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A new method for measuring relative growth rate can uncover the costs of defensive compounds in Arabidopsis thaliana


Paul-Victor, C; Züst, T; Rees, M; Kliebenstein, D J; Turnbull, L A (2010). A new method for measuring relative growth rate can uncover the costs of defensive compounds in Arabidopsis thaliana. New Phytologist, 187(4):1102-1111.

Abstract

• Most plants suffer some degree of herbivore attack and many actively defend themselves against such an event. However, while such defence is generally assumed to be costly, it has sometimes proved difficult to demonstrate the costs of defensive compounds.
• Here, we present a method for analysing growth rates which allows the effects of variation in initial plant size to be properly accounted for and apply it to 30 lines
from a recombinant inbred population of Arabidopsis thaliana. We then relate different measures of relative growth rate (RGR) to damage caused by a specialist
lepidopteran insect and to levels of putative defensive compounds measured on the same lines.
• We show that seed size variation within the recombinant inbred population is large enough to generate differences in RGR, even when no other physiological differences exist. However, once size-standardized, RGR was positively correlated with herbivore damage (fast-growing lines suffered more damage) and was negatively correlated with the concentration of several glucosinolate compounds.
• We conclude that defensive compounds do have a growth cost and that the production of such compounds results in reduced herbivore damage. However, size standardization of RGR was essential to uncovering the growth costs of
defensive compounds.

• Most plants suffer some degree of herbivore attack and many actively defend themselves against such an event. However, while such defence is generally assumed to be costly, it has sometimes proved difficult to demonstrate the costs of defensive compounds.
• Here, we present a method for analysing growth rates which allows the effects of variation in initial plant size to be properly accounted for and apply it to 30 lines
from a recombinant inbred population of Arabidopsis thaliana. We then relate different measures of relative growth rate (RGR) to damage caused by a specialist
lepidopteran insect and to levels of putative defensive compounds measured on the same lines.
• We show that seed size variation within the recombinant inbred population is large enough to generate differences in RGR, even when no other physiological differences exist. However, once size-standardized, RGR was positively correlated with herbivore damage (fast-growing lines suffered more damage) and was negatively correlated with the concentration of several glucosinolate compounds.
• We conclude that defensive compounds do have a growth cost and that the production of such compounds results in reduced herbivore damage. However, size standardization of RGR was essential to uncovering the growth costs of
defensive compounds.

Citations

31 citations in Web of Science®
29 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Arabidopsis thaliana, defence, glucosinolate, herbivore, relative growth rate, trade-off
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:28 Sep 2010 15:05
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:14
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0028-646X
Additional Information:The definitive version is available at www.blackwellsynergy. com
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03325.x
PubMed ID:20561205
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-35531

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