Variability of aliphatic glucosinolates in <em>Arabidopsis thaliana</em> (L.) – Impact on glucosinolate profile and insect resistance


  • F. Rohr
  • C. Ulrichs
  • I. Mewis


The glucosinolate(GS)-myrosinase system of Brassicaceae, including the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana (L.), comprises a defence which is effective especially against generalist herbivores. Based on their side chain structure GS are grouped into aliphatic, aromatic, and indolyl GS. Indolyl GS are widely distributed among A. thaliana ecotypes and the Brassicaceae family, but the presence of aliphatic GS is variable and under strong genetic control. We investigated the effect of AOP gene expression on the side chain modifications of GS and the impact on insect resistance. AOP2 and AOP3 genes from Mr-0 and Sap-0 ecotypes, respectively, were crossbred into the methylsulfinyl GS producing Gie-0. Successful crosses were heterozygote plants which produced allyl (AOP2) or 3-hydroxypropyl GS (AOP3). After self-pollination, the chemical profile of the F3 generation of plants was screened to identify homozygote lines. Homozygote lines producing 3-hydroxypropyl GS were compared to methylsulfinyl GS, which were used to study the impact of GS structure on insect performance in first experiments. Our experiments revealed that methylsulfinyl GS containing ecotype lines were more resistant to the generalist caterpillar Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) and to the specialist caterpillar Pieris brassicae (L.) than the lines containing hydroxypropyl GS as main compounds.