Background: Drought, N deficiency and herbivory are considered the most important stressors caused by climate change in the agro- and eco-systems and varied in space and time shaping highly dynamic and heterogeneous stressful environments. This study aims to evaluate the tomato morpho-physiological and metabolic responses to combined abiotic and herbivory at different within-plant spatial levels and temporal scales. Methods: Leaf-level morphological, gas exchange traits and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) profiles were measured in tomato plants exposed to N deficiency and drought, Tuta absoluta larvae and their combination. Additive, synergistic or antagonistic effects of the single stress when combined were also evaluated. Morpho-physiological traits and VOCs profile were also measured on leaves located at three different positions along the shoot axes. Results: The combination of the abiotic and biotic stress has been more harmful than single stress with antagonistic and synergistic but non-additive effects for the morpho-physiological and VOCs tomato responses, respectively. Combined stress also determined a high within-plant phenotypic plasticity of the morpho-physiological responses. Conclusions: These results suggested that the combined stress in tomato determined a "new stress state" and a higher within-plant phenotypic plasticity which could permit an efficient use of the growth and defense resources in the heterogeneous and multiple stressful environmental conditions.

Abiotic and Herbivory Combined Stress in Tomato: Additive, Synergic and Antagonistic Effects and Within-Plant Phenotypic Plasticity

Zappala Lucia;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Background: Drought, N deficiency and herbivory are considered the most important stressors caused by climate change in the agro- and eco-systems and varied in space and time shaping highly dynamic and heterogeneous stressful environments. This study aims to evaluate the tomato morpho-physiological and metabolic responses to combined abiotic and herbivory at different within-plant spatial levels and temporal scales. Methods: Leaf-level morphological, gas exchange traits and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) profiles were measured in tomato plants exposed to N deficiency and drought, Tuta absoluta larvae and their combination. Additive, synergistic or antagonistic effects of the single stress when combined were also evaluated. Morpho-physiological traits and VOCs profile were also measured on leaves located at three different positions along the shoot axes. Results: The combination of the abiotic and biotic stress has been more harmful than single stress with antagonistic and synergistic but non-additive effects for the morpho-physiological and VOCs tomato responses, respectively. Combined stress also determined a high within-plant phenotypic plasticity of the morpho-physiological responses. Conclusions: These results suggested that the combined stress in tomato determined a "new stress state" and a higher within-plant phenotypic plasticity which could permit an efficient use of the growth and defense resources in the heterogeneous and multiple stressful environmental conditions.
VOCs
additive
antagonistic and synergic effects
combined stresses
within-plant phenotypic plasticity
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/546626
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