Resisting the onset of herbivore attack : Plants perceive and respond to insect eggs

Hilker, Monika; Fatouros, Nina E.


Plants can respond to attack by herbivorous insects very soon after herbivores start producing a new generation by depositing eggs onto their leaves. Egg-induced plant responses may result in killing the attacker in its egg stage. However, if the eggs do survive, they can also prime feeding-induced plant defenses against the larvae hatching from eggs. In this paper we focus first on egg-induced plant responses that resemble hypersensitive responses (HR) to phytopathogens and lead to egg desiccation or detachment from plants. We then summarize the current knowledge about egg-mediated effects on feeding-induced plant defenses against larvae. Finally, we discuss the insect species specificity of plant responses to eggs and the variability of insect susceptibility to these responses.