Transcriptomic and phytochemical analysis reveal root-mediated resource-based defense response to leaf-herbivory by Ectropis oblique in tea plant (Camellia sinensis)
Hua Yang, Yanan Wang, Longbao Li, Fangdong Li, Yaxian He, Jianqiang wu, and Chaoling Wei
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Leaf-herbivory on tea plants (Camellia sinensis) by tea geometrids (Ectropis oblique) severely threaten the yield and quality of tea. In previous work, we found that local defense response was induced in damaged leaves by geometrids at transcriptome level. Here, we investigated the systemic response triggered in undamaged roots and the potential role of roots in response to leaf-herbivory. Comparative transcriptome analysis and carbohydrate dynamics indicated that leaf-herbivory activated systemic carbon reallocation to enhance resource investment for local secondary metabolism. The crucial role of JA and the involvement of other potential hormone signals for local and systemic signaling networks were supported by phytohormone quantification and dynamic expression analysis of phytohormone-related genes. This work represents a deep understanding of the interaction of tea plants and geometrids from the perspective of systems biology, and reveals that tea plants have evolved intricate root-mediated resource-based resistance strategy to cope with geometrid attack.