bark beetles.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith