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Université de Neuchâtel

Systemic root signalling in a belowground, volatile-mediated tritrophic interaction

Hiltpold, Ivan ; Erb, Matthias ; Robert, Christelle Aurélie Maud ; Turlings, Ted C. J.

In: Plant, Cell & Environment, 2011, vol. 34, no. 8, p. 1267–1275

Plants attacked by leaf herbivores release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) both locally from the wounded site and systemically from non-attacked tissues. These volatiles serve as attractants for predators and parasitoids. This phenomenon is well described for plant leaves, but systemic induction of VOCs in the roots has remained unstudied. We assessed the spatial and temporal activation of the...

Université de Neuchâtel

Restoring a maize root signal that attracts insect-killing nematodes to control a major pest

Degenhardt, Jörg ; Hiltpold, Ivan ; Köllner, Tobias G. ; Frey, Monika ; Gierl, Alfons ; Gershenzon, Jonathan ; Hibbard, Bruce E. ; Ellersieck, Mark R. ; Turlings, Ted C. J.

In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2009, vol. 106, no. 32, p. 13213-13218

When attacked by herbivorous insects, plants emit volatile compounds that attract natural enemies of the insects. It has been proposed that these volatile signals can be manipulated to improve crop protection. Here, we demonstrate the full potential of this strategy by restoring the emission of a specific belowground signal emitted by insect-damaged maize roots. The western corn rootworm induces...

Université de Neuchâtel

Belowground Chemical Signaling in Maize: When Simplicity Rhymes with Efficiency

Hiltpold, Ivan ; Turlings, Ted C. J.

In: Journal of Chemical Ecology, 2008, vol. 34, no. 5, p. 628-635

Maize roots respond to feeding by larvae of the beetle Diabrotica virgifera virgifera by releasing (E)-β-caryophyllene. This sesquiterpene, which is not found in healthy maize roots, attracts the entomopathogenic nematode Heterorhabditis megidis. In sharp contrast to the emission of virtually only this single compound by damaged roots, maize leaves emit a blend of numerous...

Université de Neuchâtel

Comparative susceptibility of larval instars and pupae of the western corn rootworm to infection by three entomopathogenic nematodes

Kurtz, B. ; Hiltpold, Ivan ; Turlings, Ted C. J. ; Kuhlmann, Ulrich ; Toepfer, Stefan

In: BioControl, 2009, vol. 54, no. 2, p. 255-262

As a first step towards the development of an ecologically rational control strategy against western corn rootworm (WCR; Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in Europe, we compared the susceptibility of the soil living larvae and pupae of this maize pest to infection by three entomopathogenic nematode (EPN) species. In laboratory assays using sand-filled...