Plants have evolved numerous ways to escape damage by antagonists. With changing growing conditions, mainly caused by invasive species and effects of global warming, our natural habitats may be increasingly challenged. I am interested in all aspects of plant resistance that may help us under- stand how the risk of biotic stress may be reduced, including chemical and mechanical defence traits, tolerance, phenology displacement and ecological interactions that rescue plants from attack by antagonists. Currently, in my lab, we concentrate 
on studies of Populus tremula, Salix spp., and Brassica nigra.

Benedicte Albrectsen 1150 
Trait association studies and large-scale patterns in Populus
We relate a number of phenotypic traits measured on aspen (Populus tremula) genotypes in the field to assess heritability and resistance to herbivores and pathogens. The biobanks SwAsp (116 clones) and UmeAsp (450 clones) are important for these studies. Since 2004, biotic and abiotic damage to the SwAsp collection has been followed in the field in a G by E setup. We ask if geographical origin matters for resistance properties. Extreme clones (with intensive growth, early bud set, heavy damage by certain antagonists etc.) have been identified for later experimentation in bioassays. We also perform network analyses to understand the arthropod associated communities of our aspen genotypes and chemotypes.

Chemical profiling
We profile the metabolome in Populus, Salix and Brassica especially targeting natural products that may shape resistance to biotic stress. We are interested in the genetics of chemotypes within populations of aspen and between Salix species that display differences in resistance properties against arthropod herbivores and various micro-fungi. We are also interested in getting an organismal perspective on allocation responses in plants in response to various stresses including volatile emissions and induction of various metabolic pools. We use GC/MS to evaluate volatile emissions and general chemical profiles and LC/MS for profiling of specialized natural products (mainly phenolics and glucosinolates).

Studies on induced responses in aspen
We challenge genotypes that display extreme phenotypes by introducing antagonists in whole plant assays or on detached leaves. In aspen, we have for example worked with the aphid Quitophorous populetii the Chrysomela beetles, and the disease Melampsora magnusiana. The aim with these studies is to compare genotypic specific responses in the metabolome to different types of damage, and to test theories on resource allocation to growth and defence.
We have cultured the leaf beetle Chrysomela tremulae and three aphid species of the Quitophorous genus to perform these bioassays. We use choice and no-choice tests to describe preferences and performance of the insects when fed on extreme genotypes under various treatments.

benedicte_1 benedicte_2 benedicte_3 benedicte_4
Some typical arthropods encountered in our common gardens: 1. Harmandia tremula a leaf-galling mite, 2. Bycticus sp. a leaf rolling weevil, 3. Chrysomela populi a leaf beetle that oviposits and chews on leaves, 4. Phyllocnistis labyrintella a leaf mining butterfly.

Volatile Collection Platform
benedicte_5Primary and secondary chemical compounds are extracted from aspen leaves to assess their value as feeding attractants and repellents. We use simple colorimetric analyses as well as advanced mass spectrometric separation techniques to study compounds of interest.
To study volatile responses to biotic stress and simulated stresses (MeJA, and mechanical damaged plants) we have established a volatile collection platform.This platform is created primary for studies of volatile emission in Brassica nigra, however, it is designed to also be used for other plant species.

sweden_greySvensk sammanfattning...










