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Recent Topics Posters

Tjiurutue, Muvari [1], Sandler, Hilary. A [2], Kersch-Becker, Monica. F [3], Adler, Lynn. S [4].

Cranberry resistance to dodder parasitism: induced chemical defenses and behavior of a parasitic plant.

Parasitic plants are common in both natural ecosystems, where they can structure community interactions, and in managed ecosystems, where they can cause major economic damage. For example, in heavily infested cranberry patches dodder can cause up to 80-100% yield loss. Given the economic importance of dodder as a pest of cranberry, it is important to assess variation in cultivar resistance to dodder and evaluate the potential role of chemical defenses and induced responses that mediate resistance. Such information could be used to target traits for developing resistant cranberry cultivars, offering producers an alternative management strategy for dodder control. To examine chemically mediated interactions between parasitic dodder and its cranberry host, we conducted a greenhouse experiment to ask the following: (1) Does dodder preference and performance vary with cranberry cultivar? (2) How do cultivars vary in natural levels of phytohormones and phenolics that may affect dodder preference and performance? (3) Does dodder parasitism induce phytohormones or phenolics in cranberry cultivars? We used five cranberry cultivars: Crimson Queen, Mullica Queen, Stevens, Howes and Early Black to assess dodder preference and performance on each cranberry cultivar. Dodder preference was measured as the number of dodder plants attached and the number of haustoria per dodder. Dodder performance was estimated using coils per upright and dry mass. Another experiment measured traits related to chemical defense for each cultivar which included: Phenolics: (6 flavonol quercetin glycosides), phenolic acids & proanthocianins (PACs). Analysis for flavonols, phenolics acids and PACs was done using HPLC, and phytohormones were analyzed using LC-MS/MS system and reversed-phase HPLC column. Dodder parasitism induced marginally higher levels of Salicylic Acid (SA), suggesting that SA may mediate some chemical defense responses. Of the chemical defenses measured, flavonols changed the most in response to dodder and dodder showed preference for some cultivars. Early Black had the lowest number of dodder attachment and was more inducible for flavonols levels than the least inducible Crimson Queen, which had the highest number of dodder attachment. This suggests that inducible defenses in cranberry cultivars may be an effective defense mechanism against dodder parasitism compared to constitutive defenses. 

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1 - 95H Southpoint Drive, Amherst, NH, 01002, USA
2 - University of Massachusetts, UMass Cranberry Station, PO Box 569, East Wareham, MA, 02538, USA
3 - Cornell University, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, A406B Corson Hall, Ithaca, NY, 14853, USA
4 - University of Massachusetts, Biology, 221 Morrill Science Center South, 611 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA, 01003, USA

Keywords:
parasitic plant
Pest
chemical defenses
induced responses
dodder
plant-plant interactions.

Presentation Type: Recent Topics Poster
Session: P
Location: Grand Salon A - D/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PRT031
Abstract ID:1326
Candidate for Awards:None


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