The Role of Plant-Associated Microbes in Mediating Host-Plant Selection by Insect Herbivores. Academic Article uri icon


  • There is increasing evidence that plant-associated microorganisms play important roles in shaping interactions between plants and insect herbivores. Studies of both pathogenic and beneficial plant microbes have documented wide-ranging effects on herbivore behavior and performance. Some studies, for example, have reported enhanced insect-repellent traits or reduced performance of herbivores on microbe-associated plants, while others have documented increased herbivore attraction or performance. Insect herbivores frequently rely on plant cues during foraging and oviposition, suggesting that plant-associated microbes affecting these cues can indirectly influence herbivore preference. We review and synthesize recent literature to provide new insights into the ways pathogenic and beneficial plant-associated microbes alter visual, olfactory, and gustatory cues of plants that affect host-plant selection by insect herbivores. We discuss the underlying mechanisms, ecological implications, and future directions for studies of plant-microbial symbionts that indirectly influence herbivore behavior by altering plant traits.

published proceedings

  • Plants (Basel)

altmetric score

  • 12.4

author list (cited authors)

  • Grunseich, J. M., Thompson, M. N., Aguirre, N. M., & Helms, A. M.

citation count

  • 27

complete list of authors

  • Grunseich, John M||Thompson, Morgan N||Aguirre, Natalie M||Helms, Anjel M

publication date

  • January 2019


published in