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Sample records for insect herbivore plutella

  1. Differential Proteomic Analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana Genotypes Exhibiting Resistance or Susceptibility to the Insect Herbivore, Plutella xylostella

    PubMed Central

    Collins, Richard M.; Afzal, Muhammed; Ward, Deborah A.; Prescott, Mark C.; Sait, Steven M.; Rees, Huw H.; Tomsett, A. Brian

    2010-01-01

    A proteomic study was conducted to investigate physiological factors affecting feeding behaviour by larvae of the insect, Plutella xylostella, on herbivore-susceptible and herbivore-resistant Arabidopsis thaliana. The leaves of 162 recombinant inbred lines (Rils) were screened to detect genotypes upon which Plutella larvae fed least (P. xylostella-resistant) or most (P. xylostella-susceptible). 2D-PAGE revealed significant differences in the proteomes between the identified resistant and susceptible Rils. The proteomic results, together with detection of increased production of hydrogen peroxide in resistant Rils, suggest a correlation between P. xylostella resistance and the production of increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), in particular H2O2, and that this was expressed prior to herbivory. Many of the proteins that were more abundant in the Plutella-resistant Rils are known in other biological systems to be involved in limiting ROS damage. Such proteins included carbonic anhydrases, malate dehydrogenases, glutathione S-transferases, isocitrate dehydrogenase-like protein (R1), and lipoamide dehydrogenase. In addition, patterns of germin-like protein 3 isoforms could also be indicative of higher levels of reactive oxygen species in the resistant Rils. Consistent with the occurrence of greater oxidative stress in the resistant Rils is the observation of greater abundance in susceptible Rils of polypeptides of the photosynthetic oxygen-evolving complex, which are known to be damaged under oxidative stress. The combined results suggest that enhanced production of ROS may be a major pre-existing mechanism of Plutella resistance in Arabidopsis, but definitive corroboration of this requires much further work. PMID:20386709

  2. Plant Defense against Insect Herbivores

    PubMed Central

    Fürstenberg-Hägg, Joel; Zagrobelny, Mika; Bak, Søren

    2013-01-01

    Plants have been interacting with insects for several hundred million years, leading to complex defense approaches against various insect feeding strategies. Some defenses are constitutive while others are induced, although the insecticidal defense compound or protein classes are often similar. Insect herbivory induce several internal signals from the wounded tissues, including calcium ion fluxes, phosphorylation cascades and systemic- and jasmonate signaling. These are perceived in undamaged tissues, which thereafter reinforce their defense by producing different, mostly low molecular weight, defense compounds. These bioactive specialized plant defense compounds may repel or intoxicate insects, while defense proteins often interfere with their digestion. Volatiles are released upon herbivory to repel herbivores, attract predators or for communication between leaves or plants, and to induce defense responses. Plants also apply morphological features like waxes, trichomes and latices to make the feeding more difficult for the insects. Extrafloral nectar, food bodies and nesting or refuge sites are produced to accommodate and feed the predators of the herbivores. Meanwhile, herbivorous insects have adapted to resist plant defenses, and in some cases even sequester the compounds and reuse them in their own defense. Both plant defense and insect adaptation involve metabolic costs, so most plant-insect interactions reach a stand-off, where both host and herbivore survive although their development is suboptimal. PMID:23681010

  3. Environmental RNAi in herbivorous insects

    PubMed Central

    Ivashuta, Sergey; Zhang, Yuanji; Wiggins, B. Elizabeth; Ramaseshadri, Partha; Segers, Gerrit C.; Johnson, Steven; Meyer, Steve E.; Kerstetter, Randy A.; McNulty, Brian C.; Bolognesi, Renata; Heck, Gregory R.

    2015-01-01

    Environmental RNAi (eRNAi) is a sequence-specific regulation of endogenous gene expression in a receptive organism by exogenous double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). Although demonstrated under artificial dietary conditions and via transgenic plant presentations in several herbivorous insects, the magnitude and consequence of exogenous dsRNA uptake and the role of eRNAi remains unknown under natural insect living conditions. Our analysis of coleopteran insects sensitive to eRNAi fed on wild-type plants revealed uptake of plant endogenous long dsRNAs, but not small RNAs. Subsequently, the dsRNAs were processed into 21 nt siRNAs by insects and accumulated in high quantities in insect cells. No accumulation of host plant-derived siRNAs was observed in lepidopteran larvae that are recalcitrant to eRNAi. Stability of ingested dsRNA in coleopteran larval gut followed by uptake and transport from the gut to distal tissues appeared to be enabling factors for eRNAi. Although a relatively large number of distinct coleopteran insect-processed plant-derived siRNAs had sequence complementarity to insect transcripts, the vast majority of the siRNAs were present in relatively low abundance, and RNA-seq analysis did not detect a significant effect of plant-derived siRNAs on insect transcriptome. In summary, we observed a broad genome-wide uptake of plant endogenous dsRNA and subsequent processing of ingested dsRNA into 21 nt siRNAs in eRNAi-sensitive insects under natural feeding conditions. In addition to dsRNA stability in gut lumen and uptake, dosage of siRNAs targeting a given insect transcript is likely an important factor in order to achieve measurable eRNAi-based regulation in eRNAi-competent insects that lack an apparent silencing amplification mechanism. PMID:25802407

  4. Plant defences against herbivore and insect attack

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plants deploy a number of defences against attack by insects and other herbivores. Direct defence is conferred by plant products and structures that deter or kill the herbivores. Chemical toxins and deterrents vary widely among plant species, and some typical toxins include alkaloids, terpenoids, st...

  5. Mechanisms of plant defense against insect herbivores

    PubMed Central

    War, Abdul Rashid; Paulraj, Michael Gabriel; Ahmad, Tariq; Buhroo, Abdul Ahad; Hussain, Barkat; Ignacimuthu, Savarimuthu; Sharma, Hari Chand

    2012-01-01

    Plants respond to herbivory through various morphological, biochemicals, and molecular mechanisms to counter/offset the effects of herbivore attack. The biochemical mechanisms of defense against the herbivores are wide-ranging, highly dynamic, and are mediated both by direct and indirect defenses. The defensive compounds are either produced constitutively or in response to plant damage, and affect feeding, growth, and survival of herbivores. In addition, plants also release volatile organic compounds that attract the natural enemies of the herbivores. These strategies either act independently or in conjunction with each other. However, our understanding of these defensive mechanisms is still limited. Induced resistance could be exploited as an important tool for the pest management to minimize the amounts of insecticides used for pest control. Host plant resistance to insects, particularly, induced resistance, can also be manipulated with the use of chemical elicitors of secondary metabolites, which confer resistance to insects. By understanding the mechanisms of induced resistance, we can predict the herbivores that are likely to be affected by induced responses. The elicitors of induced responses can be sprayed on crop plants to build up the natural defense system against damage caused by herbivores. The induced responses can also be engineered genetically, so that the defensive compounds are constitutively produced in plants against are challenged by the herbivory. Induced resistance can be exploited for developing crop cultivars, which readily produce the inducible response upon mild infestation, and can act as one of components of integrated pest management for sustainable crop production. PMID:22895106

  6. The global distribution of diet breadth in insect herbivores.

    PubMed

    Forister, Matthew L; Novotny, Vojtech; Panorska, Anna K; Baje, Leontine; Basset, Yves; Butterill, Philip T; Cizek, Lukas; Coley, Phyllis D; Dem, Francesca; Diniz, Ivone R; Drozd, Pavel; Fox, Mark; Glassmire, Andrea E; Hazen, Rebecca; Hrcek, Jan; Jahner, Joshua P; Kaman, Ondrej; Kozubowski, Tomasz J; Kursar, Thomas A; Lewis, Owen T; Lill, John; Marquis, Robert J; Miller, Scott E; Morais, Helena C; Murakami, Masashi; Nickel, Herbert; Pardikes, Nicholas A; Ricklefs, Robert E; Singer, Michael S; Smilanich, Angela M; Stireman, John O; Villamarín-Cortez, Santiago; Vodka, Stepan; Volf, Martin; Wagner, David L; Walla, Thomas; Weiblen, George D; Dyer, Lee A

    2015-01-13

    Understanding variation in resource specialization is important for progress on issues that include coevolution, community assembly, ecosystem processes, and the latitudinal gradient of species richness. Herbivorous insects are useful models for studying resource specialization, and the interaction between plants and herbivorous insects is one of the most common and consequential ecological associations on the planet. However, uncertainty persists regarding fundamental features of herbivore diet breadth, including its relationship to latitude and plant species richness. Here, we use a global dataset to investigate host range for over 7,500 insect herbivore species covering a wide taxonomic breadth and interacting with more than 2,000 species of plants in 165 families. We ask whether relatively specialized and generalized herbivores represent a dichotomy rather than a continuum from few to many host families and species attacked and whether diet breadth changes with increasing plant species richness toward the tropics. Across geographic regions and taxonomic subsets of the data, we find that the distribution of diet breadth is fit well by a discrete, truncated Pareto power law characterized by the predominance of specialized herbivores and a long, thin tail of more generalized species. Both the taxonomic and phylogenetic distributions of diet breadth shift globally with latitude, consistent with a higher frequency of specialized insects in tropical regions. We also find that more diverse lineages of plants support assemblages of relatively more specialized herbivores and that the global distribution of plant diversity contributes to but does not fully explain the latitudinal gradient in insect herbivore specialization. PMID:25548168

  7. The global distribution of diet breadth in insect herbivores

    PubMed Central

    Forister, Matthew L.; Novotny, Vojtech; Panorska, Anna K.; Baje, Leontine; Basset, Yves; Butterill, Philip T.; Cizek, Lukas; Coley, Phyllis D.; Dem, Francesca; Diniz, Ivone R.; Drozd, Pavel; Fox, Mark; Glassmire, Andrea E.; Hazen, Rebecca; Hrcek, Jan; Jahner, Joshua P.; Kaman, Ondrej; Kozubowski, Tomasz J.; Kursar, Thomas A.; Lewis, Owen T.; Lill, John; Marquis, Robert J.; Miller, Scott E.; Morais, Helena C.; Murakami, Masashi; Nickel, Herbert; Pardikes, Nicholas A.; Ricklefs, Robert E.; Singer, Michael S.; Smilanich, Angela M.; Stireman, John O.; Villamarín-Cortez, Santiago; Vodka, Stepan; Volf, Martin; Wagner, David L.; Walla, Thomas; Weiblen, George D.; Dyer, Lee A.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding variation in resource specialization is important for progress on issues that include coevolution, community assembly, ecosystem processes, and the latitudinal gradient of species richness. Herbivorous insects are useful models for studying resource specialization, and the interaction between plants and herbivorous insects is one of the most common and consequential ecological associations on the planet. However, uncertainty persists regarding fundamental features of herbivore diet breadth, including its relationship to latitude and plant species richness. Here, we use a global dataset to investigate host range for over 7,500 insect herbivore species covering a wide taxonomic breadth and interacting with more than 2,000 species of plants in 165 families. We ask whether relatively specialized and generalized herbivores represent a dichotomy rather than a continuum from few to many host families and species attacked and whether diet breadth changes with increasing plant species richness toward the tropics. Across geographic regions and taxonomic subsets of the data, we find that the distribution of diet breadth is fit well by a discrete, truncated Pareto power law characterized by the predominance of specialized herbivores and a long, thin tail of more generalized species. Both the taxonomic and phylogenetic distributions of diet breadth shift globally with latitude, consistent with a higher frequency of specialized insects in tropical regions. We also find that more diverse lineages of plants support assemblages of relatively more specialized herbivores and that the global distribution of plant diversity contributes to but does not fully explain the latitudinal gradient in insect herbivore specialization. PMID:25548168

  8. Multi-factor climate change effects on insect herbivore performance

    PubMed Central

    Scherber, Christoph; Gladbach, David J; Stevnbak, Karen; Karsten, Rune Juelsborg; Schmidt, Inger Kappel; Michelsen, Anders; Albert, Kristian Rost; Larsen, Klaus Steenberg; Mikkelsen, Teis Nørgaard; Beier, Claus; Christensen, Søren

    2013-01-01

    The impact of climate change on herbivorous insects can have far-reaching consequences for ecosystem processes. However, experiments investigating the combined effects of multiple climate change drivers on herbivorous insects are scarce. We independently manipulated three climate change drivers (CO2, warming, drought) in a Danish heathland ecosystem. The experiment was established in 2005 as a full factorial split-plot with 6 blocks × 2 levels of CO2 × 2 levels of warming × 2 levels of drought = 48 plots. In 2008, we exposed 432 larvae (n = 9 per plot) of the heather beetle (Lochmaea suturalis Thomson), an important herbivore on heather, to ambient versus elevated drought, temperature, and CO2 (plus all combinations) for 5 weeks. Larval weight and survival were highest under ambient conditions and decreased significantly with the number of climate change drivers. Weight was lowest under the drought treatment, and there was a three-way interaction between time, CO2, and drought. Survival was lowest when drought, warming, and elevated CO2 were combined. Effects of climate change drivers depended on other co-acting factors and were mediated by changes in plant secondary compounds, nitrogen, and water content. Overall, drought was the most important factor for this insect herbivore. Our study shows that weight and survival of insect herbivores may decline under future climate. The complexity of insect herbivore responses increases with the number of combined climate change drivers. PMID:23789058

  9. INDUCIBLE DIRECT PLANT DEFENSE AGAINST INSECT HERBIVORES - A REVIEW

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plants respond to insect herbivory with responses broadly known as direct defenses, indirect defenses, and tolerance. Direct defenses include all plant traits that affect susceptibility of host plants by themselves. Overall categories of direct plant defenses against insect herbivores include limi...

  10. When Herbivores Eat Predators: Predatory Insects Effectively Avoid Incidental Ingestion by Mammalian Herbivores

    PubMed Central

    Ben-Ari, Matan; Inbar, Moshe

    2013-01-01

    The direct trophic links between mammalian herbivores and plant-dwelling insects have been practically ignored. Insects are ubiquitous on plants consumed by mammalian herbivores and are thus likely to face the danger of being incidentally ingested by a grazing mammal. A few studies have shown that some herbivorous hemipterans are able to avoid this peril by dropping to the ground upon detecting the heat and humidity on the mammal's breath. We hypothesized that if this risk affects the entire plant-dwelling insect community, other insects that share this habitat are expected to develop similar escape mechanisms. We assessed the ability of three species (adults and larvae) of coccinellid beetles, important aphid predators, to avoid incidental ingestion. Both larvae and adults were able to avoid incidental ingestion effectively by goats by dropping to the ground, demonstrating the importance of this behavior in grazed habitats. Remarkably, all adult beetles escaped by dropping off the plant and none used their functional wings to fly away. In controlled laboratory experiments, we found that human breath caused 60–80% of the beetles to drop. The most important component of mammalian herbivore breath in inducing adult beetles and larvae to drop was the combination of heat and humidity. The fact that the mechanism of dropping in response to mammalian breath developed in distinct insect orders and disparate life stages accentuates the importance of the direct influence of mammalian herbivores on plant-dwelling insects. This direct interaction should be given its due place when discussing trophic interactions. PMID:23424674

  11. Testing Two Methods that Relate Herbivorous Insects to Host Plants

    PubMed Central

    White, Peter J. T.

    2013-01-01

    Insect herbivores are integral to terrestrial ecosystems. They provide essential food for higher trophic levels and aid in nutrient cycling. In general, research tends to relate individual insect herbivore species to host plant identity, where a species will show preference for one host over another. In contrast, insect herbivore assemblages are often related to host plant richness where an area with a higher richness of hosts will also have a higher richness of herbivores. In this study, the ability of these two approaches (host plant identity/abundance vs. host plant richness) to describe the diversity, richness, and abundance of an herbivorous Lepidoptera assemblage in temperate forest fragments in southern Canada is tested. Analyses indicated that caterpillar diversity, richness, and abundance were better described by quadrat-scale host plant identity and abundance than by host plant richness. Most host plant-herbivore studies to date have only considered investigating host plant preferences at a species level; the type of assemblage level preference shown in this study has been rarely considered. In addition, host plant replacement simulations indicate that increasing the abundance of preferred host plants could increase Lepidoptera richness and abundance by as much as 30% and 40% respectively in disturbed remnant forest fragments. This differs from traditional thinking that suggests higher levels of insect richness can be best obtained by maximizing plant richness. Host plant species that are highly preferred by the forest-dwelling caterpillar assemblage should be given special management and conservation considerations to maximize biodiversity in forest communities. PMID:24205830

  12. Evidence that insect herbivores are deterred by ant pheromones.

    PubMed

    Offenberg, Joachim; Nielsen, Mogens Gissel; MacIntosh, Donald J; Havanon, Sopon; Aksornkoae, Sanit

    2004-12-01

    It is well documented that ants can protect plants against insect herbivores, but the underlying mechanisms remain almost undocumented. We propose and test the pheromone avoidance hypothesis--an indirect mechanism where insect herbivores are repelled not only by ants but also by ant pheromones. Herbivores subjected to ant predation will experience a selective advantage if they evolve mechanisms enabling them to avoid feeding within ant territories. Such a mechanism could be based on the ability to detect and evade ant pheromones. Field observations and data from the literature showed that the ant Oecophylla smaragdina distributes persistent pheromones throughout its territory. In addition, a laboratory test showed that the beetle Rhyparida wallacei, which this ant preys on, was reluctant to feed on leaves sampled within ant territories compared with leaves sampled outside territories. Thus, this study provides an example of an ant-herbivore system conforming to the pheromone avoidance hypothesis. PMID:15801596

  13. Genomics of adaptation to host-plants in herbivorous insects.

    PubMed

    Simon, Jean-Christophe; d'Alençon, Emmanuelle; Guy, Endrick; Jacquin-Joly, Emmanuelle; Jaquiéry, Julie; Nouhaud, Pierre; Peccoud, Jean; Sugio, Akiko; Streiff, Réjane

    2015-11-01

    Herbivorous insects represent the most species-rich lineages of metazoans. The high rate of diversification in herbivorous insects is thought to result from their specialization to distinct host-plants, which creates conditions favorable for the build-up of reproductive isolation and speciation. These conditions rely on constraints against the optimal use of a wide range of plant species, as each must constitute a viable food resource, oviposition site and mating site for an insect. Utilization of plants involves many essential traits of herbivorous insects, as they locate and select their hosts, overcome their defenses and acquire nutrients while avoiding intoxication. Although advances in understanding insect-plant molecular interactions have been limited by the complexity of insect traits involved in host use and the lack of genomic resources and functional tools, recent studies at the molecular level, combined with large-scale genomics studies at population and species levels, are revealing the genetic underpinning of plant specialization and adaptive divergence in non-model insect herbivores. Here, we review the recent advances in the genomics of plant adaptation in hemipterans and lepidopterans, two major insect orders, each of which includes a large number of crop pests. We focus on how genomics and post-genomics have improved our understanding of the mechanisms involved in insect-plant interactions by reviewing recent molecular discoveries in sensing, feeding, digesting and detoxifying strategies. We also present the outcomes of large-scale genomics approaches aimed at identifying loci potentially involved in plant adaptation in these insects. PMID:25846754

  14. Insect herbivores selectively mute GLV production in plants.

    PubMed

    Savchenko, Tatyana; Dehesh, Katayoon

    2013-05-01

    Through co-evolution insect herbivores have developed a myriad of strategies to manipulate host plant defense responses that include the synthesis of defensive compounds whose composition depends on the insect feeding mode.  Among the plant-produced compounds are jasmonates (JAs), and Green Leafy Volatiles (GLVs), metabolites produced by the two parallel and competing branches of the oxylipin pathway. Here we provide evidence that chewing insects stimulate JA production but suppress the synthesis of GLVs through the transcriptional and post transcriptional reprogramming of critical genes in the corresponding pathway. We further establish that herbivore-derived elicitors known as Herbivore-Associated Molecular Patterns (HAMPs) are responsible for the reprogramming of these pathway genes. Through this strategy chewing herbivores coerce the plant signaling machinery that would otherwise leads to a reduction in the nutritional quality of the immediate and neighboring plants, and additionally shelters the herbivores from their natural enemies that are otherwise guided by the GLV cues to prey-infested plants.  PMID:23470722

  15. Pathogens and insect herbivores drive rainforest plant diversity and composition.

    PubMed

    Bagchi, Robert; Gallery, Rachel E; Gripenberg, Sofia; Gurr, Sarah J; Narayan, Lakshmi; Addis, Claire E; Freckleton, Robert P; Lewis, Owen T

    2014-02-01

    Tropical forests are important reservoirs of biodiversity, but the processes that maintain this diversity remain poorly understood. The Janzen-Connell hypothesis suggests that specialized natural enemies such as insect herbivores and fungal pathogens maintain high diversity by elevating mortality when plant species occur at high density (negative density dependence; NDD). NDD has been detected widely in tropical forests, but the prediction that NDD caused by insects and pathogens has a community-wide role in maintaining tropical plant diversity remains untested. We show experimentally that changes in plant diversity and species composition are caused by fungal pathogens and insect herbivores. Effective plant species richness increased across the seed-to-seedling transition, corresponding to large changes in species composition. Treating seeds and young seedlings with fungicides significantly reduced the diversity of the seedling assemblage, consistent with the Janzen-Connell hypothesis. Although suppressing insect herbivores using insecticides did not alter species diversity, it greatly increased seedling recruitment and caused a marked shift in seedling species composition. Overall, seedling recruitment was significantly reduced at high conspecific seed densities and this NDD was greatest for the species that were most abundant as seeds. Suppressing fungi reduced the negative effects of density on recruitment, confirming that the diversity-enhancing effect of fungi is mediated by NDD. Our study provides an overall test of the Janzen-Connell hypothesis and demonstrates the crucial role that insects and pathogens have both in structuring tropical plant communities and in maintaining their remarkable diversity. PMID:24463522

  16. Characterization of protein phosphatase 5 from three lepidopteran insects: Helicoverpa armigera, Mythimna separata and Plutella xylostella.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xi'en; Lü, Shumin; Zhang, Yalin

    2014-01-01

    Protein phosphatase 5 (PP5), a unique member of serine/threonine phosphatases, regulates a variety of biological processes. We obtained full-length PP5 cDNAs from three lepidopteran insects, Helicoverpa armigera, Mythimna separata and Plutella xylostella, encoding predicted proteins of 490 (55.98 kDa), 490 (55.82 kDa) and 491 (56.07 kDa) amino acids, respectively. These sequences shared a high identity with other insect PP5s and contained the TPR (tetratricopeptide repeat) domains at N-terminal regions and highly conserved C-terminal catalytic domains. Tissue- and stage-specific expression pattern analyses revealed these three PP5 genes were constitutively expressed in all stages and in tested tissues with predominant transcription occurring at the egg and adult stages. Activities of Escherichia coli-produced recombinant PP5 proteins could be enhanced by almost 2-fold by a known PP5 activator: arachidonic acid. Kinetic parameters of three recombinant proteins against substrate pNPP were similar both in the absence or presence of arachidonic acid. Protein phosphatases inhibitors, okadaic acid, cantharidin, and endothall strongly impeded the activities of the three recombinant PP5 proteins, as well as exerted an inhibitory effect on crude protein phosphatases extractions from these three insects. In summary, lepidopteran PP5s share similar characteristics and are all sensitive to the protein phosphatases inhibitors. Our results also imply protein phosphatase inhibitors might be used in the management of lepidopteran pests. PMID:24823652

  17. Community- Weighted Mean Plant Traits Predict Small Scale Distribution of Insect Root Herbivore Abundance

    PubMed Central

    Jeltsch, Florian; Wurst, Susanne

    2015-01-01

    Small scale distribution of insect root herbivores may promote plant species diversity by creating patches of different herbivore pressure. However, determinants of small scale distribution of insect root herbivores, and impact of land use intensity on their small scale distribution are largely unknown. We sampled insect root herbivores and measured vegetation parameters and soil water content along transects in grasslands of different management intensity in three regions in Germany. We calculated community-weighted mean plant traits to test whether the functional plant community composition determines the small scale distribution of insect root herbivores. To analyze spatial patterns in plant species and trait composition and insect root herbivore abundance we computed Mantel correlograms. Insect root herbivores mainly comprised click beetle (Coleoptera, Elateridae) larvae (43%) in the investigated grasslands. Total insect root herbivore numbers were positively related to community-weighted mean traits indicating high plant growth rates and biomass (specific leaf area, reproductive- and vegetative plant height), and negatively related to plant traits indicating poor tissue quality (leaf C/N ratio). Generalist Elaterid larvae, when analyzed independently, were also positively related to high plant growth rates and furthermore to root dry mass, but were not related to tissue quality. Insect root herbivore numbers were not related to plant cover, plant species richness and soil water content. Plant species composition and to a lesser extent plant trait composition displayed spatial autocorrelation, which was not influenced by land use intensity. Insect root herbivore abundance was not spatially autocorrelated. We conclude that in semi-natural grasslands with a high share of generalist insect root herbivores, insect root herbivores affiliate with large, fast growing plants, presumably because of availability of high quantities of food. Affiliation of insect root

  18. Community-Weighted Mean Plant Traits Predict Small Scale Distribution of Insect Root Herbivore Abundance.

    PubMed

    Sonnemann, Ilja; Pfestorf, Hans; Jeltsch, Florian; Wurst, Susanne

    2015-01-01

    Small scale distribution of insect root herbivores may promote plant species diversity by creating patches of different herbivore pressure. However, determinants of small scale distribution of insect root herbivores, and impact of land use intensity on their small scale distribution are largely unknown. We sampled insect root herbivores and measured vegetation parameters and soil water content along transects in grasslands of different management intensity in three regions in Germany. We calculated community-weighted mean plant traits to test whether the functional plant community composition determines the small scale distribution of insect root herbivores. To analyze spatial patterns in plant species and trait composition and insect root herbivore abundance we computed Mantel correlograms. Insect root herbivores mainly comprised click beetle (Coleoptera, Elateridae) larvae (43%) in the investigated grasslands. Total insect root herbivore numbers were positively related to community-weighted mean traits indicating high plant growth rates and biomass (specific leaf area, reproductive- and vegetative plant height), and negatively related to plant traits indicating poor tissue quality (leaf C/N ratio). Generalist Elaterid larvae, when analyzed independently, were also positively related to high plant growth rates and furthermore to root dry mass, but were not related to tissue quality. Insect root herbivore numbers were not related to plant cover, plant species richness and soil water content. Plant species composition and to a lesser extent plant trait composition displayed spatial autocorrelation, which was not influenced by land use intensity. Insect root herbivore abundance was not spatially autocorrelated. We conclude that in semi-natural grasslands with a high share of generalist insect root herbivores, insect root herbivores affiliate with large, fast growing plants, presumably because of availability of high quantities of food. Affiliation of insect root

  19. Spatially Heterogeneous Perturbations Homogenize the Regulation of Insect Herbivores.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Eric; MacDougall, Andrew S

    2015-11-01

    Anthropogenic influences on resources and consumers can affect food web regulation, with impacts on trophic structure and ecosystem processes. Identifying how these impacts unfold is challenging because alterations to one or both resources and consumers can similarly transform community structure, especially for intermediate consumers. To date, empirical testing of perturbations on trophic regulation has been limited by the difficulty in separating the direct effect of perturbations on species composition and diversity from those unfolding indirectly via altered feeding pathways. Moreover, disentangling the independent and interactive impacts of covarying stressors that characterize human-altered systems has been an ongoing analytical challenge. We used a large-scale metacommunity experiment in grasslands to test how resource inputs, stand perturbation, and spatial factors affect regulation of insect herbivores in tritrophic grassland food webs. Using path-model comparisons, we observed significant simplification of food web regulation on insect herbivores, shifting from mixed predator-resource regulation in unaltered mainland areas to strictly resource-based regulation with landscape perturbation and fragmentation. Most changes were attributed to homogenization of plant community caused by landscape fragmentation and the deterministic influence of eutrophication that reduced among-patch beta diversity. This led to a simplified food web dominated by fewer but more abundant herbivore taxa. Our work implies that anthropogenic perturbation relating to resources and spatial isolation can transform the regulation of food web diversity, structure, and function. PMID:26655775

  20. Cycads: their evolution, toxins, herbivores and insect pollinators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, Dietrich; Wink, Michael; Sporer, Frank; Lounibos, Philip

    2002-06-01

    Palaeobiological evidence indicates that gymnosperms were wind-pollinated and that insect pollination began in angiosperms in the Lower Cretaceous (ca. 135 mya) leading to close associations between higher plants and their pollinators. Cycads, which were widespread and pervasive throughout the Mesozoic (250-65 mya) are among the most primitive living seed-plants found today. Because pollination by beetles and by thrips has now been detected in several modern cycads, it is attractive to speculate that some insects and cycads had already developed similar mutualistic interactions in the Triassic (250-205 mya), long before the advent of angiosperms. We also draw attention to another key factor in this insect-plant relationship, namely secondary, defensive plant substances which must always have controlled interspecific interactions. Cycads mainly produce toxic azoglucosides and neurotoxic non-protein amino acids (e.g. BMAA), which apparently are crucial elements in the development and maintenance of mutualism (pollination) and parasitism (herbivory) by cycad-linked herbivores. We now add new results on the uptake and storage of the main toxin, cycasin, of the Mexican cycad Zamia furfuracea by its pollinator, the weevil Rhopalotria mollis, and by a specialist herbivore of Zamia integrifolia, the aposematic Atala butterfly Eumaeus atala.

