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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Hyperspectral imaging to characterize plant-plant communication in response to insect herbivory

  • Author(s): do Prado Ribeiro, L
  • Klock, ALS
  • Filho, JAW
  • Tramontin, MA
  • Trapp, MA
  • Mithöfer, A
  • Nansen, C
  • et al.

© 2018 The Author(s). Background: In studies of plant stress signaling, a major challenge is the lack of non-invasive methods to detect physiological plant responses and to characterize plant-plant communication over time and space. Results: We acquired time series of phytocompound and hyperspectral imaging data from maize plants from the following treatments: (1) individual non-infested plants, (2) individual plants experimentally subjected to herbivory by green belly stink bug (no visible symptoms of insect herbivory), (3) one plant subjected to insect herbivory and one control plant in a separate pot but inside the same cage, and (4) one plant subjected to insect herbivory and one control plant together in the same pot. Individual phytocompounds (except indole-3acetic acid) or spectral bands were not reliable indicators of neither insect herbivory nor plant-plant communication. However, using a linear discrimination classification method based on combinations of either phytocompounds or spectral bands, we found clear evidence of maize plant responses. Conclusions: We have provided initial evidence of how hyperspectral imaging may be considered a powerful non-invasive method to increase our current understanding of both direct plant responses to biotic stressors but also to the multiple ways plant communities are able to communicate. We are unaware of any published studies, in which comprehensive phytocompound data have been shown to correlate with leaf reflectance. In addition, we are unaware of published studies, in which plant-plant communication was studied based on leaf reflectance.

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