Promises and challenges in insect–plant interactions


Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, Wiley, 2018, 166 (5), pp.319-343

David Giron 1, Géraldine Dubreuil 1, Alison Bennett 2, Franck Dedeine 1, Marcel Dicke 3, Lee A. Dyer 4, Matthias Erb 5, Marion O. Harris 6, Elisabeth Huguet 1, Isgouhi Kaloshian 7, Atsushi Kawakita 8, Carlos Lopez-Vaamonde 9, Todd M. Palmer 10, 11, Theodora Petanidou 12, Michael Poulsen 13, Aurélien Salle 14, Jean-Christophe Simon 15, John S. Terblanche 16, Denis Thiery 17, Noah K. Whiteman 18, H. Arthur Woods 19, Sylvain Pincebourde 1

1 IRBI - Institut de recherche sur la biologie de l'insecte UMR7261, Université de Tours, France
2 Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, Ohio State University, USA
3 Laboratory of Entomology, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
4 University of Nevada
5 Institute of Plant Sciences, University of Bern, Switzerland
6 NDSU - North Dakota State University
7 Department of Nematology, University of California, USA
8 Center for Ecological Research, Kyoto University, Japan
9 URZF - Unité de recherche Zoologie Forestière, France
10 Department of Biology, University of Florida, USA
11 Research Centre, Kenya
12 University of the Aegean
13 CSE - Centre for Social Evolution, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
14 LBLGC - Laboratoire de Biologie des Ligneux et des Grandes Cultures
15 IGEPP - Institut de Génétique, Environnement et Protection des Plantes
16 Stellenbosch University
17 UMR SAVE - Santé et agroécologie du vignoble, France
18 Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, USA
19 Division of Biological Sciences, University of Montana, USA


There is tremendous diversity of interactions between plants and other species. These relationships range from antagonism to mutualism. Interactions of plants with members of their ecological community can lead to a profound metabolic reconfiguration of the plants’ physiology. This reconfiguration can favour beneficial organisms and deter antagonists like pathogens or herbivores. Determining the cellular and molecular dialogue between plants, microbes, and insects, and its ecological and evolutionary implications is important for understanding the options for each partner to adopt an adaptive response to its biotic environment. Moving forward, understanding how such ecological interactions are shaped by environmental change and how we potentially mitigate deleterious effects will be increasingly important. The development of integrative multidisciplinary approaches may provide new solutions to the major ecological and societal issues ahead of us. The rapid evolution of technology provides valuable tools and opens up novel ways to test hypotheses that were previously unanswerable, but requires that scientists master these tools, understand potential ethical problems flowing from their implementation, and train new generations of biologists with diverse technical skills. Here, we provide brief perspectives and discuss future promise and challenges for research on insect–plant interactions building on the 16th International Symposium on Insect–Plant interactions (SIP) meeting that was held in Tours, France (2–6 July 2017). Talks, posters, and discussions are distilled into key research areas in insect–plant interactions, highlighting the current state of the field and major challenges, and future directions for both applied and basic research.


Ecological community
Insect–Plant interactions
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