Martin Heil

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Publications in scientific journals


  1. Heil, M., and Land, W. G. (2014). Danger signals-damaged-self recognition across the tree of life. Plant-Microbe Interaction 5: 578

  2. Duran-Flores, D., and Heil, M. (2014). Damaged-self recognition in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) shows taxonomic specificity and triggers signaling via reactive oxygen species (ROS). Plant-Microbe Interaction 5: 585

  3. Heil, M. (2014). Herbivore-induced plant volatiles: targets, perception and unanswered questions. New Phytologist 204: 297-306

  4. Millan-Canongo, C., Orona-Tamayo, D., and Heil, M. (2014). Phloem sugar flux and jasmonic acid-responsive cell wall invertase control extrafloral nectar secretion in Ricinus communis. Journal of Chemical Ecology 40: 760-769

  5. Navarro-Melendez, A. L., and Heil, M. (2014). Symptomless endophytic fungi suppress endogenous levels of salicylic acid and interact with the jasmonate-dependent indirect defense traits of their host, lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus). Journal of Chemical Ecology 40: 816-825

  6. Adame-alvarez, R. M., Mendiola-Soto, J., and Heil, M. (2014). Order of arrival shifts endophyte–pathogen interactions in bean from resistance induction to disease facilitation. FEMS Microbiology Letters 355: 100-107

  7. Moctezuma, C., Hammerbacher, A., Heil, M., Gershenzon, J., Mendez-Alonzo, R., and Oyama, K. (2014). Specific polyphenols and tannins are associated with defense against insect herbivores in the tropical oak Quercus oleoides. Journal of Chemical Ecology 1-10

  8. Heil, M. (2014). Relevance versus reproducibility—solving a common dilemma in chemical ecology. Journal of Chemical Ecology 40: 315-316

  9. Heil, M., Barajas-Barron, A., Orona-Tamayo, D., Wielsch, N., and Svatos, A. (2014). Partner manipulation stabilises a horizontally transmitted mutualism. Ecology letters 17: 185-192

  10. Garcia-Guzman, G., and Heil, M. (2014). Life histories of hosts and pathogens predict patterns in tropical fungal plant diseases. New Phytologist 201: 1106-1120


  11. Escalante-Perez, M., and Heil, M. (2013). The production and protection of nectars. In: Progress in Botany (pp. 239-261). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

  12. Orona-Tamayo, D., and Heil, M. (2013). Stabilizing mutualisms threatened by exploiters: new insights from ant–plant research. Biotropica 45: 654-665

  13. Delaye, L., Garcia-Guzman, G., and Heil, M. (2013). Endophytes versus biotrophic and necrotrophic pathogens-are fungal lifestyles evolutionarily stable traits?. Fungal Diversity 60: 125-135

  14. Orona-Tamayo, D., Wielsch, N., Blanco-Labra, A., Svatos, A., Farias-Rodriguez, R., and Heil, M. (2013). Exclusive rewards in mutualisms: ant proteases and plant protease inhibitors create a lock–key system to protect Acacia food bodies from exploitation. Molecular Ecology 22: 4087-4100

  15. Ballhorn, D. J., Kautz, S., and Heil, M. (2013). Distance and sex determine host plant choice by herbivorous beetles. PloS One 8: e55602
  16. Heil, M. (2013). Let the best one stay: screening of ant defenders by Acacia host plants functions independently of partner choice or host sanctions. Journal of Ecology 101: 684-688

  17. Orona-Tamayo, D., Wielsch, N., Escalante-Perez, M., Svatos, A., Molina-Torres, J., Muck, A., Ramirez-chavez, E., adame-Alvarez, R.-M. and Heil, M. (2013). Short-term proteomic dynamics reveal metabolic factory for active extrafloral nectar secretion by Acacia cornigera ant-plants. The Plant Journal 73: 546-554


  18. Escalante-Perez, M., and Heil, M. (2012). Nectar secretion: its ecological context and physiological regulation. In: Secretions and Exudates in Biological Systems (pp. 187-219). Springer Berlin Heidelberg

  19. Gonzalez-Teuber, M., Bueno, J. C. S., Heil, M., and Boland, W. (2012). Increased host investment in extrafloral nectar (EFN) improves the efficiency of a mutualistic defensive service. PloS One 7: e46598

