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lecture30F06 - Plant insect interactions combat and...

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Plant – insect interactions, combat and co- evolution By then end of this lecture you should be able to… define and discuss various mechanisms of plant defense. define “secondary chemistry” and name a few important classes of secondary compounds. differentiate inducible from constitutive defenses. define co-evolution discuss some indirect effects of herbivory on photosynthesis. hypothesize how rapid changes in CO 2 and climate may affect plant- insect interactions.
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http://www.junglephotos.com/plants/plantecology/herbivory.html
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Photographs of ungrazed (top) and grazed (bottom) sections of the Rio de Las Vacas, New Mexico. Photographs courtesy of Forest Guardians.
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How much plant biomass is removed by folivorous insects? Cyr and Pace 1993 Nature 361, 148
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Plant Defenses Structural protection Timing and phenology Symbioses Chemical warfare
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Many new leaves are red or white because they have no chlorophyll until they are full sized and can survive herbivore browsing.  
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constitutive or induced defenses Constitutive defenses are maintained in plants at biologically active levels round- the-clock' to protect the plant. Digestibility reducers such as tannins and lignins, as well as toxins such as glucosinolates and cyanogenic glycosides are examples of defenses that are primarily constitutive. Induced defenses are present at very low levels, but can be synthesized relatively rapidly (within hours or days) following plant stress or wounding. Proteinase inhibitors and a number of oxidative enzymes that reduce the nutritive value of plant tissue are examples of induced defenses. Induction offers
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