Table_1_Root JA Induction Modifies Glucosinolate Profiles and Increases Subsequent Aboveground Resistance to Herbivore Attack in Cardamine hirsuta.DOCX

Alteration and induction of plant secondary metabolites after herbivore attack have been shown in almost all the studied plant species. Induction can be at the local site of damage, or systemic, such as from roots to shoots. In addition to immediate induction, previous herbivore bouts have been shown to “prime” the plants for a stronger and faster response only after a subsequent attack happens. Whereas several studies revealed a link between root herbivory and increased resistance against aboveground (AG) herbivory, the evidence of root defense priming against subsequent AG herbivory is currently lacking. To address this gap, we induced Cardamine hirsuta roots by applying jasmonic acid (JA), and, after a time lag, we subjected both control and JA-treated plants to AG herbivory by the generalist herbivore Spodoptera littoralis. We addressed the effect of root JA addition on AG herbivore resistance by measuring larval weight gain and tested the effect of root induction on abundance and composition of glucosinolates (GSLs) in shoots, prior, and after subsequent herbivory. We observed a strong positive effect of root induction on the resistance against AG herbivory. The overall abundance and identity of GSLs was globally affected by JA induction and by herbivore feeding, independently, and we found a significant correlation between larval growth and the shoot GSL profiles only after AG herbivory, 11 days after induction in roots. Contrary to expectations of priming, we observed that JA induction in roots altered the GSLs profile in the leaves that was maintained through time. This initial modification was sufficient to maintain a lower caterpillar weight gain, even 11 days post-root induction. Altogether, we show that prior root defense induction increases AG insect resistance by modifying and maintaining variation in GSL profiles during insect feeding.