  1. Priming of anti-herbivore defence in Nicotiana attenuata by insect oviposition: herbivore-specific effects.

    PubMed

    Bandoly, Michele; Grichnik, Roland; Hilker, Monika; Steppuhn, Anke

    2016-04-01

    Oviposition by Spodoptera exigua on Nicotiana attenuata primes plant defence against its larvae that consequently suffer reduced performance. To reveal whether this is a general response of tobacco to insect oviposition or species-specific, we investigated whether also Manduca sexta oviposition primes N. attenuata's anti-herbivore defence. The plant response to M. sexta and S. exigua oviposition overlapped in the egg-primed feeding-induced production of the phenylpropanoid caffeoylputrescine. While M. sexta larvae were unaffected in their performance, they showed a novel response to the oviposition-mediated plant changes: a reduced antimicrobial activity in their haemolymph. In a cross-resistance experiment, S. exigua larvae suffered reduced performance on M. sexta-oviposited plants like they did on S. exigua-oviposited plants. The M. sexta oviposition-mediated plant effects on the S. exigua larval performance and on M. sexta larval immunity required expression of the NaMyb8 transcription factor that is governing biosynthesis of phenylpropanoids such as caffeoylputrescine. Thus, NaMyb8-dependent defence traits mediate the effects that oviposition by both lepidopteran species exerts on the plant's anti-herbivore defence. These results suggest that oviposition by lepidopteran species on N. attenuata leaves may generally prime the feeding-induced production of certain plant defence compounds but that different herbivore species show different susceptibility to egg-primed plant effects. PMID:26566692

  2. Insect herbivores can choose microclimates to achieve nutritional homeostasis.

    PubMed

    Clissold, Fiona J; Coggan, Nicole; Simpson, Stephen J

    2013-06-01

    The interaction between temperature and diet quality can affect the life history of ectotherms. The rate and ratio at which protein and carbohydrate are obtained from food are important aspects of diet quality, and insects have a well-developed capacity to adjust their feeding behaviour and post-ingestive physiology to regulate intake and allocation of these nutrients. If the supply of protein and carbohydrate varies with temperature (e.g. via effects on intake, digestion or metabolism), then herbivorous insects can use thermoregulatory behaviour to help achieve nutritional homeostasis. When fed the host grass Triticum aestivum, Locusta migratoria nymphs absorbed and allocated protein and carbohydrate to growth with the same efficiency at 38°C as at 32°C; however, at the higher temperature, they ingested more food. In contrast, when feeding on Themeda triandra, the nymphs absorbed carbohydrate with higher efficiency at 32°C, and protein at 38°C. Using synthetic diets, we induced either a protein or a carbohydrate deficiency in experimental insects and showed that locusts placed in a thermal gradient following a meal of T. triandra selected 32°C when deprived of carbohydrate, and 38°C when deprived of protein. This capacity to use thermoregulatory behaviour to redress an imposed nutritional imbalance improved with experience of feeding on T. triandra. As predicted, locusts fed T. aestivum always chose higher temperatures, irrespective of nutritional state. Our results have consequences for understanding host-plant choice by herbivores and interpreting the effects of changed environmental temperatures and microclimate on animal-plant interactions. PMID:23430995

  3. Use of transgenic plants to measure insect herbivore movement.

    PubMed

    Spencer, Joseph L; Mabry, Timothy R; Vaughn, Ty T

    2003-12-01

    Use of ingested transgenic corn tissue as a marker for measuring movement of adult Diabrotica virgifera virgifera (LeConte) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae; western corn rootworm) was investigated. Laboratory observations of beetles feeding on corn foliage, pollen, silks, or soybean foliage provided background on feeding patterns. The interval between food consumption and its appearance in feces (gut passage time) ranged from 102.7 +/- 11 min for soybean foliage to 56.7 +/- 2.9 min for corn silks. In a laboratory assay, protein expression tests identified the presence of Cry3Bb1 protein inside 50% of adult D. virgifera for up to 16 h after they had last consumed Cry3Bb1 protein-expressing corn silks from 'YieldGard Rootworm' corn plants (Monsanto Co.). Cry3Bb1 protein could not be detected by 32 h postfeeding. The proportion of Cry3Bb1 protein-positive beetles declined linearly with increasing time since feeding on 'YieldGard Rootworm' tissue. Approximately 20% of adult D. virgifera collected near 'YieldGard Rootworm' corn plots tested positive for Cry3Bb1 protein, indicating 'YieldGard Rootworm' tissue consumption within the last 16-32 h. Based on a 16- to 32-h postfeeding detection interval for Cry3Bb1 protein and the distance between 'YieldGard Rootworm' sources and sites where Cry3Bb1-positive insects were collected, 85.3% of males and females moved < or = 4.6-9.1 m/d through R2-R3 stage corn. Among Cry3Bb1-positive adults that left corn and were captured in an adjacent soybean field, 86.4% of males and 93.1% of females moved < or = 4.6-9.1 m/d through soybean. Detection of transgenic plant tissues in mobile insect herbivores is a novel application of biotechnology to the study of insect movement. PMID:14977111

  4. Transient expression of protein tyrosine phosphatases encoded in Cotesia plutellae bracovirus inhibits insect cellular immune responses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ibrahim, Ahmed M. A.; Kim, Yonggyun

    2008-01-01

    Several immunosuppressive factors are associated with parasitism of an endoparasitoid wasp, Cotesia plutellae, on the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella. C. plutellae bracovirus (CpBV) encodes a large number of putative protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs), which may play a role in inhibiting host cellular immunity. To address this inhibitory hypothesis of CpBV-PTPs, we performed transient expression of individual CpBV-PTPs in hemocytes of the beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua, and analyzed their cellular immune responses. Two different forms of CpBV-PTPs were chosen and cloned into a eukaryotic expression vector under the control of the p10 promoter of baculovirus: one with the normal cysteine active site (CpBV-PTP1) and the other with a mutated active site (CpBV-PTP5). The hemocytes transfected with CpBV-PTP1 significantly increased in PTP activity compared to control hemocytes, but those with CpBV-PTP5 exhibited a significant decrease in the PTP activity. All transfected hemocytes exhibited a significant reduction in both cell spreading and encapsulation activities compared to control hemocytes. Co-transfection of CpBV-PTP1 together with its double-stranded RNA reduced the messenger RNA (mRNA) level of CpBV-PTP1 and resulted in recovery of both hemocyte behaviors. This is the first report demonstrating that the polydnaviral PTPs can manipulate PTP activity of the hemocytes to interrupt cellular immune responses.

  5. Glandular trichomes as an inflorescence defence mechanism against insect herbivores in Iberian columbines.

    PubMed

    Jaime, Rafael; Rey, Pedro J; Alcántara, Julio M; Bastida, Jesús M

    2013-08-01

    Glandular trichomes play a defensive role against herbivores in the leaves of many plant species. However, their functional role in inflorescences has not been studied, even though theory suggests that tissues with a higher fitness value, such as inflorescences, should be better defended. Using manipulative experiments, we analysed the defensive role of glandular trichomes against herbivorous insects in the inflorescence of Iberian columbines (genus Aquilegia), and its inter-population and inter-taxa variation in relation to herbivore abundance and potential selective pressure. The experiments were conducted in eight populations belonging to four subspecies of two columbines (Aquilegia vulgaris and Aquilegia pyrenaica). For each population, we estimated the density of glandular trichomes in the inflorescences, the abundance of insects stuck in the inflorescences, the abundance of small herbivorous insects, the incidence of damage on flowers and fruits, and the fruit set. The density of glandular trichomes on the inflorescence of A. vulgaris and A. pyrenaica was higher in regions of higher herbivore abundance. We also found that when the plants lose the protection of glandular trichomes, small insects have better access to flowers and fruits, causing more damage and reducing plant fitness. This study concludes that glandular trichomes are part of an adaptive response against phytophagous insect herbivory. The observed variation in herbivore pressure between taxa, likely caused by habitat differentiation, might have played a role in trait differentiation through divergent selection. This result adds evidence to the differentiation of the Iberian columbines through habitat specialization. PMID:23247688

  6. Insect herbivores change the outcome of plant competition through both inter- and intraspecific processes.

    PubMed

    Kim, Tania N; Underwood, Nora; Inouye, Brian D

    2013-08-01

    Insect herbivores can affect plant abundance and community composition, and theory suggests that herbivores influence plant communities by altering interspecific interactions among plants. Because the outcome of interspecific interactions is influenced by the per capita competitive ability of plants, density dependence, and intrinsic rates of increase, measuring herbivore effects on all these processes is necessary to understand the mechanisms by which herbivores influence plant communities. We fit alternative competition models to data from a response surface experiment conducted over four years to examine how herbivores affected the outcome of competition between two perennial plants, Solidago altissima and Solanum carolinense. Within a growing season, herbivores reduced S. carolinense plant size but did not affect the size of S. altissima, which exhibited compensatory growth. Across seasons, herbivores did not affect S. carolinense density or biomass but reduced both the density and population growth of S. altissima. The best-fit models indicated that the effects of herbivores varied with year. In some years, herbivores increased the per capita competitive effect of S. altissima on S. carolinense; in other years, herbivores influenced the intrinsic rate of increase of S. altissima. We examined possible herbivore effects on the longer-term outcome of competition (over the time scale of a typical old-field habitat), using simulations based on the best-fit models. In the absence of herbivores, plant coexistence was observed. In the presence of herbivores, S. carolinense was excluded by S. altissima in 72.3% of the simulations. We demonstrate that herbivores can influence the outcome of competition through changes in both per capita competitive effects and intrinsic rates of increase. We discuss the implications of these results for ecological succession and biocontrol. PMID:24015519

  7. Land-use history alters contemporary insect herbivore community composition and decouples plant-herbivore relationships.

    SciTech Connect

    Hahn, Philip G.; Orrock, John L.

    2015-04-01

    1. Past land use can create altered soil conditions and plant communities that persist for decades, although the effects of these altered conditions on consumers are rarely investigated. 2. Using a large-scale field study at 36 sites in longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) woodlands, we examined whether historic agricultural land use leads to differences in the abundance and community composition of insect herbivores (grasshoppers, families Acrididae and Tettigoniidae). 3. We measured the cover of six plant functional groups and several environmental variables to determine whether historic agricultural land use affects the relationships between plant cover or environmental conditions and grasshopper assemblages. 4. Land-use history had taxa-specific effects and interacted with herbaceous plant cover to alter grasshopper abundances, leading to significant changes in community composition. Abundance of most grasshopper taxa increased with herbaceous cover in woodlands with no history of agriculture, but there was no relationship in post-agricultural woodlands. We also found that grasshopper abundance was negatively correlated with leaf litter cover. Soil hardness was greater in post-agricultural sites (i.e. more compacted) and was associated with grasshopper community composition. Both herbaceous cover and leaf litter cover are influenced by fire frequency, suggesting a potential indirect role of fire on grasshopper assemblages. 5. Our results demonstrate that historic land use may create persistent differences in the composition of grasshopper assemblages, while contemporary disturbances (e.g. prescribed fire) may be important for determining the abundance of grasshoppers, largely through the effect of fire on plants and leaf litter. Therefore, our results suggest that changes in the contemporary management regimes (e.g. increasing prescribed fire) may not be sufficient to shift the structure of grasshopper communities in post-agricultural sites towards communities in

  8. Land-use history alters contemporary insect herbivore community composition and decouples plant-herbivore relationships.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Philip G; Orrock, John L

    2015-05-01

    Past land use can create altered soil conditions and plant communities that persist for decades, although the effects of these altered conditions on consumers are rarely investigated. Using a large-scale field study at 36 sites in longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) woodlands, we examined whether historic agricultural land use leads to differences in the abundance and community composition of insect herbivores (grasshoppers, families Acrididae and Tettigoniidae). We measured the cover of six plant functional groups and several environmental variables to determine whether historic agricultural land use affects the relationships between plant cover or environmental conditions and grasshopper assemblages. Land-use history had taxa-specific effects and interacted with herbaceous plant cover to alter grasshopper abundances, leading to significant changes in community composition. Abundance of most grasshopper taxa increased with herbaceous cover in woodlands with no history of agriculture, but there was no relationship in post-agricultural woodlands. We also found that grasshopper abundance was negatively correlated with leaf litter cover. Soil hardness was greater in post-agricultural sites (i.e. more compacted) and was associated with grasshopper community composition. Both herbaceous cover and leaf litter cover are influenced by fire frequency, suggesting a potential indirect role of fire on grasshopper assemblages. Our results demonstrate that historic land use may create persistent differences in the composition of grasshopper assemblages, while contemporary disturbances (e.g. prescribed fire) may be important for determining the abundance of grasshoppers, largely through the effect of fire on plants and leaf litter. Therefore, our results suggest that changes in the contemporary management regimes (e.g. increasing prescribed fire) may not be sufficient to shift the structure of grasshopper communities in post-agricultural sites towards communities in non

  9. Plant systemic induced responses mediate interactions between root parasitic nematodes and aboveground herbivorous insects

    PubMed Central

    Wondafrash, Mesfin; Van Dam, Nicole M.; Tytgat, Tom O. G.

    2013-01-01

    Insects and nematodes are the most diverse and abundant groups of multicellular animals feeding on plants on either side of the soil–air interface. Several herbivore-induced responses are systemic, and hence can influence the preference and performance of organisms in other plant organs. Recent studies show that plants mediate interactions between belowground plant parasitic nematodes (PPNs) and aboveground herbivorous insects. Based on the knowledge of plant responses to pathogens, we review the emerging insights on plant systemic responses against root-feeding nematodes and shoot-feeding insects. We discuss the potential mechanisms of plant-mediated indirect interactions between both groups of organisms and point to gaps in our knowledge. Root-feeding nematodes can positively or negatively affect shoot herbivorous insects, and vice versa. The outcomes of the interactions between these spatially separated herbivore communities appear to be influenced by the feeding strategy of the nematodes and the insects, as well as by host plant susceptibility to both herbivores. The potential mechanisms for these interactions include systemic induced plant defense, interference with the translocation and dynamics of locally induced secondary metabolites, and reallocation of plant nutritional reserves. During evolution, PPNs as well as herbivorous insects have acquired effectors that modify plant defense responses and resource allocation patterns to their advantage. However, it is also known that plants under herbivore attack change the allocation of their resources, e.g., for compensatory growth responses, which may affect the performance of other organisms feeding on the plant. Studying the chemical and molecular basis of these interactions will reveal the molecular mechanisms that are involved. Moreover, it will lead to a better understanding of the ecological relevance of aboveground–belowground interactions, as well as support the development of sustainable pest

  10. Plant systemic induced responses mediate interactions between root parasitic nematodes and aboveground herbivorous insects.

    PubMed

    Wondafrash, Mesfin; Van Dam, Nicole M; Tytgat, Tom O G

    2013-01-01

    Insects and nematodes are the most diverse and abundant groups of multicellular animals feeding on plants on either side of the soil-air interface. Several herbivore-induced responses are systemic, and hence can influence the preference and performance of organisms in other plant organs. Recent studies show that plants mediate interactions between belowground plant parasitic nematodes (PPNs) and aboveground herbivorous insects. Based on the knowledge of plant responses to pathogens, we review the emerging insights on plant systemic responses against root-feeding nematodes and shoot-feeding insects. We discuss the potential mechanisms of plant-mediated indirect interactions between both groups of organisms and point to gaps in our knowledge. Root-feeding nematodes can positively or negatively affect shoot herbivorous insects, and vice versa. The outcomes of the interactions between these spatially separated herbivore communities appear to be influenced by the feeding strategy of the nematodes and the insects, as well as by host plant susceptibility to both herbivores. The potential mechanisms for these interactions include systemic induced plant defense, interference with the translocation and dynamics of locally induced secondary metabolites, and reallocation of plant nutritional reserves. During evolution, PPNs as well as herbivorous insects have acquired effectors that modify plant defense responses and resource allocation patterns to their advantage. However, it is also known that plants under herbivore attack change the allocation of their resources, e.g., for compensatory growth responses, which may affect the performance of other organisms feeding on the plant. Studying the chemical and molecular basis of these interactions will reveal the molecular mechanisms that are involved. Moreover, it will lead to a better understanding of the ecological relevance of aboveground-belowground interactions, as well as support the development of sustainable pest management

  11. Interactions between willows and insect herbivores under enhanced ultraviolet-B radiation.

    PubMed

    Veteli, T O; Tegelberg, R; Pusenius, J; Sipura, M; Julkunen-Tiitto, R; Aphalo, P J; Tahvanainen, J

    2003-10-01

    We studied the effects of elevated ultraviolet-B radiation on interactions between insect herbivores and their host plants by exposing two species of phytochemically different willows, Salix myrsinifolia and S. phylicifolia, to a modulated increase in ultraviolet radiation in an outdoor experiment and monitoring the colonisation of insect herbivores on these willows. We examined the effect of increased ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation on (1) the quality of willow leaves, (2) the distribution and abundance of insect herbivores feeding on these willows, (3) the resulting amount of damage, and (4) the performance of insect larvae feeding on the exposed plant tissue. Six clones of each of the two willow species were grown in eight blocks for 12 weeks in the UV-B irradiation field. The clones were exposed to a constant 50% increase in UV-B radiation (simulating 20-25% ozone depletion), to a small increase in UV-A radiation or to ambient solar irradiation. We allowed colonisation on the willows by naturally occurring insects, but also introduced adults of a leaf beetle, Phratora vitellinae, a specialist herbivore on S. myrsinifolia. Increased UV-B radiation did not affect any of the measured indices of plant quality. However, numbers of P. vitellinae on S. myrsinifolia were higher in plants with UV-B treatment compared with UV-A and shade controls. In laboratory tests, growth of the second-instar larva of P. vitellinae was not affected by UV-B treatment of S. myrsinifolia, but was retarded on UV-B treated leaves of S. phylicifolia. In addition, naturally occurring insect herbivores were more abundant on willows exposed to elevated UV-B radiation compared to those grown under control treatments. In spite of the increased abundance of insect herbivores, willows treated with elevated UV-B did not suffer more herbivore damage than willows exposed to ambient solar radiation (shade control). The observed effects of UV-B on herbivore abundance, feeding and growth varied

  12. Insect herbivores, density dependence, and the performance of the perennial herb Solanum carolinense.

    PubMed

    Underwood, Nora; Halpern, Stacey L

    2012-05-01

    How insect herbivores affect plant performance is of central importance to basic and applied ecology. A full understanding of herbivore effects on plant performance requires understanding interactions (if any) of herbivore effects with plant density and size because these interactions will be critical for determining how herbivores influence plant population size. However, few studies have considered these interactions, particularly over a wide enough range of densities to detect nonlinear effects. Here we ask whether plant density and herbivores influence plant performance linearly or nonlinearly, how plant density affects herbivore damage, and how herbivores alter density dependence in transitions between plant size classes. In a large field experiment, we manipulated the density of the herbaceous perennial plant Solanum carolinense and herbivore presence in a fully crossed design. We measured plant size, sexual reproduction, and damage to plants in two consecutive years, and asexual reproduction of new stems in the second year, allowing us to characterize both plant performance and rates of transition between plant size classes across years. We found nonlinear effects of plant density on damage. Damage by herbivores and plant density both influenced sexual and asexual reproduction of S. carolinense; these effects were mostly mediated via effects on plant size. Importantly, we found that herbivores altered the pattern of linear density dependence in some transition rates (including survival and asexual reproduction) between plant size classes. These results suggest that understanding the ecological or evolutionary effects of herbivores on plant populations requires consideration of plant density and plant size, because feedbacks between density, herbivores, and plant size may complicate longer-term dynamics. PMID:22764489

  13. Toxicity of a furanocoumarin to armyworms: a case of biosynthetic escape from insect herbivores.

    PubMed

    Berenbaum, M

    1978-08-11

    When the linear furanocoumarin xanthotoxin, found in many plants of the families Rutaceae and Umbelliferae, was administered to larvae of Spodoptera eridania, a generalist insect herbivore, it displayed toxic properties lacking in its biosynthetic precursor umbelliferone. Reduced toxicity observed in the absence of ultraviolet light is consistent with the known mechanism of photoinactivation of DNA by furanocoumarins through ultraviolet-catalyzed cross-linkage of strands. Thus, the ability of a plant to convert umbelliferone to linear furanocoumarins appears to confer broader protection against insect herbivores. PMID:17790440

  14. Leaf Colour as a Signal of Chemical Defence to Insect Herbivores in Wild Cabbage (Brassica oleracea)

    PubMed Central

    Wilkins, Lucas; Osorio, Daniel; Hartley, Susan E.

    2015-01-01

    Leaf colour has been proposed to signal levels of host defence to insect herbivores, but we lack data on herbivory, leaf colour and levels of defence for wild host populations necessary to test this hypothesis. Such a test requires measurements of leaf spectra as they would be sensed by herbivore visual systems, as well as simultaneous measurements of chemical defences and herbivore responses to leaf colour in natural host-herbivore populations. In a large-scale field survey of wild cabbage (Brassica oleracea) populations, we show that variation in leaf colour and brightness, measured according to herbivore spectral sensitivities, predicts both levels of chemical defences (glucosinolates) and abundance of specialist lepidopteran (Pieris rapae) and hemipteran (Brevicoryne brassicae) herbivores. In subsequent experiments, P. rapae larvae achieved faster growth and greater pupal mass when feeding on plants with bluer leaves, which contained lower levels of aliphatic glucosinolates. Glucosinolate-mediated effects on larval performance may thus contribute to the association between P. rapae herbivory and leaf colour observed in the field. However, preference tests found no evidence that adult butterflies selected host plants based on leaf coloration. In the field, B. brassicae abundance varied with leaf brightness but greenhouse experiments were unable to identify any effects of brightness on aphid preference or performance. Our findings suggest that although leaf colour reflects both levels of host defences and herbivore abundance in the field, the ability of herbivores to respond to colour signals may be limited, even in species where performance is correlated with leaf colour. PMID:26353086

  15. Insect attraction to herbivore-induced beech volatiles under different forest management regimes.

    PubMed

    Gossner, Martin M; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Unsicker, Sybille B

    2014-10-01

    Insect herbivore enemies such as parasitoids and predators are important in controlling herbivore pests. From agricultural systems we know that land-use intensification can negatively impact biological control as an important ecosystem service. The aim of our study was to investigate the importance of management regime for natural enemy pressure and biological control possibilities in forests dominated by European beech. We hypothesize that the volatile blend released from herbivore-infested beech trees functions as a signal, attracting parasitoids and herbivore enemies. Furthermore, we hypothesize that forest management regime influences the composition of species attracted by these herbivore-induced beech volatiles. We installed flight-interception traps next to Lymantria dispar caterpillar-infested young beech trees releasing herbivore-induced volatiles and next to non-infested control trees. Significantly more parasitoids were captured next to caterpillar-infested trees compared to non-infested controls, irrespective of forest type. However, the composition of the trophic guilds in the traps did vary in response to forest management regime. While the proportion of chewing insects was highest in non-managed forests, the proportion of sucking insects peaked in forests with low management and of parasitoids in young, highly managed, forest stands. Neither the number of naturally occurring beech saplings nor herbivory levels in the proximity of our experiment affected the abundance and diversity of parasitoids caught. Our data show that herbivore-induced beech volatiles attract herbivore enemies under field conditions. They further suggest that differences in the structural complexity of forests as a consequence of management regime only play a minor role in parasitoid activity and thus in indirect tree defense. PMID:25080178

  16. On the factors that promote the diversity of herbivorous insects and plants in tropical forests

    PubMed Central

    Becerra, Judith X.

