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Sugarcane induced defenses against multiple attack and root herbivory


Brazil is the most important sugarcane producer in the world. Among the economically important pests of this crop, the sugarcane borer, Diatraea saccharalis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) and the sugarcane spittlebug, Mahanarva fimbriolata (Hemiptera: Cercopidae), are the main ones, which together cause enormous yield losses. Despite that sugarcane gene expression under insect attack and fungus infection (red rot disease) has been well characterized, little is known about the changes in sugarcane induced phenotype. This project aims to investigate sugarcane induced defense mechanisms against multiple herbivory of two aboveground herbivores, the sugarcane borer and the fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (used here as a generalist); the infection by the red rot, Fusarium moniliforme, commonly associated with the borer culm damage; and root herbivory by sugarcane spittlebug nymphs. The proposal addresses questions of how the plant allocates defenses under multiple attack, fungus infection and root herbivory. Furthermore, it will determine how these changes affect herbivores and the third trophic level, represented by the parasitoid Cotesia flavipes (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) and soil-dwelling entomopathogenic nematodes. The methods used here comprise behavioral assays, olfactometry, plant volatile collection, phytohormone measurement, GC-FID, GC-MS and GC-EAD. The project will reveal sugarcane adaptive mechanisms under more complex interactions and closer to what happens in field, hence it can provide important information for developing novel techniques of integrated pest management. (AU)

Scientific publications (4)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
PENAFLOR, MARIA FERNANDA G. V.; BENTO, JOSE MAURICIO S. Red-rot infection in sugarcane attenuates the attractiveness of sugarcane borer-induced plant volatiles to parasitoid. ARTHROPOD-PLANT INTERACTIONS, v. 13, n. 1, p. 117-125, FEB 2019. Web of Science Citations: 1.
SANCHES, P. A.; SANTOS, F.; PENAFLOR, M. F. G. V.; BENTO, J. M. S. Direct and indirect resistance of sugarcane to Diatraea saccharalis induced by jasmonic acid. BULLETIN OF ENTOMOLOGICAL RESEARCH, v. 107, n. 6, p. 828-838, DEC 2017. Web of Science Citations: 4.
PENAFLOR, MARIA FERNANDA G. V.; GONCALVES, FELIPE G.; COLEPICOLO, CAMILA; SANCHES, PATRICIA A.; BENTO, JOSE MAURICIO S. Effects of single and multiple herbivory by host and non-host caterpillars on the attractiveness of herbivore-induced volatiles of sugarcane to the generalist parasitoid Cotesia flavipes. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, v. 165, n. 1, p. 83-93, OCT 2017. Web of Science Citations: 7.
TONELLI, MATEUS; GOMES VILLALBA PENAFLOR, MARIA FERNANDA; LEITE, LUIS GARRIGOS; SILVA, WELITON DIAS; MARTINS, FERNANDA; SIMOES BENTO, JOSE MAURICIO. Attraction of entomopathogenic nematodes to sugarcane root volatiles under herbivory by a sap-sucking insect. Chemoecology, v. 26, n. 2, p. 59-66, APR 2016. Web of Science Citations: 7.

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