Plant responses to insect herbivory: interactions between photosynthesis, reactive oxygen species and hormonal signalling pathways

Pavel I. Kerchev, Brian Fenton, Christine H. Foyer, Robert D. Hancock (Lead / Corresponding author)

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    Under herbivore attack plants mount a defence response characterized by the accumulation of secondary metabolites and inhibitory proteins. Significant changes are observed in the transcriptional profiles of genes encoding enzymes of primary metabolism. Such changes have often been interpreted in terms of a requirement for an increased investment of resources to 'fuel' the synthesis of secondary metabolites. While enhanced secondary metabolism undoubtedly exerts an influence on primary metabolism, accumulating evidence suggests that rather than stimulating photosynthesis insect herbivory reduces photosynthetic carbon fixation and this response occurs by a re-programming of gene expression. Within this context, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reductant/oxidant (redox) signalling play a central role. Accumulating evidence suggests that ROS signalling pathways are closely interwoven with hormone-signalling pathways in plant-insect interactions. Here we consider how insect infestation impacts on the stress signalling network through effects on ROS and cellular redox metabolism with particular emphasis on the roles of ROS in the plant responses to phloem-feeding insects.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)441-453
    Number of pages13
    JournalPlant, Cell & Environment
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012



    • Animals
    • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
    • Herbivory
    • Insects
    • Photosynthesis
    • Plant Growth Regulators
    • Plants
    • Reactive Oxygen Species
    • Signal Transduction
    • Stress, Physiological

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