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Oviposition-induced changes in Arabidopsis genome expression: anticipating your enemy?
Plant Signaling and Behavior
Plants have evolved exquisite ways to detect their enemies and are able to induce defenses responses tailored to their specific aggressors. Insect eggs deposited on a leaf represent a future threat as larvae hatching from the egg will ultimately feed on the plant. Although direct and indirect defenses towards oviposition have been documented, our knowledge of the molecular changes triggered by egg deposition is limited. Using a whole-genome microarray, we recently analyzed the expression profile of Arabidopsis thaliana leaves after oviposition by two pierid butterflies. Eggs laid by the large white Pieris brassicae modified the expression of hundreds of genes. The transcript signature included defense and stress-related genes that were also induced in plants experiencing localized cell death. Further analyses revealed that cellular changes associated with a hypersensitive response occur at the site of egg deposition and that they are triggered by egg-derived elicitors. Our study brings molecular evidence for previous observations of oviposition-induced necrosis in other plant species and might illustrate a direct defense of the plant against the egg. In this addendum, we discuss the relevance of the oviposition-induced gene expression changes and the possibility that plants use eggs as cues to anticipate their enemies.
oviposition, Pieris brassicae, Arabidopsis thaliana, defense, cell death, hypersensitive response, microarray, gene expression
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