    2015-01-01

    Some of the most fascinating and challenging questions in ecology are why biodiversity is highest in tropical forests and whether the factors involved are unique to these habitats. I did a worldwide test of the hypotheses that plant community divergence in antiherbivore traits results in higher insect herbivore diversity, and that predominant attack by specialized herbivores promotes plant richness. I found strong correlative support for both ideas. Butterfly diversity was greatest in regions where the community average species-pairwise dissimilarity in antiherbivore traits among plant species was highest. There was also a strong positive relationship between specialized (insect) vs. generalized (mammal) herbivores and plant richness. Regions where herbivory impact by mammals was higher than that of insects tended to have lower plant diversities. In contrast, regions in which insects are the main consumers, particularly in the Central and South American tropics, had the highest plant richness. Latitude did not explain any residual variance in insect or plant richness. The strong connections found between insect specialization, plant defense divergence, and plant and insect diversities suggest that increasing our understanding of the ecology of biological communities can aid in considerations of how to preserve biodiversity in the future. PMID:25902509

  17. Contrasting effects of sampling scale on insect herbivores distribution in response to canopy structure.

    PubMed

    Neves, Frederico S; Sperber, Carlos F; Campos, Ricardo I; Soares, Janaína P; Ribeiro, Sérvio P

    2013-03-01

    Species diversity of insect herbivores associated to canopy may vary local and geographically responding to distinct factors at different spatial scales. The aim of this study was to investigate how forest canopy structure affects insect herbivore species richness and abundance depending on feeding guilds' specificities. We tested the hypothesis that habitat structure affects insect herbivore species richness and abundance differently to sap-sucking and chewing herbivore guilds. Two spatial scales were evaluated: inside tree crowns (fine spatial cale) and canopy regions (coarse spatial scale). In three sampling sites we measured 120 tree crowns, grouped n five points with four contiguous tree crowns. Insects were sampled by beating method from each crown and data were summed up for analyzing each canopy region. In crowns (fine spatial scale) we measured habitat tructure: trunk circumference, tree height, canopy depth, number of ramifications and maximum ramification level. In each point, defined as a canopy region (coarse spatial scale), we measured habitat structure using a vertical cylindrical transect: tree species richness, leaf area, sum of strata heights and maximum canopy height. A principal component analysis based on the measured variables for each spatial scale was run to estimate habitat structure parameters. To test the effects of habitat structure upon herbivores, different general linear models were adjusted using the first two principal components as explanatory variables. Sap-sucking insect species richness and all herbivore abundances increased with size of crown at fine spatial scale. On the other hand, chewer species richness and abundance increased with resource quantity at coarse scale. Feeding specialization, resources availability, and agility are discussed as ecological causes of the found pattern. PMID:23894967

  18. Genetic and environmental determinants of insect herbivore community structure in a Betula pendula population

    PubMed Central

    Silfver, Tarja

    2014-01-01

    A number of recent studies have shown that intraspecific genetic variation of plants may have a profound effect on the herbivorous communities which depend on them. However less is known about the relative importance of intraspecific variation compared to other ecological factors, for example environmental variation or the effects of herbivore damage. We randomly selected 22 Betula pendula genotypes from a local population (< 0.9 ha), cloned them and planted cloned seedlings on two study sites separated at a regional scale (distance between sites about 30 km) to examine an insect community of 23-27 species on these genotypes. B. pendula genotypes did not differ in their species richness, but the total mean abundance and the structure of the insect herbivore community was significantly affected by the genotype, which could account for up to 27% of the total variation in community structure. B. pendula genotype accounted for two to four times more variation in the arthropod community structure than did environmental (block) variation on a local scale, while on a regional scale, genotypic and environmental (site) variation accounted for 4-14% of the arthropod community structure. The genetic effects were modified by environmental variation on both a local and regional scale over one study year, and locally, the largest part of the variation (38%) could be explained by the genotype × environment (block) interactions. Suppression of insect herbivores during one growing season led to changed arthropod community structure in the following growing season, but this effect was minimal and could explain only 4% of the total variation in insect community structure. Our results suggest that both genetic and environmental factors are important determinants of the community structure of herbivorous insects. Together these mechanisms appear to maintain the high diversity of insects in B. pendula forest ecosystems. PMID:24715977

  19. Genetic and environmental determinants of insect herbivore community structure in a Betula pendula population.

    PubMed

    Silfver, Tarja; Rousi, Matti; Oksanen, Elina; Roininen, Heikki

    2014-01-01

    A number of recent studies have shown that intraspecific genetic variation of plants may have a profound effect on the herbivorous communities which depend on them. However less is known about the relative importance of intraspecific variation compared to other ecological factors, for example environmental variation or the effects of herbivore damage. We randomly selected 22 Betula pendula genotypes from a local population (< 0.9 ha), cloned them and planted cloned seedlings on two study sites separated at a regional scale (distance between sites about 30 km) to examine an insect community of 23-27 species on these genotypes. B. pendula genotypes did not differ in their species richness, but the total mean abundance and the structure of the insect herbivore community was significantly affected by the genotype, which could account for up to 27% of the total variation in community structure. B. pendula genotype accounted for two to four times more variation in the arthropod community structure than did environmental (block) variation on a local scale, while on a regional scale, genotypic and environmental (site) variation accounted for 4-14% of the arthropod community structure. The genetic effects were modified by environmental variation on both a local and regional scale over one study year, and locally, the largest part of the variation (38%) could be explained by the genotype × environment (block) interactions. Suppression of insect herbivores during one growing season led to changed arthropod community structure in the following growing season, but this effect was minimal and could explain only 4% of the total variation in insect community structure. Our results suggest that both genetic and environmental factors are important determinants of the community structure of herbivorous insects. Together these mechanisms appear to maintain the high diversity of insects in B. pendula forest ecosystems. PMID:24715977

  20. Herbivorous insect response to group selection cutting in a southeastern bottomland hardwood forest.

    SciTech Connect

    Michael D. Ulyshen; James L. Hanula; Scott Horn; Christopher E. Moorman.

    2005-04-01

    ABSTRACT Malaise and pitfall traps were used to sample herbivorous insects in canopy gaps created by group-selection cutting in a bottomland hardwood forest in South Carolina. The traps were placed at the centers, edges, and in the forest adjacent to gaps of different sizes (0.13, 0.26, and 0.50 ha) and ages (1 and 7 yr old) during four sampling periods in 2001. Overall, the abundance and species richness of insect herbivores were greater at the centers of young gaps than at the edge of young gaps or in the forest surrounding young gaps. There were no differences in abundance or species richness among old gap locations (i.e., centers, edges, and forest), and we collected significantly more insects in young gaps than old gaps. The insect communities in old gaps were more similar to the forests surrounding them than young gap communities were to their respective forest locations, but the insect communities in the two forests locations (surrounding young and old gaps) had the highest percent similarity of all. Although both abundance and richness increased in the centers of young gaps with increasing gap size, these differences were not significant.Weattribute the increased numbers of herbivorous insects to the greater abundance of herbaceous plants available in young gaps.

  1. Plant-mediated and nonadditive effects of two global change drivers on an insect herbivore community.

    PubMed

    de Sassi, Claudio; Lewis, Owen T; Tylianakis, Jason M

    2012-08-01

    Warmer temperatures can alter the phenology and distribution of individual species. However, differences across species may blur community-level phenological responses to climate or cause biotic homogenization by consistently favoring certain taxa. Additionally, the response of insect communities to climate will be subject to plant-mediated effects, which may or may not overshadow the direct effect of rising temperatures on insects. Finally, recent evidence for the importance of interaction effects between global change drivers suggests that phenological responses of communities to climate may be altered by other drivers. We used a natural temperature gradient (generated by elevation and topology), combined with experimental nitrogen fertilization, to investigate the effects of elevated temperature and globally increasing anthropogenic nitrogen deposition on the structure and phenology of a seminatural grassland herbivore assemblage (lepidopteran insects). We found that both drivers, alone and in combination, severely altered how the relative abundance and composition of species changed through time. Importantly, warmer temperatures were associated with biotic homogenization, such that herbivore assemblages in the warmest plots had more similar species composition than those in intermediate or cool plots. Changes in herbivore composition and abundance were largely mediated by changes in the plant community, with increased nonnative grass cover under high treatment levels being the strongest determinant of herbivore abundance. In addition to compositional changes, total herbivore biomass more than doubled under elevated nitrogen and increased more than fourfold with temperature, bearing important functional implications for herbivores as consumers and as a prey resource. The crucial role of nonnative plant dominance in mediating responses of herbivores to change, combined with the frequent nonadditive (positive and negative) effects of the two drivers, and the

  2. Specialist Insect Herbivore and Light Availability Do Not Interact in the Evolution of an Invasive Plant.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhijie; Pan, Xiaoyun; Zhang, Ziyan; He, Kate S; Li, Bo

    2015-01-01

    Release from specialist insect herbivores may allow invasive plants to evolve traits associated with decreased resistance and increased competitive ability. Given that there may be genetic trade-off between resistance and tolerance, invasive plants could also become more tolerant to herbivores. Although it is widely acknowledged that light availability affects tolerance to herbivores, little information is available for whether the effect of light availability on tolerance differ between the introduced and native populations. We conducted a common garden experiment in the introduced range of Alternanthera philoxeroides using ten invasive US and ten native Argentinean populations at two levels of light availability and in the presence or absence of a specialist stem-boring insect Agasicles hygrophila. Plant biomass (total and storage root biomass), two allocation traits (root/shoot ratio and branch intensity, branches biomass/main stem biomass) and two functional traits (specific stem length and specific leaf area), which are potentially associated with herbivore resistance and light capture, were measured. Overall, we found that A. philoxeroides from introduced ranges had comparable biomass and tolerance to specialist herbivores, lower branch intensity, lower specific stem length and specific leaf area. Moreover, introduced populations displayed higher shade tolerance of storage root biomass and lower plastic response to shading in specific stem length. Finally, light availability had no significant effect on evolution of tolerance to specialist herbivores of A. philoxeroides. Our results suggest that post-introduction evolution might have occurred in A. philoxeroides. While light availability did not influence the evolution of tolerance to specialist herbivores, increased shade tolerance and release from specialist insects might have contributed to the successful invasion of A. philoxeroides. PMID:26407176

  3. Specialist Insect Herbivore and Light Availability Do Not Interact in the Evolution of an Invasive Plant

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ziyan; He, Kate S.; Li, Bo

    2015-01-01

    Release from specialist insect herbivores may allow invasive plants to evolve traits associated with decreased resistance and increased competitive ability. Given that there may be genetic trade-off between resistance and tolerance, invasive plants could also become more tolerant to herbivores. Although it is widely acknowledged that light availability affects tolerance to herbivores, little information is available for whether the effect of light availability on tolerance differ between the introduced and native populations. We conducted a common garden experiment in the introduced range of Alternanthera philoxeroides using ten invasive US and ten native Argentinean populations at two levels of light availability and in the presence or absence of a specialist stem-boring insect Agasicles hygrophila. Plant biomass (total and storage root biomass), two allocation traits (root/shoot ratio and branch intensity, branches biomass/main stem biomass) and two functional traits (specific stem length and specific leaf area), which are potentially associated with herbivore resistance and light capture, were measured. Overall, we found that A. philoxeroides from introduced ranges had comparable biomass and tolerance to specialist herbivores, lower branch intensity, lower specific stem length and specific leaf area. Moreover, introduced populations displayed higher shade tolerance of storage root biomass and lower plastic response to shading in specific stem length. Finally, light availability had no significant effect on evolution of tolerance to specialist herbivores of A. philoxeroides. Our results suggest that post-introduction evolution might have occurred in A. philoxeroides. While light availability did not influence the evolution of tolerance to specialist herbivores, increased shade tolerance and release from specialist insects might have contributed to the successful invasion of A. philoxeroides. PMID:26407176

  4. Effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide on insect herbivores and their host plants. Technical progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Lincoln, D.E.

    1984-01-01

    The goal was to examine and confirm the observation that leaf eting insects feed at higher rates on plants grown under elevated carbon dioxide regimes. Results confirm and refine the preliminary observation. Subsequent experiments are designd to examine the basis for the increased feeding and examine the generality by testing another plant/herbivore system. (ACR)

  5. Phytohormone-based activity mapping of insect herbivore-produced elicitors

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In response to insect attack many plants exhibit dynamic biochemical changes resulting in the induced production of direct and indirect defenses. Elicitors present in herbivore oral secretions are believed to positively regulate many inducible plant defenses; however, little is known about the speci...

  6. Colored and white sectors of petunia flowers display differential resistance to insect herbivores

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect herbivory of crops increases the probability of fungal infection in damaged tissues. Mycotoxins produced by some fungi are harmful to livestock and humans. Increasing plant resistance to herbivores (e.g., expressing the Bt toxin in corn) lowers the levels of fungal infection and mycotoxin l...

  7. Oak-insect herbivore interactions along a temperature and precipitation gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leckey, Erin H.; Smith, Dena M.; Nufio, César R.; Fornash, Katherine F.

    2014-11-01

    The interactions between herbivorous insects and their host plants are expected to be influenced by changing climates. Modern oaks provide an excellent system to examine this assumption because their interactions with herbivores occur over broad climatic and spatial scales, they vary in their defensive and nutritional investment in leaves by being deciduous or evergreen, and their insect herbivores range from generalists to highly specialized feeders. In this study, we surveyed leaf-litter samples of four oak species along an elevation gradient, from coastal northern California, USA, to the upper montane woodlands of the Sierra Nevada, to examine the relationship between climatic factors (mean annual temperature and precipitation) and oak herbivory levels at multiple scales; across all oak species pooled, between evergreen and deciduous species and within species. Overall, temperature and precipitation did not appear to have a significant effect on most measures of total herbivore damage (percent leaves damaged per tree, percent leaf area removed and average number of feeding damage marks per leaf) and the strongest predictor of herbivore damage overall was the identity of the host species. However, increases in precipitation were correlated with an increase in the actual leaf area removed, and specialized insects, such as those that make leaf mines and galls, were the most sensitive to differences in precipitation levels. This suggests that the effects of changing climate on some plant-insect interactions is less likely to result in broad scale increases in damage with increasing temperatures or changing precipitation levels, but is rather more likely to be dependent on the type of herbivore (specialist vs. generalist) and the scale (species vs. community) over which the effect is examined.

  8. Stability of Plant Defense Proteins in the Gut of Insect Herbivores1[C][W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Hui; Gonzales-Vigil, Eliana; Wilkerson, Curtis G.; Howe, Gregg A.

    2007-01-01

    Plant defense against insect herbivores is mediated in part by enzymes that impair digestive processes in the insect gut. Little is known about the evolutionary origins of these enzymes, their distribution in the plant kingdom, or the mechanisms by which they act in the protease-rich environment of the animal digestive tract. One example of such an enzyme is threonine (Thr) deaminase (TD), which in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) serves a dual role in isoleucine (Ile) biosynthesis in planta and Thr degradation in the insect midgut. Here, we report that tomato uses different TD isozymes to perform these functions. Whereas the constitutively expressed TD1 has a housekeeping role in Ile biosynthesis, expression of TD2 in leaves is activated by the jasmonate signaling pathway in response to herbivore attack. Ingestion of tomato foliage by specialist (Manduca sexta) and generalist (Trichoplusia ni) insect herbivores triggered proteolytic removal of TD2's C-terminal regulatory domain, resulting in an enzyme that degrades Thr without being inhibited through feedback by Ile. This processed form (pTD2) of TD2 accumulated to high levels in the insect midgut and feces (frass). Purified pTD2 exhibited biochemical properties that are consistent with a postingestive role in defense. Shotgun proteomic analysis of frass from tomato-reared M. sexta identified pTD2 as one of the most abundant proteins in the excrement. Among the other tomato proteins identified were several jasmonate-inducible proteins that have a known or proposed role in anti-insect defense. Subtilisin-like proteases and other pathogenesis-related proteins, as well as proteins of unknown function, were also cataloged. We conclude that proteomic analysis of frass from insect herbivores provides a robust experimental approach to identify hyperstable plant proteins that serve important roles in defense. PMID:17416643

  9. Resisting the onset of herbivore attack: plants perceive and respond to insect eggs.

    PubMed

    Hilker, Monika; Fatouros, Nina E

    2016-08-01

    Plants can respond to attack by herbivorous insects very soon after herbivores start producing a new generation by depositing eggs onto their leaves. Egg-induced plant responses may result in killing the attacker in its egg stage. However, if the eggs do survive, they can also prime feeding-induced plant defenses against the larvae hatching from eggs. In this paper we focus first on egg-induced plant responses that resemble hypersensitive responses (HR) to phytopathogens and lead to egg desiccation or detachment from plants. We then summarize the current knowledge about egg-mediated effects on feeding-induced plant defenses against larvae. Finally, we discuss the insect species specificity of plant responses to eggs and the variability of insect susceptibility to these responses. PMID:27267276

  10. Plant Quantity Affects Development and Survival of a Gregarious Insect Herbivore and Its Endoparasitoid Wasp

    PubMed Central

    Fei, Minghui; Gols, Rieta; Zhu, Feng; Harvey, Jeffrey A.

    2016-01-01

    Virtually all studies of plant-herbivore-natural enemy interactions focus on plant quality as the major constraint on development and survival. However, for many gregarious feeding insect herbivores that feed on small or ephemeral plants, the quantity of resources is much more limiting, yet this area has received virtually no attention. Here, in both lab and semi-field experiments using tents containing variably sized clusters of food plants, we studied the effects of periodic food deprivation in a tri-trophic system where quantitative constraints are profoundly important on insect performance. The large cabbage white Pieris brassicae, is a specialist herbivore of relatively small wild brassicaceous plants that grow in variable densities, with black mustard (Brassica nigra) being one of the most important. Larvae of P. brassicae are in turn attacked by a specialist endoparasitoid wasp, Cotesia glomerata. Increasing the length of food deprivation of newly molted final instar caterpillars significantly decreased herbivore and parasitoid survival and biomass, but shortened their development time. Moreover, the ability of caterpillars to recover when provided with food again was correlated with the length of the food deprivation period. In outdoor tents with natural vegetation, we created conditions similar to those faced by P. brassicae in nature by manipulating plant density. Low densities of B. nigra lead to potential starvation of P. brassicae broods and their parasitoids, replicating nutritional conditions of the lab experiments. The ability of both unparasitized and parasitized caterpillars to find corner plants was similar but decreased with central plant density. Survival of both the herbivore and parasitoid increased with plant density and was higher for unparasitized than for parasitized caterpillars. Our results, in comparison with previous studies, reveal that quantitative constraints are far more important that qualitative constraints on the performance of

  11. Plant Quantity Affects Development and Survival of a Gregarious Insect Herbivore and Its Endoparasitoid Wasp.

    PubMed

    Fei, Minghui; Gols, Rieta; Zhu, Feng; Harvey, Jeffrey A

    2016-01-01

    Virtually all studies of plant-herbivore-natural enemy interactions focus on plant quality as the major constraint on development and survival. However, for many gregarious feeding insect herbivores that feed on small or ephemeral plants, the quantity of resources is much more limiting, yet this area has received virtually no attention. Here, in both lab and semi-field experiments using tents containing variably sized clusters of food plants, we studied the effects of periodic food deprivation in a tri-trophic system where quantitative constraints are profoundly important on insect performance. The large cabbage white Pieris brassicae, is a specialist herbivore of relatively small wild brassicaceous plants that grow in variable densities, with black mustard (Brassica nigra) being one of the most important. Larvae of P. brassicae are in turn attacked by a specialist endoparasitoid wasp, Cotesia glomerata. Increasing the length of food deprivation of newly molted final instar caterpillars significantly decreased herbivore and parasitoid survival and biomass, but shortened their development time. Moreover, the ability of caterpillars to recover when provided with food again was correlated with the length of the food deprivation period. In outdoor tents with natural vegetation, we created conditions similar to those faced by P. brassicae in nature by manipulating plant density. Low densities of B. nigra lead to potential starvation of P. brassicae broods and their parasitoids, replicating nutritional conditions of the lab experiments. The ability of both unparasitized and parasitized caterpillars to find corner plants was similar but decreased with central plant density. Survival of both the herbivore and parasitoid increased with plant density and was higher for unparasitized than for parasitized caterpillars. Our results, in comparison with previous studies, reveal that quantitative constraints are far more important that qualitative constraints on the performance of

  12. Contrasting effects of insect and molluscan herbivores on plant diversity in a long-term field experiment.

    PubMed

    Allan, Eric; Crawley, Michael J

    2011-12-01

    The importance of invertebrate herbivores in regulating plant communities remains unclear, due to the absence of long-term exclusion experiments. An experiment in an English grassland involving long-term exclusions of insect and mollusc herbivores, along with rabbit fencing, showed strong, but opposing, effects of the invertebrate herbivores. Plant species richness declined and biomass increased following insect exclusion, due to increased dominance by a grass species, whereas mollusc exclusion led to increased herbs abundance. The two herbivores had a compensatory interaction: molluscs had no effects in the absence of insects and large insect effects depended on the absence of molluscs. The effects of invertebrate exclusion became apparent only after 8 years, and would have been seriously underestimated in shorter studies. Our results suggest that theorists and conservation managers need to shift from their historic focus on vertebrate herbivory, to a recognition that invertebrates can be equally important drivers of plant community structure. PMID:22017580

  13. Odor coding in a disease-transmitting herbivorous insect, the Asian citrus psyllid.

    PubMed

    Coutinho-Abreu, Iliano V; McInally, Shane; Forster, Lisa; Luck, Robert; Ray, Anandasankar

    2014-07-01

    Olfactory systems discriminate odorants very efficiently and herbivorous insects use them to find hosts in confounding and complex odor landscapes. The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri, feeds on citrus flush and transmits Candidatus Liberibacter that causes citrus greening disease globally. Here, we perform a systematic analysis of odor detection in the ACP antenna using single-unit electrophysiology of rhinarial plate sensilla to a large panel of odorants from plants. We identify neurons that respond strongly to odorants found in the host citrus plants. Comparisons with the generalist yeast-feeding Drosophila melanogaster and specialist anthropophilic Anopheles gambiae reveal differences in odor-coding strategies for the citrus-seeking ACP. These findings provide a foundation for understanding host-odor coding in herbivorous insects. PMID:24904081

  14. Adaptive evolution of threonine deaminase in plant defense against insect herbivores

    SciTech Connect

    Gonzales-Vigil, Eliana; Bianchetti, Christopher M.; Phillips, Jr., George N.; Howe, Gregg A.

    2011-11-07

    Gene duplication is a major source of plant chemical diversity that mediates plant-herbivore interactions. There is little direct evidence, however, that novel chemical traits arising from gene duplication reduce herbivory. Higher plants use threonine deaminase (TD) to catalyze the dehydration of threonine (Thr) to {alpha}-ketobutyrate and ammonia as the committed step in the biosynthesis of isoleucine (Ile). Cultivated tomato and related Solanum species contain a duplicated TD paralog (TD2) that is coexpressed with a suite of genes involved in herbivore resistance. Analysis of TD2-deficient tomato lines showed that TD2 has a defensive function related to Thr catabolism in the gut of lepidopteran herbivores. During herbivory, the regulatory domain of TD2 is removed by proteolysis to generate a truncated protein (pTD2) that efficiently degrades Thr without being inhibited by Ile. We show that this proteolytic activation step occurs in the gut of lepidopteran but not coleopteran herbivores, and is catalyzed by a chymotrypsin-like protease of insect origin. Analysis of purified recombinant enzymes showed that TD2 is remarkably more resistant to proteolysis and high temperature than the ancestral TD1 isoform. The crystal structure of pTD2 provided evidence that electrostatic interactions constitute a stabilizing feature associated with adaptation of TD2 to the extreme environment of the lepidopteran gut. These findings demonstrate a role for gene duplication in the evolution of a plant defense that targets and co-opts herbivore digestive physiology.

  15. Tolerance to deer herbivory and resistance to insect herbivores in the common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis).

    PubMed

    Puentes, A; Johnson, M T J

    2016-01-01

    The evolution of plant defence in response to herbivory will depend on the fitness effects of damage, availability of genetic variation and potential ecological and genetic constraints on defence. Here, we examine the potential for evolution of tolerance to deer herbivory in Oenothera biennis while simultaneously considering resistance to natural insect herbivores. We examined (i) the effects of deer damage on fitness, (ii) the presence of genetic variation in tolerance and resistance, (iii) selection on tolerance, (iv) genetic correlations with resistance that could constrain evolution of tolerance and (v) plant traits that might predict defence. In a field experiment, we simulated deer damage occurring early and late in the season, recorded arthropod abundances, flowering phenology and measured growth rate and lifetime reproduction. Our study showed that deer herbivory has a negative effect on fitness, with effects being more pronounced for late-season damage. Selection acted to increase tolerance to deer damage, yet there was low and nonsignificant genetic variation in this trait. In contrast, there was substantial genetic variation in resistance to insect herbivores. Resistance was genetically uncorrelated with tolerance, whereas positive genetic correlations in resistance to insect herbivores suggest there exists diffuse selection on resistance traits. In addition, growth rate and flowering time did not predict variation in tolerance, but flowering phenology was genetically correlated with resistance. Our results suggest that deer damage has the potential to exert selection because browsing reduces plant fitness, but limited standing genetic variation in tolerance is expected to constrain adaptive evolution in O. biennis. PMID:26395768

  16. Can insect egg deposition ‘warn’ a plant of future feeding damage by herbivorous larvae?

    PubMed Central

    Beyaert, Ivo; Köpke, Diana; Stiller, Josefin; Hammerbacher, Almuth; Yoneya, Kinuyo; Schmidt, Axel; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Hilker, Monika

    2012-01-01

    Plant anti-herbivore defence is inducible by both insect feeding and egg deposition. However, little is known about the ability of insect eggs to induce defences directed not against the eggs themselves, but against larvae that subsequently hatch from the eggs. We studied how oviposition (OP) by the sawfly Diprion pini on Pinus sylvestris foliage affects the plant's defensive potential against sawfly larvae. Larvae that initiated their development on P. sylvestris twigs on which they hatched from eggs gained less weight and suffered higher mortality than those fed on egg-free twigs. The poor performance of these larvae also affected the next herbivore generation since fecundity of resulting females was lower than that of females which spent their larval development on egg-free pine. Transcript levels of P. sylvestris sesquiterpene synthases (PsTPS1, PsTPS2) were increased by D. pini OP, reached their highest levels just before larval hatching, and decreased when larvae started to feed. However, concentrations of terpenoid and phenolic metabolites presumed to act as feeding deterrents or toxins for herbivores did not change significantly after OP and feeding. Nevertheless, our performance data suggest that insect egg deposition may act to ‘warn’ a plant of upcoming feeding damage by larvae. PMID:21561977

  17. Insect Attraction versus Plant Defense: Young Leaves High in Glucosinolates Stimulate Oviposition by a Specialist Herbivore despite Poor Larval Survival due to High Saponin Content

    PubMed Central

    Badenes-Perez, Francisco R.; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Heckel, David G.

    2014-01-01

    Glucosinolates are plant secondary metabolites used in plant defense. For insects specialized on Brassicaceae, such as the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella L. (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), glucosinolates act as “fingerprints” that are essential in host plant recognition. Some plants in the genus Barbarea (Brassicaceae) contain, besides glucosinolates, saponins that act as feeding deterrents for P. xylostella larvae, preventing their survival on the plant. Two-choice oviposition tests were conducted to study the preference of P. xylostella among Barbarea leaves of different size within the same plant. P. xylostella laid more eggs per leaf area on younger leaves compared to older ones. Higher concentrations of glucosinolates and saponins were found in younger leaves than in older ones. In 4-week-old plants, saponins were present in true leaves, while cotyledons contained little or no saponins. When analyzing the whole foliage of the plant, the content of glucosinolates and saponins also varied significantly in comparisons among plants that were 4, 8, and 12 weeks old. In Barbarea plants and leaves of different ages, there was a positive correlation between glucosinolate and saponin levels. This research shows that, in Barbarea plants, ontogenetical changes in glucosinolate and saponin content affect both attraction and resistance to P. xylostella. Co-occurrence of a high content of glucosinolates and saponins in the Barbarea leaves that are most valuable for the plant, but are also the most attractive to P. xylostella, provides protection against this specialist herbivore, which oviposition behavior on Barbarea seems to be an evolutionary mistake. PMID:24752069

  18. Not just the usual suspects: insect herbivore populations and communities are associated with multiple plant nutrients.

