Molecular constraints on tolerance-resistance trade-offs: Is there a cost?

J. Miles Mesa, Ken N. Paige

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Plants possess myriad defenses against their herbivores, including constitutive and inducible chemical compounds and regrowth strategies known as tolerance. Recent studies have shown that plant tolerance and resistance are positively associated given they are co-localized in the same molecular pathway, the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway. However, given that both defensive strategies utilize carbon skeletons from a shared resource pool in the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway there are likely costs in maintaining both resistance-tolerance strategies. Here we investigate fitness costs in maintaining both strategies by utilizing a double knockout of cyp79B2 and cyp79B3, key enzymes in the biosynthetic process of indole glucosinolates, which convert tryptophan to indole-3-acetaldoxime (IAOx) and is further used to produce indole glucosinolates. These mutant plants are devoid of any indole glucosinolates thus reducing plant resistance. Results show that knocking out indole glucosinolate production and thus one of the resistance pathways leads to an approximate 94% increase in fitness compensation shifting the undercompensating wild-type Columbia-0 to an overcompensating genotype following damage. We discuss the potential mechanistic basis for the observed patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-323
Number of pages7
JournalPlant-Environment Interactions
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Arabidopsis
  • endoreduplication
  • glucosinolates
  • overcompensation
  • oxidative pentose phosphate pathway
  • resistance-tolerance tradeoffs
  • shikimate acid pathway

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science


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