Document Detail

Contrasting mechanisms of secondary metabolite accumulation during leaf development in two tropical tree species with different leaf expansion strategies.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16676208     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Young leaves of most species experience remarkably higher herbivore attack rates than mature leaves. Considerable theoretical effort has focused on predicting optimal defense and tradeoffs in defense allocation during leaf expansion. Among others, allocation to secondary chemistry may be dependent on growth constraints. We studied flavanoid production during leaf development in two species of Inga (Fabaceae: Mimosoideae) with different expansion strategies: Inga goldmanii, a species with slowly expanding young leaves, and Inga umbellifera, a species with fast-expanding young leaves. In these two species, the most abundant and toxic class of defensive compounds is flavanoids (which include tannins). We measured their concentration by leaf dry weight, their total content per leaf, their HPLC chemical profile and their toxicity to a generalist herbivore at different expansion levels. Although in both species the flavanoid concentration decreased with increasing leaf expansion, that decrease was twice as pronounced for I. umbellifera as it was for I. goldmanii. I. umbellifera leaves produced flavanoids only during the first half of their development while I. goldmanii leaves continued production throughout. The changes in flavanoid HPLC profiles and toxicity were also more dramatic for I. umbellifera, which had different flavanoids in young than in mature leaves. Relative to I. umbellifera, I. goldmanii showed smaller changes in both flavanoid composition and toxicity in the transition from young to mature leaves. These results indicate that, even though young leaves suffer higher rates of attack and are predicted to have better chemical defenses than mature leaves, growth constraints may modulate defense allocation and thus, evolution of defense strategies.
Tania Brenes-Arguedas; Matthew W Horton; Phyllis D Coley; John Lokvam; Rachel A Waddell; Beatrice E Meizoso-O'Meara; Thomas A Kursar
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.     Date:  2006-05-05
Journal Detail:
Title:  Oecologia     Volume:  149     ISSN:  0029-8549     ISO Abbreviation:  Oecologia     Publication Date:  2006 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-09-11     Completed Date:  2006-11-20     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0150372     Medline TA:  Oecologia     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  91-100     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Biology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Adaptation, Physiological*
Age Factors
Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
Fabaceae / growth & development*,  metabolism*
Flavonoids / analysis*,  toxicity
Moths / drug effects
Plant Leaves / chemistry,  growth & development*
Principal Component Analysis
Species Specificity
Toxicity Tests
Tropical Climate
Reg. No./Substance:

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