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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Linking deer browsing and terpene production among genetic identities in Chamaecyparis nootkatensis and Thuja plicata (Cupressaceae).

To investigate whether differential herbivore browsing reflects genetic variation in plant defense expression, variation in needle terpenes and damage caused by black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus) was analyzed on yellow-cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) and western redcedar (Thuja plicata). In a 100-genet yellow-cedar population, three genets that were heavily browsed and had extremely low levels of monoterpenes (0-0.36% dry matter), sesquiterpenes, and diterpenes were compared to unbrowsed genets (0.85-3.83% monoterpenes in dry matter). These differences were maintained in individuals protected from browsing, suggesting genetically based variation in constitutive terpene production. In western redcedar, heavily browsed trees had significantly lower total monoterpene concentrations (1.69% dry matter) than lightly browsed trees (3.32% dry matter). One heavily browsed tree expressed no monoterpenes. No differences were found for diterpenes. In both species, the genotypes with extremely low monoterpene concentrations came from the same open-pollinated families.[1]


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