Reciprocal interactions between the bark beetle-associated yeast Ogataea pini and host plant phytochemistry

Thomas S. Davis, Richard W. Hofstetter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Here we report the first experiments testing reciprocal effects between the bark beetleassociated yeast, Ogataea pini, and phytochemicals present in tree tissues (Pinus ponderosa). We tested two hypotheses: (i) tree phytochemicals mediate O. pini growth and (ii) O. pini affects chemical composition of plant tissues. We tested six monoterpenes on O. pini biomass growth in vitro and found that most monoterpenes inhibited O. pini growth; however mean O. pini biomass increased 21.5% when treated with myrcene and 75.5% when treated with terpinolene, relative to control. Ogataea pini was grown on phloem tissue ex vivo to determine whether O. pini affected phloem chemistry. Monoterpene concentrations declined in phloem over time, but phloem colonized by O. pini had significantly different concentrations of monoterpenes at two periods than phloem with no yeast. After 7 d, when O. pini was present, concentrations of the monoterpene Δ-3-carene was 42.9% lower than uncolonized phloem and concentrations of the monoterpene terpinolene was 345.0% higher than uncolonized phloem. After 15 d phloem colonized by O. pini had 505.4% higher concentrations of α-pinene than uncolonized phloem. These experiments suggest that O. pini responds to phytochemicals present in host tissues and the presence of O. pini might alter the chemical environment of phloem tissues during the early stages of beetle development. The interactions between O. pini and phytochemicals in pine vascular tissues might have consequences for the bark beetle that vectors O. pini, Dendroctonus brevicomis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1201-1207
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Bark beetle
  • Dendroctonus brevicomis
  • Monoterpene
  • Ogataea pini
  • Phytochemistry
  • Pinus ponderosa
  • Symbiosis
  • Yeast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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