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September 11-13, 2023 | Valencia, Spain
GPMB 2020

Jorge A Zavala

Jorge A Zavala, Speaker at Plant Science Conferences 2022
University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Title : Ethylene alone may play a key role in modulating induction of isoflavonoids, an important defense against herbivore insects in field grown soybean


Solar radiation can enhance protection against insect pests and increase yield of crops, studies of plant secondary metabolites induced by solar UV-B radiation get more and more attention in the context of potential utilization in agriculture for increasing crop resistance to herbivore insects. However, the mechanism and traits involved in the UV-B mediated increment of plant resistance are largely unknown in crops species, such as soybean. Here we determined in undamaged and damaged leaves by Anticarsia gemmatalis larvae and in pods attached by stink bugs of two soybean cultivars (cv.) grown under attenuated or full solar UV-B radiation changes in jasmonates, ethylene, salicylic acid, trypsin protease inhibitor activity, flavonoids and mRNA expression of genes related with defenses. Ethylene emission induced by herbivory was synergistically increased in plants grown under solar UV-B radiation and was positively correlated with malonylgenistin concentration, TPI activity and expression of IFS2 and the defensive protein PR2, while was negatively correlated with leaf consumption and stink bug damage. The precursor of ethylene ACC applied exogenously to soybean was enough to strongly induce leaf isoflavonoids. Our results showed that in field-grown soybean isoflavonoids were regulated by both herbivory and solar UV-B inducible ET, while flavonols were regulated by solar UV-B radiation and not by herbivory or ET. Traditionally ET has been considered an important modulator of plant responses against herbivores with a secondary participation in induction of defenses and capable of trigger a synergistic effect on defense induction in combination with jasmonic acid. However, our study suggests that although ET can modulate UV-B-mediated priming of inducible plant defenses, some plant defenses, such as isoflavonoids are regulated by ET alone.


Dr. Zavala studied Agronomy at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina and graduated as MS in 2000. He then joined the research group of Prof. James at the Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (IGIC-BAS). He received his PhD degree in 2004 and a two-year postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Jena, Germany. After two year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign supervised by Profs May Berenbaum and Evan DeLucia, USA he obtained the position of an Associate Professor at the University of Buenos Aires, School of Agronomy. He has published more than 70 research articles in SCI(E) journals.)