PEST MANAGEMENT SCIENCE
Volumen: 72, Numero: 5, Páginas:  P.
BACKGROUND Snails and slugs are terrestrial gastropods representing an important biotic stress that adversely affects crop yields. These pests are typically controlled with molluscicides, which produce pollution and toxicity and further induce the evolution of resistance mechanisms, making pest management even more challenging. In our work, we have assessed the efficacy of two different plant defence activators, menadione sodium bisulphite (MSB) and 1,2,3-benzothiadiazole-7-thiocarboxylic acid S-methyl ester (BTH), as inducers of resistance mechanisms of the model plant for defence, Solanum lycopersicum, against the generalist mollusc Theba grasseti (Helicidae). The study was designed to test the feeding behaviour and choice of snails, and also to analyse the expression profile of different genes specifically involved in defence against herbivores and wounds. RESULTS Our data suggest that, through the downregulation of the terpene volatile genes and the production of proteinase inhibitors, treated MSB plants may be less apparent to herbivores that use herbivore-induced plant volatiles for host location. By contrast, BTH was not effective in the treatment of the pest, probably owing to an antagonistic effect derived from the induction of both salicylic-acid-dependent and jasmonic-acid-dependent pathways. CONCLUSIONS This information is crucial to determine the genetic basis of the choice of terrestrial gastropod herbivores in tomato, providing valuable insight into how the plant defence activators could control herbivore pests in plants. Our work not only reports for the first time the interaction between tomato and a mollusc pest but also presents the action of two plant defence inductors that seems to produce opposed responses by inducing resistance mechanisms through different defence pathways. © 2015 Society of Chemical Industry