Tree Genetics & Genomes

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 459–474

Local and systemic transcriptome responses to herbivory and jasmonic acid in Populus

  • Benjamin A. Babst
  • Andreas Sjödin
  • Stefan Jansson
  • Colin M. Orians
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11295-009-0200-6

Cite this article as:
Babst, B.A., Sjödin, A., Jansson, S. et al. Tree Genetics & Genomes (2009) 5: 459. doi:10.1007/s11295-009-0200-6


We used DNA microarrays to examine local and systemic transcriptional responses to herbivory by gypsy moth larvae (GM) and exogenous jasmonic acid (JAtrt) in leaves of Populus nigra L. to identify candidate signaling and defense genes and also to examine primary metabolism, as might relate to tolerance of damage. GM and JAtrt altered expression of over 800 genes, most of which have putative roles in defense signaling, secondary metabolism, and primary metabolism. Additionally, numerous uncharacterized genes responded to herbivory, providing a rich resource for future studies. There was limited overlap (14%) between the responses to GM and JAtrt. GM did, however, result in strong upregulation of genes involved not only in JA biosynthesis but also abscisic acid biosynthesis and other signaling pathways. GM induced known resistance transcripts, including polyphenolic biosynthetic genes, proteinase inhibitors, and amino acid deaminases. According to GOStats pathway level analysis, GM altered primary metabolism, including aromatic amino acid biosynthesis, fatty acid β-oxidation, and carbohydrate and organic acid metabolism. These alterations may be related to increased demands for substrate for secondary metabolites or may serve a tolerance-related role. Responses were more intense locally in treated leaves than in untreated (systemic) leaves and systemic responses were mostly a subset of the genes induced locally. A stronger local response might be needed to cope with localized stresses and wound healing. Since Populus in general and this clone in particular are known for their systemic induced resistance, genes induced both locally and systemically may be the highest quality candidates for resistance.


PopulusHerbivoryJasmonic acidSystemic inductionToleranceInduced resistance

Supplementary material

11295_2009_200_MOESM1_ESM.xls (662 kb)
S1 Table 1Full gene lists (XLS 662 kb)
11295_2009_200_MOESM2_ESM.xls (35 kb)
S2 Table 2Significantly changed Gene Ontology categories (XLS 35.0 kb)
11295_2009_200_MOESM3_ESM.xls (54 kb)
S3 Table 3Transcription factor and protein kinase lists (XLS 53.5 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin A. Babst
    • 1
  • Andreas Sjödin
    • 3
    • 4
  • Stefan Jansson
    • 3
  • Colin M. Orians
    • 2
  1. 1.Warnell School of Forestry and Natural ResourcesThe University of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyTufts UniversityMedfordUSA
  3. 3.Umeå Plant Science Centre, Department of Plant PhysiologyUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden
  4. 4.CBRN Defence and SecurityFOI—Swedish Defence Research AgencyUmeåSweden