Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

A metabolomics resistance test

Can metabolomic profiling be used to predict resistance against insect herbivores in plants?

2012 - 2016
Peter Klinkhamer
STW Perspective STW Perspective

Dekker Chrysanthen
Royal van Zanten

In this project we develop a metabolomic test to predict plant resistance to insect herbivores.

Natural host plant defense against pests and pathogens is mainly based on secondary plant compounds. Recent developments in plant metabolomics allow for a complete overview of secondary metabolites present in a plant. NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy) is one of the most universally used metabolomic approaches. In this project we will develop a metabolomic resistance test, based on NMR, facilitating a high throughput screening of resistance.

We will use the three most economically important pests of chrysanthemum: western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis), celery leafminer (Liriomyza trifolii), and two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae).

The research proposed is based on an eco-metabolomic approach. The metabolomic profiles of resistant and susceptible varieties will be compared to identify candidate compounds involved in resistance. The candidate compounds will then validated with in-vitro bioassays. Using multivariate statistics, models will be developed to predict resistance based on the secondary metabolites patterns. These models will be validated with a second independent resistance test with different cultivars. The end result of this project is a high throughput resistance test, based on NMR to substitute time consuming and costly in vivo resistance bioassays.

  • Kos, S. P., P. G. L. Klinkhamer and K. A. Leiss. (2014), 'Cross-Resistance of Chrysanthemum to Western Flower Thrips, Celery Leafminer, and Two-Spotted Spider Mite', Entomologia Experimentalis Et Applicata Vol. 151, No. 3, pp. 198-208

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