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Intraspecific variation in herbivore community composition and transcriptional profiles in field-grown Brassica oleracea cultivars

Colette Broekgaarden, Erik H. Poelman, Roeland E. Voorrips, Marcel Dicke and Ben Vosman
Journal of Experimental Botany
Vol. 61, No. 3 (2010), pp. 807-819
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24038612
Page Count: 13
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Abstract

Intraspecific differences in plant defence traits are often correlated with variation in transcriptional profiles and can affect the composition of herbivore communities on field-grown plants. However, most studies on transcriptional profiling of plant–herbivore interactions have been carried out under controlled conditions in the laboratory or greenhouse and only a few examine intraspecific transcriptional variation. Here, intraspecific variation in herbivore community composition and transcriptional profiles between two Brassica oleracea cultivars grown in the field is addressed. Early in the season, no differences in community composition were found for naturally occurring herbivores, whereas cultivars differed greatly in abundance, species richness, and herbivore community later in the season. Genome-wide transcriptomic analysis using an Arabidopsis thaliana oligonucleotide microarray showed clear differences for the expression levels of 26 genes between the two cultivars later in the season. Several defence-related genes showed higher levels of expression in the cultivar that harboured the lowest numbers of herbivores. Our study shows that herbivore community composition develops differentially throughout the season on the two B. oleracea cultivars grown in the field. The correlation between the differences in herbivore communities and differential expression of particular defence-related genes is discussed.

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