Exploring the Volatiles Released from Roots of Wild and Domesticated Tomato Plants under Insect Attack

Ana Shein Lee Díaz*, Muhammad Syamsu Rizaludin*, Hans Zweers, Jos M. Raaijmakers, Paolina Garbeva

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Plants produce volatile organic compounds that are important in communication and defense. While studies have largely focused on volatiles emitted from aboveground plant parts upon exposure to biotic or abiotic stresses, volatile emissions from roots upon aboveground stress are less studied. Here, we investigated if tomato plants under insect herbivore attack exhibited a different root volatilome than non-stressed plants, and whether this was influenced by the plant’s genetic background. To this end, we analyzed one domesticated and one wild tomato species, i.e., Solanum lycopersicum cv Moneymaker and Solanum pimpinellifolium, respectively, exposed to leaf herbivory by the insect Spodoptera exigua. Root volatiles were trapped with two sorbent materials, HiSorb and PDMS, at 24 h after exposure to insect stress. Our results revealed that differences in root volatilome were species-, stress-, and material-dependent. Upon leaf herbivory, the domesticated and wild tomato species showed different root volatile profiles. The wild species presented the largest change in root volatile compounds with an overall reduction in monoterpene emission under stress. Similarly, the domesticated species presented a slight reduction in monoterpene emission and an increased production of fatty-acid-derived volatiles under stress. Volatile profiles differed between the two sorbent materials, and both were required to obtain a more comprehensive characterization of the root volatilome. Collectively, these results provide a strong basis to further unravel the impact of herbivory stress on systemic volatile emissions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1612
Number of pages14
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Benzyl alcohol
  • HiSorb
  • Induced defenses
  • Insect herbivory
  • Methyl salicylate
  • Monoterpene
  • PDMS
  • Root volatiles
  • Solanum lycopersicum
  • Solanum pimpinellifolium
  • Tomato domestication
  • NIOO
  • Plan_S-Compliant-OA

Research theme

  • Sustainable water and land use


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