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Authors Sieg, RD; Willey, D; Wolfe, K; Kubanek, J
Author Full Name Sieg, R. Drew; Willey, Drew; Wolfe, Kevin; Kubanek, Julia
Title Multiple chemical defenses produced by Spartina alterniflora deter farming snails and their fungal crop
Source MARINE ECOLOGY PROGRESS SERIES
Language English
Document Type Article
Author Keywords Littoraria irrorata; Antiherbivore; Antifungal; Chemical defense; Induction; Herbivore; Pathogen
Keywords Plus SALT-MARSH; LITTORARIA-IRRORATA; LATITUDINAL VARIATION; INDUCED RESISTANCE; RESOURCE CONTROL; PLANT DEFENSE; FATTY-ACIDS; GROWTH; PALATABILITY; FLAVONOIDS
Abstract Plants are exposed to a variety of ecological threats from herbivores, pathogens, and parasites. In cases in which chemical defenses play a role in plant resistance, plants may produce a single molecule that inhibits a diverse array of enemies, or they may invest in a suite of deterrent compounds that each protect against specific threats. The snail Littoraria irrorata exerts substantial top-down control over smooth cordgrass Spartina alterniflora by culturing and grazing fungi on plant tissues. To combat fungal farming, S. alterniflora produces chemical defenses that inhibit fungal growth and reduce L. irrorata grazing. Guided by ecological assays, we isolated a fatty acid (alpha-dimorphecolic acid) from S. alterniflora that inhibited growth of Mycosphaerella sp., a marsh fungus commonly farmed by L. irrorata. Mycosphaerella sp. was more susceptible to the inhibitory effects of alpha-dimorphecolic acid than another farmed fungus, Phaeosphaeria spartinicola. Several phenolic compounds isolated from S. alterniflora deterred grazing by L. irrorata, of which one, the flavonoid glycoside orientin, was fully characterized. These defenses are not potent enough to completely deter fungi and snails but may slow down the negative effects caused by fungal farming. In a heavily grazed marsh, chemical defenses were constitutively expressed in S. alterniflora even after a month-long experiment in which exposure to fungi and herbivores was manipulated. Thus, S. alterniflora relies on multiple types of secondary metabolites instead of a single class of molecule to combat associated herbivores and fungi. Although alpha-dimorphecolic acid was not expressed in sufficient concentration on plant surfaces to prevent fungal establishment, this chemical defense may reduce fungal growth in plant tissues and increase the resistance of S. alterniflora to fungal farming.
Author Address [Sieg, R. Drew; Willey, Drew; Wolfe, Kevin; Kubanek, Julia] Georgia Inst Technol, Sch Biol, Atlanta, GA 30332 USA; [Sieg, R. Drew; Willey, Drew; Wolfe, Kevin; Kubanek, Julia] Georgia Inst Technol, Aquat Chem Ecol Ctr, Atlanta, GA 30332 USA; [Kubanek, Julia] Georgia Inst Technol, Sch Chem & Biochem, Atlanta, GA 30332 USA
Reprint Address Kubanek, J (corresponding author), Georgia Inst Technol, Sch Biol, 310 Ferst Dr, Atlanta, GA 30332 USA.
E-mail Address julia.kubanek@biology.gatech.edu
ORCID Number Kubanek, Julia/0000-0003-4482-1831
Funding Agency and Grant Number U.S. Department of Education GAANN fellowshipUS Department of Education; National Science FoundationNational Science Foundation (NSF) [OCE-1060300]; Division Of Ocean SciencesNational Science Foundation (NSF)NSF - Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) [1060300] Funding Source: National Science Foundation
Funding Text We thank the University of Georgia Marine Institute for use of field sites and research facilities. T. Alexander, M. Teasdale, and D. Bostwick assisted with interpretation of NMR and high-resolution mass spectra. The Diving-PAM was provided by M. Hay. This research was funded by a U.S. Department of Education GAANN fellowship awarded to R.D.S. and National Science Foundation grant OCE-1060300, which supports marine chemical ecology research at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Times Cited 4
Total Times Cited Count (WoS, BCI, and CSCD) 4
Publisher INTER-RESEARCH
Publisher City OLDENDORF LUHE
Publisher Address NORDBUNTE 23, D-21385 OLDENDORF LUHE, GERMANY
ISSN 0171-8630
29-Character Source Abbreviation MAR ECOL PROG SER
ISO Source Abbreviation Mar. Ecol.-Prog. Ser.
Year Published 2013
Volume 488
Beginning Page 35
Ending Page 49
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 10.3354/meps10415
Page Count 15
Web of Science Category Ecology; Marine & Freshwater Biology; Oceanography
Subject Category Environmental Sciences & Ecology; Marine & Freshwater Biology; Oceanography
Document Delivery Number 202US
Unique Article Identifier WOS:000323245800004
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