, Volume 248, Issue 1, pp 105–116 | Cite as

Contrasting insect attraction and herbivore-induced plant volatile production in maize

  • Anna K. Block
  • Charles T. Hunter
  • Caitlin Rering
  • Shawn A. Christensen
  • Robert L. Meagher
Original Article


Main conclusion

The maize inbred line W22 has lower herbivore-induced volatile production than B73 but both fall armyworm larvae and the wasps that parasitize them prefer W22 over B73.


Maize inbred line W22 is an important resource for genetic studies due to the availability of the UniformMu mutant population and a complete genome sequence. In this study, we assessed the suitability of W22 as a model for tritrophic interactions between maize, Spodoptera frugiperda (fall armyworm) and the parasitoid wasp Cotesia marginiventris. W22 was found to be a good model for studying the interaction as S. frugiperda prefers W22 over B73 and a higher parasitism rate by C. marginiventris was observed on W22 compared to the inbred line B73. W22 also produced lower amounts of many herbivore-induced volatile terpenes and indole emission upon treatment with S. frugiperda oral secretions. We propose that some of the major herbivore-induced terpene volatiles are perhaps impeding S. frugiperda and C. marginiventris preference and that as yet unidentified compounds are produced at low abundance may be positively impacting these interactions.


Armyworm Benzoxazinoids Cotesia Indole Terpenes Volatiles 



2,4-Dihydroxy-7-methoxy-1,4-benzoxazin-3-one glucoside








2-Hydroxy-4,7-dimethoxy-1,4-benzoxazin-3-one glucoside




Indole-3-glycerol phosphate lyase




Terpene synthase




Tryptophan synthase



We thank Hoang Tang, Amy Rowley, Dorothea Hopkins, Jeniveve Howard, Vaibhav Desikan, Qin-Bao Li, Dawn Diaz-Ruiz and Bevin Forguson for their technical assistance with the experiments in this project. We thank Georg Jander for kindly providing the HDMBOA-Glucoside standard. This work was funded by United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, SEA-CMAVE Research Project 6036-21000-011-00-D.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest with this study. The use of trade name, commercial product or corporation in this publication is for the information and convenience of the reader and does not imply an official recommendation, endorsement or approval by the US Department of Agriculture or the Agricultural Research Service for any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Supplementary material

425_2018_2886_MOESM1_ESM.tif (22.9 mb)
Supplementary Fig. S1. Alignment of IGL protein sequence from W22 and B73 Z. mays. Predicted amino acid differences blue rectangles. Black dots under residue indicate active site residues (TIFF 23,424 kb)
425_2018_2886_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (17 kb)
Supplementary Table S1. Benzoxazinoid compounds identified in maize seedlings. Suppl. Table S2. Primer sequences used in qRT-PCR (XLSX 16 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017 (outside the usa) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.US Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research ServiceCenter for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary EntomologyGainesvilleUSA

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