  20. Kautz, S., Ballhorn, D. J., Kroiss, J., Pauls, S. U., Moreau, C. S., Eilmus, S., Strohm, E. and Heil, M. (2012). Host plant use by competing acacia-ants: mutualists monopolize while parasites share hosts. PloS One 7: e37691

  21. Heil, M. (2012) Caterpillar feeding impairs an indirect defence: costs or strategy?. Functional Ecology 26: 999-1000

  22. Heil, M. (2012) Interview with Martin Heil: Specificity of plant–enemy interactions. Trends in Plant Science 17: 244

  23. Cordova-Campos, O., Adame-alvarez, R. M., Acosta-Gallegos, J. A., and Heil, M. (2012). Domestication affected the basal and induced disease resistance in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). European Journal of Plant Pathology 134. 367-379

  24. Heil, M. (2012). Damaged-self recognition as a general strategy for injury detection. Plant Signaling and Behavior 7: 576-580

  25. Agrawal, A. A., and Heil, M. (2012). Synthesizing specificity: multiple approaches to understanding the attack and defense of plants. Trends in Plant Science 17: 239-242

  26. Barrett, L. G., and Heil, M. (2012). Unifying concepts and mechanisms in the specificity of plant–enemy interactions. Trends in Plant Science 17: 282-292

  27. Giron-Calva, P. S., Molina-Torres, J., and Heil, M. (2012). Volatile dose and exposure time impact perception in neighboring plants. Journal of Chemical Ecology 38: 226-228

  28. Heil, M., Ibarra-Laclette, E., Adame-alvarez, R. M., Martinez, O., Ramirez-Chavez, E., Molina-Torres, J., and Herrera-Estrella, L. (2012). How plants sense wounds: damaged-self recognition is based on plant-derived elicitors and induces octadecanoid signaling. PloS One 7: e30537


  29. Partida-Martinez, L. P., & Heil, M. (2011). The microbe-free plant: fact or artifact?. Frontiers in Plant Science 2: 1-16
  30. Kessler, A. and Heil, M. (2011) The multiple faces of indirect defences and their agents of natural selection. Functional Ecology 25: 348-357

  31. Heil, M. (2011) Plant-mediated interactions between above- and below-ground communities at multiple trophic levels. Journal of Ecology 99: 3-6

  32. de Roman, M., Fernndez, I., Wyatt, T., Sahrawy, M., Heil, M. and Pozo, M. J. (2011) Elicitation of foliar resistance mechanisms transiently impairs root association with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Journal of Ecology 99: 36-45

  33. Heil, M. (2011) Nectar: generation, regulation and ecological functions. Trends in Plant Science 16: 191-200

  34. Van Dam, N.M. and Heil, M. (2011) Multitrophic interactions below and above ground: en route to the next level. Journal of Ecology 99: 77-88


  35. Heil, M. and Adame-Alvarez (2010). Short signalling distances make plant communication a soliloquy. Biology Letters 6: 843-845

  36. Hernandez-Cumplido, J., Benrey, B. and Heil, M. (2010) Attraction of flower visitors to plants that express indirect defence can minimize ecological costs of ant-pollinator conflicts. Journal of Troppical Ecology 26: 555-557

  37. Radhika, V., Kost, C., Boland, W. and Heil, M. (2010) The role of jasmonate signalling in floral nectar secretion. PLoS ONE 5: e9265

  38. Gonzalez-Teuber, M., Pozo, M.-J., Muck, A., Svatos, A. and Heil M. (2010) Glucanases and chitinases as causal agents in the protection of Acacia extrafloral nectar from infestation by phytopathogens. Plant Physiology 152: 1705-1715

  39. Kley, J., Heil, M., Muck, A., Svatos, A. and Boland, W. (2010) Isolating intact chloroplasts from small Arabidopsis samples for proteomic studies. Analytical Biochemistry 398: 198-202

  40. Heil, M., Orona-Tamayo, D., Eilmus, S., Kautz, S. and Gonzalez-Teuber, M. (2010) Chemical communication and coevolution in an ant-plant mutualism. Chemoecology 20: 63-74

