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An unbiased approach elucidates variation in (S)-(+)-linalool, a context-specific mediator of a tri-trophic interaction in wild tobacco


He, Jun; Fandino, Richard A; Halitschke, Rayko; Luck, Katrin; Köllner, Tobias G; Murdock, Mark H; Ray, Rishav; Gase, Klaus; Knaden, Markus; Baldwin, Ian T; Schuman, Meredith Christine (2019). An unbiased approach elucidates variation in (S)-(+)-linalool, a context-specific mediator of a tri-trophic interaction in wild tobacco. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 116(29):14651-14660.

Abstract

Plant volatile organic compounds (VOCs) mediate many interactions, and the function of common VOCs is especially likely to depend on ecological context. We used a genetic mapping population of wild tobacco, Nicotiana attenuata, originating from a cross of 2 natural accessions from Arizona and Utah, separated by the Grand Canyon, to dissect genetic variation controlling VOCs. Herbivory-induced leaf terpenoid emissions varied substantially, while green leaf volatile emissions were similar. In a field experiment, only emissions of linalool, a common VOC, correlated significantly with predation of the herbivore Manduca sexta by native predators. Using quantitative trait locus mapping and genome mining, we identified an (S)-(+)-linalool synthase (NaLIS). Genome resequencing, gene cloning, and activity assays revealed that the presence/absence of a 766-bp sequence in NaLIS underlies the variation of linalool emissions in 26 natural accessions. We manipulated linalool emissions and composition by ectopically expressing linalool synthases for both enantiomers, (S)-(+)- and (R)-(-)-linalool, reported to oppositely affect M. sexta oviposition, in the Arizona and Utah accessions. We used these lines to test ovipositing moths in increasingly complex environments. The enantiomers had opposite effects on oviposition preference, but the magnitude of the effect depended strongly both on plant genetic background, and complexity of the bioassay environment. Our study reveals that the emission of linalool, a common VOC, differs by orders-of-magnitude among geographically interspersed conspecific plants due to allelic variation in a linalool synthase, and that the response of a specialist herbivore to linalool depends on enantiomer, plant genotype, and environmental complexity.

Abstract

Plant volatile organic compounds (VOCs) mediate many interactions, and the function of common VOCs is especially likely to depend on ecological context. We used a genetic mapping population of wild tobacco, Nicotiana attenuata, originating from a cross of 2 natural accessions from Arizona and Utah, separated by the Grand Canyon, to dissect genetic variation controlling VOCs. Herbivory-induced leaf terpenoid emissions varied substantially, while green leaf volatile emissions were similar. In a field experiment, only emissions of linalool, a common VOC, correlated significantly with predation of the herbivore Manduca sexta by native predators. Using quantitative trait locus mapping and genome mining, we identified an (S)-(+)-linalool synthase (NaLIS). Genome resequencing, gene cloning, and activity assays revealed that the presence/absence of a 766-bp sequence in NaLIS underlies the variation of linalool emissions in 26 natural accessions. We manipulated linalool emissions and composition by ectopically expressing linalool synthases for both enantiomers, (S)-(+)- and (R)-(-)-linalool, reported to oppositely affect M. sexta oviposition, in the Arizona and Utah accessions. We used these lines to test ovipositing moths in increasingly complex environments. The enantiomers had opposite effects on oviposition preference, but the magnitude of the effect depended strongly both on plant genetic background, and complexity of the bioassay environment. Our study reveals that the emission of linalool, a common VOC, differs by orders-of-magnitude among geographically interspersed conspecific plants due to allelic variation in a linalool synthase, and that the response of a specialist herbivore to linalool depends on enantiomer, plant genotype, and environmental complexity.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Multidisciplinary
Uncontrolled Keywords:Multidisciplinary
Language:English
Date:16 July 2019
Deposited On:28 Jan 2021 08:59
Last Modified:29 Jan 2021 21:00
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
ISSN:0027-8424
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1818585116

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