Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892



Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892
Textbook Problem

Which of the following is not an example of a plant chemical defense?

a. ABA inhibits leaves from budding if conditions favor attacks by sap-sucking insects.

b. Jasmonate activates plant genes encoding protease inhibitors that prevent insects from digesting plant proteins.

c. Acting against fungal infections, the hypersensitive response allows plants to produce highly reactive oxygen compounds that kill selected tissue, thus forming a dead tissue barrier that walls off the infected area from healthy tissues.

d. Chitinase, a PR hydrolytic protein produced by plants, breaks down chitin in the cell walls of fungi and thus halts the fungal infection.

e. Attack by fungi or viruses stimulates the production of phytoalexins having antibiotic properties.

Summary Introduction


Plants and insects have evolved various strategies to avoid defense systems of each other. Plants produce certain proteins, chemicals, or secondary metabolites that act as a repellant and produce a toxic effect on the insects that eat them.


Justification/explanation for the correct answer:

Option (a) states that abscisic acid plays a major role in abscission. They suppress the growth of buds and seeds. They also respond to various environmental stress by preventing excessive water loss during water scarcity or stomatal closure at the time of water stress. The inhibition of leaves from budding in the case of a plant that is under attack by sap-sucking insects is not an example of plant chemical defense as nothing is released or synthesized during this process. Hence, option (a) is correct.

The explanation for the incorrect answers:

Option (b) states that jasmonates is responsible for hampering the insect’s growth by causing protein deficiency. They synthesize protease inhibitor that is responsible for disrupting protein digesting capacity of insects, which is an example of plant chemical defense. So, it is incorrect.

Option (c) states that the plants avoid infection from bacteria or fungus through hypersensitive response...

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