The induction of jasmonic acid (JA) is one of the major signaling events in plants in response to insect herbivore damage and leads to the activation of direct and indirect defensive measures. Green leafy volatiles, which constitute a major portion of volatile organic compounds, often are released in response to insect herbivore attack and have been shown to significantly activate JA production in exposed corn (Zea mays) seedlings, thereby priming these plants specifically against subsequent herbivore attack. To explore the factors determining the specificity of the octadecanoid signaling pathway in corn, we analyzed qualitative and quantitative changes in major octadecanoids. The time course and the amount of induced JA and 12-oxophytodienoic acid levels in corn seedlings were strikingly different after wounding, application of caterpillar regurgitant, or treatment with cis-3-hexenyl acetate (Z-3-6:AC). Exposure to Z-3-6:AC induced accumulation of transcripts encoded by three putative 12-oxophytodienoate10,11-reductase genes (ZmOPR1/2, ZmOPR5, and ZmOPR8). Although changes in ZmOPR5 RNAs were detected only after exposure to Z-3-6:AC, ZmOPR1/2 RNAs and ZmOPR8 RNAs also were abundant after treatment with crude regurgitant elicitor or mechanical damage. The physiological implications of these findings in the context of plant-insect interactions are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science