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      Defensive function of herbivore-induced plant volatile emissions in nature.

      Science (New York, N.Y.)

      Animals, Beetles, physiology, Bicyclo Compounds, metabolism, pharmacology, Female, Heteroptera, Hexanols, Host-Parasite Interactions, Insects, Manduca, Monoterpenes, Organic Chemicals, Oviposition, drug effects, Plants, Toxic, Terpenes, Tobacco, parasitology, Volatilization

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          Abstract

          Herbivore attack is known to increase the emission of volatiles, which attract predators to herbivore-damaged plants in the laboratory and agricultural systems. We quantified volatile emissions from Nicotiana attenuata plants growing in natural populations during attack by three species of leaf-feeding herbivores and mimicked the release of five commonly emitted volatiles individually. Three compounds (cis-3-hexen-1-ol, linalool, and cis-alpha-bergamotene) increased egg predation rates by a generalist predator; linalool and the complete blend decreased lepidopteran oviposition rates. As a consequence, a plant could reduce the number of herbivores by more than 90% by releasing volatiles. These results confirm that indirect defenses can operate in nature.

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          Journal
          11251117
          10.1126/science.291.5511.2141

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