    PubMed

    Joern, Anthony; Provin, Tony; Behmer, Spencer T

    2012-05-01

    The relationship between plant nutrient content and insect herbivore populations and community structure has long interested ecologists. Insect herbivores require multiple nutrients, but ecologists have focused mostly on nitrogen (an estimate of plant protein content), and more recently phosphorus (P); other nutrients have received little attention. Here we document nutrient variation in grass and forb samples from grassland habitats in central Nebraska using an elemental approach; in total we measured foliar concentrations of 12 elements (N and P, plus S, B, Ca, Mg, Na, K, Zn, Fe, Mn, and Cu). We detected significant variability among sites for N, P, Mg, Na, K, and Cu. We next used a model selection approach to explore how this nutritional variation and plant biomass correlate with grasshopper densities (collectively and at the feeding-guild level), and principal component analysis to explore nutrient correlations with grasshopper community species composition. When all grasshoppers were pooled, densities varied among sites, but only P was associated with abundance of the elements shown to vary between sites. Different responses occurred at the feeding-guild level. For grass specialists, densities were associated with N, plus P, Mg, and Na. For forb specialists, N and P were often associated with density, but associations with Na and K were also observed. Finally, mixed-feeder abundance was strongly associated with biomass, and to a lesser extent P, Mg, Na, and Cu. At the community level, B, Ca, Zn, and Cu, plus biomass, explained > 30% of species composition variation. Our results confirm the positive association of N and P with insect herbivore populations, while suggesting a potential role for Mg, Na, and K. They also demonstrate the importance of exploring effects at the feeding-guild level. We hope our data motivate ecologists to think beyond N and P when considering plant nutrient effects on insect herbivores, and make a call for studies to examine

  19. Are Tree Species Diversity and Genotypic Diversity Effects on Insect Herbivores Mediated by Ants?

    PubMed Central

    Campos-Navarrete, María José; Abdala-Roberts, Luis; Munguía-Rosas, Miguel A.; Parra-Tabla, Víctor

    2015-01-01

    Plant diversity can influence predators and omnivores and such effects may in turn influence herbivores and plants. However, evidence for these ecological feedbacks is rare. We evaluated if the effects of tree species (SD) and genotypic diversity (GD) on the abundance of different guilds of insect herbivores associated with big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) were contingent upon the protective effects of ants tending extra-floral nectaries of this species. This study was conducted within a larger experiment consisting of mahogany monocultures and species polycultures of four species and –within each of these two plot types– mahogany was represented by either one or four maternal families. We selected 24 plots spanning these treatment combinations, 10 mahogany plants/plot, and within each plot experimentally reduced ant abundance on half of the selected plants, and surveyed ant and herbivore abundance. There were positive effects of SD on generalist leaf-chewers and sap-feeders, but for the latter group this effect depended on the ant reduction treatment: SD positively influenced sap-feeders under ambient ant abundance but had no effect when ant abundance was reduced; at the same time, ants had negative effects on sap feeders in monoculture but no effect in polyculture. In contrast, SD did not influence specialist stem-borers or leaf-miners and this effect was not contingent upon ant reduction. Finally, GD did not influence any of the herbivore guilds studied, and such effects did not depend on the ant treatment. Overall, we show that tree species diversity influenced interactions between a focal plant species (mahogany) and ants, and that such effects in turn mediated plant diversity effects on some (sap-feeders) but not all the herbivores guilds studied. Our results suggest that the observed patterns are dependent on the combined effects of herbivore identity, diet breadth, and the source of plant diversity. PMID:26241962

  20. Are Tree Species Diversity and Genotypic Diversity Effects on Insect Herbivores Mediated by Ants?

    PubMed

    Campos-Navarrete, María José; Abdala-Roberts, Luis; Munguía-Rosas, Miguel A; Parra-Tabla, Víctor

    2015-01-01

    Plant diversity can influence predators and omnivores and such effects may in turn influence herbivores and plants. However, evidence for these ecological feedbacks is rare. We evaluated if the effects of tree species (SD) and genotypic diversity (GD) on the abundance of different guilds of insect herbivores associated with big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) were contingent upon the protective effects of ants tending extra-floral nectaries of this species. This study was conducted within a larger experiment consisting of mahogany monocultures and species polycultures of four species and -within each of these two plot types- mahogany was represented by either one or four maternal families. We selected 24 plots spanning these treatment combinations, 10 mahogany plants/plot, and within each plot experimentally reduced ant abundance on half of the selected plants, and surveyed ant and herbivore abundance. There were positive effects of SD on generalist leaf-chewers and sap-feeders, but for the latter group this effect depended on the ant reduction treatment: SD positively influenced sap-feeders under ambient ant abundance but had no effect when ant abundance was reduced; at the same time, ants had negative effects on sap feeders in monoculture but no effect in polyculture. In contrast, SD did not influence specialist stem-borers or leaf-miners and this effect was not contingent upon ant reduction. Finally, GD did not influence any of the herbivore guilds studied, and such effects did not depend on the ant treatment. Overall, we show that tree species diversity influenced interactions between a focal plant species (mahogany) and ants, and that such effects in turn mediated plant diversity effects on some (sap-feeders) but not all the herbivores guilds studied. Our results suggest that the observed patterns are dependent on the combined effects of herbivore identity, diet breadth, and the source of plant diversity. PMID:26241962

  1. Herbivorous and parasitic insect guilds associated with Great Basin wild rye (Elymus cinereus) in southern Idaho

    SciTech Connect

    Youtie, B.A.; Stafford, M.; Johnson, J.B.

    1987-10-31

    Insects inhabiting Great Basin wild rye (elymus cinereus Scribn. and Merr.) were surveyed at two sites on the Snake River Plain in southern Idaho during 1982 and 1983. Forty-six species of phytophagous insects were observed. In addition, eight parasitoid species were reared from insect hosts in the plant culms and identified. Life stage, abundance, plant part utilized, and study site were recorded for each insect species collected. Insect guilds at the two sites were compared based on species presence utilizing Sorensen's similarity index. Overall, 26 insect species were common to both sites, yielding a moderate similarity index of 0.62. The majority of the species that constitute the wild rye herbivore guilds were oligophagous (restricted to grasses). Many of these insects feed on grain crops as well as other native and introduced grasses. The relatively high diversity of phytophages on wild rye may be due to its tall, bunchgrass growth form, its abundance within its habitat, its broad geographic range, and the large number of related species of grasses in the region.

  2. Simulated climate warming alters phenological synchrony between an outbreak insect herbivore and host trees.

    PubMed

    Schwartzberg, Ezra G; Jamieson, Mary A; Raffa, Kenneth F; Reich, Peter B; Montgomery, Rebecca A; Lindroth, Richard L

    2014-07-01

    As the world's climate warms, the phenologies of interacting organisms in seasonally cold environments may advance at differing rates, leading to alterations in phenological synchrony that can have important ecological consequences. For temperate and boreal species, the timing of early spring development plays a key role in plant-herbivore interactions and can influence insect performance, outbreak dynamics, and plant damage. We used a field-based, meso-scale free-air forest warming experiment (B4WarmED) to examine the effects of elevated temperature on the phenology and performance of forest tent caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria) in relation to the phenology of two host trees, aspen (Populus tremuloides) and birch (Betula papyrifera). Results of our 2-year study demonstrated that spring phenology advanced for both insects and trees, with experimentally manipulated increases in temperature of 1.7 and 3.4 °C. However, tree phenology advanced more than insect phenology, resulting in altered phenological synchrony. Specifically, we observed a decrease in the time interval between herbivore egg hatch and budbreak of aspen in both years and birch in one year. Moreover, warming decreased larval development time from egg hatch to pupation, but did not affect pupal mass. Larvae developed more quickly on aspen than birch, but pupal mass was not affected by host species. Our study reveals that warming-induced phenological shifts can alter the timing of ecological interactions across trophic levels. These findings illustrate one mechanism by which climate warming could mediate insect herbivore outbreaks, and also highlights the importance of climate change effects on trophic interactions. PMID:24889969

  3. Insect Leaf-Chewing Damage Tracks Herbivore Richness in Modern and Ancient Forests

    PubMed Central

    Carvalho, Mónica R.; Wilf, Peter; Barrios, Héctor; Windsor, Donald M.; Currano, Ellen D.; Labandeira, Conrad C.; Jaramillo, Carlos A.

    2014-01-01

    The fossil record demonstrates that past climate changes and extinctions significantly affected the diversity of insect leaf-feeding damage, implying that the richness of damage types reflects that of the unsampled damage makers, and that the two are correlated through time. However, this relationship has not been quantified for living leaf-chewing insects, whose richness and mouthpart convergence have obscured their value for understanding past and present herbivore diversity. We hypothesized that the correlation of leaf-chewing damage types (DTs) and damage maker richness is directly observable in living forests. Using canopy access cranes at two lowland tropical rainforest sites in Panamá to survey 24 host-plant species, we found significant correlations between the numbers of leaf chewing insect species collected and the numbers of DTs observed to be made by the same species in feeding experiments, strongly supporting our hypothesis. Damage type richness was largely driven by insect species that make multiple DTs. Also, the rank-order abundances of DTs recorded at the Panamá sites and across a set of latest Cretaceous to middle Eocene fossil floras were highly correlated, indicating remarkable consistency of feeding-mode distributions through time. Most fossil and modern host-plant pairs displayed high similarity indices for their leaf-chewing DTs, but informative differences and trends in fossil damage composition became apparent when endophytic damage was included. Our results greatly expand the potential of insect-mediated leaf damage for interpreting insect herbivore richness and compositional heterogeneity from fossil floras and, equally promisingly, in living forests. PMID:24788720

  4. Insect leaf-chewing damage tracks herbivore richness in modern and ancient forests.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Mónica R; Wilf, Peter; Barrios, Héctor; Windsor, Donald M; Currano, Ellen D; Labandeira, Conrad C; Jaramillo, Carlos A

    2014-01-01

    The fossil record demonstrates that past climate changes and extinctions significantly affected the diversity of insect leaf-feeding damage, implying that the richness of damage types reflects that of the unsampled damage makers, and that the two are correlated through time. However, this relationship has not been quantified for living leaf-chewing insects, whose richness and mouthpart convergence have obscured their value for understanding past and present herbivore diversity. We hypothesized that the correlation of leaf-chewing damage types (DTs) and damage maker richness is directly observable in living forests. Using canopy access cranes at two lowland tropical rainforest sites in Panamá to survey 24 host-plant species, we found significant correlations between the numbers of leaf chewing insect species collected and the numbers of DTs observed to be made by the same species in feeding experiments, strongly supporting our hypothesis. Damage type richness was largely driven by insect species that make multiple DTs. Also, the rank-order abundances of DTs recorded at the Panamá sites and across a set of latest Cretaceous to middle Eocene fossil floras were highly correlated, indicating remarkable consistency of feeding-mode distributions through time. Most fossil and modern host-plant pairs displayed high similarity indices for their leaf-chewing DTs, but informative differences and trends in fossil damage composition became apparent when endophytic damage was included. Our results greatly expand the potential of insect-mediated leaf damage for interpreting insect herbivore richness and compositional heterogeneity from fossil floras and, equally promisingly, in living forests. PMID:24788720

  5. Host-associated differentiation in a highly polyphagous, sexually reproducing insect herbivore

    PubMed Central

    Antwi, Josephine B; Sword, Gregory A; Medina, Raul F

    2015-01-01

    Insect herbivores may undergo genetic divergence on their host plants through host-associated differentiation (HAD). Much of what we know about HAD involves insect species with narrow host ranges (i.e., specialists) that spend part or all their life cycle inside their hosts, and/or reproduce asexually (e.g., parthenogenetic insects), all of which are thought to facilitate HAD. However, sexually reproducing polyphagous insects can also exhibit HAD. Few sexually reproducing insects have been tested for HAD, and when they have insects from only a handful of potential host-plant populations have been tested, making it difficult to predict how common HAD is when one considers the entire species’ host range. This question is particularly relevant when considering insect pests, as host-associated populations may differ in traits relevant to their control. Here, we tested for HAD in a cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) pest, the cotton fleahopper (CFH) (Pseudatomoscelis seriatus), a sexually reproducing, highly polyphagous hemipteran insect. A previous study detected one incidence of HAD among three of its host plants. We used Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers to assess HAD in CFH collected from an expanded array of 13 host-plant species belonging to seven families. Overall, four genetically distinct populations were found. One genetically distinct genotype was exclusively associated with one of the host-plant species while the other three were observed across more than one host-plant species. The relatively low degree of HAD in CFH compared to the pea aphid, another hemipteran insect, stresses the likely importance of sexual recombination as a factor increasing the likelihood of HAD. PMID:26257868

  6. Nutrition as a neglected factor in insect herbivore susceptibility to Bt toxins.

    PubMed

    Deans, C A; Sword, G A; Behmer, S T

    2016-06-01

    The widespread global adoption of Bt crops elevates concerns about the evolution of Bt resistance in insect pest species. Current insecticide resistance management (IRM) strategies focus solely on genetic variation as a causal factor in the evolution of resistance, but ignore the role that environmental factors, such as nutrition, may play. In this opinion paper, we discuss the benefits that insect herbivores gain from consuming foods with protein-carbohydrate content that matches their self-selected protein-carbohydrate intake, and show that even within monocultures there is amply opportunity for insect herbivores to regulate their macronutrient intake. Next we review new data that show that dietary protein and carbohydrates can: firstly, have predictably strong effects on the survival and performance of caterpillars challenged with Bt toxins, and secondly, mediate plasticity in susceptibility to Cry1Ac, which can account for large differences in LC50 values. Nutrition-Bt interactions such as these have important implications for IRM, particularly given that diet-incorporated Bt bioassays commonly use artificial diets that vary substantially from their self-selected optimal diets, which likely results in underestimates of resistance in the field. Failing to bioassay larvae on ecologically-relevant diets can seriously confound the results of Bt resistance monitoring bioassays and undermine our ability to detect resistance in the field. PMID:27436738

  7. Molecular characterization of trophic ecology within an island radiation of insect herbivores (Curculionidae: Entiminae: Cratopus).

    PubMed

    Kitson, James J N; Warren, Ben H; Florens, F B Vincent; Baider, Claudia; Strasberg, Dominique; Emerson, Brent C

    2013-11-01

    The phytophagous beetle family Curculionidae is the most species-rich insect family known, with much of this diversity having been attributed to both co-evolution with food plants and host shifts at key points within the early evolutionary history of the group. Less well understood is the extent to which patterns of host use vary within or among related species, largely because of the technical difficulties associated with quantifying this. Here we develop a recently characterized molecular approach to quantify diet within and between two closely related species of weevil occurring primarily within dry forests on the island of Mauritius. Our aim is to quantify dietary variation across populations and assess adaptive and nonadaptive explanations for this and to characterize the nature of a trophic shift within an ecologically distinct population within one of the species. We find that our study species are polyphagous, consuming a much wider range of plants than would be suggested by the literature. Our data suggest that local diet variation is largely explained by food availability, and locally specialist populations consume food plants that are not phylogenetically novel, but do appear to represent a novel preference. Our results demonstrate the power of molecular methods to unambiguously quantify dietary variation across populations of insect herbivores, providing a valuable approach to understanding trophic interactions within and among local plant and insect herbivore communities. PMID:24112379

  8. Evolutionary response of the egg hatching date of a herbivorous insect under climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Asch, Margriet; Salis, Lucia; Holleman, Leonard J. M.; van Lith, Bart; Visser, Marcel E.

    2013-03-01

    Under changing climatic conditions, species need to adapt to their new environment. Genetic adaptation is crucial to prevent population extinction but examples where climate change leads to genetic changes in wild populations have been few. The synchronization between the timing of egg hatching of a herbivorous insect, the winter moth (Operophtera brumata), and the seasonal bud burst of its food plant, oak (Quercus robur), has been disrupted by climate change and a quantitative genetic model predicts that selection will delay the egg hatching date. Here we show, using both long-term observational data and experiments, that the egg hatching date has changed genetically, resulting in closer synchrony with oak bud burst. The observed rate of change matches the predicted rate of change of one day per year. Hence, altered selection pressures, caused by environmental change, result in a rapid adaptive response in insect phenology. These genetic changes in a key life-history trait in this herbivorous insect therefore seem to be fast enough to match the climate-change-induced advancement of their host phenology.

  9. Cellulolytic Streptomyces Strains Associated with Herbivorous Insects Share a Phylogenetically Linked Capacity To Degrade Lignocellulose

    PubMed Central

    Book, Adam J.; Lewin, Gina R.; McDonald, Bradon R.; Takasuka, Taichi E.; Doering, Drew T.; Adams, Aaron S.; Blodgett, Joshua A. V.; Clardy, Jon; Raffa, Kenneth F.; Fox, Brian G.

    2014-01-01

    Actinobacteria in the genus Streptomyces are critical players in microbial communities that decompose complex carbohydrates in the soil, and these bacteria have recently been implicated in the deconstruction of plant polysaccharides for some herbivorous insects. Despite the importance of Streptomyces to carbon cycling, the extent of their plant biomass-degrading ability remains largely unknown. In this study, we compared four strains of Streptomyces isolated from insect herbivores that attack pine trees: DpondAA-B6 (SDPB6) from the mountain pine beetle, SPB74 from the southern pine beetle, and SirexAA-E (SACTE) and SirexAA-G from the woodwasp, Sirex noctilio. Biochemical analysis of secreted enzymes demonstrated that only two of these strains, SACTE and SDPB6, were efficient at degrading plant biomass. Genomic analyses indicated that SACTE and SDPB6 are closely related and that they share similar compositions of carbohydrate-active enzymes. Genome-wide proteomic and transcriptomic analyses revealed that the major exocellulases (GH6 and GH48), lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (AA10), and mannanases (GH5) were conserved and secreted by both organisms, while the secreted endocellulases (GH5 and GH9 versus GH9 and GH12) were from diverged enzyme families. Together, these data identify two phylogenetically related insect-associated Streptomyces strains with high biomass-degrading activity and characterize key enzymatic similarities and differences used by these organisms to deconstruct plant biomass. PMID:24837391

  10. Effects of protein and carbohydrate on an insect herbivore: the vista from a fitness landscape.

    PubMed

    Le Gall, Marion; Behmer, Spencer T

    2014-11-01

    Protein and carbohydrates are important nutrients driving the growth of herbivores; however, their content in plants is highly variable. Multiple studies have explored their effect on herbivores, but only one other study (using a caterpillar) has provided a comprehensive overview that includes a simultaneous evaluation of their ratios and concentrations. In the present work, we ran two experiments using nymphs of the generalist grasshopper Melanoplus differentialis. Grasshoppers and caterpillars differ in a number of important ways, which might affect their feeding and physiological responses to foods with variable content of protein and carbohydrates. First, in a choice experiment, we measured performance and related this to the self-selected intake of nutrients. No differences were found for duration of development across treatments, but gain in mass was lower on a diet of low macronutrient concentration. Consumption of protein was always tightly regulated, but intake of carbohydrate was significantly reduced when consuming diluted food. In the second experiment, insects were constrained to one of nine diets and we plotted performance and consumption using a fitness-landscape approach that mimics the natural variation of nutrients in plants. We found significant effects of protein and carbohydrate content on gain in mass and in duration of development. The concentration of macronutrients in the food had more pronounced effects than did the protein-to-carbohydrate ratio. The protein-carbohydrate content also significantly affected the intake of food and energy (calories), production of frass, and digestive efficiency. On foods with low macronutrient concentration consumption was high, but digestive efficiency was low. Our results suggest that insects will favor protein-biased foods when the total macronutrient content of available foods is low, and that in the short-term compensatory feeding responses can overcome nutritional deficits and/or imbalances. However

  11. An Insect Herbivore Microbiome with High Plant Biomass-Degrading Capacity

    SciTech Connect

    Suen, Garret; Barry, Kerrie; Goodwin, Lynne; Scott, Jarrod; Aylward, Frank; Adams, Sandra; Pinto-Tomas, Adrian; Foster, Clifton; Pauly, Markus; Weimer, Paul; Bouffard, Pascal; Li, Lewyn; Osterberger, Jolene; Harkins, Timothy; Slater, Steven; Donohue, Timothy; Currie, Cameron; Tringe, Susannah G.

    2010-09-23

    Herbivores can gain indirect access to recalcitrant carbon present in plant cell walls through symbiotic associations with lignocellulolytic microbes. A paradigmatic example is the leaf-cutter ant (Tribe: Attini), which uses fresh leaves to cultivate a fungus for food in specialized gardens. Using a combination of sugar composition analyses, metagenomics, and whole-genome sequencing, we reveal that the fungus garden microbiome of leaf-cutter ants is composed of a diverse community of bacteria with high plant biomass-degrading capacity. Comparison of this microbiome?s predicted carbohydrate-degrading enzyme profile with other metagenomes shows closest similarity to the bovine rumen, indicating evolutionary convergence of plant biomass degrading potential between two important herbivorous animals. Genomic and physiological characterization of two dominant bacteria in the fungus garden microbiome provides evidence of their capacity to degrade cellulose. Given the recent interest in cellulosic biofuels, understanding how large-scale and rapid plant biomass degradation occurs in a highly evolved insect herbivore is of particular relevance for bioenergy.

  12. An Insect Herbivore Microbiome with High Plant Biomass-Degrading Capacity

    PubMed Central

    Suen, Garret; Scott, Jarrod J.; Aylward, Frank O.; Adams, Sandra M.; Tringe, Susannah G.; Pinto-Tomás, Adrián A.; Foster, Clifton E.; Pauly, Markus; Weimer, Paul J.; Barry, Kerrie W.; Goodwin, Lynne A.; Bouffard, Pascal; Li, Lewyn; Osterberger, Jolene; Harkins, Timothy T.; Slater, Steven C.; Donohue, Timothy J.; Currie, Cameron R.

    2010-01-01

    Herbivores can gain indirect access to recalcitrant carbon present in plant cell walls through symbiotic associations with lignocellulolytic microbes. A paradigmatic example is the leaf-cutter ant (Tribe: Attini), which uses fresh leaves to cultivate a fungus for food in specialized gardens. Using a combination of sugar composition analyses, metagenomics, and whole-genome sequencing, we reveal that the fungus garden microbiome of leaf-cutter ants is composed of a diverse community of bacteria with high plant biomass-degrading capacity. Comparison of this microbiome's predicted carbohydrate-degrading enzyme profile with other metagenomes shows closest similarity to the bovine rumen, indicating evolutionary convergence of plant biomass degrading potential between two important herbivorous animals. Genomic and physiological characterization of two dominant bacteria in the fungus garden microbiome provides evidence of their capacity to degrade cellulose. Given the recent interest in cellulosic biofuels, understanding how large-scale and rapid plant biomass degradation occurs in a highly evolved insect herbivore is of particular relevance for bioenergy. PMID:20885794

  13. An insect herbivore microbiome with high plant biomass-degrading capacity.

    PubMed

    Suen, Garret; Scott, Jarrod J; Aylward, Frank O; Adams, Sandra M; Tringe, Susannah G; Pinto-Tomás, Adrián A; Foster, Clifton E; Pauly, Markus; Weimer, Paul J; Barry, Kerrie W; Goodwin, Lynne A; Bouffard, Pascal; Li, Lewyn; Osterberger, Jolene; Harkins, Timothy T; Slater, Steven C; Donohue, Timothy J; Currie, Cameron R

    2010-09-01

    Herbivores can gain indirect access to recalcitrant carbon present in plant cell walls through symbiotic associations with lignocellulolytic microbes. A paradigmatic example is the leaf-cutter ant (Tribe: Attini), which uses fresh leaves to cultivate a fungus for food in specialized gardens. Using a combination of sugar composition analyses, metagenomics, and whole-genome sequencing, we reveal that the fungus garden microbiome of leaf-cutter ants is composed of a diverse community of bacteria with high plant biomass-degrading capacity. Comparison of this microbiome's predicted carbohydrate-degrading enzyme profile with other metagenomes shows closest similarity to the bovine rumen, indicating evolutionary convergence of plant biomass degrading potential between two important herbivorous animals. Genomic and physiological characterization of two dominant bacteria in the fungus garden microbiome provides evidence of their capacity to degrade cellulose. Given the recent interest in cellulosic biofuels, understanding how large-scale and rapid plant biomass degradation occurs in a highly evolved insect herbivore is of particular relevance for bioenergy. PMID:20885794

  14. Non-target effects of transgenic blight-resistant American chestnut (Fagales: Fagaceae) on insect herbivores.

    PubMed

    Post, K H; Parry, D

    2011-08-01

    American chestnut [Castanea dentata (Marshall) Borkhausen], a canopy dominant species across wide swaths of eastern North America, was reduced to an understory shrub after introduction of the blight fungus [Cryphonectria parasitica (Murrill) Barr] in the early 1900s. Restoration of American chestnut by using biotechnology is promising, but the imprecise nature of transgenesis may inadvertently alter tree phenotype, thus potentially impacting ecologically dependent organisms. We quantified effects of genetic engineering and fungal inoculation of trees on insect herbivores by using transgenic American chestnuts expressing an oxalate oxidase gene and wild-type American and Chinese (C. mollissima Blume) chestnuts. Of three generalist folivores bioassayed, only gypsy moth [Lymantria dispar (L.)] was affected by genetic modification, exhibiting faster growth on transgenic than on wild-type chestnuts, whereas growth of polyphemus moth [Antheraea polyphemus (Cramer)] differed between wild-type species, and fall webworm [Hyphantria cunea (Drury)] performed equally on all trees. Inoculation of chestnuts with blight fungus had no effect on the growth of two herbivores assayed (polyphemus moth and fall webworm). Enhanced fitness of gypsy moth on genetically modified trees may hinder restoration efforts if this invasive herbivore's growth is improved because of transgene expression. PMID:22251697

  15. Plant volatiles induced by herbivore egg deposition affect insects of different trophic levels.

    PubMed

    Fatouros, Nina E; Lucas-Barbosa, Dani; Weldegergis, Berhane T; Pashalidou, Foteini G; van Loon, Joop J A; Dicke, Marcel; Harvey, Jeffrey A; Gols, Rieta; Huigens, Martinus E

    2012-01-01

    Plants release volatiles induced by herbivore feeding that may affect the diversity and composition of plant-associated arthropod communities. However, the specificity and role of plant volatiles induced during the early phase of attack, i.e. egg deposition by herbivorous insects, and their consequences on insects of different trophic levels remain poorly explored. In olfactometer and wind tunnel set-ups, we investigated behavioural responses of a specialist cabbage butterfly (Pieris brassicae) and two of its parasitic wasps (Trichogramma brassicae and Cotesia glomerata) to volatiles of a wild crucifer (Brassica nigra) induced by oviposition of the specialist butterfly and an additional generalist moth (Mamestra brassicae). Gravid butterflies were repelled by volatiles from plants induced by cabbage white butterfly eggs, probably as a means of avoiding competition, whereas both parasitic wasp species were attracted. In contrast, volatiles from plants induced by eggs of the generalist moth did neither repel nor attract any of the tested community members. Analysis of the plant's volatile metabolomic profile by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and the structure of the plant-egg interface by scanning electron microscopy confirmed that the plant responds differently to egg deposition by the two lepidopteran species. Our findings imply that prior to actual feeding damage, egg deposition can induce specific plant responses that significantly influence various members of higher trophic levels. PMID:22912893

  16. Plant Volatiles Induced by Herbivore Egg Deposition Affect Insects of Different Trophic Levels

    PubMed Central

    Fatouros, Nina E.; Lucas-Barbosa, Dani; Weldegergis, Berhane T.; Pashalidou, Foteini G.; van Loon, Joop J. A.; Dicke, Marcel; Harvey, Jeffrey A.; Gols, Rieta; Huigens, Martinus E.

