Induced Resistance and Interspecific Competition Between Spider Mites and a Vascular Wilt Fungus

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Science  06 Feb 1987:
Vol. 235, Issue 4789, pp. 678-680
DOI: 10.1126/science.235.4789.678


The fungal pathogen Verticillium dabliae was less likely to cause symptoms of verticillium wilt on cotton seedlings that had been previously exposed to spider mites than on unexposed cotton seedlings. Conversely, populations of the spider mite Tetranychus urticae grew less rapidly on seedlings that had been inoculated with V. dabliae than on uninoculated controls. Changes caused by pathogen or herbivore attack reduced the suitability of the host plant to a diversity of organisms. This result suggests that highly unrelated organisms that share a host plant may interact strongly.