The underestimated role of roots in defense against leaf attackers

Matthias Erb, C. Lenk, Jörg Degenhardt & Ted Turlings

Résumé Plants have evolved intricate strategies to withstand attacks by herbivores and pathogens. Although it is known that plants change their primary and secondary metabolism in leaves to resist and tolerate aboveground attack, there is little awareness of the role of roots in these processes. This is surprising given that plant roots are responsible for the synthesis of plant toxins, play an active role in environmental sensing and defense signaling, and serve as dynamic storage organs to allow regrowth. Hence, studying roots is essential for a solid understanding of resistance and tolerance to leaf-feeding insects and pathogens. Here, we highlight this function of roots in plant resistance to aboveground attackers, with a special focus on systemic signaling and insect herbivores.
Mots-clés below-ground herbivory, wound-induced changes, jasmonic acid pools, plant defense, induced resistance, nicotiana-sylvestris, insect, herbivores, disease resistance, differential effectiveness, systemic, resistance
Citation Erb, M., Lenk, C., Degenhardt, J., & Turlings, T. (2009). The underestimated role of roots in defense against leaf attackers. Trends in Plant Science, 14(12), 653-659.
Type Article de périodique (Anglais)
Date de publication 2009
Nom du périodique Trends in Plant Science
Volume 14
Numéro 12
Pages 653-659