    2012-01-01

    Plants release volatiles induced by herbivore feeding that may affect the diversity and composition of plant-associated arthropod communities. However, the specificity and role of plant volatiles induced during the early phase of attack, i.e. egg deposition by herbivorous insects, and their consequences on insects of different trophic levels remain poorly explored. In olfactometer and wind tunnel set-ups, we investigated behavioural responses of a specialist cabbage butterfly (Pieris brassicae) and two of its parasitic wasps (Trichogramma brassicae and Cotesia glomerata) to volatiles of a wild crucifer (Brassica nigra) induced by oviposition of the specialist butterfly and an additional generalist moth (Mamestra brassicae). Gravid butterflies were repelled by volatiles from plants induced by cabbage white butterfly eggs, probably as a means of avoiding competition, whereas both parasitic wasp species were attracted. In contrast, volatiles from plants induced by eggs of the generalist moth did neither repel nor attract any of the tested community members. Analysis of the plant’s volatile metabolomic profile by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and the structure of the plant-egg interface by scanning electron microscopy confirmed that the plant responds differently to egg deposition by the two lepidopteran species. Our findings imply that prior to actual feeding damage, egg deposition can induce specific plant responses that significantly influence various members of higher trophic levels. PMID:22912893

  17. The Effect of Host-Plant Phylogenetic Isolation on Species Richness, Composition and Specialization of Insect Herbivores: A Comparison between Native and Exotic Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Grandez-Rios, Julio Miguel; Lima Bergamini, Leonardo; Santos de Araújo, Walter; Villalobos, Fabricio; Almeida-Neto, Mário

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the drivers of plant-insect interactions is still a key issue in terrestrial ecology. Here, we used 30 well-defined plant-herbivore assemblages to assess the effects of host plant phylogenetic isolation and origin (native vs. exotic) on the species richness, composition and specialization of the insect herbivore fauna on co-occurring plant species. We also tested for differences in such effects between assemblages composed exclusively of exophagous and endophagous herbivores. We found a consistent negative effect of the phylogenetic isolation of host plants on the richness, similarity and specialization of their insect herbivore faunas. Notably, except for Jaccard dissimilarity, the effect of phylogenetic isolation on the insect herbivore faunas did not vary between native and exotic plants. Our findings show that the phylogenetic isolation of host plants is a key factor that influences the richness, composition and specialization of their local herbivore faunas, regardless of the host plant origin. PMID:26379159

  18. Production of induced volatiles by Datura wrightii in response to damage by insects: effect of herbivore species and time.

    PubMed

    Hare, J Daniel; Sun, Jia J

    2011-07-01

    Natural enemies of herbivorous insects utilize numerous chemical cues to locate and identify their prey. Among these, volatile plant compounds produced after attack by herbivores may play a significant role (hereafter herbivore-induced plant volatiles or HIPVs). One unresolved question is whether the composition of the volatile cue blends induced by different herbivore species differ consistently enough to indicate not only that the plants are damaged by herbivores but also the identity of the herbivore species causing the damage. We studied HIPV production in the undomesticated plant species Datura wrightii in the laboratory when damaged by either of two leaf-chewing herbivore species, Lema daturaphila or Manduca sexta, or when damaged by L. daturaphila and the piercing-sucking bug, Tupiocoris notatus, or both L. daturaphila and T. notatus, for 24 hr. HIPV production was monitored 1 d before induction, the day of induction, and for 7 d after induction. In all experiments, both the quantities and composition of the HIPV blends varied with the time since induction as different components reached peak production at different times after induction. HIPV blends did not differ consistently with the herbivore species causing the damage. For plants damaged by both L. daturaphila and T. notatus, greater amounts of HIPVs were produced than by plants damaged by either species alone, but the amounts did not differ from that predicted as the sum from damage inflicted by each herbivore species independently. The HIPVs of D. wrightii are a general rather than specific indicator of damage by herbivores. Because generalist predators are the most abundant natural enemies in this system, general cues of herbivore damage may be all that are required to facilitate the discovery by predators of plants damaged by any of several suitable prey species. PMID:21691808

  19. Inducibility of chemical defences by two chewing insect herbivores in pine trees is specific to targeted plant tissue, particular herbivore and defensive trait.

    PubMed

    Moreira, Xoaquín; Lundborg, Lina; Zas, Rafael; Carrillo-Gavilán, Amparo; Borg-Karlson, Anna-Karin; Sampedro, Luis

    2013-10-01

    There is increasing evidence that plants can react to biotic aggressions with highly specific responses. However, few studies have attempted to jointly investigate whether the induction of plant defences is specific to a targeted plant tissue, plant species, herbivore identity, and defensive trait. Here we studied those factors contributing to the specificity of induced defensive responses in two economically important pine species against two chewing insect pest herbivores. Juvenile trees of Pinus pinaster and P. radiata were exposed to herbivory by two major pest threats, the large pine weevil Hylobius abietis (a bark-feeder) and the pine processionary caterpillar Thaumetopoea pityocampa (a folivore). We quantified in two tissues (stem and needles) the constitutive (control plants) and herbivore-induced concentrations of total polyphenolics, volatile and non-volatile resin, as well as the profile of mono- and sesquiterpenes. Stem chewing by the pine weevil increased concentrations of non-volatile resin, volatile monoterpenes, and (marginally) polyphenolics in stem tissues. Weevil feeding also increased the concentration of non-volatile resin and decreased polyphenolics in the needle tissues. Folivory by the caterpillar had no major effects on needle defensive chemistry, but a strong increase in the concentration of polyphenolics in the stem. Interestingly, we found similar patterns for all these above-reported effects in both pine species. These results offer convincing evidence that induced defences are highly specific and may vary depending on the targeted plant tissue, the insect herbivore causing the damage and the considered defensive compound. PMID:23768645

  20. THE ENDOPARASITOID Campoletis chlorideae INDUCES A HEMOLYTIC FACTOR IN THE HERBIVOROUS INSECT Helicoverpa armigera.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiong-Ya; Bai, Su-Fen; Li, Xin; Yin, Xin-Ming; Li, Xian-Chun

    2015-09-01

    Although lysis of invading organisms is a major innate form of immunity used by invertebrates, it remains unclear whether herbivorous insects have hemolysin or not. To address this general question, we tested the hemolytic (HL) activity of the hemolymph and tissue extracts from various stages of the polyphagous insect Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) against the erythrocytes from chicken, duck, and rabbit. An HL activity was identified in the hemolymph of H. armigera larvae. Further studies demonstrated that the HL activity is proteinaceous as it was precipitable by deproteinizing agents. Hemolysins were found in Helicoverpa egg, larva, pupa, and adult, but the activity was higher in feeding larvae than in molting or newly molted larvae. Hemolysins were distributed among a variety of larval tissues including salivary gland, fat body, epidermis, midgut, or testes, but the highest activity was found in salivary gland and fat body. Relative to nonparasitized larvae, parasitization of H. armigera larvae by the endoparasitoid Campoletis chlorideae Uchida induced a 3.4-fold increase in the HL activity in the plasma of parasitized host at day two postparasitization. The present study shows the presence of a parasitoid inducible HL factor in the parasitized insect. The HL activity increased significantly in H. armigera larvae at 12 and 24 h postinjection with Escherichia coli. We infer the HL factor(s) is inducible or due to de novo synthesis, which means that the HL factor(s) is associated with insect immune response by inhibiting or clearance of invading organisms. PMID:25929852

  1. Host plant-specific remodeling of midgut physiology in the generalist insect herbivore Trichoplusia ni.

    PubMed

    Herde, Marco; Howe, Gregg A

    2014-07-01

    Species diversity in terrestrial ecosystems is influenced by plant defense compounds that alter the behavior, physiology, and host preference of insect herbivores. Although it is established that insects evolved the ability to detoxify specific allelochemicals, the mechanisms by which polyphagous insects cope with toxic compounds in diverse host plants are not well understood. Here, we used defended and non-defended plant genotypes to study how variation in chemical defense affects midgut responses of the lepidopteran herbivore Trichoplusia ni, which is a pest of a wide variety of native and cultivated plants. The genome-wide midgut transcriptional response of T. ni larvae to glucosinolate-based defenses in the crucifer Arabidopsis thaliana was characterized by strong induction of genes encoding Phase I and II detoxification enzymes. In contrast, the response of T. ni to proteinase inhibitors and other jasmonate-regulated defenses in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) was dominated by changes in the expression of digestive enzymes and, strikingly, concomitant repression of transcripts encoding detoxification enzymes. Unbiased proteomic analyses of T. ni feces demonstrated that tomato defenses remodel the complement of T.ni digestive enzymes, which was associated with increased amounts of serine proteases and decreased lipase protein abundance upon encountering tomato defense chemistry. These collective results indicate that T. ni adjusts its gut physiology to the presence of host plant-specific chemical defenses, and further suggest that plants may exploit this digestive flexibility as a defensive strategy to suppress the production of enzymes that detoxify allelochemicals. PMID:24727019

  2. The multiple strategies of an insect herbivore to overcome plant cyanogenic glucoside defence.

    PubMed

    Pentzold, Stefan; Zagrobelny, Mika; Roelsgaard, Pernille Sølvhøj; Møller, Birger Lindberg; Bak, Søren

    2014-01-01

    Cyanogenic glucosides (CNglcs) are widespread plant defence compounds that release toxic hydrogen cyanide by plant β-glucosidase activity after tissue damage. Specialised insect herbivores have evolved counter strategies and some sequester CNglcs, but the underlying mechanisms to keep CNglcs intact during feeding and digestion are unknown. We show that CNglc-sequestering Zygaena filipendulae larvae combine behavioural, morphological, physiological and biochemical strategies at different time points during feeding and digestion to avoid toxic hydrolysis of the CNglcs present in their Lotus food plant, i.e. cyanogenesis. We found that a high feeding rate limits the time for plant β-glucosidases to hydrolyse CNglcs. Larvae performed leaf-snipping, a minimal disruptive feeding mode that prevents mixing of plant β-glucosidases and CNglcs. Saliva extracts did not inhibit plant cyanogenesis. However, a highly alkaline midgut lumen inhibited the activity of ingested plant β-glucosidases significantly. Moreover, insect β-glucosidases from the saliva and gut tissue did not hydrolyse the CNglcs present in Lotus. The strategies disclosed may also be used by other insect species to overcome CNglc-based plant defence and to sequester these compounds intact. PMID:24625698

  3. Further field evaluation of synthetic herbivore-induced plant volatiles as attractants for beneficial insects.

    PubMed

    James, David G

    2005-03-01

    Fifteen synthetic herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) were field-tested for attractivity to beneficial insects in two experiments conducted in an open field and a hop yard in Washington State. Eleven insect species or families showed significant attraction to 13 HIPVs. The ladybeetle, Stethorus punctum picipes, was attracted to sticky traps baited with methyl salicylate (MeSA), cis-3-hexen-1-ol (He), and benzaldehyde (Be). The minute pirate bug, Orius tristicolor, was attracted to traps baited with MeSA, He, Be, and octyl aldehyde (Oa), and the bigeyed bug, Geocoris pallens, responded to MeSA, indole, and trans-2-hexen-1-al. The mymarid wasp, Anagrus daanei, was attracted to He, Oa, and farnesene. The chloropid fly, Thaumatomyia glabra, was highly attracted to methyl anthranilate. Insect families responding to HIPVs included Syrphidae (MeSA, He), Braconidae ((Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, He, cis-jasmone (J), methyl jasmonate (MeJA), methyl anthranilate (MeA)), Empididae (MeSA), Sarcophagidae (MeSA, Be, J, nonanal and geraniol), Tachinidae (Be), and Agromyzidae (MeSA). Micro-Hymenoptera (primarily parasitic wasp families) were attracted to MeSA, He, and indole. These results are discussed with respect to known properties and bioactivity of the tested HIPVs and to their potential as tools for recruiting natural enemies into agroecosystems. PMID:15898496

  4. Effects of Fertilizer, Fungal Endophytes and Plant Cultivar on Performance of Insect Herbivores and Their Natural Enemies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    1. Endophytic fungi are associates of most species of plants and may modify insect community structures through the production of toxic alkaloids. Fertilization is known to increase food plant quality for herbivores, but it is also conceivable that additional nitrogen could increase the productio...

  5. In Situ Volatile Collection, Analysis, and Comparison of Three Centaurea Species and Their Relation to Biocontrol with Herbivorous Insects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Centaurea solstitialis, commonly known as yellow starthistle, is an invasive plant listed as a noxious weed in the western areas of North America and is the target of classical biological control, which involves release of herbivores known to be specific to this plant. These insects often choose the...

  6. Compensatory responses in plant-herbivore interactions: Impacts of insects on leaf water relations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peschiutta, María L.; Bucci, Sandra J.; Scholz, Fabián G.; Goldstein, Guillermo

    2016-05-01

    Herbivore damage to leaves has been typically evaluated in terms of fractions of area removed; however morpho-physiological changes in the remaining tissues can occur in response to removal. We assessed the effects of partial removal of the leaf mesophyll by Caliroa cerasi (Hymenoptera) on leaf hydraulic conductance (Kleaf), vascular architecture, water relations and leaf size of three Prunus avium cultivars. The insect feeds on the leaf mesophyll leaving the vein network intact (skeletonization). Within each cultivar there were trees without infestations and trees chronically infested, at least over the last three years. Leaf size of intact leaves tended to be similar during leaf expansion before herbivore attack occurs across infested and non-infested trees. However, after herbivore attack and when the leaves were fully expanded, damaged leaves were smaller than leaves from non-infested trees. Damaged area varied between 21 and 31% depending on cultivar. The non-disruption of the vascular system together with either vein density or capacitance increased in damaged leaves resulted in similar Kleaf and stomatal conductance in infested and non-infested trees. Non-stomatal water loss from repeated leaf damage led to lower leaf water potentials in two of the infested cultivars. Lower leaf osmotic potentials and vulnerability to loss of Kleaf were observed in infested plants. Our results show that skeletonization resulted in compensatory changes in terms of water relations and hydraulics traits and in cultivar-specific physiological changes in phylogenetic related P. avium. Our findings indicate that detrimental effects of herbivory on the photosynthetic surface are counterbalanced by changes providing higher drought resistance, which has adaptive significance in ecosystems where water availability is low and furthermore where global climate changes would decrease soil water availability in the future even further.

  7. Complex Feeding Tracks of the Sessile Herbivorous Insect Ophiomyia maura as a Function of the Defense against Insect Parasitoids

    PubMed Central

    Ayabe, Yoshiko; Ueno, Takatoshi

    2012-01-01

    Because insect herbivores generally suffer from high mortality due to their natural enemies, reducing the risk of being located by natural enemies is of critical importance for them, forcing them to develop a variety of defensive measures. Larvae of leaf-mining insects lead a sedentary life inside a leaf and make conspicuous feeding tracks called mines, exposing themselves to the potential risk of parasitism. We investigated the defense strategy of the linear leafminer Ophiomyia maura Meigen (Diptera: Agromyzidae), by focusing on its mining patterns. We examined whether the leafminer could reduce the risk of being parasitized (1) by making cross structures in the inner area of a leaf to deter parasitoids from tracking the mines due to complex pathways, and (2) by mining along the edge of a leaf to hinder visually searching parasitoids from finding mined leaves due to effective background matching of the mined leaves among intact leaves. We quantified fractal dimension as mine complexity and area of mine in the inner area of the leaf as interior mine density for each sample mine, and analyzed whether these mine traits affected the susceptibility of O. maura to parasitism. Our results have shown that an increase in mine complexity with the development of occupying larvae decreases the probability of being parasitized, while interior mine density has no influence on parasitism. These results suggest that the larval development increases the host defense ability through increasing mine complexity. Thus the feeding pattern of these sessile insects has a defensive function by reducing the risk of parasitism. PMID:22393419

  8. Complex feeding tracks of the sessile herbivorous insect Ophiomyia maura as a function of the defense against insect parasitoids.

    PubMed

    Ayabe, Yoshiko; Ueno, Takatoshi

    2012-01-01

    Because insect herbivores generally suffer from high mortality due to their natural enemies, reducing the risk of being located by natural enemies is of critical importance for them, forcing them to develop a variety of defensive measures. Larvae of leaf-mining insects lead a sedentary life inside a leaf and make conspicuous feeding tracks called mines, exposing themselves to the potential risk of parasitism. We investigated the defense strategy of the linear leafminer Ophiomyia maura Meigen (Diptera: Agromyzidae), by focusing on its mining patterns. We examined whether the leafminer could reduce the risk of being parasitized (1) by making cross structures in the inner area of a leaf to deter parasitoids from tracking the mines due to complex pathways, and (2) by mining along the edge of a leaf to hinder visually searching parasitoids from finding mined leaves due to effective background matching of the mined leaves among intact leaves. We quantified fractal dimension as mine complexity and area of mine in the inner area of the leaf as interior mine density for each sample mine, and analyzed whether these mine traits affected the susceptibility of O. maura to parasitism. Our results have shown that an increase in mine complexity with the development of occupying larvae decreases the probability of being parasitized, while interior mine density has no influence on parasitism. These results suggest that the larval development increases the host defense ability through increasing mine complexity. Thus the feeding pattern of these sessile insects has a defensive function by reducing the risk of parasitism. PMID:22393419

  9. Cyanide detoxification in an insect herbivore: Molecular identification of β-cyanoalanine synthases from Pieris rapae.

    PubMed

    van Ohlen, Maike; Herfurth, Anna-Maria; Kerbstadt, Henrike; Wittstock, Ute

    2016-03-01

    Cyanogenic compounds occur widely in the plant kingdom. Therefore, many herbivores are adapted to the presence of these compounds in their diet by either avoiding cyanide release or by efficient cyanide detoxification mechanisms. The mechanisms of adaptation are not fully understood. Larvae of Pieris rapae (Lepidoptera: Pieridae) are specialist herbivores on glucosinolate-containing plants. They are exposed to cyanide during metabolism of phenylacetonitrile, a product of benzylglucosinolate breakdown catalyzed by plant myrosinases and larval nitrile-specifier protein (NSP) in the gut. Cyanide is metabolized to β-cyanoalanine and thiocyanate in the larvae. Here, we demonstrate that larvae of P. rapae possess β-cyanoalanine activity in their gut. We have identified three gut-expressed cDNAs designated PrBSAS1-PrBSAS3 which encode proteins with similarity to β-substituted alanine synthases (BSAS). Characterization of recombinant PrBSAS1-PrBSAS3 shows that they possess β-cyanoalanine activity. In phylogenetic trees, PrBSAS1-PrBSAS3, the first characterized insect BSAS, group together with a characterized mite β-cyanoalanine synthase and bacterial enzymes indicating a similar evolutionary history. PMID:26714205

  10. Incorporation of an invasive plant into a native insect herbivore food web

    PubMed Central

    Santos Pimenta, Lúcia P.; Lammers, Youri; Steenbergen, Peter J.; Flohil, Marco; Beveridge, Nils G.P.; van Duijn, Pieter T.; Meulblok, Marjolein M.; Sosef, Nils; van de Ven, Robin; Werring, Ralf; Beentjes, Kevin K.; Meijer, Kim; Vos, Rutger A.; Vrieling, Klaas; Gravendeel, Barbara; Choi, Young; Verpoorte, Robert; Smit, Chris; Beukeboom, Leo W.

    2016-01-01

    The integration of invasive species into native food webs represent multifarious dynamics of ecological and evolutionary processes. We document incorporation of Prunus serotina (black cherry) into native insect food webs. We find that P. serotina harbours a herbivore community less dense but more diverse than its native relative, P. padus (bird cherry), with similar proportions of specialists and generalists. While herbivory on P. padus remained stable over the past century, that on P. serotina gradually doubled. We show that P. serotina may have evolved changes in investment in cyanogenic glycosides compared with its native range. In the leaf beetle Gonioctena quinquepunctata, recently shifted from native Sorbus aucuparia to P. serotina, we find divergent host preferences on Sorbus- versus Prunus-derived populations, and weak host-specific differentiation among 380 individuals genotyped for 119 SNP loci. We conclude that evolutionary processes may generate a specialized herbivore community on an invasive plant, allowing prognoses of reduced invasiveness over time. On the basis of the results presented here, we would like to caution that manual control might have the adverse effect of a slowing down of processes of adaptation, and a delay in the decline of the invasive character of P. serotina. PMID:27190702

  11. Incorporation of an invasive plant into a native insect herbivore food web.

    PubMed

    Schilthuizen, Menno; Santos Pimenta, Lúcia P; Lammers, Youri; Steenbergen, Peter J; Flohil, Marco; Beveridge, Nils G P; van Duijn, Pieter T; Meulblok, Marjolein M; Sosef, Nils; van de Ven, Robin; Werring, Ralf; Beentjes, Kevin K; Meijer, Kim; Vos, Rutger A; Vrieling, Klaas; Gravendeel, Barbara; Choi, Young; Verpoorte, Robert; Smit, Chris; Beukeboom, Leo W

    2016-01-01

    The integration of invasive species into native food webs represent multifarious dynamics of ecological and evolutionary processes. We document incorporation of Prunus serotina (black cherry) into native insect food webs. We find that P. serotina harbours a herbivore community less dense but more diverse than its native relative, P. padus (bird cherry), with similar proportions of specialists and generalists. While herbivory on P. padus remained stable over the past century, that on P. serotina gradually doubled. We show that P. serotina may have evolved changes in investment in cyanogenic glycosides compared with its native range. In the leaf beetle Gonioctena quinquepunctata, recently shifted from native Sorbus aucuparia to P. serotina, we find divergent host preferences on Sorbus- versus Prunus-derived populations, and weak host-specific differentiation among 380 individuals genotyped for 119 SNP loci. We conclude that evolutionary processes may generate a specialized herbivore community on an invasive plant, allowing prognoses of reduced invasiveness over time. On the basis of the results presented here, we would like to caution that manual control might have the adverse effect of a slowing down of processes of adaptation, and a delay in the decline of the invasive character of P. serotina. PMID:27190702

  12. Climate change triggers effects of fungal pathogens and insect herbivores on litter decomposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Butenschoen, Olaf; Scheu, Stefan

    2014-10-01

    Increasing infestation by insect herbivores and pathogenic fungi in response to climate change will inevitably impact the amount and quality of leaf litter inputs into the soil. However, little is known on the interactive effect of infestation severity and climate change on litter decomposition, and no such study has been published for deciduous forests in Central Europe. We assessed changes in initial chemical quality of beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) and maple litter (Acer platanoides L.) in response to infestation by the gall midge Mikiola fagi Hart. and the pathogenic fungus Sawadaea tulasnei Fuckel, respectively, and investigated interactive effects of infestation severity, changes in temperature and soil moisture on carbon mineralization in a short-term laboratory study. We found that infestation by the gall midge M. fagi and the pathogenic fungus S. tulasnei significantly changed the chemical quality of beech and maple litter. Changes in element concentrations were generally positive and more pronounced, and if negative less pronounced for maple than beech litter most likely due to high quality fungal tissue remaining on litter after abscission. More importantly, alterations in litter chemical quality did not translate to distinct patterns of carbon mineralization at ambient conditions, but even low amounts of infested litter accelerated carbon mineralization at moderately increased soil moisture and in particular at higher temperature. Our results indicate that insect herbivores and fungal pathogens can markedly alter initial litter chemical quality, but that afterlife effects on carbon mineralization depend on soil moisture and temperature, suggesting that increased infestation severity under projected climate change potentially increases soil carbon release in deciduous forests in Central Europe.

  13. Isotopic fractionation in a large herbivorous insect, the Auckland tree weta.

    PubMed

    Wehi, Priscilla M; Hicks, Brendan J

    2010-12-01

    Determining diet and trophic position of species with stable isotopes requires appropriate trophic enrichment estimates between an animal and its potential foods. These estimates are particularly important for cryptic foragers where there is little comparative dietary information. Nonetheless, many trophic enrichment estimates are based on related taxa, without confirmation of accuracy using laboratory trials. We used stable isotope analysis to investigate diet and to resolve trophic relationships in a large endemic insect, the Auckland tree weta (Hemideina thoracica White). Comparisons of isotopes in plant foods fed to captive wetas with isotope ratios in their frass provided variable results, so frass isotope values had limited usefulness as a proxy indicator of trophic level. Isotopic values varied between different tissues, with trophic depletion of (15)N highest in body fat and testes. Tissue fractionation was consistent in captive and wild caught wetas, and isotopic values were not significantly different between the two groups, suggesting that this weta species is primarily herbivorous. Whole-body values in captive wetas demonstrated trophic depletion (Δδ) for δ(15)N of about -0.77 ‰ and trophic enrichment of 4.28 ‰ for δ(13)C. These values differ from commonly estimated trophic enrichments for both insects and herbivores and indicate the importance of laboratory trials to determine trophic enrichment. Isotopic values for femur muscles from a number of local wild weta populations did not vary consistently with body weight or size, suggesting that juveniles eat the same foods as adults. Considerable variation among individuals within and between populations suggests that isotopic values are strongly influenced by food availability and individual foraging traits. PMID:20709068

  14. Complete Genome Sequences of Four Isolates of Plutella xylostella Granulovirus.

    PubMed

    Spence, Robert J; Noune, Christopher; Hauxwell, Caroline

    2016-01-01

    Granuloviruses are widespread pathogens of Plutella xylostella L. (diamondback moth) and potential biopesticides for control of this global insect pest. We report the complete genomes of four Plutella xylostella granulovirus isolates from China, Malaysia, and Taiwan exhibiting pairs of noncoding, homologous repeat regions with significant sequence variation but equivalent length. PMID:27365355

  15. Complete Genome Sequences of Four Isolates of Plutella xylostella Granulovirus

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Granuloviruses are widespread pathogens of Plutella xylostella L. (diamondback moth) and potential biopesticides for control of this global insect pest. We report the complete genomes of four Plutella xylostella granulovirus isolates from China, Malaysia, and Taiwan exhibiting pairs of noncoding, homologous repeat regions with significant sequence variation but equivalent length. PMID:27365355

  16. Insect Herbivores Associated With Ludwigia Species, Oligospermum Section, in Their Argentine Distribution

    PubMed Central

    Hernández, M. Cristina; Cabrera Walsh, Guillermo

    2014-01-01

    The South American water primroses, Ludwigia grandiflora (Michx.) Greuter & Burdet, L. grandiflora subsp. hexapetala (Hook. & Arn.) G.L. Nesom & Kartesz, Ludwigia peploides (Kunth) P.H. Raven, and L. p. subsp. montevidensis (Spreng.) P.H. Raven (Onagraceae, Section Oligospermum), have become invasive in several watersheds of the United States and Europe. Surveys were carried out in center-east of Argentina to find insect species that might serve as biological control agents for L. g. subsp. hexapetala in California and elsewhere. Stems (0.5–0.6 m) of Ludwigia species, Sect. Oligospermum, were collected in 41 sites and analyzed in the laboratory; immature insects were reared to adults. The plant species found in the area were L. grandiflora (2 sites), L. g. subsp. hexapetala (33 sites), and L. p. subsp. montevidensis (4 sites). There was a variety of insect guilds feeding on L. g. subsp. hexapetala, including six species with stem-borer larvae, one species with fruit-feeding larvae, four species with defoliating larvae, two species with defoliating larvae on young leaves and axil meristems, one species of cell content feeder, and three species of sap feeders. Nine of these species also have defoliating adults. Biological information on most of them is provided. Of these insect herbivores, only two species were also found on L. grandiflora, and one on L. peploides. Several of the species found on L. g. hexapetala, such as the cell-content feeder Liothrips ludwigi (Thysanoptera), the stem-borers Merocnemus binotatus (Boheman) and Tyloderma spp. (Coleoptera), are promising candidates for biocontrol agents. PMID:25502037

  17. Climate Change and Tritrophic Interactions: Will Modifications to Greenhouse Gas Emissions Increase the Vulnerability of Herbivorous Insects to Natural Enemies?

