Journal of Pest Science (2018) 91:671–679
Vicia faba plants respond to oviposition by invasive Halyomorpha halys
activating direct defences against ospring
· Valeria Bertoldi
· Robert Malek
· Khaled Djelouah
· Chiaraluce Moretti
· Eric Conti
Received: 26 September 2017 / Revised: 16 December 2017 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published online: 25 January 2018
© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018
The invasive stink bug Halyomorpha halys is established in many European and American agro-ecosystems, where it causes
severe crop losses. Potential control measures might include enhancement of plant defences. When attacked by herbivorous
insects that oviposit on it, the plant may respond by priming direct defences, which might aﬀect the development of future
brood. Halyomorpha halys attacks numerous plant species in the invaded areas. Here, we investigated whether Vicia faba
plants challenged by H. halys females can impair the development of its oﬀspring through the activation of induced direct
defences. We measured the weight and dimension of nymphs that developed on oviposition-experienced plants after 7 and
17 days from hatching. Nymphs that developed on oviposition-experienced plants weighed less compared to those that devel-
oped either on control plants or on plants solely subjected to H. halys feeding, and third instars showed shorter dimensions
(tibia length). In addition, when oviposition-experienced plants were attacked by nymphs, higher and more rapid expression
of two jasmonic acid-dependent genes (cysteine proteinase inhibitor gene and NAI1) was detected, possibly due to a mecha-
nism of priming. Increased expression of the salicylic acid-responsive PR1 gene was also detected in egg-experienced plants,
although the response was delayed compared to JA-dependent genes. Our results suggest that V. faba plants recognize H.
halys oviposition as a warning signal and pre-activate defences against future nymphal herbivory.
Keywords Invasive species · Vicia faba · Herbivore-induced plant defences · Direct defence · Gene expression · RT-qPCR ·
Warning signals · Oﬀspring development
Vicia faba plants detect eggs laid by Halyomorpha halys.
Egg-experienced plants show rapid direct defence
responses against emerging H. halys brood, with impair-
ment of nymphal development.
Egg-experienced plants show rapid activation of genes
related to plant resistance.
The establishment of the invasive brown marmorated
stink bug Halyomorpha halys (Stål) in many European
and American agricultural ecosystems poses questions
about possible consequences to the local biodiversity and
high risks of crop losses (Leskey et al. 2012; Smith et al.
2014). When a polyphagous herbivore establishes in a new
Communicated by T. Haye.
Electronic supplementary material The online version of this
article (https ://doi.org/10.1007/s1034 0-018-0955-3) contains
supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
* Eric Conti
Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental
Sciences, University of Perugia, 06121 Perugia, Italy
Edmund Mach Foundation, 38010 San Michele all’Adige,
Department of Civil, Mechanical and Environmental
Engineering, University of Trento, 38123 Trento, Italy
CIHEAM, Mediterranean Agronomic Institute,
70010 Valenzano, BA, Italy