Don Cipollini, Ph.D. (Advisor); Megan Rúa, Ph.D. (Committee Member); John O. Stireman III, Ph.D. (Committee Member)
Master of Science (MS)
White fringetree is a host for the invasive emerald ash borer (EAB) despite being lower quality than black ash. Observations suggest that host trees grown in full sun are more resistant to EAB than those grown in shade, however chemical defense mechanisms and the impact of environmental stress have not been assessed. We quantified constitutive and induced defenses and other characteristics white fringetree and black ash phloem tissue grown under differential light conditions, and these traits were related to EAB larval performance. White fringetree had significantly lower constitutive and induced activities of defense associated enzymes and lignin but higher phenolic, non-structural carbohydrate, and oleuropein concentrations compared to black ash. Light limitation did not impact measured defense traits or EAB larval performance, although it did impact growth and photosynthetic efficiency. Our results suggest that phenolic profiles, metabolite abundance, and growth traits are important in mediating white fringetree susceptibility to EAB infestation.
Year Degree Awarded
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