Induction of systemic acquired resistance in cotton by BTH has a negligible effect on phytophagous insects

Moshe Inbar, Hamed Doostdar, Dan Gerling, Richard T. Mayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Whether or not chemical changes in plants in response to pests (insects and pathogens) are general or specific remains unclear. Some evidence indicates that an induced response (IR) to arthropods via the octadecanoid pathway represents a distinct mechanism from the salicylic acid-based pathway of systemic acquired resistance (SAR) to pathogens. To further test this hypothesis, young cotton seedlings were activated with benzo (1,2,3) thiadiazole-7-carbothioic acid (S) methyl ester (BTH), an elicitor of SAR. The enzymatic activities of a number of pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins in young and old leaves of control and BTH treated plants were measured. BTH applications elicited marked increases in the activity levels of chitinase, peroxidase, and β-1,3-glucanase both locally and systemically. The highest levels of induction were detected systemically in young leaves. Except for some local effects on whitefly oviposition, the induction of SAR by BTH had no effect on either host preference of whiteflies Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) or on feeding efficiency of cotton bollworms Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner). We conclude that SAR induction via the salicylic acid pathway in 'Acala' cotton has negligible effect on the tested insect herbivores.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-70
Number of pages6
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


  • BTH
  • Cotton
  • Induced resistance
  • Pathogenesis-related
  • Plant defense
  • Systemic acquired resistance
  • Whitefly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science


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