    PubMed

    Boullis, Antoine; Francis, Frederic; Verheggen, François J

    2015-04-01

    Insects are highly dependent on odor cues released into the environment to locate conspecifics or food sources. This mechanism is particularly important for insect predators that rely on kairomones released by their prey to detect them. In the context of climate change and, more specifically, modifications in the gas composition of the atmosphere, chemical communication-mediating interactions between phytophagous insect pests, their host plants, and their natural enemies is likely to be impacted. Several reports have indicated that modifications to plants caused by elevated carbon dioxide and ozone concentrations might indirectly affect insect herbivores, with community-level modifications to this group potentially having an indirect influence on higher trophic levels. The vulnerability of agricultural insect pests toward their natural enemies under elevated greenhouse gases concentrations has been frequently reported, but conflicting results have been obtained. This literature review shows that the higher levels of carbon dioxide, as predicted for the coming century, do not enhance the abundance or efficiency of natural enemies to locate hosts or prey in most published studies. Increased ozone levels lead to modifications in herbivore-induced volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by damaged plants, which may impact the attractiveness of these herbivores to the third trophic level. Furthermore, other oxidative gases (such as SO2 and NO2) tend to reduce the abundance of natural enemies. The impact of changes in atmospheric gas emissions on plant-insect and insect-insect chemical communication has been under-documented, despite the significance of these mechanisms in tritrophic interactions. We conclude by suggesting some further prospects on this topic of research yet to be investigated. PMID:26313181

  18. Neural coding merges sex and habitat chemosensory signals in an insect herbivore

    PubMed Central

    Trona, Federica; Anfora, Gianfranco; Balkenius, Anna; Bengtsson, Marie; Tasin, Marco; Knight, Alan; Janz, Niklas; Witzgall, Peter; Ignell, Rickard

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the processing of odour mixtures is a focus in olfaction research. Through a neuroethological approach, we demonstrate that different odour types, sex and habitat cues are coded together in an insect herbivore. Stronger flight attraction of codling moth males, Cydia pomonella, to blends of female sex pheromone and plant odour, compared with single compounds, was corroborated by functional imaging of the olfactory centres in the insect brain, the antennal lobes (ALs). The macroglomerular complex (MGC) in the AL, which is dedicated to pheromone perception, showed an enhanced response to blends of pheromone and plant signals, whereas the response in glomeruli surrounding the MGC was suppressed. Intracellular recordings from AL projection neurons that transmit odour information to higher brain centres, confirmed this synergistic interaction in the MGC. These findings underscore that, in nature, sex pheromone and plant odours are perceived as an ensemble. That mating and habitat cues are coded as blends in the MGC of the AL highlights the dual role of plant signals in habitat selection and in premating sexual communication. It suggests that the MGC is a common target for sexual and natural selection in moths, facilitating ecological speciation. PMID:23595270

  19. Relative Importance of Biotic and Abiotic Soil Components to Plant Growth and Insect Herbivore Population Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Vandegehuchte, Martijn L.; de la Peña, Eduardo; Bonte, Dries

    2010-01-01

    Background Plants are affected by several aspects of the soil, which have the potential to exert cascading effects on the performance of herbivorous insects. The effects of biotic and abiotic soil characteristics have however mostly been investigated in isolation, leaving their relative importance largely unexplored. Such is the case for the dune grass Ammophila, whose decline under decreasing sand accretion is argued to be caused by either biotic or abiotic soil properties. Methodology/Principal Findings By manipulating dune soils from three different regions, we decoupled the contributions of region, the abiotic and biotic soil component to the variation in characteristics of Ammophila arenaria seedlings and Schizaphis rufula aphid populations. Root mass fraction and total dry biomass of plants were affected by soil biota, although the latter effect was not consistent across regions. None of the measured plant properties were significantly affected by the abiotic soil component. Aphid population characteristics all differed between regions, irrespective of whether soil biota were present or absent. Hence these effects were due to differences in abiotic soil properties between regions. Although several chemical properties of the soil mixtures were measured, none of these were consistent with results for plant or aphid traits. Conclusions/Significance Plants were affected more strongly by soil biota than by abiotic soil properties, whereas the opposite was true for aphids. Our results thus demonstrate that the relative importance of the abiotic and biotic component of soils can differ for plants and their herbivores. The fact that not all effects of soil properties could be detected across regions moreover emphasizes the need for spatial replication in order to make sound conclusions about the generality of aboveground-belowground interactions. PMID:20886078

  20. Insect herbivore feeding and their excretion contribute to volatile organic compounds emission to the atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zebelo, S.; Gnavi, G.; Bertea, C.; Bossi, S.; Andrea, O.; Cordero, C.; Rubiolo, P.; Bicchi, C.; Maffei, M.

    2011-12-01

    Secondary plant metabolites play an important role in insect plant interactions. The Lamiaceae family, especially Mentha species, accumulate secondary plant metabolites in their glandular trichomes, mainly mono and sesquiterpenes. Here we show that mint plants respond to herbivory by changing the quality and quantity of leaf secondary plant metabolite components. The volatiles from herbivore damaged, mechanical damage and healthy plant were collected by HS-SPME and analyzed by GC-MS. Plants with the same treatment were kept for genomic analysis. Total RNA was extracted from the above specified treatments. The terpenoid quantitative gene expressions (qPCR) were then assayed. Upon herbivory, M. aquatica synthesizes and emits (+)-menthofuran and the other major monoterpene (+)-pulegone emitted by healthy and mechanically damaged plants. Herbivory was found to up-regulate the expression of genes involved in terpenoid biosynthesis. The increased emission of (+)-menthofuran was correlated with the upregulation of (+)-menthofuran synthase. In addition we analysed the VOC composition of C. herbacea frass from insects feeding on Mentha aquatica. VOCs were sampled by HS-SPME and analyzed by GCxGC-qMS, and the results compared through quantitative comparative analysis of 2D chromatographic data. Most terpenoids from M. aquatica were completely catabolized by C. herbacea and were absent in the frass volatile fraction. On the other hand, the monoterpene 1,8-cineole was oxidized and frass yielded several new hydroxy-1,8-cineoles, among which 2α-OH-, 3α-OH-, 3β-OH- and 9-OH-1,8-cineole. The role of VOC emitted during herbivory and frass excretion on secondary organic aerosol formation is discussed.

  1. Forest insects and climate change: long-term trends in herbivore damage

    PubMed Central

    Klapwijk, Maartje J; Csóka, György; Hirka, Anikó; Björkman, Christer

    2013-01-01

    Long-term data sets, covering several decades, could help to reveal the effects of observed climate change on herbivore damage to plants. However, sufficiently long time series in ecology are scarce. The research presented here analyzes a long-term data set collected by the Hungarian Forest Research Institute over the period 1961–2009. The number of hectares with visible defoliation was estimated and documented for several forest insect pest species. This resulted in a unique time series that provides us with the opportunity to compare insect damage trends with trends in weather patterns. Data were analyzed for six lepidopteran species: Thaumetopoea processionea, Tortrix viridana, Rhyacionia buoliana, Malacosoma neustria, Euproctis chrysorrhoea, and Lymantria dispar. All these species exhibit outbreak dynamics in Hungary. Five of these species prefer deciduous tree species as their host plants, whereas R. buoliana is a specialist on Pinus spp. The data were analyzed using general linear models and generalized least squares regression in relation to mean monthly temperature and precipitation. Temperature increased considerably, especially over the last 25 years (+1.6°C), whereas precipitation exhibited no trend over the period. No change in weather variability over time was observed. There was increased damage caused by two species on deciduous trees. The area of damage attributed to R. buoliana decreased over the study period. There was no evidence of increased variability in damage. We conclude that species exhibiting a trend toward outbreak-level damage over a greater geographical area may be positively affected by changes in weather conditions coinciding with important life stages. Strong associations between the geographical extent of severe damage and monthly temperature and precipitation are difficult to confirm, studying the life-history traits of species could help to increase understanding of responses to climate change. PMID:24324869

  2. Ecological costs on local adaptation of an insect herbivore imposed by host plants and enemies.

    PubMed

    Zovi, Daniel; Stastny, Michael; Battisti, Andrea; Larsson, Stig

    2008-05-01

    Herbivore populations may become adapted to the defenses of their local hosts, but the traits that maximize host exploitation may also carry ecological costs. We investigated the patterns and costs of local adaptation in the pine processionary moth, Thaumetopoea pityocampa, to its host plants, Pinus nigra and P. sylvestris. The two hosts differ in needle toughness, a major feeding impediment for leaf-eating insects. We observed a west-to-east gradient of increasing progeny size in the Italian Alps, matching the pattern in toughness of their respective local host plant. Eastern populations that feed on the native P. nigra with tough needles had larger eggs, and neonate larvae with larger head capsules, than western populations that feed on the native P. sylvestris and the introduced P. nigra with softer foliage. In a reciprocal transfer experiment that involved the eastern-most and the western-most populations of T. pityocampa from this region, and excluded natural enemies, we found evidence for local adaptation to the host plant. Specifically, larvae from the western population only performed well when raised on their local hosts with soft needles, and they suffered near-complete mortality on the tough foliage at the eastern site. In contrast, larvae from the eastern population survived equally well at both sites. Local adaptation involved a trade-off between progeny size and the number of offspring. We hypothesized that an additional cost, imposed by natural enemies, may be associated with increased egg size: we also observed a west-to-east gradient of increased egg parasitism. We tested this hypothesis in a common garden by exposing eggs of both populations to parasitism by two native egg parasitoids, Ooencyrtus pityocampae and Baryscapus servadeii. The eastern population suffered a higher level of parasitoid attack by O. pityocampae than the western population, and performance of hatched adults of both parasitoids was enhanced in large eggs. Thus, increased

  3. Diet dependent metabolic responses in three generalist insect herbivores Spodoptera spp.

    PubMed

    Roy, A; Walker, W B; Vogel, H; Chattington, S; Larsson, M C; Anderson, P; Heckel, D G; Schlyter, F

    2016-04-01

    Adaption to dietary changes is critical in the evolution of host plant ranges in polyphagous insects. We compared three taxa of lepidopteran herbivores from the predominantly generalist genus Spodoptera showing different degrees of polyphagy: Spodoptera littoralis, with a broad host range including both mono- and dicotyledonous plants, and two Spodoptera frugiperda strains [Corn (i.e. maize) (C) and Rice (R)] adapted primarily to different grass species. When feeding on maize we show a lower performance in the broad generalist taxon compared to the grass adapted taxa. Among these taxa, the maize adapted S. frugiperda C-strain generally performed better than the R-strain on maize leaves. On artificial pinto diet, all taxa performed well. Our RNA-Seq analysis of midgut transcriptomes from 3rd instar larvae feeding on maize showed broader transcriptional readjustments in the generalist S. littoralis compared to grass adapted S. frugiperda strains. Substantial alteration in the expression levels of midgut physiological function related transcripts, such as digestive and detoxifying enzymes, transporters, immunity, and peritrophic membrane associated transcripts, existed in all taxa. We found high background expression of UDP-glucosyl transferases, which are known to neutralize maize leaf toxins, in the maize adapted S. frugiperda C-strain, contributing to its fitness on maize compared to the R-strain. Our findings provide evidence for divergent diet specific response of digestive physiology within these Spodoptera taxa. Unexpectedly, the C- and R-strains of S. frugiperda fed on the same diet showed large differences in expression patterns between these two closely related taxa. PMID:26908076

  4. Induced responses to grazing by an insect herbivore (Acentria ephemerella) in an immature macrophyte (Myriophyllum spicatum): an isotopic study

    PubMed Central

    Rothhaupt, Karl-Otto; Fornoff, Felix; Yohannes, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    While the mechanisms by which adult terrestrial plants deploy constitutive and induced responses to grazing pressure are well known, the means by which young aquatic plants defend themselves from herbivory are little studied. This study addresses nitrogen transport in the aquatic angiosperm Myriophyllum spicatum in response to herbivore exposure. Nitrogen tracers were used to monitor nitrogen uptake and reallocation in young plants in response to grazing by the generalist insect herbivore Acentria ephemerella. Total nitrogen content (N%) and patterns of nitrogen uptake and allocation (δ15N) were assessed in various plant tissues after 24 and 48 h. Following 24 h exposure to herbivore damage (Experiment 1), nitrogen content of plant apices was significantly elevated. This rapid early reaction may be an adaptation allowing the grazer to be sated as fast as possible, or indicate the accumulation of nitrogenous defense chemicals. After 48 h (Experiment 2), plants' tips showed depletion in nitrogen levels of ca. 60‰ in stem sections vulnerable to grazing. In addition, nitrogen uptake by grazed and grazing-prone upper plant parts was reduced and nutrient allocation into the relatively secure lower parts increased. The results point to three conclusions: (1) exposure to an insect herbivore induces a similar response in immature M. spicatum as previously observed in mature terrestrial species, namely a rapid (within 48 h) reduction in the nutritional value (N%) of vulnerable tissues, (2) high grazing intensity (100% of growing tips affected) did not limit the ability of young plants to induce resistance; and (3) young plants exposed to herbivory exhibit different patterns of nutrient allocation in vulnerable and secure tissues. These results provide evidence of induced defense and resource reallocation in immature aquatic macrophytes which is in line with the responses shown for mature aquatic macrophytes and terrestrial plants. PMID:26380694

  5. Induced responses to grazing by an insect herbivore (Acentria ephemerella) in an immature macrophyte (Myriophyllum spicatum): an isotopic study.

    PubMed

    Rothhaupt, Karl-Otto; Fornoff, Felix; Yohannes, Elizabeth

    2015-09-01

    While the mechanisms by which adult terrestrial plants deploy constitutive and induced responses to grazing pressure are well known, the means by which young aquatic plants defend themselves from herbivory are little studied. This study addresses nitrogen transport in the aquatic angiosperm Myriophyllum spicatum in response to herbivore exposure. Nitrogen tracers were used to monitor nitrogen uptake and reallocation in young plants in response to grazing by the generalist insect herbivore Acentria ephemerella. Total nitrogen content (N%) and patterns of nitrogen uptake and allocation (δ(15)N) were assessed in various plant tissues after 24 and 48 h. Following 24 h exposure to herbivore damage (Experiment 1), nitrogen content of plant apices was significantly elevated. This rapid early reaction may be an adaptation allowing the grazer to be sated as fast as possible, or indicate the accumulation of nitrogenous defense chemicals. After 48 h (Experiment 2), plants' tips showed depletion in nitrogen levels of ca. 60‰ in stem sections vulnerable to grazing. In addition, nitrogen uptake by grazed and grazing-prone upper plant parts was reduced and nutrient allocation into the relatively secure lower parts increased. The results point to three conclusions: (1) exposure to an insect herbivore induces a similar response in immature M. spicatum as previously observed in mature terrestrial species, namely a rapid (within 48 h) reduction in the nutritional value (N%) of vulnerable tissues, (2) high grazing intensity (100% of growing tips affected) did not limit the ability of young plants to induce resistance; and (3) young plants exposed to herbivory exhibit different patterns of nutrient allocation in vulnerable and secure tissues. These results provide evidence of induced defense and resource reallocation in immature aquatic macrophytes which is in line with the responses shown for mature aquatic macrophytes and terrestrial plants. PMID:26380694

  6. Asynchrony between Host Plant and Insects-Defoliator within a Tritrophic System: The Role of Herbivore Innate Immunity.

    PubMed

    Martemyanov, Vyacheslav V; Pavlushin, Sergey V; Dubovskiy, Ivan M; Yushkova, Yuliya V; Morosov, Sergey V; Chernyak, Elena I; Efimov, Vadim M; Ruuhola, Teija; Glupov, Victor V

    2015-01-01

    The effects of asynchrony in the phenology of spring-feeding insect-defoliators and their host plants on insects' fitness, as well as the importance of this effect for the population dynamics of outbreaking species of insects, is a widespread and well-documented phenomenon. However, the spreading of this phenomenon through the food chain, and especially those mechanisms operating this spreading, are still unclear. In this paper, we study the effect of seasonally declined leafquality (estimated in terms of phenolics and nitrogen content) on herbivore fitness, immune parameters and resistance against pathogen by using the silver birch Betula pendula--gypsy moth Lymantria dispar--nucleopolyhedrovirus as the tritrophic system. We show that a phenological mismatch induced by the delay in the emergence of gypsy moth larvae and following feeding on mature leaves has negative effects on the female pupal weight, on the rate of larval development and on the activity of phenoloxidase in the plasma of haemolymph. In addition, the larval susceptibility to exogenous nucleopolyhydrovirus infection as well as covert virus activation were both enhanced due to the phenological mismatch. The observed effects of phenological mismatch on insect-baculovirus interaction may partially explain the strong and fast fluctuations in the population dynamics of the gypsy moth that is often observed in the studied part of the defoliator area. This study also reveals some indirect mechanisms of effect related to host plant quality, which operate through the insect innate immune status and affect resistance to both exogenous and endogenous virus. PMID:26115118

  7. Differential and Synergistic Functionality of Acylsugars in Suppressing Oviposition by Insect Herbivores

    PubMed Central

    Chappell, Thomas M.; Halitschke, Rayko; De Jong, Darlene M.; Kessler, André; Kennedy, George G.; Mutschler, Martha A.

    2016-01-01

    Acylsugars are secondary metabolites exuded from type IV glandular trichomes that provide broad-spectrum insect suppression for Solanum pennellii Correll, a wild relative of cultivated tomato. Acylsugars produced by different S. pennellii accessions vary by sugar moieties (glucose or sucrose) and fatty acid side chains (lengths and branching patterns). Our objective was to determine which acylsugar compositions more effectively suppressed oviposition of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Middle East—Asia Minor 1 Group), tobacco thrips, Frankliniella fusca (Hinds), and western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande). We extracted and characterized acylsugars from four S. pennellii accessions with different compositions, as well as from an acylsugar-producing tomato breeding line. We also fractionated the acylsugars of one S. pennellii accession to examine the effects of its components. Effects of acylsugars on oviposition were evaluated by administering a range of doses to oviposition sites of adult whiteflies and thrips in non-choice and choice bioassays, respectively. The acylsugars from S. pennellii accessions and the tomato breeding line demonstrated differential functionality in their ability to alter the distribution of whitefly oviposition and suppress oviposition on acylsugar treated substrates. Tobacco thrips were sensitive to all compositions while western flower thrips and whiteflies were more sensitive to acylsugars from a subset of S. pennellii accessions. It follows that acylsugars could thus mediate plant-enemy interactions in such a way as to affect evolution of host specialization, resistance specificity, and potentially host differentiation or local adaptation. The acylsugars from S. pennellii LA1376 were separated by polarity into two fractions that differed sharply for their sugar moieties and fatty acid side chains. These fractions had different efficacies, with neither having activity approaching that of the original

  8. Differential and Synergistic Functionality of Acylsugars in Suppressing Oviposition by Insect Herbivores.

    PubMed

    Leckie, Brian M; D'Ambrosio, Damon A; Chappell, Thomas M; Halitschke, Rayko; De Jong, Darlene M; Kessler, André; Kennedy, George G; Mutschler, Martha A

    2016-01-01

    Acylsugars are secondary metabolites exuded from type IV glandular trichomes that provide broad-spectrum insect suppression for Solanum pennellii Correll, a wild relative of cultivated tomato. Acylsugars produced by different S. pennellii accessions vary by sugar moieties (glucose or sucrose) and fatty acid side chains (lengths and branching patterns). Our objective was to determine which acylsugar compositions more effectively suppressed oviposition of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Middle East-Asia Minor 1 Group), tobacco thrips, Frankliniella fusca (Hinds), and western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande). We extracted and characterized acylsugars from four S. pennellii accessions with different compositions, as well as from an acylsugar-producing tomato breeding line. We also fractionated the acylsugars of one S. pennellii accession to examine the effects of its components. Effects of acylsugars on oviposition were evaluated by administering a range of doses to oviposition sites of adult whiteflies and thrips in non-choice and choice bioassays, respectively. The acylsugars from S. pennellii accessions and the tomato breeding line demonstrated differential functionality in their ability to alter the distribution of whitefly oviposition and suppress oviposition on acylsugar treated substrates. Tobacco thrips were sensitive to all compositions while western flower thrips and whiteflies were more sensitive to acylsugars from a subset of S. pennellii accessions. It follows that acylsugars could thus mediate plant-enemy interactions in such a way as to affect evolution of host specialization, resistance specificity, and potentially host differentiation or local adaptation. The acylsugars from S. pennellii LA1376 were separated by polarity into two fractions that differed sharply for their sugar moieties and fatty acid side chains. These fractions had different efficacies, with neither having activity approaching that of the original exudate

  9. The effect of a green leaf volatile on host plant finding by larvae of a herbivorous insect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, Caroline; Hilker, M.

    The role of a general green leaf volatile (glv) in host finding by larvae of the oligophagous chrysomelid Cassida denticollis was investigated using a new bioassay which takes into account the need for neonate larvae of this species to climb fresh host plants from the ground. A "stem arena" was designed in which plant stems of the host, tansy (Tanacetum vulgare), and stem dummies (tooth picks), both wrapped in perforated filter paper, were offered to neonate larvae. The wrapping allowed olfactory responses to be tested by preventing access to contact stimuli of stems and dummies. Larvae significantly preferred to climb the wrapped tansy stems over dummies after a period of 15min. The test glv, (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol, was not attractive when applied to dummies. However, when the glv was applied to the bottom of the arena, the ability of larvae to discriminate between host stems and untreated dummies was significantly enhanced. More larvae climbed wrapped host stems than dummies even within 5min. While numerous other herbivorous insects are known to be directly attracted by glv, this study shows that a singly offered glv on its own is unattractive to an herbivore but enhances the herbivore's ability to differentiate between host and nonhost plants.

  10. Terpene down-regulation in orange reveals the role of fruit aromas in mediating interactions with insect herbivores and pathogens.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, Ana; San Andrés, Victoria; Cervera, Magdalena; Redondo, Ana; Alquézar, Berta; Shimada, Takehiko; Gadea, José; Rodrigo, María Jesús; Zacarías, Lorenzo; Palou, Lluís; López, María M; Castañera, Pedro; Peña, Leandro

    2011-06-01

    Plants use volatile terpene compounds as odor cues for communicating with the environment. Fleshy fruits are particularly rich in volatiles that deter herbivores and attract seed dispersal agents. We have investigated how terpenes in citrus fruit peels affect the interaction between the plant, insects, and microorganisms. Because limonene represents up to 97% of the total volatiles in orange (Citrus sinensis) fruit peel, we chose to down-regulate the expression of a limonene synthase gene in orange plants by introducing an antisense construct of this gene. Transgenic fruits showed reduced accumulation of limonene in the peel. When these fruits were challenged with either the fungus Penicillium digitatum or with the bacterium Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri, they showed marked resistance against these pathogens that were unable to infect the peel tissues. Moreover, males of the citrus pest medfly (Ceratitis capitata) were less attracted to low limonene-expressing fruits than to control fruits. These results indicate that limonene accumulation in the peel of citrus fruit appears to be involved in the successful trophic interaction between fruits, insects, and microorganisms. Terpene down-regulation might be a strategy to generate broad-spectrum resistance against pests and pathogens in fleshy fruits from economically important crops. In addition, terpene engineering may be important for studying the basic ecological interactions between fruits, herbivores, and pathogens. PMID:21525333

  11. Asynchrony between Host Plant and Insects-Defoliator within a Tritrophic System: The Role of Herbivore Innate Immunity

    PubMed Central

    Martemyanov, Vyacheslav V.; Pavlushin, Sergey V.; Dubovskiy, Ivan M.; Yushkova, Yuliya V.; Morosov, Sergey V.; Chernyak, Elena I.; Efimov, Vadim M.; Ruuhola, Teija; Glupov, Victor V.

    2015-01-01

    The effects of asynchrony in the phenology of spring-feeding insect-defoliators and their host plants on insects’ fitness, as well as the importance of this effect for the population dynamics of outbreaking species of insects, is a widespread and well-documented phenomenon. However, the spreading of this phenomenon through the food chain, and especially those mechanisms operating this spreading, are still unclear. In this paper, we study the effect of seasonally declined leafquality (estimated in terms of phenolics and nitrogen content) on herbivore fitness, immune parameters and resistance against pathogen by using the silver birch Betula pendula—gypsy moth Lymantria dispar—nucleopolyhedrovirus as the tritrophic system. We show that a phenological mismatch induced by the delay in the emergence of gypsy moth larvae and following feeding on mature leaves has negative effects on the female pupal weight, on the rate of larval development and on the activity of phenoloxidase in the plasma of haemolymph. In addition, the larval susceptibility to exogenous nucleopolyhydrovirus infection as well as covert virus activation were both enhanced due to the phenological mismatch. The observed effects of phenological mismatch on insect-baculovirus interaction may partially explain the strong and fast fluctuations in the population dynamics of the gypsy moth that is often observed in the studied part of the defoliator area. This study also reveals some indirect mechanisms of effect related to host plant quality, which operate through the insect innate immune status and affect resistance to both exogenous and endogenous virus. PMID:26115118

  12. Density-dependent reduction and induction of milkweed cardenolides by a sucking insect herbivore.

    PubMed

    Martel, John W; Malcolm, Stephen B

    2004-03-01

    The effect of aphid population size on host-plant chemical defense expression and the effect of plant defense on aphid population dynamics were investigated in a milkweed-specialist herbivore system. Density effects of the aposematic oleander aphid, Aphis nerii, on cardenolide expression were measured in two milkweed species, Asclepias curassavica and A. incarnata. These plants vary in constitutive chemical investment with high mean cardenolide concentration in A. curassavica and low to zero in A. incarnata. The second objective was to determine whether cardenolide expression in these two host plants impacts mean A. nerii colony biomass (mg) and density. Cardenolide concentration (microgram/g) of A. curassavica in both aphid-treated leaves and opposite, herbivore-free leaves decreased initially in comparison with aphid-free controls, and then increased significantly with A. nerii density. Thus, A. curassavica responds to aphid herbivory initially with density-dependent phytochemical reduction, followed by induction of cardenolides to concentrations above aphid-free controls. In addition, mean cardenolide concentration of aphid-treated leaves was significantly higher than that of opposite, herbivore-free leaves. Therefore, A. curassavica induction is strongest in herbivore-damage tissue. Conversely, A. incarnata exhibited no such chemical response to aphid herbivory. Furthermore, neither host plant responded chemically to herbivore feeding duration time (days) or to the interaction between herbivore initial density and feeding duration time. There were also no significant differences in mean colony biomass or population density of A. nerii reared on high cardenolide (A. curassavica) and low cardenolide (A. incarnata) hosts. PMID:15139307

  13. Oviposition Deterrents in Herbivorous Insects and their potential use in Integrated Pest Management.

    PubMed

    Kumari, Archana; Kaushik, Nutan

    2016-03-01

    In the life cycle of insects, oviposition is an important phenomenon, and it is influenced by many intrinsic and extrinsic factors, especially in relation to suitable hosts for completion of their life-cycle. Oviposition deterrents which deter an insect from laying eggs are important in the management of insect pests. Proper understanding of these deterrents shall provide necessary insight into new vistas for Insect Pest Management. Chemicals from plants and insects play an important role in attracting phytophagous insects for selecting host for oviposition. Considerable research has been done on oviposition deterrents and their mode of actions. In the present review, we have consolidated the updated information on this important aspect of insect behavior. PMID:27145629

  14. An insect herbivore microbiome with high plant biomass-degrading capacity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Herbivores can gain indirect access to recalcitrant carbon present in plant cell walls through symbiotic associations with lignocellulolytic microbes. A paradigmatic example is the leaf-cutter ant (Tribe: Attini), which uses fresh leaves to cultivate a fungus for food in specialized gardens. Using a...

  15. Experimental demography and the vital rates of generalist and specialist insect herbivores on native and novel host plants.

