How Plants Communicate with their Biotic Environment

How Plants Communicate with their Biotic Environment

1st Edition - March 17, 2017

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  • Author: Guillaume Becard
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128014318
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128016206

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How Plants Communicate with Their Biotic Environment addresses how plants perceive the presence of organisms (other plants, microbes, insects and nematodes) living in their proximity, how they manage to be attractive when these organisms are friendly, and how they defend themselves from foes. Specific chapters delve into ecology and defense mechanisms, allelopathy and the role of allelochemicals in plant defense, plant signaling, and plant communication with microbes and animals, including herbivores. In addition, the book presents discussions on communication and its role in plant pollination. This comprehensive resource presents tactics that can be taken from the lab, to the bench, to the forest.

Key Features

  • Gathers, under a common general outline, a comprehensive knowledge issued from distinct scientific communities
  • Combines three life science disciplines, including ecology, evolutionary biology, and molecular biology
  • Addresses a topical subject as the natural biological processes described represent basic knowledge that help develop low input sustainable agriculture
  • Written by renowned scientists in their field


It targets researchers working in one field of plant communication interested to learn about other fields of plant communication, as well as nonspecialist biologists and ecologists interested in plant biology such as biology/ecology teachers or students

Table of Contents

  • Part 1: Plant-Plant Communication

    Chapter One. From the Lab Bench to the Forest: Ecology and Defence Mechanisms of Volatile-Mediated ‘Talking Trees’

    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Plants Biosynthesize and Emit Volatile Organic Chemicals in Response to Herbivory: How Do Plant–Plant Signals Emerge?
    • 3. Lab-Based Advances in Plant–Plant Communication
    • 4. The Evolution of Plant–Plant Signals: Has Plant–Plant Signalling Selected for Emission and Perception of Particular Volatile Organic Chemicals?
    • 5. The Ecological Consequences of Plant–Plant Signals: Do Plant–Plant Signals Matter Compared to Other Types of Defence?

    Chapter Two. Allelopathy and the Role of Allelochemicals in Plant Defence

    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Plant Defence and the Role of Allelochemicals
    • 3. Classification of Secondary Metabolites
    • 4. Allelochemical Mode of Action
    • 5. Localization and Transport of Allelochemicals in Donor Plants
    • 6. Factors Influencing the Release of Allelochemicals From the Plant
    • 7. Role(s) of Allelochemicals in the Rhizosphere, in Neighbouring Plants and Other Organisms
    • 8. Metabolic Profiling of Allelochemicals in Complex Plant or Soil Extracts or Mixtures
    • 9. Conclusions

    Chapter Three. Communication Between Host Plants and Parasitic Plants

    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. The Original Life Cycle of Obligate Root Parasitic Plants
    • 3. The Host-Dependent Seed Germination of Obligate Root Parasitic Plants
    • 4. The Host-Dependent Haustorium Development in Root Parasitic Plants
    • 5. Host-Parasite Communications During and After Haustorium Formation
    • 6. Host Response to Parasitic Plant (Broomrape) Infestation
    • 7. Conclusions

    Chapter Four. Plant–Plant Communication Through Common Mycorrhizal Networks

    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Evidence of Interplant Signalling Via Common Mycorrhizal Networks
    • 3. Biophysical Constraints of Signal Transfers in Common Mycorrhizal Networks
    • 4. Evolutionary Consequences of Signalling Via Common Mycorrhizal Networks
    • 5. Potential to Manage Common Mycorrhizal Networks to Aid Crop Protection
    • 6. Conclusions

    Part 2: Plant Communication With Microbes

    Chapter Five. Plant Communication With Associated Microbiota in the Spermosphere, Rhizosphere and Phyllosphere

    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Plant Communication With Associated Microorganisms in the Spermosphere
    • 3. Plant Communication With Associated Microorganisms in the Rhizosphere
    • 4. Plant Communication With Associated Microorganisms in the Phyllosphere
    • 5. Conclusions and Prospects

