Our former PhD student Miguel, together with our former post-doc Taras and some current members of our work group have had a manuscript accepted in the Journal of Chemical Ecology. It´s a nice paper about the fine mechanics of how plants (in this case aspen) react chemically to herbivory – what kind of volatiles will be emitted and which pathways activated.
Not yet full citation: M. Portillo-Estrada; T. Kazantsev; E. Talts; T. Tosens; Ü. Niinemets (2015) Emission Timetable and Quantitative Patterns of Wound-Induced Volatiles Across Different Leaf Damage Treatments in Aspen (Populus Tremula). Journal of Chemical Ecology (in press)
Plant-feeding herbivores can generate complex patterns of foliar wounding, but it is unclear how wounding-elicited volatile emissions scale with the severity of different wounding types, and there is no common protocol for wounding experiments. We investigated the rapid initial response to wounding damage generated by different numbers of straight cuts and punctures through leaf lamina as well as varying area of lamina squeezing in the temperate deciduous tree Populus tremula. Wounding-induced volatile emission time-courses were continuously recorded by a proton-transfer-reaction time-of-flight mass-spectrometer. After the mechanical wounding, an emission cascade was rapidly elicited resulting in sequential emissions of key stress volatiles methanol, acetaldehyde, and volatiles of the lipoxygenase pathway, collectively constituting more than 97 % of the total emission. The maximum emission rates, reached after one to three minutes after wounding, and integrated emissions during the burst were strongly correlated with the severity in all damage treatments. For straight cuts and punch hole treatments, the emissions per cut edge length were constant, indicating a direct proportionality. Our results are useful for screening wounding-dependent emission capacities.