Water Science

The effects of seed quality and pipecolic and djenkolic acids on bruchid beetle infestation in water deficit-stressed Acacia trees

You are viewing information about the paper The effects of seed quality and pipecolic and djenkolic acids on bruchid beetle infestation in water deficit-stressed Acacia trees.

Journal: J Chem Ecol 2005/01/28
Published: 2004
Authors: Or, K.;Ward, D.
Address: Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology, Blaustein Institute for Desert Research Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Sede Boqer, Israel.

Acacia trees in the Negev desert and the Arava valley of Israel are suffering high levels of mortality due to water stress. Additionally, recruitment is negatively affected by bruchid beetles. We hypothesized that water-stressed trees would be less able to produce secondary defense compounds, such as the nonprotein amino acids, pipecolic acid and djenkolic acid, in their seeds to decrease seed herbivory. We further hypothesized that the high seed infestation reported is due to increased fitness of beetles infesting trees that are in a poor physiological state. Contrary to our prediction, pipecolic acid concentration was higher in water-stressed Acacia raddiana trees. We found that infestation rates and beetle fitness were higher in trees in a poor physiological state, despite the higher levels of pipecolic acid in these trees. There was a significant positive correlation between infestation level and the amounts of djenkolic acid in the seeds, indicating that the beetles may have found a means of utilizing djenkolic acid for their own benefit.

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