    PubMed

    García-Robledo, Carlos; Horvitz, Carol C

    2011-09-01

    1. Colonization success of species when confronted with novel environments is of interest in ecological, evolutionary and conservation contexts. Such events may represent the first step for ecological diversification. They also play an important role in adaptive divergence and speciation. 2. A species that is able to do well across a range of environments has a higher plasticity than one whose success is restricted to a single or few environments. The breadth of environments in which a species can succeed is ultimately determined by the full pattern of its vital rates in each environment. 3. Examples of organisms colonizing novel environments are insect herbivores expanding their diets to novel host plants. One expectation for insect herbivores is that species with specialized diets may display less plasticity when faced with novel hosts than generalist species. 4. We examine this hypothesis for two generalist and two specialist neotropical beetles (genus Cephaloleia: Chrysomelidae) currently expanding their diets from native to novel plants of the order Zingiberales. Using an experimental approach, we estimated changes in vital rates, life-history traits and lifetime fitness for each beetle species when feeding on native or novel host plants. 5. We did not find evidence supporting more plasticity for generalists than for specialists. Instead, we found similar patterns of survival and fecundity for all herbivores. Larvae survived worse on novel hosts; adults survived at least as well or better, but reproduced less on the novel host than on natives. 6. Some of the novel host plants represent challenging environments where population growth was negative. However, in four novel plant-herbivore interactions, instantaneous population growth rates were positive. 7. Positive instantaneous population growth rates during initial colonization of novel host plants suggest that both generalist and specialist Cephaloleia beetles may be pre-adapted to feed on some novel hosts

  16. Glycoalkaloids of wild and cultivated Solanum: effects on specialist and generalist insect herbivores.

    PubMed

    Altesor, Paula; García, Álvaro; Font, Elizabeth; Rodríguez-Haralambides, Alejandra; Vilaró, Francisco; Oesterheld, Martín; Soler, Roxina; González, Andrés

    2014-06-01

    Plant domestication by selective breeding may reduce plant chemical defense in favor of growth. However, few studies have simultaneously studied the defensive chemistry of cultivated plants and their wild congeners in connection to herbivore susceptibility. We compared the constitutive glycoalkaloids (GAs) of cultivated potato, Solanum tuberosum, and a wild congener, S. commersonii, by liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. We also determined the major herbivores present on the two species in field plots, and tested their preference for the plants and their isolated GAs in two-choice bioassays. Solanum commersonii had a different GA profile and higher concentrations than S. tuberosum. In the field, S. tuberosum was mostly attacked by the generalist aphids Myzus persicae and Macrosiphum euphorbiae, and by the specialist flea beetle Epitrix argentinensis. In contrast, the most common herbivore on S. commersonii was the specialist sawfly Tequus sp. Defoliation levels were higher on the wild species, probably due to the chewing feeding behavior of Tequus sp. As seen in the field, M. persicae and E. argentinensis preferred leaf disks of the cultivated plant, while Tequus sp. preferred those of the wild one. Congruently, GAs from S. commersonii were avoided by M. persicae and preferred by Tequus sp. The potato aphid performed well on both species and was not deterred by S. commersonii GAs. These observations suggest that different GA profiles explain the feeding preferences of the different herbivores, and that domestication has altered the defensive capacity of S. tuberosum. However, the wild relative is still subject to severe defoliation by a specialist herbivore that may cue on the GAs. PMID:24863489

  17. The volatile emission of Eurosta solidaginis primes herbivore-induced volatile production in Solidago altissima and does not directly deter insect feeding

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The induction of plant defenses in response to herbivory is well documented. In addition, many plants prime their anti-herbivore defenses following exposure to environmental cues associated with increased risk of subsequent attack, including induced volatile emissions from herbivore-damaged plant tissues. Recently, we showed in both field and laboratory settings that tall goldenrod plants (Solidago altissima) exposed to the putative sex attractant of a specialist gall-inducing fly (Eurosta solidaginis) experienced less herbivory than unexposed plants. Furthermore, we observed stronger induction of the defense phytohormone jasmonic acid in exposed plants compared to controls. These findings document a novel class of plant-insect interactions mediated by the direct perception, by plants, of insect-derived olfactory cues. However, our previous study did not exclude the possibility that the fly emission (or its residue) might also deter insect feeding via direct effects on the herbivores. Results Here we show that the E. solidaginis emission does not (directly) deter herbivore feeding on Cucurbita pepo or Symphyotrichum lateriflorum plants—which have no co-evolutionary relationship with E. solidaginis and thus are not expected to exhibit priming responses to the fly emission. We also document stronger induction of herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPV) in S. altissima plants given previous exposure to the fly emission relative to unexposed controls. No similar effect was observed in maize plants (Zea mays), which have no co-evolutionary relationship with E. solidaginis. Conclusions Together with our previous findings, these results provide compelling evidence that reduced herbivory on S. altissima plants exposed to the emission of male E. solidaginis reflects an evolved plant response to olfactory cues associated with its specialist herbivore and does not involve direct effects of the fly emission on herbivore feeding behavior. We further discuss

  18. The maize lipoxygenase, ZmLOX10, mediates green leaf volatile, jasmonate, and herbivore-induced plant volatile production for defense against insect attack

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fatty acid derivatives are of central importance for plant immunity against insect herbivores. However, major regulatory genes and the signals that modulate these defense metabolites are vastly understudied, especially in important agro-economic monocot species. Here we show that products and sign...

  19. Plant Interactions With Herbivores

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plants are eaten by a tremendous array of herbivores, including almost half of known insect species. Although herbivores consume most plants to some degree, many plants are also relatively well defended, and herbivore populations are often limited by predators. The net result of these processes is t...

  20. Domestication in Murtilla (Ugni molinae) Reduced Defensive Flavonol Levels but Increased Resistance Against a Native Herbivorous Insect.

    PubMed

    Chacón-Fuentes, Manuel; Parra, Leonardo; Rodriguez-Saona, Cesar; Seguel, Ivette; Ceballos, Ricardo; Quiroz, Andres

    2015-06-01

    Plant domestication can have negative consequences for defensive traits against herbivores, potentially reducing the levels of chemical defenses in plants and consequently their resistance against herbivores. We characterized and quantified the defensive flavonols from multiple cultivated ecotypes with wild ancestors of murtilla, Ugni molinae Turcz, an endemic plant from Chile, at different times of the year, and examined their effects on a native insect herbivore, Chilesia rudis Butler (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae). We hypothesized that domestication results in a decrease in flavonol levels in U. molinae plants, and that this negatively affected C. rudis performance and preference. Ethanolic extracts were made from leaves, stems, and fruit of murtilla plants for flavonol analysis. Flavonols identified were kaempferol, quercetin, rutin, and quercetin 3-D-β-glucoside, the last two being the most abundant. More interestingly, we showed differences in flavonol composition between wild and cultivated U. molinae that persisted for most of the year. Relative amounts of all four flavonols were higher in wild U. molinae leaves; however, no differences were found in the stem and fruit between wild and cultivated plants. In choice and no-choice assays, C. rudis larvae gained more mass on, and consumed more leaf material of, wild as compared with cultivated U. molinae plants. Moreover, when applied to leaves, larvae ate more leaf material with increasing concentrations of each flavonol compound. Our study demonstrates that domestication in U. molinae reduced the amount of flavonols in leaves as well as the performance and preference of C. rudis, indicating that these compounds stimulate feeding of C. rudis. PMID:26313969

  1. The impact of microbial symbionts on host plant utilization by herbivorous insects.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Allison K; Moran, Nancy A

    2014-03-01

    Herbivory, defined as feeding on live plant tissues, is characteristic of highly successful and diverse groups of insects and represents an evolutionarily derived mode of feeding. Plants present various nutritional and defensive barriers against herbivory; nevertheless, insects have evolved a diverse array of mechanisms that enable them to feed and develop on live plant tissues. For decades, it has been suggested that insect-associated microbes may facilitate host plant use, and new molecular methodologies offer the possibility to elucidate such roles. Based on genomic data, specialized feeding on phloem and xylem sap is highly dependent on nutrient provisioning by intracellular symbionts, as exemplified by Buchnera in aphids, although it is unclear whether such symbionts play a substantive role in host plant specificity of their hosts. Microorganisms present in the gut or outside the insect body could provide more functions including digestion of plant polymers and detoxification of plant-produced toxins. However, the extent of such contributions to insect herbivory remains unclear. We propose that the potential functions of microbial symbionts in facilitating or restricting the use of host plants are constrained by their location (intracellular, gut or environmental), and by the fidelity of their associations with insect host lineages. Studies in the next decade, using molecular methods from environmental microbiology and genomics, will provide a more comprehensive picture of the role of microbial symbionts in insect herbivory. PMID:23952067

  2. Parent–offspring conflicts, “optimal bad motherhood” and the “mother knows best” principles in insect herbivores colonizing novel host plants

    PubMed Central

    García-Robledo, Carlos; Horvitz, Carol C

    2012-01-01

    Specialization of insect herbivores to one or a few host plants stimulated the development of two hypotheses on how natural selection should shape oviposition preferences: The “mother knows best” principle suggests that females prefer to oviposit on hosts that increase offspring survival. The “optimal bad motherhood” principle predicts that females prefer to oviposit on hosts that increase their own longevity. In insects colonizing novel host plants, current theory predicts that initial preferences of insect herbivores should be maladaptive, leading to ecological traps. Ecological trap theory does not take into account the fact that insect lineages frequently switch hosts at both ecological and evolutionary time scales. Therefore, the behavior of insect herbivores facing novel hosts is also shaped by natural selection. Using a study system in which four Cephaloleia beetles are currently expanding their diets from native to exotic plants in the order Zingiberales, we determined if initial oviposition preferences are conservative, maladaptive, or follow the patterns predicted by the “mother knows best” or the “optimal bad motherhood” principles. Interactions with novel hosts generated parent–offspring conflicts. Larval survival was higher on native hosts. However, adult generally lived longer on novel hosts. In Cephaloleia beetles, oviposition preferences are usually associated with hosts that increase larval survival, female fecundity, and population growth. In most cases, Cephaloleia oviposition preferences follow the expectations of the “mothers knows best” principle. PMID:22957153

  3. MICROCOSM METHOD TO ASSESS SURVIVAL OF RECOMBINANT BACTERIA ASSOCIATED WITH PLANTS AND HERBIVOROUS INSECTS (JOURNAL VERSION)

    EPA Science Inventory

    A microcosm method was developed to investigate survival and fate of genetically engineered bacteria associated with plant surfaces and a plant-feeding insect, the variegated cutworm, Peridroma saucia. Larvae on radish plants in microcosms were sprayed with nonrecombinant Pseudom...

  4. Biodiversity and Activity of the Gut Microbiota across the Life History of the Insect Herbivore Spodoptera littoralis.

    PubMed

    Chen, Bosheng; Teh, Beng-Soon; Sun, Chao; Hu, Sirui; Lu, Xingmeng; Boland, Wilhelm; Shao, Yongqi

    2016-01-01

    Microbes that live inside insects play critical roles in host nutrition, physiology, and behavior. Although Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) are one of the most diverse insect taxa, their microbial symbionts are little-studied, particularly during metamorphosis. Here, using ribosomal tag pyrosequencing of DNA and RNA, we investigated biodiversity and activity of gut microbiotas across the holometabolous life cycle of Spodoptera littoralis, a notorious agricultural pest worldwide. Proteobacteria and Firmicutes dominate but undergo a structural "metamorphosis" in tandem with its host. Enterococcus, Pantoea and Citrobacter were abundant and active in early-instar, while Clostridia increased in late-instar. Interestingly, only enterococci persisted through metamorphosis. Female adults harbored high proportions of Enterococcus, Klebsiella and Pantoea, whereas males largely shifted to Klebsiella. Comparative functional analysis with PICRUSt indicated that early-instar larval microbiome was more enriched for genes involved in cell motility and carbohydrate metabolism, whereas in late-instar amino acid, cofactor and vitamin metabolism increased. Genes involved in energy and nucleotide metabolism were abundant in pupae. Female adult microbiome was enriched for genes relevant to energy metabolism, while an increase in the replication and repair pathway was observed in male. Understanding the metabolic activity of these herbivore-associated microbial symbionts may assist the development of novel pest-management strategies. PMID:27389097

  5. Biodiversity and Activity of the Gut Microbiota across the Life History of the Insect Herbivore Spodoptera littoralis

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Bosheng; Teh, Beng-Soon; Sun, Chao; Hu, Sirui; Lu, Xingmeng; Boland, Wilhelm; Shao, Yongqi

    2016-01-01

    Microbes that live inside insects play critical roles in host nutrition, physiology, and behavior. Although Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) are one of the most diverse insect taxa, their microbial symbionts are little-studied, particularly during metamorphosis. Here, using ribosomal tag pyrosequencing of DNA and RNA, we investigated biodiversity and activity of gut microbiotas across the holometabolous life cycle of Spodoptera littoralis, a notorious agricultural pest worldwide. Proteobacteria and Firmicutes dominate but undergo a structural “metamorphosis” in tandem with its host. Enterococcus, Pantoea and Citrobacter were abundant and active in early-instar, while Clostridia increased in late-instar. Interestingly, only enterococci persisted through metamorphosis. Female adults harbored high proportions of Enterococcus, Klebsiella and Pantoea, whereas males largely shifted to Klebsiella. Comparative functional analysis with PICRUSt indicated that early-instar larval microbiome was more enriched for genes involved in cell motility and carbohydrate metabolism, whereas in late-instar amino acid, cofactor and vitamin metabolism increased. Genes involved in energy and nucleotide metabolism were abundant in pupae. Female adult microbiome was enriched for genes relevant to energy metabolism, while an increase in the replication and repair pathway was observed in male. Understanding the metabolic activity of these herbivore-associated microbial symbionts may assist the development of novel pest-management strategies. PMID:27389097

  6. Comparative Genomic Analysis of the Endosymbionts of Herbivorous Insects Reveals Eco-Environmental Adaptations: Biotechnology Applications

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Weibing; Xie, Shangxian; Chen, Xueyan; Sun, Su; Zhou, Xin; Liu, Lantao; Gao, Peng; Kyrpides, Nikos C.; No, En-Gyu; Yuan, Joshua S.

    2013-01-01

    Metagenome analysis of the gut symbionts of three different insects was conducted as a means of comparing taxonomic and metabolic diversity of gut microbiomes to diet and life history of the insect hosts. A second goal was the discovery of novel biocatalysts for biorefinery applications. Grasshopper and cutworm gut symbionts were sequenced and compared with the previously identified metagenome of termite gut microbiota. These insect hosts represent three different insect orders and specialize on different food types. The comparative analysis revealed dramatic differences among the three insect species in the abundance and taxonomic composition of the symbiont populations present in the gut. The composition and abundance of symbionts was correlated with their previously identified capacity to degrade and utilize the different types of food consumed by their hosts. The metabolic reconstruction revealed that the gut metabolome of cutworms and grasshoppers was more enriched for genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism and transport than wood-feeding termite, whereas the termite gut metabolome was enriched for glycosyl hydrolase (GH) enzymes relevant to lignocellulosic biomass degradation. Moreover, termite gut metabolome was more enriched with nitrogen fixation genes than those of grasshopper and cutworm gut, presumably due to the termite's adaptation to the high fiber and less nutritious food types. In order to evaluate and exploit the insect symbionts for biotechnology applications, we cloned and further characterized four biomass-degrading enzymes including one endoglucanase and one xylanase from both the grasshopper and cutworm gut symbionts. The results indicated that the grasshopper symbiont enzymes were generally more efficient in biomass degradation than the homologous enzymes from cutworm symbionts. Together, these results demonstrated a correlation between the composition and putative metabolic functionality of the gut microbiome and host diet, and suggested

  7. Colored and white sectors of petunia flowers display differential resistance to insect herbivores

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect herbivory of crops increases the probability of fungal infection in damaged tissues. Mycotoxins produced by some fungi are harmful to livestock and humans. Increasing plant resistance lowers the levels of fungal infection and mycotoxin levels. The Bt toxin successfully kills only a fractio...

  8. Transcriptional responses of Arabidopsis thaliana to chewing and sucking insect herbivores

    PubMed Central

    Appel, Heidi M.; Fescemyer, Howard; Ehlting, Juergen; Weston, David; Rehrig, Erin; Joshi, Trupti; Xu, Dong; Bohlmann, Joerg; Schultz, Jack

    2014-01-01

    We tested the hypothesis that Arabidopsis can recognize and respond differentially to insect species at the transcriptional level using a genome wide microarray. Transcriptional reprogramming was characterized using co-expression analysis in damaged and undamaged leaves at two times in response to mechanical wounding and four insect species. In all, 2778 (10.6%) of annotated genes on the array were differentially expressed in at least one treatment. Responses differed mainly between aphid and caterpillar and sampling times. Responses to aphids and caterpillars shared only 10% of up-regulated and 8% of down-regulated genes. Responses to two caterpillars shared 21 and 12% of up- and down-regulated genes, whereas responses to the two aphids shared only 7 and 4% of up-regulated and down-regulated genes. Overlap in genes expressed between 6 and 24 h was 3–15%, and depended on the insect species. Responses in attacked and unattacked leaves differed at 6 h but converged by 24 h. Genes responding to the insects are also responsive to many stressors and included primary metabolism. Aphids down-regulated amino acid catabolism; caterpillars stimulated production of amino acids involved in glucosinolate synthesis. Co-expression analysis revealed 17 response networks. Transcription factors were a major portion of differentially expressed genes throughout and responsive genes shared most of the known or postulated binding sites. However, cis-element composition of genes down regulated by the aphid M. persicae was unique, as were those of genes down-regulated by caterpillars. As many as 20 cis-elements were over-represented in one or more treatments, including some from well-characterized classes and others as yet uncharacterized. We suggest that transcriptional changes elicited by wounding and insects are heavily influenced by transcription factors and involve both enrichment of a common set of cis-elements and a unique enrichment of a few cis-elements in responding genes

  9. Transcriptional responses of Arabidopsis thaliana to chewing and sucking insect herbivores

    SciTech Connect

    Appel, Heidi M.; Fescemyer, Howard; Ehlting, Juergen; Weston, David; Rehrig, Erin; Joshi, Trupti; Xu, Dong; Bohlmann, Joerg; Schultz, Jack

    2014-11-14

    We tested the hypothesis that Arabidopsis can recognize and respond differentially to insect species at the transcriptional level using a genome wide microarray. Transcriptional reprogramming was characterized using co-expression analysis in damaged and undamaged leaves at two times in response to mechanical wounding and four insect species. In all, 2778 (10.6%) of annotated genes on the array were differentially expressed in at least one treatment. Responses differed mainly between aphid and caterpillar and sampling times. Responses to aphids and caterpillars shared only 10% of up-regulated and 8% of down-regulated genes. Responses to two caterpillars shared 21 and 12% of up- and down-regulated genes, whereas responses to the two aphids shared only 7 and 4% of up-regulated and down-regulated genes. Overlap in genes expressed between 6 and 24 h was 3–15%, and depended on the insect species. Responses in attacked and unattacked leaves differed at 6 h but converged by 24 h. Genes responding to the insects are also responsive to many stressors and included primary metabolism. Aphids down-regulated amino acid catabolism; caterpillars stimulated production of amino acids involved in glucosinolate synthesis. Co-expression analysis revealed 17 response networks. Transcription factors were a major portion of differentially expressed genes throughout and responsive genes shared most of the known or postulated binding sites. However, cis-element composition of genes down regulated by the aphid M. persicae was unique, as were those of genes down-regulated by caterpillars. As many as 20 cis-elements were over-represented in one or more treatments, including some from well-characterized classes and others as yet uncharacterized. We suggest that transcriptional changes elicited by wounding and insects are heavily influenced by transcription factors and involve both enrichment of a common set of cis-elements and a unique enrichment of a few cis-elements in responding genes.

  10. Transcriptional responses of Arabidopsis thaliana to chewing and sucking insect herbivores

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Appel, Heidi M.; Fescemyer, Howard; Ehlting, Juergen; Weston, David; Rehrig, Erin; Joshi, Trupti; Xu, Dong; Bohlmann, Joerg; Schultz, Jack

    2014-11-14

    We tested the hypothesis that Arabidopsis can recognize and respond differentially to insect species at the transcriptional level using a genome wide microarray. Transcriptional reprogramming was characterized using co-expression analysis in damaged and undamaged leaves at two times in response to mechanical wounding and four insect species. In all, 2778 (10.6%) of annotated genes on the array were differentially expressed in at least one treatment. Responses differed mainly between aphid and caterpillar and sampling times. Responses to aphids and caterpillars shared only 10% of up-regulated and 8% of down-regulated genes. Responses to two caterpillars shared 21 and 12% of up-more » and down-regulated genes, whereas responses to the two aphids shared only 7 and 4% of up-regulated and down-regulated genes. Overlap in genes expressed between 6 and 24 h was 3–15%, and depended on the insect species. Responses in attacked and unattacked leaves differed at 6 h but converged by 24 h. Genes responding to the insects are also responsive to many stressors and included primary metabolism. Aphids down-regulated amino acid catabolism; caterpillars stimulated production of amino acids involved in glucosinolate synthesis. Co-expression analysis revealed 17 response networks. Transcription factors were a major portion of differentially expressed genes throughout and responsive genes shared most of the known or postulated binding sites. However, cis-element composition of genes down regulated by the aphid M. persicae was unique, as were those of genes down-regulated by caterpillars. As many as 20 cis-elements were over-represented in one or more treatments, including some from well-characterized classes and others as yet uncharacterized. We suggest that transcriptional changes elicited by wounding and insects are heavily influenced by transcription factors and involve both enrichment of a common set of cis-elements and a unique enrichment of a few cis-elements in responding

  11. Climate change, nutrition and immunity: Effects of elevated CO2 and temperature on the immune function of an insect herbivore.

    PubMed

    Gherlenda, Andrew N; Haigh, Anthony M; Moore, Ben D; Johnson, Scott N; Riegler, Markus

    2016-02-01

    Balanced nutrition is fundamental to health and immunity. For herbivorous insects, nutrient-compositional shifts in host plants due to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations and temperature may compromise this balance. Therefore, understanding their immune responses to such shifts is vital if we are to predict the outcomes of climate change for plant-herbivore-parasitoid and pathogen interactions. We tested the immune response of Paropsis atomaria Olivier (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) feeding on Eucalyptus tereticornis Sm. seedlings exposed to elevated CO2 (640 μmol mol(-1); CE) and temperature (ambient plus 4 °C; TE). Larvae were immune-challenged with a nylon monofilament in order to simulate parasitoid or pathogen attack without other effects of actual parasitism or pathology. The cellular (in vivo melanisation) and humoral (in vitro phenoloxidase PO activity) immune responses were assessed, and linked to changes in leaf chemistry. CE reduced foliar nitrogen (N) concentrations and increased C:N ratios and concentrations of total phenolics. The humoral response was reduced at CE. PO activity and haemolymph protein concentrations decreased at CE, while haemolymph protein concentrations were positively correlated with foliar N concentrations. However, the cellular response increased at CE and this was not correlated with any foliar traits. Immune parameters were not impacted by TE. Our study revealed that opposite cellular and humoral immune responses occurred as a result of plant-mediated effects at CE. In contrast, elevated temperatures within the tested range had minimal impact on immune responses. These complex interactions may alter the outcomes of parasitoid and pathogen attack in future climates. PMID:26678330

  12. The effects of experimental warming on the timing of a plant-insect herbivore interaction.

    PubMed

    Kharouba, Heather M; Vellend, Mark; Sarfraz, Rana M; Myers, Judith H

    2015-05-01

    The phenology of many species is shifting in response to climatic changes, and these shifts are occurring at varying rates across species. This can potentially affect species' interactions and individual fitness. However, few studies have experimentally tested the influence of warming on the timing of species interactions. This is an important gap in the literature given the potential for different direct and indirect effects of temperature via phenological change. Our aim was to test the effects of warming on the western tent caterpillar (Malacosoma californicum pluviale). In addition to the direct effects of warming, we considered the two primary indirect effects mediated by warming-driven changes in its host plant, red alder (Alnus rubra): changes in resource availability due to phenological mismatch (i.e. changes in the relative timing of the interaction), and changes in resource quality associated with leaf maturation. We experimentally warmed egg masses and larvae of the western tent caterpillar placed on branches of red alder in the field. Warming advanced the timing of larval but not leaf emergence. This led to varying degrees of phenological mismatch, with larvae emerging as much as 25 days before to 10 days after the emergence of leaves. Even the earliest-emerging larvae, however, had high survival in the absence of leaves for up to 3 weeks, and they were surprisingly resistant to starvation. In addition, although warming created phenological mismatch that initially slowed the development of larvae that emerged before leaf emergence, it accelerated larval development once leaves were available. Therefore, warming had no net effect on our measures of insect performance. Our results demonstrate that the indirect effects of warming, in creating phenological mismatch, are as important to consider as the direct effects on insect performance. Although future climatic warming might influence plants and insects in different ways, some insects may be well adapted

  13. Sequestration, tissue distribution and developmental transmission of cyanogenic glucosides in a specialist insect herbivore.

    PubMed

    Zagrobelny, Mika; Olsen, Carl Erik; Pentzold, Stefan; Fürstenberg-Hägg, Joel; Jørgensen, Kirsten; Bak, Søren; Møller, Birger Lindberg; Motawia, Mohammed Saddik

    2014-01-01

    Considering the staggering diversity of bioactive natural products present in plants, insects are only able to sequester a small number of phytochemicals from their food plants. The mechanisms of how only some phytochemicals are sequestered and how the sequestration process takes place remains largely unknown. In this study the model system of Zygaena filipendulae (Lepidoptera) and their food plant Lotus corniculatus is used to advance the knowledge of insect sequestration. Z. filipendulae larvae are dependent on sequestration of the cyanogenic glucosides linamarin and lotaustralin from their food plant, and have a much lower fitness if reared on plants without these compounds. This study investigates the fate of the cyanogenic glucosides during ingestion, sequestration in the larvae, and in the course of insect ontogeny. To this purpose, double-labeled linamarin and lotaustralin were chemically synthesized carrying two stable isotopes, a (2)H labeled aglucone and a (13)C labeled glucose moiety. In addition, a small amount of (14)C was incorporated into the glucose residue. The isotope-labeled compounds were applied onto cyanogenic L. corniculatus leaves that were subsequently presented to the Z. filipendulae larvae. Following ingestion by the larvae, the destiny of the isotope labeled cyanogenic glucosides was monitored in different tissues of larvae and adults at selected time points, using radio-TLC and LC-MS analyses. It was shown that sequestered compounds are taken up intact, contrary to earlier hypotheses where it was suggested that the compounds would have to be hydrolyzed before transport across the gut. The uptake from the larval gut was highly stereo selective as the β-glucosides were retained while the α-glucosides were excreted and recovered in the frass. Sequestered compounds were rapidly distributed into all analyzed tissues of the larval body, partly retained throughout metamorphosis and transferred into the adult insect where they were

  14. Expansion of a bitter taste receptor family in a polyphagous insect herbivore.

    PubMed

    Xu, Wei; Papanicolaou, Alexie; Zhang, Hui-Jie; Anderson, Alisha

    2016-01-01

    The Insect taste system plays a central role in feeding behaviours and co-evolution of insect-host interactions. Gustatory receptors form the interface between the insect taste system and the environment. From genome and transcriptome sequencing we identified 197 novel gustatory receptor (GR) genes from the polyphagous pest Helicoverpa armigera. These GRs include a significantly expanded bitter receptor family (180 GRs) that could be further divided into three categories based on polypeptide lengths, gene structure and amino acid sequence. Type 1 includes 29 bitter Gr genes that possess introns. Type 2 includes 13 long intronless bitter Gr genes, while Type 3 comprises 131 short intronless bitter Gr genes. Calcium imaging analysis demonstrated that three Type 3 GRs (HarmGR35, HarmGR50 and HarmGR195) can be activated by a crude extract of cotton leaves. HarmGR195, a GR specifically and selectively expressed in adult tarsi, showed a specific response to proline, an amino acid widely present in plant tissues. We hypothesise that the expansion in the H. armigera GR family may be functionally tied to its polyphagous behavior. Understanding the molecular basis of polyphagy may provide opportunities for the development of new environmentally friendly pest control strategies. PMID:27032373

  15. Expansion of a bitter taste receptor family in a polyphagous insect herbivore

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Wei; Papanicolaou, Alexie; Zhang, Hui-Jie; Anderson, Alisha

    2016-01-01

    The Insect taste system plays a central role in feeding behaviours and co-evolution of insect-host interactions. Gustatory receptors form the interface between the insect taste system and the environment. From genome and transcriptome sequencing we identified 197 novel gustatory receptor (GR) genes from the polyphagous pest Helicoverpa armigera. These GRs include a significantly expanded bitter receptor family (180 GRs) that could be further divided into three categories based on polypeptide lengths, gene structure and amino acid sequence. Type 1 includes 29 bitter Gr genes that possess introns. Type 2 includes 13 long intronless bitter Gr genes, while Type 3 comprises 131 short intronless bitter Gr genes. Calcium imaging analysis demonstrated that three Type 3 GRs (HarmGR35, HarmGR50 and HarmGR195) can be activated by a crude extract of cotton leaves. HarmGR195, a GR specifically and selectively expressed in adult tarsi, showed a specific response to proline, an amino acid widely present in plant tissues. We hypothesise that the expansion in the H. armigera GR family may be functionally tied to its polyphagous behavior. Understanding the molecular basis of polyphagy may provide opportunities for the development of new environmentally friendly pest control strategies. PMID:27032373

  16. Alkaloid variation among epichloid endophytes of sleepygrass (Achnatherum robustum) and consequences for resistance to insect herbivores.