  41. Heil, M. and Karban, R. (2010) Explaining evolution of plant communication by airborne signals. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 25: 137-144

  42. Heil, M. (2010) Plastic defence expression in plants. Evolutionary Ecology 24: 555-569

  43. Cipollini, D. and Heil, M. (2010) Costs and benefits of induced resistance to herbivores and pathogens in plants. CAB Reviews 5: 1-25


  44. Gonzalez-Teuber, M. and Heil, M. (2009) The Role of extrafloral nectar amino acidsfor the preferences of facultative and obligate ant mutualists. Journal of Chemestry Ecology 35: 459-468

  45. Heil, M. (2009) Damaged-self recognition in plant herbivore defence. Trends in Plant Science 14: 356-363

  46. Eilmus, S. and Heil, M. (2009) Bacterial asssociates of arboreal ants and their putative functions in an obligate ant-plant mutualism. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 75: 4324–4332

  47. Ballhorn, D.-J., Kautz, S., Heil, M. and Hegeman, A.-D. (2009) Analyzing plant defenses in nature. Plant Signal and Behavior 4: 743-745

  48. Gonzalez-Teuber, M. and Heil, M. (2009) Nectar chemistry is tailored for both attraction of mutualists and protection from exploiters. Plant Signal and Behavior 4: 1-5

  49. Heil, M., Gonzalez-Teuber, G., Clement, L., Kautz, S., Verhaagh, M. & Silva Bueno, J.C. (2009) Divergent investment strategies of Acacia myrmecophytes and the coexistence of mutualists and exploiters. PNAS 106: 18091-18096

  50. Yi, H.-S., Heil, M., Adame-Alvarez, R.-M., Ballhorn, D.-J., and Ryu, C.-M. (2009) Airborne induction and priming of plant defenses against a bacterial pathogen. Plant Physiology 151: 2152–2161

  51. Kautz, S., Pauls, S.U., Ballhorn, D.-J., Lumbsch, H.-T. and Heil, M. (2009) Polygynous supercolonies of the acacia-ant Pseudomyrmex peperi, an inferior colony founder. Molecular Ecology 18: 5180-5194


  52. Kost, C. and Heil, M. (2008) The defensive role of volatile emission and extrafloral nectar secretion for Lima bean in nature. Journal of Chemical Ecology34: 2-13

  53. Clement, L., Koppen, S.C.W., Brand, W.A., and Heil, M. (2008) Strategies of a parasite of the ant-Acacia mutualism. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 62: 953-962.

  54. Heil, M. (2008) Indirect defence via tritrophic interactions. New Phytologist 178: 41-61 “The definitive version is available at

  55. Heil, M. (2008) Ants and plants – a world of interactions. Trends Ecol. Evol. 23, 253-254. (invited book review).

  56. Heil, M., Lion, U. and Boland, W. (2008) Defence-inducing volatiles – in search for the active motif. Journal of Chemical Ecology 34: 601-604

  57. Heil, M. and Ton, J. (2008) Long-distance signalling in plant defence. Trends in Plant Sciences13: 264-272

  58. Ballhorn D.J., Kautz S., Lion U. and Heil, M. (2008) Trade-offs between direct and indirect defences of lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus). Journal of Ecology 96: 971-980

  59. Radhika, V., Kost, S., Bartram, S., Heil, M. and Boland, W. (2008) Testing the optimal defence hypothesis for two indirect defences: secretion of extrafloral nectar and emission of volatile organic compounds. Planta 228: 449-45

  60. Ballhorn D.J., Schiwy S., Jensen M. and Heil M. (2008) Quantitative variability of direct chemical defense in primary and secondary leaves of lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus) and consequences for a natural herbivore. J Chem Ecol 34, 1298-1301

  61. Ballhorn D.J., Kautz S., Lion U. and Heil, M. (2008) Qualitative variability of lima bean’s VOC bouquets and its putative consequences on plant-plant communication Plant Signal. Behav. 3, 1005-1007


  62. Heil, M., Rico-Gray, V. and Oliveira, P.S. 2007: The ecology and evolution of ant-plant interactions. Myrmecol. News 11: 78 (invited book review).

