Skip to main content

Solanum carolinense’s inter-ramet responses to damage: can stems protect each other?

16 November 2010


In response to herbivore tissue damage, plants produce and release a myriad of defensive chemicals. These defensive chemical travel to damaged tissue through the phloem system of a plant and are shown to reduce further plant damage by decreasing plant digestibly, therefore palatability, to an herbivore predators. Solanum carolinense is a clonal plant that through its rhyzomatic root system has a shared phloem that could be utilized during defensive signaling. We studied inter-ramet induction in S. carolinense ramets in the greenhouse and the field. We found genetic variation in constitutive resistance. In natural populations, variation in plant quality could influence the population dynamics of both the host plant and the herbivore. In contrast to prior studies, we did not detect an induced response to damage. Therefore, we could not determine whether damage induces responses in connected, undamaged ramets. Inter-ramet induction has been seen in other clonal systems, and may affect patterns of herbivory, therefore we still think the idea of inter-ramet induction in S. carolinense is worth further study.


This is a metadata only record.