Chemical Ecology

Plants under attack by herbivores initiate the production and release of volatiles that are attractive to the natural enemies of the herbivores.  Aboveground these volatile signals can attract parasitic wasps and predators that attack and kill the herbivores. Belowground such signals are attractive to insect-killing nematodes. The signals are also perceived by neighboring plants, which may then mobilize their own defenses.  We aim to unravel the chemical and molecular mechanisms that are involved in these interactions, as well as understand their ecological consequences.  By studying cultivated plant and their wild ancestors we hope to develop methods to better exploit the natural defense signals for optimal crop protection.

  • Plant-insect interactions
  • Induced plant defenses
  • Evolutionary ecology of tritrophic interactions
  • Assessment of transgenic crops

► Google Scholar:

  • The N‐terminal subunit of vitellogenin in planthopper eggs and saliva acts as a reliable elicitor that induces defenses in rice
    J Zeng, W Ye, W Hu, X Jin, P Kuai, W Xiao, Y Jian, TCJ Turlings, Y Lou
    New Phytologist 238 (3), 1230-1244, 10.1111/nph.18791  2023

  • Xenorhabdus bovienii subsp. africana subsp. nov., isolated from Steinernema africanum entomopathogenic nematodes
    RAR Machado, AH Bhat, P Fallet, TCJ Turlings, J Kajuga, X Yan, ...
    International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 73 (4), 005795  2023

  • 2-Pentylfuran: an aggregation attractant for wireworms
    D la Forgia, C Martin, TCJ Turlings, F Verheggen
    Arthropod-Plant Interactions, 1-8  2023

  • Stemborer‐induced rice plant volatiles boost direct and indirect resistance in neighboring plants
    C Yao, L Du, Q Liu, X Hu, W Ye, TCJ Turlings, Y Li
    New Phytologist 237 (6), 2375-2387  2023

  • Can herbivores sharing the same host plant be mutualists?
    Q Liu, TCJ Turlings, Y Li
    Trends in Ecology & Evolution  2023

  • Cotton plants as ideal models for teaching and research on inducible direct plant defenses
    M Mamin, A Vallat, TCJ Turlings
    Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 11, 10.3389/fevo.2023.1119472  2023

  • Revisiting the trail pheromone components of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren.
    Xu T, Xu M, Glauser G, Turlings TCJ, Chen L 2022. 
    Insect Science.

  • Comparative screening of Mexican, Rwandan and commercial entomopathogenic nematodes to be used against invasive fall armyworm,Spodoptera frugiperda.
    Fallet P, De Gianni L, Machado RAR, Bruno P, Bernal J, Karangwa P, Kajuga J, Waweru B, Bazagwira D, Degen T, Toepfer S, Turlings TCJ.
    Insects 13: 205 2022

  • The effect of squash domestication on a belowground tritrophic interaction. 
    Jaccard C, Marguier NT, Arce CCM, Bruno P, Glauser G, Turlings TCJ, Benrey B 2022.
    Plant-Environment Interactions 3: 28-39.

  • Potent ant repellents emitted from nematode-infected insect cadavers.
    Jaffuel G, Krishnamani S, Machado RAR, Campos-Herrera R, Turlings TCJ. 2022.
    Journal of Chemical Ecology 48: 71-78.  

  • Multi-locus phylogenetic analyses uncover species boundaries and reveal the occurrence of two new entomopathogenic nematode species, Heterorhabditis ruandica n. sp. and Heterorhabditis zacatecana n. sp.
    Machado, Ricardo A. R.; Bhat, Aashaq Hussain; Abolafia, Joaquin; Muller, Arthur; Bruno, Pamela; Fallet, Patrick; Arce, Carla C. M.; Turlings, Ted C. J.; Bernal, Julio S.; Kajuga, Joelle; Waweru, Bancy; Toepfer, Stefan
    Journal Of Nematology, 10.21307/jofnem-2021-089, 2021
  • Whitefly hijacks a plant detoxification gene that neutralizes plant toxins
    Xia, Jixing; Guo, Zhaojiang; Yang, Zezhong; Han, Haolin; Wang, Shaoli; et al.
    Cell 10.1016/j.cell.2021.02.014  Published: APR 1 2021
  • Differential levels of fatty acid-amino acid conjugates in the oral secretions of lepidopteran larvae account for the differed profiles of volatiles produced by maize
    Ling, Xiaoyu; Gu, Shimin; Tian, Caihong; Guo, Huijuan; Degen, Thomas; et al.
    Pest Management Science  10.1002/ps.6417  Early Access: APR 2021
  • Streamlining leaf damage rating scales for the fall armyworm on maize
    Toepfer, Stefan; Fallet, Patrick; Kajuga, Joelle; Bazagwira, Didace; Mukundwa, Ishimwe Primitive; et al.
    Journal Of Pest Science, 10.1007/s10340-021-01359-2   Early Access: MAR 2021
  • Calcium-alginate beads as a formulation for the application of entomopathogenic nematodes to control rootworms
    Kim, Jinwon; Hiltpold, Ivan; Jaffuel, Geoffrey; Sbaiti, Ilham; Hibbard, Bruce E.; et al.
    Journal Of Pest Science, 10.1007/s10340-021-01349-4   FEB 2021
  • Bioturbation by endogeic earthworms facilitates entomopathogenic nematode movement toward herbivore-damaged maize roots
    Fattore, S; Xiao, ZG; Godschalx, AL; Roder, G; Turlings, TCJ; Le Bayon, RC; Rasmann, S
    Scientific Reports 10.1038/s41598-020-78307-0 DEC 4 2020
  • A receptor-like protein mediates plant immune responses to herbivore-associated molecular patterns
    Steinbrenner, Adam D.; Munoz-Amatriain, Maria; Chaparro, Antonio F.; Aguilar-Venegas, Jessica Montserrat; Lo, Sassoum; Okuda, Satohiro; Glauser, Gaetan; Dongiovanni, Julien; Shi, Da; Hall, Marlo; Crubaugh, Daniel; Holton, Nicholas; Zipfel, Cyril; Abagyan, Ruben; Turlings, Ted C. J.; Close, Timothy J.; Huffaker, Alisa; Schmelz, Eric A
    Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America 117(49): 31510-31518   DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2018415117   DEC 8 2020
Ted Turlings Uni Neuchatel

Prof. Dr. Ted Turlings
University of Neuchâtel
Institute of Biology
2000 Neuchâtel

Tel: +41 (0)32 718 31 58

  • Crop protection 
  • Applied entomology 
  • Agroecology
  • Metabolomics
  • Biodiversity