  63. Heil, M. and Silva Bueno, J.C. (2007) Within-plant signalling by volatiles leads to induction and priming of an indirect plant defence in nature. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 104: 5467-5472.

  64. Heil, M. and Silva Bueno, J.C. (2007) Herbivore-induced volatiles as rapid signals in systemic plant responses. Plant Signal. Behav. 2, 191-193

  65. Walters, D. and Heil, M. (2007) Costs and trade-offs associated with induced resistance. Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology 71. 3-17

  66. Ballhorn, D., Heil, M., Pietrowski, A., Lieberei, R. (2007) Quantitative effects of cyanogenesis on an adapted herbivore. Journal of Chemical Ecology 33: 2195-2208


  67. Kost, C. and Heil, M. (2006) Herbivore-induced plant volatiles induce an indirect defence in neighbouring plants. Journal of Ecology94, 619-628

  68. Ballhorn, D.J., Heil, M. and Lieberei, R. (2006) Phenotypic plasticity of cyanogenesis in lima bean Phaseolus lunatus-activity and activation of ß-glucosidase. Journal of Chemical Ecology 32: 261-275.

  69. Heil, M. and Kost, C. (2006) Priming of indirect defences. Ecology Letters 9: 813-817.

  70. Heil, M. and Ploss, K (2006) Induced resistance enzymes in wild plants – do ‘early birds’ escape from pathogen attack? Naturwissenschaften 93: 455-460.


  71. Kost, C. and Heil, M. (2005) Increased availability of extrafloral nectar reduces herbivory in Lima bean plants (Phaseolus lunatus). Basic and Applied Ecology 6, 237-248

  72. Dietrich, R., Ploss, K., and Heil, M. (2005) Growth responses and fitness costs after induction of pathogen resistance depend on environmental conditions. Plant, Cell and Environment 28, 211-222

  73. Heil, M., Büchler, R. and Boland, M. (2005) Quantification of invertase activity in ants under field conditions. Journal of Chemical Ecology 31: 431-437

  74. Heil, M., Rattke, J., Boland, W. (2005) Post-secretory hydrolysis of nectar sucrose and specialization in ant/plant mutualism. Science 308: 560-563


  75. Heil, M. (2004) Induction of two indirect defences benefits Lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus) in nature. Journal of Ecology 92: 527-536

  76. Heil, M. (2004) Direct defense or ecological costs?? Responses of herbivorous beetles to volatiles released by wild Lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus). Journal of Chemical Ecology 30: 1289-1295

  77. Heil, M., Greiner, S., Meimberg, H., Kruger, R., Heubl., G. Noyer, J.-L., Linsenmair, K.E. and Boland, W. (2004) Evolutionary change from induced to constitutive expression of an indirect plant resistance. Nature 430: 205-208

  78. Heil, M., Hilpert, A., Kruger, R. and Linsenmair, K.E. (2004) Competition among visitors to extrafloral nectaries as a source of ecological costs of an indirect defence. Journal of Tropical Ecology 20: 201-208

  79. Heil, M., Feil, D., Hilpert, A. and Linsenmair, K.E. (2004) Spatio-temporal patterns in indirect defence of a South-East Asian ant-plant support the optimal defence hypothesis. Journal of Tropical Ecology 20: 573-580

  80. Heil, M., Baumann, B., Kruger, R. and Linsenmair, K.E. (2004) Main nutrient compounds in food bodies of Mexican Acacia ant-plants. Chemoecology 14: 45-52

  81. Dietrich, R., Ploß, K. and Heil, M. (2004) Constitutive and induced resistance to pathogens in Arabidopsis thaliana depend on nitrogen supply. Plant, Cell and Environmental 27, 896-906


  82. Heil, M. and McKey, D. (2003) Protective ant-plant interactions as model systems in ecological and evolutionary research. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 34, 425-453


  83. Heil, M. (2002) Ecological costs of induced resistance. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 5: 345-350

  84. Heil, M. and Baldwin, I. (2002) Fitness costs of induced resistance: emerging experimental support for a slippery concept. Trends in Plant Science 7: 61-67

  85. Heil, M. and Bostock, R. (2002) Induced systemic resistance (ISR) against pathogens in the context of induced plant defences. Annals of Botany 89: 503-512