Publications list

  1. Pedunculate Oaks (Quercus robur L.) Differing in Vitality as Reservoirs for Fungal Biodiversity
    FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY 2018, 9:1758
  2. Both plant genotype and herbivory shape aspen endophyte communities
    Oecologia 2018, 187 (2):535-545
  3. Does fungal endophyte inoculation affect the responses of aspen seedlings to carbon dioxide enrichment?
    Fungal Ecology 2018,33:24–31
  4. SIEVE ELEMENT-LINING CHAPERONE 1 restricts aphid feeding on Arabidopsis during heat stress
    Plant Cell. 2017, 29 (10):2450-2464
  5. Dual herbivore attack and herbivore density affect metabolic profiles of Brassica nigra leaves
    Plant Cell Environ. 2017, 40(8):1356-1367
  6. Central Metabolic Changes in O3 and Herbivory Affect Photosynthesis and Stomatal Closure
    Plant Physiol 2016, 172 (3):2057-2078
  7. Genotypic variability in Populus tremula L. affects how anthropogenic nitrogen enrichment influences litter decomposition
    Plant Soil 2016, 410(1-2):467-481
  8. Genotypic Tannin Levels in Populus tremula Impact the Way Nitrogen Enrichment Affects Growth and Allocation Responses for Some Traits and Not for Others
    PLoS ONE 2015, 10(10): e0140971
  9. Phenotype MicroArrays as a complementary tool to next generation sequencing for characterization of tree endophytes
    Front. Microbiol., 2015, 6:1033
  10. Relative impacts of environmental variation and evolutionary history on the nestedness and modularity of tree–herbivore networks
    Ecology and Evolution 2015; 5(14): 2898–2915
  11. Comparative physiology of allopatric Populus species: geographic clines in photosynthesis, height growth, and carbon isotope discrimination in common gardens
    Front Plant Sci. 2015, 6:528
  12. Nutritional niche overlap potentiates the use of endophytes in biocontrol of a tree disease
    BioControl 2015, 60(5):655-667
  13. Ozone affects growth and development of Pieris brassicae on the wild host plant Brassica nigra
    Environ Pollut. 2015, 199C:119-129
  14. Populus tremula (European aspen) shows no evidence of sexual dimorphism
    BMC Plant Biol. 2014; 14(1):276
  15. No Evidence of Geographical Structure of Salicinoid Chemotypes within Populus Tremula
    PLoS ONE 2014; 9(10):e107189
  16. 2′-(Z)-Cinnamoylsalicortin: A novel salicinoid isolated from Populus tremula
    Phytochemistry Letters, 2014; 7:212–216
  17. Geographic structure in metabolome and herbivore community co-occurs with genetic structure in plant defence genes
    Ecology Letters 2013, 16 (6):791-798
  18. How slug herbivory of juvenile hybrid willows alters chemistry, growth and subsequent susceptibility to diverse plant enemies
    ANNALS OF BOTANY 2013, 112 (4):757-765
  19. Caseys C, Glauser G, Stölting KN, Christe C, Albrectsen BR, Lexer C
    Effects of interspecific recombination on functional traits in trees revealed by metabolomics and genotyping-by-resequencing
    Plant Ecology & Diversity 2012 Nov 13. [Epub ahead of print]
  20. Albrectsen BR, Hansson C
    The diversity and identification of eulophid parasitic
    wasps (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea: Eulophidae) on
    Phyllocnistis labyrinthella (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae)
    from Västerbotten, Sweden
    Entomologisk Tidskrift 2012, 133(3): 111-118
  21. Albrectsen BR, Witzell J
    Disentangling functions of fungal endophytes in forest trees
    In: Fungi: Types, Environmental Impact and Role in Disease, Chapter 12, pp. 235-246
    Edited by: Adolfo Paz Silva, María Sol; Nova Science Publishers, Inc 2012
  22. Robinson KM, Ingvarsson PK, Jansson S, Albrectsen BR
    Genetic Variation in Functional Traits Influences Arthropod Community Composition in Aspen (Populus tremula L.)
    PLoS ONE 2012; 7(5):e37679
  23. Viswanath V, Albrectsen BR, Strauss SH
    Global regulatory burden for field testing of genetically modified trees
    Tree Genetics & Genomes: 2011 Nov 21
  24. Abreu IN, Ahnlund M, Moritz T, Albrectsen BR
    UHPLC-ESI/TOFMS determination of salicylate-like phenolic gycosides in Populus tremula leaves
    Journal of Chemical Ecology: 2011 37:857-870
  25. Gundale MJ, Sverker J, Albrectsen BR, Nilsson M-C, Wardle DA
    Variation in protein complexation capacity among and within six plant species across a boreal forest chronosequence
    Plant Ecology: 2010 211:253-266
  26. Albrectsen BR, Björkén L, Varad A, Hagner Å, Wedin M, Karlsson J, Jansson S
    Endophytic fungi in European aspen (Populus tremula) leaves-diversity, detection, and a suggested correlation with herbivory resistance
    Fungal Diversity: 2010 41:17-28
  27. Saona NM, Albrectsen BR, Ericson L, Bazely DR
    Environmental stresses mediate endophyte-grass interactions in a boreal archipelago
    Journal of Ecology: 2010 98:470-479.
  28. Albrectsen BR, Witzell J, Robinson KM, Wulff S, Luquez VMC, Ågren R, Jansson S
    Large scale geographic clines of parasite damage to Populus tremula L.
    Ecography: 2010 33:483-493
  29. Crutsinger GM, Sanders NJ, Albrectsen BR, Abreu IN, Wardle DA
    Ecosystem retrogression leads to increased insect abundance and herbivory across an island chronosequence
    Functional Ecology: 2008 22:816-823
  30. Albrectsen BR, Ericson L, Lundberg P
    Nutrient addition extends flowering display, which gets tracked by seed predators, but not by their parasitoids
    Oikos: 2008 117:473-480
  31. Luquez V, Hall D, Albrectsen BR, Karlsson J, Ingvarsson P, Jansson S
    Natural phenological variation in aspen (Populus tremula): the SwAsp collection
    Tree Genetics & Genomes: 2008 4:279-292
  32. Albrectsen BR, Guiterrez L, Fritz RS, Fritz RD, Orians CM
    Does the differential seedling mortality caused by slugs alter the foliar traits and subsequent susceptibility of hybrid willows to a generalist herbivore?
    Ecological Entomology: 2007 32:211-220
  33. Fritz RS, Hochwender CG, Albrectsen BR, Czesak ME
    Fitness and genetic architecture of parent and hybrid willows in common gardens
    Evolution: 2006 60:1215-1227
  34. Albrectsen BR, Jansson S
    From micro towards the macro scale
    New Phytologist: 2006 172:7-10
  35. Albrectsen BR, Gardfjell H, Orians CM, Murray B, Fritz RS
    Slugs, willow seedlings and nutrient fertilization: intrinsic vigor inversely affects palatability
    Oikos: 2004 105:268-278
  36. Gowda JH, Albrectsen BR, Ball JP, Sjoberg M, Palo RT
    Spines as a mechanical defence: the effects of fertiliser treatment on juvenile Acacia tortilis plants
    Acta Oecologica-International Journal of Ecology: 2003 24:1-4
  37. Albrectsen B, Nachman G
    Female-biased density-dependent dispersal of a tephritid fly in a fragmented habitat and its implications for population regulation
    Oikos: 2001 94:263-272
  38. Albrectsen BR
    Flowering phenology and seed predation by a tephritid fly: Escape of seeds in time and space
    Ecoscience: 2000 7:433-438
  39. Sjoberg M, Albrectsen B, Hjalten J
    Truncated power laws: a tool for understanding aggregation patterns in animals?
    Ecology Letters: 2000 3:90-94