Ch. 32 Plant Defense and Behavior Flashcards Preview

BIO 1108 > Ch. 32 Plant Defense and Behavior > Flashcards

Flashcards in Ch. 32 Plant Defense and Behavior Deck (39):

what is a plant's first line of defense against pathogens?

epidermis (thick walls and waxy cuticle)


how do pathogens most commonly enter the plant?

they cannot penetrate the cuticle, so they enter through:
1. wounds
2. piercing mouthparts of insects/nematodes
3. stomata


how do pathogens spread throughout the plant once inside?

they use existing transport proteins


define biotrophic pathogens

pathogens that obtain resources form living cells


define necrotrophic pathogens

pathogens that kill cells before colonizing them


what type of pathogen is a virus?



what are parasitic plants?

plants that obtain resources by infecting other plants and tapping into their host plant's vascular system


what are heteroparasites?

Parasitic plants, tap into the host plant’s tissue to retrieve water and minerals (mistletoe)


what are holoparasites?

Parasitic plants, tap into the host plant’s tissue to retrieve water and minerals AND also sugars (cuscuta and rafflesia)


define virulent pathogen

pathogens that are able to overcome the host plant's defenses and lead to disease


define avirulent pathogen

pathogens that damage only a small part of the host plant because the host is able to contain the infection


what are the two parts of a plant immune system?

1. basal (general)
2. specific


what are characteristics of the basal immune system?

-plasma membrane receptors recognize molecules produced by broad classes of pathogens
-"first line of defense"


what are characteristics of the specific immune system?

-depends on R genes

-allow plant cells to identify and deactivate AVR proteins produced by specific pathogens

-directly activates defensive genes

-described as the "arms race" because AVR proteins get smarter and R proteins must also get smarter to be able to keep defending the plant


define "R" proteins

-receptors on cell membranes that detect pathogens
-each is coded by an R gene (resistance)


define AVR proteins

-avirulence proteins
-produced by pathogens
-enter into plant cells and facilitate infection


what happens when an specific R protein binds with a specific AVR protein?

1. prevents AVR protein from blocking the plant's defenses
2. activates additional defenses


define hypersensitive response

-uninfected cells surrounding the infection rapidly produce large numbers of oxygen reactive species

-triggers wall reinforcements and causes cells to die

-death of surrounding dead cells = barrier of dead tissue

-blocks biotrophic pathogens and slows the growth of necrotrophic pathogens


define a chemical response

plant produces antimicrobial compounds that attack bacterial/fungal cell walls


define a physical response

strengthening cell walls, plugging xylem, closing stomata


define vascular wilt disease

-sometimes leads to plant suicide
-can occur when plant defenses end up blocking water sources to leaves (blocking xylem)


define systematic acquired resistance (SAR)

-acquired immunity

-ability to resist future infections

(ex. healthy tobacco leaves can acquire resistance to a pathogen if other leaves on the same plant have already been exposed)

-occurs in response to a wide range of pathogens ONLY when an infection results in necrosis (vascular wilt disease or hypersensitive response)


can pathogens alter genomes?

YES! some bacteria have found a way to insert some of their genome into the host cell and trigger a certain behavior in the host cell
(ex. Rhizobium radiobacter)


what happens usually when bacteria insert a Ti plasma of their own DNA into the host cells genome?

-Ti genes cause host cells to divide
-a tumor forms
-cells produce compounds that the bacteria can metabolize


how do caterpillars overcome the chemical defense of milkweed leaves?

-they "dig trenches"
-larger caterpillars sever major veins and block toxic "latex" flow
-milkweed leaves also have a mechanical defense (many hairs)


what are some examples of mechanical defenses?

-spines (on stems and branches)
-hairs (some hairs secrete chemical defenses, too)


characteristics of chemical defenses (alkaloids)

-nitrogen bearing compounds (very costly)
-damage nervous system of animals
-bitter tasting
-(ex. caffeine, morphine, nicotine)
-very effective in small concentrations


characteristics of chemical defenses (terpenes)

-do not contain nitrogen
-volatile/evaporate easily
-make up many of the essential oils of plants
-spread easily
-may serve as warning signals/strong smell/imitate insect hormones


characteristics of chemical defenses (phenols)

-bind to proteins and reduce digestibility of the plants (make them less easy to eat)


define protease inhibitors

defensive proteins that bind to the active site of enzymes in the herbivore's digestive system
-reduces the nutritional value of plant tissue
-keeps proteins from being broken down


what is a very common example of a biotic defender? what is the cost of employing this defender?

-cost = nectar
-removing ants leads to higher herbivory


what are myrmecophiles?

-ant plants
-provide food and shelter to plants
-plants emit chemical that repels ants away from flowers so that other pollinators can still be involved


how are grasses adapted to protect themselves from predation?

-apical meristems are close to the ground (they wont get bitten off)
-leaves tightly imbricated
-leaves grow from the base


define constitutive defense

defenses that are always active
-occurs when a threat is constant or generalized


define inducible defense

defenses that are only active when the plant senses a threat
-occurs when threat is uncommon


what happens when a plant is attacked by herbivores?

-it expresses a new set of genes
-genes increase production of chemical defenses, strengthen cell walls, and trigger production of jasmonic acid


define jasmonic acid. what does it ultimately do?

-production is triggered when a plant is attacked by herbivores
-signal that is transmitted through the phloem
-induces transcription of defensive genes
*volatile chemicals released from damaged plants trigger defensive response in undamaged plants*


what is the janzen-connell hypothesis?

Vulnerability of a population to
disease is dependent on the
density of its individuals.

Many, low-density species are
more likely to survive than a
few, high-density species.

Dispersal of seeds is critical not
simply to reduce competition
between generations but also to
reduce exposure of the offspring
to pathogens.


how do we protect crops from herbivores and pathogens?

-Applying pesticides/herbicides
-Understanding the ecology of the farm
-Crop breeding