Peanut plants, Arachis hypogaea, infected with white mold, Sclerotium rolfsii, emit a blend of organic compounds that differs both quantitatively and qualitatively from the blend emitted from plants damaged by beet armyworm (BAW; Spodoptera exigua) larvae or from uninfected, undamaged plants. Attack by BAW induced release of lipoxygenase products (hexenols, hexenals, and hexenyl esters), terpenoids, and indole. The plant-derived compound methyl salicylate and the fungal-derived compound 3-octanone were found only in headspace samples from white mold infected plants. White mold-infected plants exposed to BAW damage released all the volatiles emitted by healthy plants fed on by BAW in addition to those emitted in response to white mold infection alone. When BAW larvae were given a choice of feeding on leaves from healthy or white mold-infected plants, they consumed larger quantities of the leaves from infected plants. Exposure to commercially available (Z)-3 hexenyl acetate, linalool, and methyl salicylate, compounds emitted by white mold-infected plants, significantly reduced the growth of the white mold in solid-media cultures. Thus, emission of these compounds by infected plants may constitute a direct defense against this pathogen.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics