Induced resistance in plants and counter-adaptation by insect pests uri icon


  • Insect and plants have coevolved for millions of years. Plants respond to herbivory throughvarious morphological, biochemical, and molecular mechanisms to counter/offset the effects ofherbivore attack. These defense strategies against herbivores are wide-ranging, highly dynamic,and could be direct and/or indirect. Direct defense affects the herbivore?s growth anddevelopment due to antibiosis because of secondary metabolites produced constitutively and/orinduced upon infestation by the insect pests. The indirect defense involves the recruitment ofnatural enemies of the insect pests. The natural enemies (parasitoids and predators) are attractedby the volatiles produced by the plants in response to insect herbivory. The direct and indirectdefensive strategies either act separately or in conjunction with each other. However, insectshave the ability to adapt to the plant defensive responses through physiological processes,metabolism and behavior to offset the adverse effects of the host plants? defense systems. Thisprocess of defensive responses by the host plants and counter defense by the insect pests resultsin the breakdown of resistance, and evolution of new populations/biotypes of the insect pests.This co-evolution between the plants and insects poses a major threat for developing cropcultivars with stable resistance to the target pest for pest management

publication date

  • 2014