    Chapter Six. Chatting With a Tiny Belowground Member of the Holobiome: Communication Between Plants and Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria

    • 1. Belowground Zero
    • 2. Plant Holobiome: Do Plant-Associated Microbes and the Host Plant Represent a Superorganism?
    • 3. Tiny Organism With Big Roles in Plant Health
    • 4. Phytohormone Production and Modulation by Rhizobacteria for Direct Improvement of Plant Growth
    • 5. Relieving Plant Stress I: Rhizobacteria Activate Abiotic Tolerance
    • 6. Relieving Plant Stress II: Rhizobacteria Activate Biotic Resistance
    • 7. You Are Not Alone! – Plants Cry for Help From Rhizobacteria Under Insect Attack
    • 8. From the Petri Dish to the Field: Commercial Applications of Rhizobacteria
    • 9. Perspectives

    Chapter Seven. Effector-Mediated Communication of Filamentous Plant Pathogens With Their Hosts

    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Computational Methods to Predict Effectors
    • 3. Functional Methods to Validate In Silico Prediction of Effectors
    • 4. Location of Effectors Encoding Genes Within the Microbial Genomes
    • 5. Effector Origin and Evolution
    • 6. Effector Secretion and Translocation Inside Host Cells
    • 7. Effector Functions
    • 8. Role of Effectors Beyond Plant Pathogenesis
    • 9. Concluding Remarks

    Chapter Eight. Commonalities in Symbiotic Plant-Microbe Signalling

    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Intimate Plant Root–Microbe Symbioses
    • 3. Recognition and Attraction of Symbiotic Partners
    • 4. A Conserved Signalling Pathway for Endosymbioses
    • 5. Repressing Immunity
    • 6. Perspectives in Symbiotic Signalling

    Part 3: Plant Communication With Animals

    Chapter Nine. Plant–Pollinator Communication

    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Sensoria, Sensory Bias and Preferences of Pollinators
    • 3. Flowers as Sensory Billboards

    Chapter Ten. Mimicry and Deception in Pollination

    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Honesty and Deception in Pollination
    • 3. No-, One- and Multiple-Model Mimicry
    • 4. Diversity of Signal Receivers in Flower Mimicry
    • 5. The Costs of Deception

    Chapter Eleven. Plant Communication With Herbivores

    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Herbivores Use Plant Volatile Signals to Locate Their Hosts
    • 3. Induction of Volatiles by Herbivores
    • 4. Herbivores Eavesdropping on Informative Chemical Cues
    • 5. True Communication Between Plants and Herbivores
    • 6. Plant Eavesdropping on Herbivore-Emitted Chemical Cues
    • 7. Communication Between Plants and Higher Trophic Levels
    • 8. Summary and Future Directions

    Chapter Twelve. Communication of Sedentary Plant-Parasitic Nematodes With Their Host Plants

    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Plant–Nematode Recognition
    • 3. Nematode Invasion of Host Plants and Formation of Feeding Structures
    • 4. Nematode Adaptations to Parasitism
    • 5. Functions of Nematode Effector Proteins
    • 6. microRNAs and Epigenetic Regulation

Product details

  • No. of pages: 404
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2017
  • Published: March 17, 2017
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128014318
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128016206

About the Author

Guillaume Becard

After studying in Paris, Guillaume Bécard got his PhD at Laval University (Canada) and did a four-year post-doc in a USDA laboratory in Philadelphia (USA). He was then recruited by the University of Toulouse (France) in 1993 as a biology professor. He is studying an ancient and widespread plant symbiosis that occurs between plant roots and certain soil fungi called arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. This symbiosis enhances mineral and water nutrition of plants and their resistance to environmental stress. With his research team he has contributed in recent years to the discover of the molecular signals and ancestral mechanisms involved in the recognition between the plant and the fungus. He is also involved through industrial collaboration in the promotion of the agronomic use of mycorrhizae to reduce requirements of irrigation, chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Toulouse

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