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 AJPS  Vol.10 No.8 , August 2019
Herbivory and Plant Genotype Influence Fitness-Related Responses of Arabidopsis thaliana to Indirect Plant-Plant Interactions
Abstract: Previous studies have demonstrated that genetic identity between interacting perennial plants results in more effective defense when emitter and receiver neighbors have greater genetic similarity. However, the effects of both genetic relatedness and presence of herbivores on fitness-related responses of neighboring plants have not yet been explored. Our aim was to examine how manipulating these two important factors genetic and environmental factors can influence indirect plant-plant communication in the annual crucifer Arabidopsis thaliana. Plants of a single genotype (receivers) were exposed to volatile emissions of neighboring emitter plants with a similar or different genotype, and either intact or damaged by larvae of a specialist herbivore for ten days. Each of the four treatments was isolated in separate environmental chambers and the full experiment was replicated twice. Receiver plant growth and reproductive-related traits were measured ten days after exposure to treatments, and at senescence. Results showed that the effect of herbivory and plant genotype of emitter plants influenced responses related growth and reproduction in receiver plants. Receiver plants grew taller, had more inflorescence branching, and produced more fruits (60% more) when exposed to undamaged emitters of a different genotype than receivers exposed to the other emitter plant treatments. Therefore, genotype identity and environmental context (presence of herbivory) may be important factors influencing indirect plant-plant communication, which could, in turn, result in selection for genotypes showing increased fitness-related responses.
Cite this paper: Shimola, J. and Bidart, M. (2019) Herbivory and Plant Genotype Influence Fitness-Related Responses of Arabidopsis thaliana to Indirect Plant-Plant Interactions. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 10, 1287-1299. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2019.108093.
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