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Climate Change and Plant Nutrient Relations

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Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.00739

Effects of elevated CO2 and increased N fertilization on plant secondary metabolites and chewing insect fitness

Huaping Xu1,  Haicui Xie2*, Shengyong Wu1, 3,  Zhenying Wang4 and  Kanglai He4
  • 1Hebei Normal University of Science and Technology , Qinhuangdao , China, China
  • 2Hebei Normal University of Science and Technology, China
  • 3Institute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China
  • 4Institute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China

Elevated atmospheric CO2 (eCO2) and increased nitrogen (N) fertilization significantly change the nutritional quality of plants and influence the growth and development of insects. However, little is known about plant metabolism and plant-insect interactions under eCO2 and increased N fertilization, especially C4 plants. Thus, the combined effects of eCO2 and increased N fertilization on maize-Ostrinia furnacalis interactions were tested in this study. Our data demonstrated that both eCO2 and increased N fertilization increased and starch content, while increased N fertilization promoted the N content in maize. The combined effects of eCO2 and increased N fertilization did not influenced thetotal non-structural carbohydrates (TNC):N ratio in maize. The jasmonic acid level of maize was enhanced by increased N fertilization and O. furnacalis infestation. The total phenolics content and defensive enzyme activities of maize increased under eCO2, increased N fertilization and O. furnacalis infestation. Protective enzyme activities were enhanced, while digestive enzyme activities, mean relative growth rate, body mass and efficiency of conversion of ingested food decreased for O. furnacalis feeding on maize grown under eCO2 and increased N fertilization. Therefore, eCO2 and increased N fertilization increased starch and N accumulation, and did not influence the TNC:N ratio, however promoted the resistance related secondary metabolites (with or without O. furnacalis induced) of maize, which ultimately decreased the fitness of O. furnacalis to the host. These results will help to better understand the metabolic mechanisms of plants and the plant-insect interaction under eCO2 and increased N fertilization in the context of future climate change scenarios.

Keywords: Climate Change, N fertilization; , plant-insect interaction, plant metabolites, insect

Received: 27 Jan 2019; Accepted: 17 May 2019.

Edited by:

Scott A. Heckathorn, University of Toledo, United States

Reviewed by:

Gong-yin Ye, Zhejiang University, China
Huijuan Guo, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China  

Copyright: © 2019 Xu, Xie, Wu, Wang and He. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Haicui Xie, Hebei Normal University of Science and Technology, Qinhuangdao, China, hcxie2008@126.com