Caterpillar Salivary Glucose Oxidase Decreases Green Leaf Volatile Emission and Increases Terpene Emission from Maize

Anne C. Jones, Po An Lin, Michelle Peiffer, Gary Felton

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Caterpillar salivary glucose oxidase (GOX) can function as both an elicitor or as an effector of plant defense responses depending upon the system. Treatment with GOX reduces the stomatal aperture of tomato and soybean leaves, thereby reducing the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), that are important indirect defense responses of plants by attracting natural enemies of the caterpillars. Here we examined the effect of fungal GOX (fungal glucose oxidases have been used to determine specificity in defense response elicitation) on stomatal closure of maize leaves and on the volatile emission pattern whole maize plants. We also used salivary gland homogenate from wild-type and CRISPR-Cas9 Helicoverpa zea mutants deficient in GOX activity to determine the effect caterpillar saliva with and without GOX had on maize volatile emission. Collecting volatiles at 2-hour intervals allowed us to examine the changes in emission over time. Fungal GOX reduced the stomatal aperture in maize leaves, which may have influenced the observed significant reduction in total green leaf volatile (GLV) emission. Furthermore, fungal GOX significantly increased the emission of several key terpenes: linalool, DMNT, and Z-β-farnesene from maize, while salivary gland homogenate from wild type (WT; GOX+) H. zea increased the emission of α-pinene, β-pinene, and ocimene compared to H. zea unable to synthesize GOX. This study addressed a significant knowledge gap about the effect of GOX on maize volatiles and provides a baseline for further research on the effect of GOX on the regulation of terpene synthase genes and their relation to terpene volatile emission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)518-527
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - Oct 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry

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