Tomato seed priming, its long lasting resistance against insect, Helicoverpa zea and associated tradeoffs

Monday, November 11, 2013
Exhibit Hall 4 (Austin Convention Center)
Sulav Paudel , Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of Methyl Jasmonate (MeJA) seed priming on tomato crop, inducing plants with primed immunity against one of the economically important insects, Helicoverpa zea. In a greenhouse inside Pennsylvania State University, we conducted research trials to examine the independent and interactive effects of MeJA seed treatment on average weight gain of neonate larvae and activity of polyphenol oxidase in leaves of tomato plants at three different plant stages. We also measure the dosage effects of MeJA seed treatment on several traits associated with vegetative and reproductive fitness in tomato plants. Our research result suggests that seed priming enhances plants’ resistance against insects and the induced defenses are consistent throughout all the stages of plants' development. While, we found out that increased dosage of MeJA  in seed increased the level of plants' defenses, significant tradeoffs such as reduction in cumulative germination % and plant height were also observed with the higher concentration. Seed priming against insect pest hold considerable promise as an important component of a multifaceted, integrated pest management program and is unlikely to precipate the rapid evolution of countermeasures by target pests. As it is a simple, easy accessible and cost effective means of pest management, this type of low-cost, low risk technique can particularly benefit thousands and thousands of  resource-poor farmers in developing countries.