Plant–Insect Bioassay for Testing Arabidopsis Resistance to the Generalist Herbivore Spodoptera littoralis

  • Stefan Mielke
  • Debora GasperiniEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2085)


Jasmonates are essential engineers of plant defense responses against many pests, including herbivorous insects. Herbivory induces the production of jasmonic acid (JA) and its bioactive conjugate jasmonoyl-l-isoleucine (JA-Ile), which then triggers a large transcriptional reprogramming to promote plant acclimation. The contribution of the JA pathway, including its components and regulators, to defense responses against insect herbivory can be evaluated by conducting bioassays with a wide range of host plants and insect pests. Here, we describe a detailed and reproducible protocol for testing feeding behavior of the generalist herbivore Spodoptera littoralis on the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and hence infer the contribution of JA-mediated plant defense responses to a chewing insect.

Key words

Plant-insect bioassay Generalist herbivore Spodoptera littoralis Caterpillar Arabidopsis thaliana Jasmonic acid 



We are grateful to O. Kindler and R. Reist (Stein, CH) for providing S. littoralis eggs; to E. Warkus (Halle, DE) for manufacturing the custom-made bioassay cages; and to the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (grant GA 2419/2-1 to D.G.) and IPB–Leibniz Association for funding.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Molecular Signal ProcessingLeibniz Institute of Plant BiochemistryHalle (Saale)Germany

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