UV-induced citrus resistance to spider mites (Tetranychus urticae)

Sharon Warburg, Mosaab Yahyaa, Tamar Lahav, Shlomit Medina, Shiri Freilich, Shira Gal, Eric Palevsky, Moshe Inbar, Mwafaq Ibdah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Under reduced solar UV radiation, such as in polycarbonate-covered nurseries, the two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae is a major pest of all citrus cultivars, while under natural solar radiation, only sensitive cultivars are infested. We hypothesized that citrus resistance to T. urticae is induced by UV. We infested seedlings of Citrus volkameriana rootstock with T. urticae under natural and under UV-screened solar radiation, along with non-infested control seedlings. We then monitored the establishment of the spider mites and analyzed the volatile leaf profile using GC-MS. The density of spider mites was reduced dramatically on seedlings exposed to solar UV. Overall, ninety volatile compounds (47 monoterpenes, 35 sesquiterpenes, and 8 aldehydes) were detected in the leaves, many of them known to be herbivore-induced and/or UV enhanced. Their levels were affected not only by solar UV radiation or by mite infestation independently. Synergistic interaction of these two factors resulted in 90% of the volatiles suppressed by T. urticae infestation in the absence of UV radiation. This suggests that plant induced resistance is dependent on exposure to UV radiation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105580
JournalCrop Protection
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Citrus resistance
  • Plant volatiles
  • Tetranychus urticae
  • UV light


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