  86. Heil, M., Hilpert, A., Fiala, B., bin Hashim, R., Strohm, E., Zotz, G. and Linsenmair, K.E. (2002) Nutrient allocation of Macaranga triloba ant plants to growth, photosynthesis, and indirect defence. Functional Ecology 16: 475-483

  87. Heil, M., Delsinne, T., Hilpert, A., Schürkens, S., Andary, C., Linsenmair, K.E., Sousa, M.S. and McKey, D. (2002) Reduced chemical defence in ant-plants? A critical re-evaluation of a widely accepted hypothesis. Oikos 99: 457-468

  88. Heil, M., Baumann, B., Andary, C., Linsenmair, K.E., McKey, D. (2002) Extraction and quantification of “condensed tannins“ as valuable measure of plant anti-herbivore defence? Revisiting an old problem. Naturwissenschaften 89: 519-524


  89. Heil, M. (2001) The ecological concept of costs of induced systemic resistance (ISR) Eurropena Journal of Plant Pathology 107: 137-146

  90. Heil, M. (2001) Induced systemic resistance (ISR) against pathogens – a promising field for ecological research. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 4: 65-79

  91. Heil, M., Koch, T., Hilpert, A., Fiala, B., Boland, W. and Linsenmair, K.E. (2001) Extrafloral nectar production of the ant-associated plant, Macaranga tanarius, is an induced, indirect, defensive response elicited by jasmonic acid. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 98: 1083-1088

  92. Heil, M., Fiala, B., Maschwitz, U. and Linsenmair, K.E. (2001) On benefits of indirect defence: short- and long-term studies of antiherbivore protection via mutualistic ants. Oecologia 126: 395-403

  93. Heil, M., Hilpert, A., Fiala, B., Linsenmair, KE (2001) Nutrient availability and indirect (biotic) defence in a Malaysian ant-plant. Oecologia 126: 404-408

  94. Linsenmair, K.E., Heil, M., Kaiser, W.M., Fiala, B., Koch, T.and Boland, W. (2001) Adaptations to biotic and abiotic stress: Macaranga-ant plants optimise investment in biotic defence. journal of Experimental Botany 52: 2057-2065


  95. Heil, M (2000) Different strategies for studying ecological aspects of systemic acquired resistance (SAR). Journal of Ecology 88: 707-708

  96. Heil, M., Fiala, B., Baumann, B. and Linsenmair, K.E. (2000) Temporal, spatial and biotic variation in extrafloral nectar secretion by Macaranga tanarius. Functional Ecology 14: 749-757

  97. Heil, M., Hilpert, A., Kaiser, W. and Linsenmair, K.E (2000) Reduced growth and seed set following chemical induction of pathogen defence: does systemic acquired resistance (SAR) incur allocation costs? Journal of Ecology 88: 645-654

  98. Heil, M., Staehelin, C. and McKey D. (2000) Low chitinase activity in Acacia myrmecophytes: a potential trade-off between biotic and chemical defences? Naturwissenschaften 87: 555-558


  99. Heil, M. (1995) Differenzierungen und Dynamik in der Grünlandvegetation des Hafenlohrtals (Spessart): Nutzung als dominierender Standortfaktor. (Differentations and dynamics in the greenland vegetation of the Hafenlohrtal (Spessart, Germany). Land use as dominant site factor). Tuexenia 15: 295-327

  100. Heil, M. , Fiala, B., Linsenmair, K.E., Zotz, G., Menke, P. and Maschwitz, U. (1997) Food body production in Macaranga triloba (Euphorbiaceae): a plant investment in anti-herbivore defence via symbiotic ant partners. Journal of Ecology 85: 847-861

  101. Heil, M., Fiala, B., Kaiser, W. and Linsenmair, K.E. (1998) Chemical contents of Macaranga food bodies: adaptations to their role in ant attraction and nutrition. Functional Ecology 12: 117-122

  102. Heil, M. (1999) Systemic acquired resistance: available information and open ecological questions. Journal of Ecology 87: 341-346

  103. Heil, M., Fiala, B., Boller, T. and Linsenmair, K.E. (1999) Reduced chitinase activities in ant plants of the genus Macaranga. Naturwissenschaften 86: 146-149

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