Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 31, Issue 6, pp 1255–1267 | Cite as

Expression of Constitutive and Inducible Chemical Defenses in Native and Invasive Populations of Alliaria petiolata

  • Don Cipollini
  • Jeanne Mbagwu
  • Kathryn Barto
  • Carl Hillstrom
  • Stephanie Enright


The Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability (EICA) hypothesis posits that invasive plants in introduced habitats with reduced herbivore pressure will evolve reduced levels of costly resistance traits. In light of this hypothesis, we examined the constitutive and inducible expression of five chemical defense traits in Alliaria petiolata from four invasive North American and seven native European populations. When grown under common conditions, significant variation among populations within continents was found for trypsin inhibitors and peroxidase activity, and glucosinolates and trypsin inhibitors were significantly jasmonate-inducible across populations. Across populations, constitutive levels of glucosinolates and trypsin inhibitors were negatively correlated with their degree of induction, with three North American populations tending to have lower constitutive levels and higher inducibility of glucosinolates than the seven European populations. Alliarinoside and isovitexin 6″-O-β-d-glucopyranoside levels were both higher in North American plants than in European plants, but levels of these compounds were generally increased by jasmonate in European plants and decreased by the same treatment in North American plants. Aside from the tendency for invasive populations to have reduced constitutive glucosinolate levels coupled with increased inducibility, little support for the predictions of EICA was evident in the chemical defenses that we studied.

Key Words

Alliaria petiolata defense proteins evolution glycosides herbivory induced defenses invasive plants jasmonic acid 



We thank Paul Hatcher, Adrian Goodman, and Nicole van Dam for seeds of garlic mustard. We thank Meena Haribal for advice on Mass Spectrometry and HPLC analyses, and Wayne Carmichael and Jerry Servaites for access to equipment and assistance with our procedures. Comments by Oliver Bossdorf and two anonymous reviewers substantially improved this manuscript. We thank Moucon Yuan for help with identification of compounds by mass spectrometry. This project received financial support from Wright State University, the Ohio Board of Regents, and the NSF-UMEB program.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Don Cipollini
    • 1
  • Jeanne Mbagwu
    • 1
  • Kathryn Barto
    • 1
  • Carl Hillstrom
    • 1
  • Stephanie Enright
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesWright State UniversityDaytonUSA

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