Natural enemies drive geographic variation in plant defenses

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Zust, T., Heichinger, C., Grossniklaus, U., Harrington, R., Kleibenstein, D. J. and Turnbull, L. A. 2012. Natural enemies drive geographic variation in plant defenses. Science - AAAS. 338 (6103), pp. 116-119. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1226397

AuthorsZust, T., Heichinger, C., Grossniklaus, U., Harrington, R., Kleibenstein, D. J. and Turnbull, L. A.
Abstract

Plants defend themselves against attack by natural enemies, and these defenses vary widely across populations. However, whether communities of natural enemies are a sufficiently potent force to maintain polymorphisms in defensive traits is largely unknown. Here, we exploit the genetic resources of Arabidopsis thaliana, coupled with 39 years of field data on aphid abundance, to (i) demonstrate that geographic patterns in a polymorphic defense locus (GS-ELONG) are strongly correlated with changes in the relative abundance of two specialist aphids; and (ii) demonstrate differential selection by the two aphids on GS-ELONG, using a multigeneration selection experiment. We thereby show a causal link between variation in abundance of the two specialist aphids and the geographic pattern at GS-ELONG, which highlights the potency of natural enemies as selective forces.

Year of Publication2012
JournalScience - AAAS
Journal citation338 (6103), pp. 116-119
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1226397
PubMed ID23042895
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeSEF
The Rothamsted Insect Survey [2012-2017]
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online05 Oct 2012
Publication process dates
Accepted13 Aug 2012
Copyright licensePublisher copyright
ISSN0036-8075
PublisherAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Permalink - https://repository.rothamsted.ac.uk/item/8qv90/natural-enemies-drive-geographic-variation-in-plant-defenses

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