The timing of induced resistance and induced susceptibility in the soybean-Mexican bean beetle system
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Induced plant responses to herbivory have been demonstrated in many systems. It has been suggested that the timing of these responses may influence the impact of induced resistance on herbivore populations, and may affect the evolution of induced defenses. This study used a bioassay to characterize the time course of systemic induced responses to Mexican bean beetle herbivory in four genotypes of soybeans. The results suggest that the time course of induced responses in this system is more complex than most previous studies have indicated. Herbivory provoked both rapid induced resistance and subsequent induced susceptibility to beetle feeding. All four genotypes of soybean induced significant resistance to beetle damage (beetles preferred undamaged to damaged plants) by 3 days after damage. By 15 days after damage, this resistance had decayed (beetles showed no preference for undamaged over damaged plants), and by 20 days after damage, all four genotypes exhibited significant induced susceptibility (beetles preferred previously damaged plants over undamaged plants). The magnitude of induced resistance in each genotype correlated strongly with the magnitude of induced susceptibility in that genotype.
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