Molecular and Chemical Plant-Herbivore Interactions

How well plants interact with the biotic and abiotic environment determines their survival in nature and yield in agriculture. We elucidate the strategies that plants employ to resist biotic stresses, with a particular focus on the role of plant secondary metabolites in root herbivore interactions. By combining different techniques and plant models in an interdisciplinary approach, we aim at generating a flow of knowledge from single genes to ecological interactions across a gradient from wild systems to agriculture.

 

  • Leafminer attack accelerates the development of soil-dwelling conspecific pupae via plant-mediated changes in belowground volatiles
    Escobar-Bravo, Rocio; Schimmel, Bernardus C. J.; Glauser, Gaetan; Klinkhamer, Peter G. L.; Erb, Matthias
    New Phytologist 10.1111/nph.17966  APR 2022
  • Species-specific plant-mediated effects between herbivores converge at high damage intensity
    Wan, Jinlong; Yi, Jiahui; Tao, Zhibin; Ren, Zhikun; Otieno, Evans O.; et al.
    Ecology 10.1002/ecy.3647  MAR 2022
  • Rhizobium Symbiotic Capacity Shapes Root-Associated Microbiomes in Soybean
    Liu, Yuanhui; Ma, Bin; Chen, Wenfeng; Schlaeppi, Klaus; Erb, Matthias; et al.
    Frontiers In Microbiology  10.3389/fmicb.2021.709012  DEC 2 2021
  • Soil composition and plant genotype determine benzoxazinoid-mediated plant-soil feedbacks in cereals
    Cadot, Selma; Gfeller, Valentin; Hu, Lingfei; Singh, Nikhil; Sanchez-Vallet, Andrea; Glauser, Gaetan; Croll, Daniel; Erb, Matthias; van der Heijden, Marcel G. A.; Schlaeppi, Klaus
    Plant Cell And Environment  10.1111/pce.14184  DEC 2021
  • Climate Change Modulates Multitrophic Interactions Between Maize, A Root Herbivore, and Its Enemies
    Guyer, Anouk; van Doan, Cong; Maurer, Corina; Machado, Ricardo A. R.; Mateo, Pierre; Steinauer, Katja; Kesner, Luci; Hoch, Guenter; Kahmen, Ansgar; Erb, Matthias; Robert, Christelle A. M.
    Journal Of Chemical Ecology, 10.1007/s10886-021-01303-9, NOV 2021
  • Soil chemistry determines whether defensive plant secondary metabolites promote or suppress herbivore growth
    Hu, Lingfei; Wu, Zhenwei; Robert, Christelle A. M.; Ouyang, Xiao; Zust, Tobias; Mestrot, Adrien; Xu, Jianming; Erb, Matthias
    Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America 10.1073/pnas.2109602118 OCT 26 2021
  • A beta-glucosidase of an insect herbivore determines both toxicity and deterrence of a dandelion defense metabolite
    Huber, Meret; Roder, Thomas; Irmisch, Sandra; Riedel, Alexander; Gablenz, Saskia; et al.
    Elife 10.7554/eLife.68642 OCT 11 2021
  • Adaptations and responses of the common dandelion to low atmospheric pressure in high-altitude environments
    Arce, Carla C. M.; Bont, Zoe; Machado, Ricardo A. R.; Cristaldo, Paulo F.; Erb, Matthias
    Journal Of Ecology 10.1111/1365-2745.13736  OCT 2021
  • Predator-induced maternal effects determine adaptive antipredator behaviors via egg composition
    Sharda, Sakshi; Zuest, Tobias; Erb, Matthias; Taborsky, Barbara
    Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America 10.1073/pnas.2017063118 SEP 14 2021
  • Using plant chemistry to improve interactions between plants, herbivores and their natural enemies: challenges and opportunities
    Erb, Matthias; Zuest, Tobias; Robert, Christelle Aurelie Maud
    Current Opinion In Biotechnology 10.1016/j.copbio.2021.05.011 AUG 2021
  • Specific and conserved patterns of microbiota-structuring by maize benzoxazinoids in the field
