Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 32, Issue 12, pp 2647–2656 | Cite as

Specificity of Phenolic Glycoside Induction in Willow Seedlings (Salix sericea) in Response to Herbivory

  • Mark J. Fields
  • Colin M. Orians


Salix sericea (Marsh.) (Salicaceae) seedlings were used to investigate phytochemical induction of phenolic glycosides following beetle herbivory. Seven-week-old full-sibling seedlings were subjected to one of three damage treatments: Plagiodera versicolora adults, P. versicolora larvae, or Calligrapha multipunctata bigsbyana adults. Salicylate concentrations were measured locally (within damaged leaves) and systemically (above and below damaged leaves) 4 d later. Herbivory caused differential salicylate induction; 2′-cinnamoylsalicortin was induced, whereas salicortin was not. The induction of 2′-cinnamoylsalicortin was not specific with regard to the species or developmental stage of beetle tested but did vary with leaf age: induction occurred in the younger undamaged leaves but not in the damaged leaves or in the older undamaged leaves. The amount of leaf area consumed had no detectable effect on induction, indicating an “all-or-none” response triggered by even small amounts of herbivory. Locally, herbivory caused a decrease in salicortin concentrations, probably because of degradation within the damaged leaves. These results suggest a specific but generalized induced response to these leaf-feeding beetles.


Herbivory Chemical induction Specificity of elicitation Salix Plagiodera versicolora Calligrapha multipunctata bigsbyana Phenolic glycoside Salicylate 



We thank Robert Fritz (Vassar College) for facilitating our experiments at the willow research station and L. and E. Sosnowski for letting us work on and collect from their property. We thank Cris Hochwender, Benedicte Albrectsen, and Mary-Ellen Czesak for seedlings, use of equipment, greenhouse space, and support. We appreciate the suggestions and encouragement offered by Frances Chew, Sara Lewis, George Ellmore, and the members of the Orians lab group. Brian Brannigan and Steven Lower provided assistance in the lab. We thank Hartwick College Biology Department for providing laboratory space. This research was supported by a National Science Foundation grant (DEB 9981568) to Colin Orians.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyTufts UniversityMedfordUSA

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