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Insects Betray Themselves in Nature to Predators by Rapid Isomerization of Green Leaf Volatiles

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Science  27 Aug 2010:
Vol. 329, Issue 5995, pp. 1075-1078
DOI: 10.1126/science.1191634

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  1. Fig. 1

    Herbivory and the application of Manduca sexta’s oral secretions to the wounds of wild-type Nicotiana attenuata plants lead to a marked change in GLV emissions. (A) Mean (Z)/(E) ratios, with 95% confidence limits, of N. attenuata plants attacked by 1, 5, or 10 M. sexta neonates (22); CP, caterpillar. (B) Wounded plants release GLVs with a high (Z)/(E) ratio, whereas OS-elicited plants emit a GLV bouquet with a much lower ratio (22). Bars represent the average ratio (n = 5) and their 95% confidence limits. (C) Mean (+ SE) release of GLVs in w + w–treated and w + OS–treated plants in the first 20 min after elicitation (n = 5). Values are indicated in nanograms per gram of fresh mass per 20-min period. LOX2, lipoxygenase 2; HPL, hydroperoxide lyase; ADH, alcohol dehydrogenase; AAT, alcohol acetyltransferase; 13-HPs, 13-hydroperoxides.

  2. Fig. 2

    Percentage conversion to (E)-hex-2-enal in vitro (n = 6; gray bars) and in vivo (n = 6; black bars) (Fig. 1) (22). Asterisks indicate significant differences from the control treatment (*P ≤ 0.05, **P ≤ 0.01, ***P ≤ 0.001); univariate analysis of variance, F6,37 = 99.957, P ≤ 0.001, followed by a Tamhane post hoc test; oral secretions (OS), P ≤ 0.001; OS from artificial diet–fed caterpillars (OSAD), P ≤ 0.001; OS heated to 90°C for 10 min (OSboiled), P = 0.051; 1× buffer (pH 9), P ≤ 0.05; leaf juice (LJ), P = 1.000; LJ + OS, P ≤ 0.01; the control was 0.02% Tween-20 (22).

  3. Fig. 3

    Predation by Geocoris spp. in the field. (A) Geocoris spp. are generalist predators feeding on eggs and early-instar larvae of Manduca sexta. [Photo: M. Stitz] (B) Predation assays were performed in a native Nicotiana attenuata population in the Great Basin desert of southwest Utah. [Photo: D. Kessler] (C) Average egg predation per plant and day (±SE). Numbers in the plot denote total number of eggs predated per treatment. Treatment pairs with no predated egg were excluded before statistical analysis. Asterisks indicate significant differences between treatments (paired-sample t test, mix E versus F, t17 = 4.600, ***P ≤ 0.001; mix C versus D, t12 = 1.594, P = 0.137). The composition of the different mixes tested (mixes C, D, E, and F) are explained in table S5. n.s., not significant.