    Cadot, Selma; Guan, Hang; Bigalke, Moritz; Walser, Jean-Claude; Jander, Georg; Erb, Matthias; van der Heijden, Marcel G. A.; Schlaeppi, Klaus
    Microbiome 10.1186/s40168-021-01049-2  MAY 7 2021
  • Plant chemistry and food web health
    Schlaeppi, Klaus; Gross, Josef J.; Hapfelmeier, Siegfried; Erb, Matthias
    New Phytologist  10.1111/nph.17385  Early Access: MAY 2021
  • Plant volatiles as regulators of plant defense and herbivore immunity: molecular mechanisms and unanswered questions
    Hu, Lingfei; Zhang, Kaidi; Wu, Zhenwei; Xu, Jianming; Erb, Matthias
    Current Opinion In Insect Science 10.1016/j.cois.2021.03.010  APR 2021
  • Plant-associated CO2 mediates long-distance host location and foraging behaviour of a root herbivore
    Arce, Carla C. M.; Theepan, Vanitha; Schimmel, Bernardus C. J.; Jaffuel, Geoffrey; Erb, Matthias; Machado, Ricardo A. R.
    Elife  10.7554/eLife.65575 Published: APR 20 2021
  • Western Corn Rootworm, Plant and Microbe Interactions: A Review and Prospects for New Management Tools
    Paddock, Kyle J.; Robert, Christelle A. M.; Erb, Matthias; Hibbard, Bruce E.
    Insects,   10.3390/insects12020171  FEB 2021
  • The plant metabolome guides fitness-relevant foraging decisions of a specialist herbivore
    Machado, Ricardo A. R.; Theepan, Vanitha; Robert, Christelle A. M.; Zust, Tobias; Hu, Lingfei; Su, Qi; Schimmel, Bernardus C. J.; Erb, Matthias
    PLOS BIOLOGY 19(2) Article Number: e3001114, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3001114   FEB 2021
  • The Fall Armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda Utilizes Specific UDP-Glycosyltransferases to Inactivate Maize Defensive Benzoxazinoids
  • Israni, Bhawana; Wouters, Felipe C.; Luck, Katrin; Seibel, Elena; Ahn, Seung-Joon; Paetz, Christian; Reinert, Maximilian; Vogel, Heiko; Erb, Matthias; Heckel, David G.; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Vassao, Daniel Giddings
    Frontiers In Physiology 11   Article Number: 604754   10.3389/fphys.2020.604754   DEC 21 2020
  • Indole primes defence signalling and increases herbivore resistance in tea plants
    Ye, Meng; Liu, Miaomiao; Erb, Matthias; Glauser, Gaetan; Zhang, Jin; et al.
    Plant Cell And Environment 10.1111/pce.13897    NOV 2020
  • Plant Secondary Metabolites as Defenses, Regulators, and Primary Metabolites: The Blurred Functional Trichotomy
    Erb, Matthias; Kliebenstein, Daniel J.
    Plant Physiology 184(1): 39-52, DOI: 10.1104/pp.20.00433   SEP 2020
  • Identification of Photorhabdus symbionts by MALDI-TOF MS
    Hill, Virginia; Kuhnert, Peter; Erb, Matthias; Machado, Ricardo A. R.
    Microbiology-sgm 166(6): 522-530 DOI: 10.1099/mic.0.000905  JUN 2020
  • Suppression of a leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase enhances host plant resistance to a specialist herbivore
    Ye, Meng; Kuai, Peng; Hu, Lingfei; Ye, Miaofen; Sun, Hao; et al.
    Plant Cell And Environment 43(10), 10.1111/pce.13834 OCT 2020
  • Heritable variation in root secondary metabolites is associated with recent climate
    Bont, Zoe; Zust, Tobias; Arce, Carla C. M.; Huber, Meret; Erb, Matthias
    Journal Of Ecology,  DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.13441  JUN 2020
  • Entomopathogenic nematodes from Mexico that can overcome the resistance mechanisms of the western corn rootworm
    Bruno, Pamela; Machado, Ricardo A. R.; Glauser, Gaetan; Kohler, Angela; Campos-Herrera, Raquel; et al.
    Scientific Reports 10(1), 10.1038/s41598-020-64945-x May 2020
