About this Research Topic
Crops are regularly challenged by insect pests, particularly when under monoculture farming. In response to herbivore attack, plants change their phenotype to increase their defenses. These changes, termed induced plant resistance, include:
- A reduction of the nutritional quality of plants for herbivores;
- Increases in chemical and physical defenses; and
- Increases in the emissions of volatiles that attract the natural enemies of herbivores.
Although induced plant resistance has been documented in many plant species, domestication is thought to have lowered the ability of plants to induce defenses against herbivores. Thus, methods to enhance/restore the defensive responses of crops offer a promising tool for controlling pests in agriculture.
In particular, the activation of two defense pathways, the salicylic acid and the jasmonic acid pathways, have been associated with induced resistance against insect herbivores. While the salicylic acid (SA) pathway is often associated with resistance against phloem-feeding insects, the jasmonic acid (JA) plays a role in resistance against chewers. Manipulation of these defense pathways to improve induced crop resistance constitute a novel approach to insect pest control in agriculture. For instance, elicitors or biostimulants of the JA, SA, and other defense pathways have been studied as an alternative for insect pest control; however, incorporating induced plant resistance into integrated pest management programs has so far remained rare.
To address this, our Research Topic will provide a forum for papers addressing novel approaches and technologies for improved plant protection via induced resistance against insect pests from molecular approaches to field testing.
Keywords: jasmonic acid, salicylic acid, elicitors, biostimulants
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