J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2017, Vol. 59 ›› Issue (12): 844-850.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12593

• Letter to the Editor •     Next Articles

NaMYB8 regulates distinct, optimally distributed herbivore defense traits

Martin Schäfer1, Christoph Brütting1, Shuqing Xu1, Zhihao Ling1, Anke Steppuhn2, Ian T. Baldwin1 and Meredith C. Schuman1*   

  1. 1Department of Molecular Ecology, Max-Planck-Institute for Chemical Ecology, 07745 Jena, Germany
    2Molecular Ecology, Dahlem Centre of Plant Sciences (DCPS), Institute of Biology, Freie Universität (FU) Berlin, 12163 Berlin, Germany
  • Received:2017-05-18 Accepted:2017-08-25 Published:2017-08-26
  • About author:*Correspondences: E-mail: Meredith C. Schuman (mschuman@ice.mpg.de)


When herbivores attack, plants specifically reconfigure their metabolism. Herbivory on the wild tobacco Nicotiana attenuata strongly induces the R2R3 MYB transcriptional activator MYB8, which was reported to specifically regulate the accumulation of phenolamides (PAs). We discovered that transcriptional regulation of trypsin protease inhibitors (TPIs) and a threonine deaminase (TD) also depend on MYB8 expression. Induced distributions of PAs, TD and TPIs all meet predictions of optimal defense theory: their leaf concentrations increase with the fitness value and the probability of attack of the tissue. Therefore, we suggest that these defensive compounds have evolved to be co-regulated by MYB8.

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