  • Evaluation of primer pairs for microbiome profiling from soils to humans within the One Health framework
    Wasimuddin; Schlaeppi, Klaus; Ronchi, Francesca; Leib, Stephen L.; Erb, Matthias; et al.
    Molecular Ecology Resources  DOI: 10.1111/1755-0998.13215 AUG 2020
  • Induction of defense in cereals by 4-fluorophenoxyacetic acid suppresses insect pest populations and increases crop yields in the field
    Wang, Wanwan; Zhou, Pengyong; Mo, Xiaochang; Hu, Lingfei; Jin, Nuo; et al.
    Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America  DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2003742117  JUN 2 2020
  • Engineering bacterial symbionts of nematodes improves biocontrol potential of the western corn rootworm (Feb, 10.1038/s41587-020-0419-1, 2020)
    Machado, RAR; Thonen, L; Arce, CCM; Theepan, V; Prada, F; Wuthrich, D; Robert, CAM; Vogiatzaki, E; Shi, YM; Schaeren, OP; Notter, M; Bruggmann, R; Hapfelmeier, S; Bode, HB; Erb, M
    NATURE BIOTECHNOLOGY,  DOI: 10.1038/s41587-020-0478-3, MAR 2020
  • Engineering bacterial symbionts of nematodes improves biocontrol potential of the western corn rootworm
    Machado, RAR; Thonen, L; Arce, CCM; Theepan, V; Prada, F; Wuthrich, D; Robert, CAM; Vogiatzaki, E; Shi, YM; Schaeren, OP; Notter, M; Bruggmann, R; Hapfelmeier, S; Bode, HB; Erb, M
    NATURE BIOTECHNOLOGY, DOI: 10.1038/s41587-020-0419-1, FEB 2020
  • Independent evolution of ancestral and novel defenses in a genus of toxic plants (Erysimum, Brassicaceae)
    ELIFE 9, DOI: 10.7554/eLife.51712 Published: APR 7 2020
    Zuest, Tobias; Strickler, Susan R; Powell, Adrian F., et al.
  • Adapted dandelions trade dispersal for germination upon root herbivore attack
    Bont, Zoe; Pfander, Marc; Robert, Christelle A. M.; Huber, Meret; Poelman, Erik H.; et al.
    Proceedings Of The Royal Society B-biological Sciences 287(1921) DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2019.2930 FEB 26 2020
  • Impact of Seasonal and Temperature-Dependent Variation in Root Defense Metabolites on Herbivore Preference in Taraxacum officinale
    Huang, Wei; Bont, Zoe; Herve, Maxime R.; Robert, Christelle A. M.; Erb, Matthias
    Journal Of Chemical Ecology 46(1): 63-75 DOI: 10.1007/s10886-019-01126-9  JAN 2020
  • Spodoptera frugiperda Caterpillars Suppress Herbivore-Induced Volatile Emissions in Maize
    De Lange, Elvira S.; Laplanche, Diane; Guo, Huijuan; Xu, Wei; Vlimant, Michele; Erb, Matthias; Ton, Jurriaan; Turlings, Ted
    Journal Of Chemical Ecology,  DOI: 10.1007/s10886-020-01153-x, JAN 2020
  • Plant defense resistance in natural enemies of a specialist insect herbivore
    Zhang, Xi; van Doan, Cong; Arce, Carla C. M.; Hu, Lingfei; Gruenig, Sandra; et al.
    Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America,  DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1912599116, NOV 12 2019
  • Plant Biology: Evolution of Volatile-Mediated Plant-Plant Interactions
    Erb, M
    CURRENT BIOLOGY, 29 (18):R873-R875; 10.1016/j.cub.2019.07.066 SEP 23 2019
Matthias Erb

Prof. Dr. Matthias Erb
University of Bern
Institute of Plant Sciences
3013 Bern

Tel: +41 (0)31 631 86 68

Research topics

  • Biosynthesis of plant secondary metabolites
  • Herbivore foraging behavior
  • Herbivore detoxification of plant metabolites

 

Interdisciplinary

  • Phytochemistry and genetics of maize (Zea mays)
  • Phytochemistry and molecular biology of dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
  • Behavior and metabolism of root herbivores (Diabrotica virgifera, Melolontha melolontha)
  • HPLC/MS
  • Environmental RNAi of insects