Monday, November 07, 2011
Characterizing herbivore resistance mechanisms
Plants can resist herbivore damage through three broad mechanisms: antixenosis, antibiosis and tolerance. Antixenosis is the degree to which the plant is avoided when the herbivore is able to select other plants. To assess their resistance to spittlebugs, plants are vegetatively-propagated by stem cuttings and allowed to grow for approximately one month, allowing the growth of superficial roots on which spittlebugs can feed. At that point, each test plant is individually challenged with six spittlebug eggs near hatching. Infestations are allowed to progress for one month before evaluating plant damage and insect survival. Scoring plant damage provides an estimate of tolerance while scoring insect survival provides an estimate of antibiosis. This protocol has facilitated our plant breeding objective to enhance spittlebug resistance in commercial brachiariagrases. Full article availabel here.