3 years ago

Dynamics and origin of cytokinins involved in plant manipulation by a leaf-mining insect

R. J. Neil Emery, Géraldine Dubreuil, David Giron, Elisabeth Huguet, Mélanie Body, Antoine Guiguet, Peter Andreas, Anna Kisiala, Hui Zhang
Several herbivorous insects and plant-associated microorganisms control the phytohormonal balance, thus enabling them to successfully exploit the plant by inhibiting plant defenses and withdrawing plant resources for their own benefit. The leaf-mining moth Phyllonorycter blancardella modifies the cytokinin (CK) profile of mined leaf-tissues, and the insect symbiotic bacteria Wolbachia is involved in the plant manipulation to the benefit of the insect host. To gain a deeper understanding into the possible origin and dynamics of CKs, we conducted an extensive characterization of CKs in larvae and in infected apple leaves. Our results show the enhanced CK levels in mines, both on green and yellow leaves, allowing insects to control their nutritional supply under fluctuating environmental conditions. The spatial distribution of CKs within the mined leaves shows that hormone manipulation is strictly limited to the mine suggesting the absence of CK translocation from distant leaf areas toward the insect feeding site. Mass spectrometry analyses reveal that major CK types accumulating in mines and larvae are similar to what is observed for most gall-inducers, suggesting that strategies underlying the plant manipulation may be shared between herbivorous insects with distinct life histories. Results further show that CKs are detected in the highest levels in larvae, reinforcing our hypothesis that CKs accumulating in the mines originate from the insect itself. Presence of bacteria-specific methylthio-CKs is consistent with previous results suggesting that insect bacterial symbionts contribute to the observed phenotype. Our study provides key findings toward the understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying this intricate plant–insect–microbe interaction.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/1744-7917.12500

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