Volatiles of undamaged plant as mediators of plant-plant interactions

Institute Seminar

  • Date: Feb 23, 2023
  • Time: 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Velemir Ninkovic
  • Department of Crop Production Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Sweden
  • Location: Hybrid lecture (online via zoom & MPI-CE, A1.009 + A1.011)
  • Room: Seminar room A1.009 and A1.011

The capacity of individual plants to rapidly detect and respond to the presence of competitive neighbors is essential as it determines their growth strategy and survival. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) provide important information about the physiological status and identity of the emitter. Previously, such responses were only known to occur in response to volatiles released by damaged plants. The novelity of these signals is that plants eavesdropping to volatiles of undamaged neighbours respond with typical competition responses to the neighbors even before competition takes place, initiating specific growth readjustments that can increase their competitive capacity. The adjustment of the plant gowth induced by volatiles of undamaged neighbours affects the behavior and abundance of herbivore pests and their natural enemies giving to this phenomenon wider ecological perspective. Our studies show that effective volatile interactions occur only in specific combination of species/genotypes, indicating that plants use volatile organic compounds in the detection and adaption only to substantial competitive neighbors.

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