, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 305-311
Date: 30 Apr 2011

Systemin-inducible defence against pests is costly in tomato

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The possible costs of inducible defences against pests were evaluated in tomato. To activate inducible resistance traits, we used transgenic plants that over-expressed the systemin precursor (prosystemin). The constitutive expression of the prosystemin, which is normally induced by herbivores in tomato, allowed the measurement of the impact of induced defences in a pest-free environment. The results showed that the continuous activation of traits that are normally induced by pests should be costly, affecting the growth, physiology and reproductive success of tomato plants.