Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 20, Issue 8, pp 1907–1921 | Cite as

Surface disposition and stability of pest-interactive, trichome-exuded diterpenes and sucrose esters of tobacco

  • Y. Lin
  • G. J. Wagner


The precise physical location of trichome-exudate biochemicals on the plant surface is undoubtedly important in plant-pest interactions, perhaps particularly those involving fungal and bacterial pathogens that invade the plant through the epidermal layer. The chemical stability of exuded compounds is also important in this regard. Here we have studied these two aspects of trichome biology using the highly exuded tobacco line,Nicotiana tabacum, T.I. 1068. Particularly under high relative humidity growth conditions, sucrose esters (SE) were found to migrate from the exudate droplet around the gland down the trichome stalk to the epidermal cells below. Six days after labeling leaf midveins on plants grown in a high humidity environment, 29 and 71% of label found in SE were recovered with trichome glands and below gland regions, respectively. Corresponding disposition in the moderate humidity environment was 40 and 60%, respectively. Migration of less polar duvatrienediols (DVT) was less marked. Staining of SE with rhodamine B showed the occurrence of more extensive and physically different migration in the high humidity versus moderate humidity case. Both SE and DVT were stable between six and 18 days postlabeling, the period encompassing the time of maximum exudate formation through the beginning of tissue senescence. Our results suggest that even under conditions that avoid mechanical disturbance of tissue, SE and DVT are chemically stable, at least until senescence, and appear to migrate from the gland region to the epidermal surface, apparently according to their relative polarity.

Key words

Trichome trichome exudate surface deposition exudate stability surface chemicals sucrose esters duvatrienes terpenes pest resistance humidity tobacco 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. Lin
    • 1
  • G. J. Wagner
    • 1
  1. 1.Plant Physiology/Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Program Department of AgronomyUniversity of KentuckyLexington

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