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19 January 2019 Herbivorous Caterpillars Can Utilize Three Mechanisms to Alter Green Leaf Volatile Emission
Anne C. Jones, Irmgard Seidl-Adams, Jurgen Engelberth, Charles T. Hunter, Hans Alborn, James H. Tumlinson
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Abstract

Green plants emit green leaf volatiles (GLVs) as a general damage response. These compounds act as signals for the emitter plant, neighboring plants, and even for insects in the ecosystem. However, when oral secretions from certain caterpillars are applied to wounded leaves, GLV emissions are significantly decreased or modified. We examined four caterpillar species representing two lepidopteran families for their capacity to decrease GLV emissions from Zea mays leaf tissue. We also investigated the source of the GLV modifying components in the alimentary tract of the various caterpillars. In Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), Spodoptera frugiperda (Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), Trichoplusia ni (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), and Manduca sexta (Linnaeus) (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae), we found three distinct mechanisms to modify GLV emission: a heat-stable compound in the gut, a heat-labile enzyme in salivary gland homogenate (previously described in Bombyx mori (Linnaeus) (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae), and an isomerase in the salivary gland homogenate, which catalyzes the conversion of (Z)-3-hexenal to (E)-2-hexenal (previously described in M. sexta). These mechanisms employed by caterpillars to suppress or modify GLV emission suggest a counteraction against the induced indirect volatile defenses of a plant and provides further insights into the ecological functions of GLVs.

© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America.All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
Anne C. Jones, Irmgard Seidl-Adams, Jurgen Engelberth, Charles T. Hunter, Hans Alborn, and James H. Tumlinson "Herbivorous Caterpillars Can Utilize Three Mechanisms to Alter Green Leaf Volatile Emission," Environmental Entomology 48(2), 419-425, (19 January 2019). https://doi.org/10.1093/ee/nvy191
Received: 26 September 2018; Accepted: 11 December 2018; Published: 19 January 2019
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