    PubMed

    Shymanovich, Tatsiana; Saari, Susanna; Lovin, Mary E; Jarmusch, Alan K; Jarmusch, Scott A; Musso, Ashleigh M; Charlton, Nikki D; Young, Carolyn A; Cech, Nadja B; Faeth, Stanley H

    2015-01-01

    Epichloid endophytes are well known symbionts of many cool-season grasses that may alleviate environmental stresses for their hosts. For example, endophytes produce alkaloid compounds that may be toxic to invertebrate or vertebrate herbivores. Achnatherum robustum, commonly called sleepygrass, was aptly named due to the presence of an endophyte that causes toxic effects to livestock and wildlife. Variation in alkaloid production observed in two A. robustum populations located near Weed and Cloudcroft in the Lincoln National Forest, New Mexico, suggests two different endophyte species are present in these populations. Genetic analyses of endophyte-infected samples revealed major differences in the endophyte alkaloid genetic profiles from the two populations, which were supported with chemical analyses. The endophyte present in the Weed population was shown to produce chanoclavine I, paspaline, and terpendoles, so thus resembles the previously described Epichloë funkii. The endophyte present in the Cloudcroft population produces chanoclavineI, ergonovine, lysergic acid amide, and paspaline, and is an undescribed endophyte species. We observed very low survival rates for aphids feeding on plants infected with the Cloudcroft endophyte, while aphid survival was better on endophyte infected plants in the Weed population. This observation led to the hypothesis that the alkaloid ergonovine is responsible for aphid mortality. Direct testing of aphid survival on oat leaves supplemented with ergonovine provided supporting evidence for this hypothesis. The results of this study suggest that alkaloids produced by the Cloudcroft endophyte, specifically ergonovine, have insecticidal properties. PMID:25501262

  17. Mode of action of the sesquiterpene lactone, tenulin, from Helenium amarum against herbivorous insects.

    PubMed

    Arnason, J T; Isman, M B; Philogène, B J; Waddell, T G

    1987-01-01

    Tenulin [1], a sesquiterpene lactone from Helenuim amarum, is a potent antifeedant to the European corn borer Ostrinia nubilalis. At 3 mumol/g in artificial diets, 1 reduced growth and delayed larval development of O. nubilalis and the variegated cutworm Peridroma saucia larvae. An especially pronouned carry-over effect in O. nubilis was substantial reduction in fecundity of adult moths resulting from treated larvae. The LD50 (lethal dose for 50% mortality) of 1 by injection in the migratory grasshopper Melanoplus sanguinipes was 0.88 mumol/insect. Toxicity in M. sanguinipes was antagonized by co-administration of cysteine, suggesting that the cyclopentenone group of tenulin undergoes Michael addition of biological nucleophiles in vivo. This mechanism was partially confirmed by the finding that only tenulin analogues capable of acting as electrophic acceptors had significant antifeedant activity. PMID:3430166

  18. Belowground induction by Delia radicum or phytohormones affect aboveground herbivore communities on field-grown broccoli

    PubMed Central

    Pierre, S. P.; Dugravot, S.; Hervé, M. R.; Hassan, H. M.; van Dam, N. M.; Cortesero, A. M.

    2013-01-01

    Induced plant defence in response to phytophagous insects is a well described phenomenon. However, so far little is known about the effect of induced plant responses on subsequently colonizing herbivores in the field. Broccoli plants were induced in the belowground compartment using (i) infestation by the root-herbivore Delia radicum, (ii) root application of jasmonic acid (JA) or (iii) root application of salicylic acid (SA). The abundance of D. radicum and six aboveground herbivores displaying contrasting levels of host specialization were surveyed for 5 weeks. Our study showed that the response of herbivores was found to differ from one another, depending on the herbivore species, its degree of specialization and the root treatment. The abundance of the root herbivore D. radicum and particularly the number of emerging adults was decreased by both phytohormone treatments, while the number of D. radicum eggs was increased on conspecific infested plants. The root infestation exhibited moderate effects on the aboveground community. The abundance of the aphid Brevicoryne brassicae was strongly increased on D. radicum infested plants, but the other species were not impacted. Root hormone applications exhibited a strong effect on the abundance of specialist foliar herbivores. A higher number of B. brassicae and Pieris brassicae and a lower number of Plutella xylostella were found on JA treated plants. On SA treated plants we observed a decrease of the abundance of B. brassicae, Pi. rapae, and P. xylostella. Surprisingly, generalist species, Mamestra brassicae and Myzus persicae were not affected by root induction treatments. Finally, root treatments had no significant effect on either glucosinolate (GLS) profiles of the heads or on plant quality parameters. These results are discussed from the perspective of below- aboveground interactions and adaptations of phytophagous insects to induced plant responses according to their trophic specialization level. PMID:23970888

  19. Comparative analysis of quantitative trait loci controlling glucosinolates, myrosinase and insect resistance in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed Central

    Kliebenstein, Daniel; Pedersen, Deana; Barker, Bridget; Mitchell-Olds, Thomas

    2002-01-01

    Evolutionary interactions among insect herbivores and plant chemical defenses have generated systems where plant compounds have opposing fitness consequences for host plants, depending on attack by various insect herbivores. This interplay complicates understanding of fitness costs and benefits of plant chemical defenses. We are studying the role of the glucosinolate-myrosinase chemical defense system in protecting Arabidopsis thaliana from specialist and generalist insect herbivory. We used two Arabidopsis recombinant inbred populations in which we had previously mapped QTL controlling variation in the glucosinolate-myrosinase system. In this study we mapped QTL controlling resistance to specialist (Plutella xylostella) and generalist (Trichoplusia ni) herbivores. We identified a number of QTL that are specific to one herbivore or the other, as well as a single QTL that controls resistance to both insects. Comparison of QTL for herbivory, glucosinolates, and myrosinase showed that T. ni herbivory is strongly deterred by higher glucosinolate levels, faster breakdown rates, and specific chemical structures. In contrast, P. xylostella herbivory is uncorrelated with variation in the glucosinolate-myrosinase system. This agrees with evolutionary theory stating that specialist insects may overcome host plant chemical defenses, whereas generalists will be sensitive to these same defenses. PMID:12019246

  20. Tracking the elusive history of diversification in plant-herbivorous insect-parasitoid food webs: insights from figs and fig wasps.

    PubMed

    Kjellberg, Finn; Proffit, Magali

    2016-02-01

    The food webs consisting of plants, herbivorous insects and their insect parasitoids are a major component of terrestrial biodiversity. They play a central role in the functioning of all terrestrial ecosystems, and the number of species involved is mind-blowing (Nyman et al. 2015). Nevertheless, our understanding of the evolutionary and ecological determinants of their diversity is still in its infancy. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Sutton et al. (2016) open a window into the comparative analysis of spatial genetic structuring in a set of comparable multitrophic models, involving highly species-specific interactions: figs and fig wasps. This is the first study to compare genetic structure using population genetics tools in a fig-pollinating wasp (Pleistodontes imperialis sp1) and its main parasitoid (Sycoscapter sp.A). The fig-pollinating wasp has a discontinuous spatial distribution that correlates with genetic differentiation, while the parasitoid bridges the discontinuity by parasitizing other pollinator species on the same host fig tree and presents basically no spatial genetic structure. The full implications of these results for our general understanding of plant-herbivorous insect-insect parasitoids diversification become apparent when envisioned within the framework of recent advances in fig and fig wasp biology. PMID:26876231

  1. Host selection behavior and the fecundity of Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) on multiple host plants.

    PubMed

    Huang, Bin; Shi, Zhanghong; Hou, Youming

    2014-01-01

    Insect herbivores often have higher densities on host plants grown in monocultures than those in diverse environments. The underlying mechanisms are thought to be that polyphagous insects have difficulty in selecting food or oviposition sites when multiple host plants exist. However, this hypothesis needs to be extensively investigated. Our field experiments revealed that the population of the diamondback moths, Plutella xylostella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), significantly decreased in a mixed cropping field compared with a monoculture. To determine the reasons for the reduction in population in the mixed cropping field, the takeoff behavior and fecundity of females in no-choice and free-choice laboratory environments were compared by video recordings of host selection by P. xylostella. Adults displayed a significantly higher takeoff frequency in free-choice environments than those in no-choice treatments and preferred landing on Brassica campestris (L.) or Brassica juncea (Coss) plants in contrast with Brassica oleracea (L.). Female adults in the free-choice environment also laid fewer eggs compared with the monoculture. Olfaction experiments demonstrated orientation by P. xylostella to host volatiles when presented with a choice between plant odors and clean air, but females showed no preference when odors from three Brassicaceae species were presented simultaneously. We conclude that mixed cropping alters the host-finding behavior of P. xylostella resulting in reduced oviposition. PMID:25527573

  2. Shelters of leaf-tying herbivores decompose faster than leaves damaged by free-living insects: Implications for nutrient turnover in polluted habitats.

    PubMed

    Kozlov, Mikhail V; Zverev, Vitali; Zvereva, Elena L

    2016-10-15

    Leaf-eating insects can influence decomposition processes by modifying quality of leaf litter, and this impact can be especially pronounced in habitats where leaf-eating insects reach high densities, for example in heavily polluted areas. We hypothesized that the decomposition rate is faster for shelters of leaf-tying larvae than for leaves damaged by free-living insects, in particular due to the accumulation of larval frass within shelters. We exposed litter bags containing samples of three different compositions (shelters built by moth larvae, leaves damaged by free-living insects and intact leaves of mountain birch, Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii) for one year at two heavily polluted sites near the nickel-copper smelter at Monchegorsk in north-western Russia and at two unpolluted sites. The decomposition rate of leaves damaged by free-living insects was 91% of that of undamaged leaves, whereas the mass loss of leaves composing shelters did not differ of that of undamaged leaves. These differences between leaves damaged by different guilds of herbivorous insects were uniform across the study sites, although the decomposition rate in polluted sites was reduced to 77% of that in unpolluted sites. Addition of larval frass to undamaged leaves had no effect on the subsequent decomposition rate. Therefore we suggest that damaged leaves tied by shelter-building larvae decompose faster than untied damaged leaves due to a looser physical structure of the litter, which creates favourable conditions for detritivores and soil decomposers. Thus, while leaf damage by insects per se reduces litter quality and its decomposition rate, structuring of litter by leaf-tying insects counterbalances these negative effects. We conclude that leaf-tying larvae, in contrast to free-living defoliators, do not impose negative effects on nutrient turnover rate even at their high densities, which are frequently observed in heavily polluted sites. PMID:27288287

  3. Effects of plant identity and diversity on the dietary choice of a soil-living insect herbivore.

    PubMed

    Schallhart, Nikolaus; Tusch, Manuel Josef; Wallinger, Corinna; Staudacher, Karin; Traugott, Michael

    2012-12-01

    Plant identity and diversity influence herbivore communities in many different ways. While it is well known how they affect the feeding preferences of aboveground herbivores, this information is lacking for soil ecosystems, where examining plant-herbivore trophic interactions is difficult. We performed a mesocosm experiment assessing how plant identity and diversity affect the food choice of Agriotes larvae, which are soil-living generalist herbivores. We offered four plant species, (maize, a grass, a legume, and a forb) at varying combinations and diversity levels to these larvae, and analyzed their feeding behavior using stable isotopes. We hypothesized that (1) their food choice is driven by preference for certain plant species rather than by root abundance and that (2) the preference for specific plants changes with increasing plant diversity. We found that larvae preferred the grass and legume but avoided maize and the forb. Whether a plant was preferred or avoided was independent of diversity, but the extent of avoidance or preference changed with increasing plant diversity. Our findings reveal that the dietary choice of soil-living generalist herbivores is determined by plant-specific traits rather than root abundance. Our data also suggest that soil herbivore feeding preferences are modulated by plant diversity. PMID:23431595

  4. Oviposition preference of cabbage white butterflies in the framework of costs and benefits of interspecific herbivore associations.

    PubMed

    Shiojiri, Kaori; Sabelis, Maurice; Takabayashi, Junji

    2015-12-01

    When deciding where to oviposit, herbivorous insects consider: (i) the plant's value as a food source, (ii) the risks of competing with con- and heterospecific herbivores, and (iii) the risks of parasitism and predation on the host plant. The presence of con- and/or heterospecific competitors would further affect the oviposition preference, because the preceding herbivores induce direct/indirect defences in plants against forthcoming herbivores, and thereby alter oviposition decisions. In previous studies, the abovementioned factors have not been studied in an integrative manner. We performed here a case study of this by assessing the oviposition preferences of a small white butterfly, Pieris rapae, for plants occupied by combinations of conspecific larvae, heterospecific larvae (Plutella xylostella), specialist parasitoids of Pi. rapae (Cotesia glomerata) and generalist predators (ants). We previously reported that the females showed equal preference for Pl. xylostella-infested and uninfested plants. Here, we showed that Pi. rapae females preferred uninfested plants to conspecific-infested ones, and Pl. xylostella-infested plants to Pi. rapae-infested ones. We discuss these oviposition preferences of Pi. rapae females in the framework of costs and benefits of interspecific herbivore associations from the above point of view. PMID:27019738

  5. Oviposition preference of cabbage white butterflies in the framework of costs and benefits of interspecific herbivore associations

    PubMed Central

    Shiojiri, Kaori; Sabelis, Maurice; Takabayashi, Junji

    2015-01-01

    When deciding where to oviposit, herbivorous insects consider: (i) the plant’s value as a food source, (ii) the risks of competing with con- and heterospecific herbivores, and (iii) the risks of parasitism and predation on the host plant. The presence of con- and/or heterospecific competitors would further affect the oviposition preference, because the preceding herbivores induce direct/indirect defences in plants against forthcoming herbivores, and thereby alter oviposition decisions. In previous studies, the abovementioned factors have not been studied in an integrative manner. We performed here a case study of this by assessing the oviposition preferences of a small white butterfly, Pieris rapae, for plants occupied by combinations of conspecific larvae, heterospecific larvae (Plutella xylostella), specialist parasitoids of Pi. rapae (Cotesia glomerata) and generalist predators (ants). We previously reported that the females showed equal preference for Pl. xylostella-infested and uninfested plants. Here, we showed that Pi. rapae females preferred uninfested plants to conspecific-infested ones, and Pl. xylostella-infested plants to Pi. rapae-infested ones. We discuss these oviposition preferences of Pi. rapae females in the framework of costs and benefits of interspecific herbivore associations from the above point of view. PMID:27019738

  6. Caterpillar-induced plant volatiles remain a reliable signal for foraging wasps during dual attack with a plant pathogen or non-host insect herbivore.

    PubMed

    Ponzio, Camille; Gols, Rieta; Weldegergis, Berhane T; Dicke, Marcel

    2014-08-01

    Plants respond to herbivory with the emission of plant volatiles, which can be used by the herbivores' natural enemies to locate their hosts or prey. In nature, plants are often simultaneously confronted with insect herbivores and phytopathogens, potentially interfering with the attraction of the herbivores' enemies as a result of modifications of the induced volatile blend. Here, we investigated parasitoid (Cotesia glomerata) attraction to volatiles of plants challenged by different attackers, either alone or in combination with Pieris brassicae caterpillars, hosts of C. glomerata. We used a natural system consisting of Brassica nigra plants, eggs and larvae of P. brassicae, Brevicoryne brassicae aphids and the bacterial phytopathogen Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris. In all cases, parasitoids successfully located host-infested plants, and wasp foraging behaviour was unaffected by the simultaneous presence of a non-host attacker or host eggs. Analysis of the volatile emissions show that the volatile blends of caterpillar-infested treatments were different from those without caterpillars. Furthermore, dually attacked plants could not be separated from those with only caterpillars, regardless of non-host identity, supporting the behavioural data. Our results suggest that, in this system, indirect plant defences may be more resistant to interference than is generally assumed, with volatiles induced during dual attack remaining reliable indicators of host presence for parasitoids. PMID:24697624

  7. The effects of atmospheric CO/sub 2/ on insect herbivores and their hosts plants: Progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Lincoln, D.E.

    1989-04-01

    The overall goal of the research program is to determine how plant/herbivore interactions change with increasing atmospheric CO/sub 2/ concentration and how these changes affect community structure and functioning. Five specific objectives have been developed to approach these goals over the grant period. These objectives are to determine: (1) if specialist feeding herbivores respond to host plant CO/sub 2/ enrichment in the same manner as generalist feeders, (2) if the impact of defoliation is lessened under enriched CO/sub 2/conditions, (3) the biochemical basis for the altered nutritional value of leaves resulting from elevated CO/sub 2/, (4) the demographic and consumption responses of an herbivore to CO/sub 2/ regimes, and (5) whether plants with the C/sub 4/ photosynthetic pathway will also have altered relationships with herbivores. Significant progress has been made on three of these goals. Manuscripts are appended. A revised study plan to complete the remaining objectives is appended.

  8. An amino acid substitution inhibits specialist herbivore production of a competitive antagonist effector and recovers insect-induced plant defenses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plants respond to insect herbivory through the production of biochemicals that function as either direct defenses or indirect defenses via the attraction of natural enemies. Curiously, attack by even closely related insect pests can result in distinctive levels of induced plant defenses. Despite the...

  9. An amino acid substitution inhibits specialist herbivore production of an antagonist effector and recovers insect-induced plant defenses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plants respond to insect herbivory through the production of biochemicals that function as either direct defenses or indirect defenses via the attraction of natural enemies. Curiously, attack by even closely related insect pests can result in distinctive levels of induced plant defenses. Despite the...

  10. Metabolism, excretion and avoidance of cyanogenic glucosides in insects with different feeding specialisations.

    PubMed

    Pentzold, Stefan; Zagrobelny, Mika; Bjarnholt, Nanna; Kroymann, Juergen; Vogel, Heiko; Olsen, Carl Erik; Møller, Birger Lindberg; Bak, Søren

    2015-11-01

    Cyanogenic glucosides (CNglcs) are widespread plant defence compounds releasing toxic hydrogen cyanide when hydrolysed by specific β-glucosidases after plant tissue damage. In contrast to specialist herbivores that have mechanisms to avoid toxicity from CNglcs, it is generally assumed that non-adapted herbivores are negatively affected by CNglcs. Recent evidence, however, implies that the defence potential of CNglcs towards herbivores may not be as effective as previously anticipated. Here, performance, metabolism and excretion products of insects not adapted to CNglcs were analysed, including species with different degrees of dietary specialisation (generalists, specialists) and different feeding modes (leaf-snipping lepidopterans, piercing-sucking aphids). Insects were reared either on cyanogenic or acyanogenic plants or on an artificial cyanogenic diet. Lepidopteran generalists (Spodoptera littoralis, Spodoptera exigua, Mamestra brassicae) were compared to lepidopteran glucosinolate-specialists (Pieris rapae, Pieris brassicae, Plutella xylostella), and a generalist aphid (Myzus persicae) was compared to an aphid glucosinolate-specialist (Lipaphis erysimi). All insects were tolerant to cyanogenic plants; in lepidopterans tolerance was mainly due to excretion of intact CNglcs. The two Pieris species furthermore metabolized aromatic CNglcs to amino acid conjugates (Cys, Gly, Ser) and derivatives of these, which is similar to the metabolism of benzylglucosinolates in these species. Aphid species avoided uptake of CNglcs during feeding. Our results imply that non-adapted insects tolerate plant CNglcs either by keeping them intact for excretion, metabolizing them, or avoiding uptake. PMID:26483288

  11. An Amino Acid Substitution Inhibits Specialist Herbivore Production of an Antagonist Effector and Recovers Insect-Induced Plant Defenses1[W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Schmelz, Eric A.; Huffaker, Alisa; Carroll, Mark J.; Alborn, Hans T.; Ali, Jared G.; Teal, Peter E.A.

    2012-01-01

    Plants respond to insect herbivory through the production of biochemicals that function as either direct defenses or indirect defenses via the attraction of natural enemies. While attack by closely related insect pests can result in distinctive levels of induced plant defenses, precise biochemical mechanisms responsible for differing responses remain largely unknown. Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) responds to Fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) herbivory through the detection of fragments of chloroplastic ATP synthase γ-subunit proteins, termed inceptin-related peptides, present in larval oral secretions (OS). In contrast to generalists like Fall armyworm, OS of the legume-specializing velvetbean caterpillar (VBC; Anticarsia gemmatalis) do not elicit ethylene production and demonstrate significantly lower induced volatile emission in direct herbivory comparisons. Unlike all other Lepidoptera OS examined, which preferentially contain inceptin (Vu-In; +ICDINGVCVDA−), VBC OS contain predominantly a C-terminal truncated peptide, Vu-In−A (+ICDINGVCVD−). Vu-In−A is both inactive and functions as a potent naturally occurring antagonist of Vu-In-induced responses. To block antagonist production, amino acid substitutions at the C terminus were screened for differences in VBC gut proteolysis. A valine-substituted peptide (Vu-InΔV; +ICDINGVCVDV−) retaining full elicitor activity was found to accumulate in VBC OS. Compared with the native polypeptide, VBC that previously ingested 500 pmol of the valine-modified chloroplastic ATP synthase γ-subunit precursor elicited significantly stronger plant responses in herbivory assays. We demonstrate that a specialist herbivore minimizes the activation of defenses by converting an elicitor into an antagonist effector and identify an amino acid substitution that recovers these induced plant defenses to a level observed with generalist herbivores. PMID:23008466

  12. How insects overcome two-component plant chemical defence: plant β-glucosidases as the main target for herbivore adaptation.

    PubMed

    Pentzold, Stefan; Zagrobelny, Mika; Rook, Fred; Bak, Søren

    2014-08-01

    Insect herbivory is often restricted by glucosylated plant chemical defence compounds that are activated by plant β-glucosidases to release toxic aglucones upon plant tissue damage. Such two-component plant defences are widespread in the plant kingdom and examples of these classes of compounds are alkaloid, benzoxazinoid, cyanogenic and iridoid glucosides as well as glucosinolates and salicinoids. Conversely, many insects have evolved a diversity of counteradaptations to overcome this type of constitutive chemical defence. Here we discuss that such counter-adaptations occur at different time points, before and during feeding as well as during digestion, and at several levels such as the insects’ feeding behaviour, physiology and metabolism. Insect adaptations frequently circumvent or counteract the activity of the plant β-glucosidases, bioactivating enzymes that are a key element in the plant’s two-component chemical defence. These adaptations include host plant choice, non-disruptive feeding guilds and various physiological adaptations as well as metabolic enzymatic strategies of the insect’s digestive system. Furthermore, insect adaptations often act in combination, may exist in both generalists and specialists, and can act on different classes of defence compounds. We discuss how generalist and specialist insects appear to differ in their ability to use these different types of adaptations: in generalists, adaptations are often inducible, whereas in specialists they are often constitutive. Future studies are suggested to investigate in detail how insect adaptations act in combination to overcome plant chemical defences and to allow ecologically relevant conclusions. PMID:25165798

  13. Plant diversity effects on insect herbivores and their natural enemies: current thinking, recent findings, and future directions.

    PubMed

    Moreira, Xoaquín; Abdala-Roberts, Luis; Rasmann, Sergio; Castagneyrol, Bastien; Mooney, Kailen A

    2016-04-01

    A rich body of theory has been developed to predict the effects of plant diversity on communities at higher trophic levels and the mechanisms underpinning such effects. However, there are currently a number of key gaps in knowledge that have hindered the development of a predictive framework of plant diversity effects on consumers. For instance, we still know very little about how the magnitude of plant trait variation (e.g. intra-specific vs. inter-specific), as well as the identity and combined effects of plant, herbivore and natural enemy traits, mediate plant diversity effects on consumers. Moreover, the fine-scale mechanisms (e.g. changes in consumer behaviour or recruitment responses) underlying such diversity effects in many cases remain elusive or have been overlooked. In addition, most studies of plant diversity effects on associated consumers have been developed under a static, unidirectional (bottom-up) framework of effects on herbivores and predators without taking into account the potential for dynamic feedbacks across trophic levels. Here we seek to address these key gaps in knowledge as well as to capitalize on recent advances and emerging frameworks in plant biodiversity research. In doing so, we provide new insights as well as recommendations which will stimulate new research and advance this field of study. PMID:27436639

  14. Screening Bacillus thuringiensis strains for toxicity against Manduca sexta and Plutella xylostella

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Screening Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) isolates or strains for toxicity has traditionally been performed with one bacterial isolate at time versus a specific insect. By testing of Bt strains in groups, we identified 28 of 147 Bt isolates as toxic to either diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.),...

  15. Non-Photochemical Quenching Capacity in Arabidopsis thaliana Affects Herbivore Behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Johansson Jänkänpää, Hanna; Frenkel, Martin; Zulfugarov, Ismayil; Reichelt, Michael; Krieger-Liszkay, Anja; Mishra, Yogesh; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Moen, Jon; Lee, Choon-Hwan; Jansson, Stefan

    2013-01-01

    Under natural conditions, plants have to cope with numerous stresses, including light-stress and herbivory. This raises intriguing questions regarding possible trade-offs between stress defences and growth. As part of a program designed to address these questions we have compared herbivory defences and damage in wild type Arabidopsis thaliana and two “photoprotection genotypes”, npq4 and oePsbS, which respectively lack and overexpress PsbS (a protein that plays a key role in qE-type non-photochemical quenching). In dual-choice feeding experiments both a specialist (Plutella xylostella) and a generalist (Spodoptera littoralis) insect herbivore preferred plants that expressed PsbS most strongly. In contrast, although both herbivores survived equally well on each of the genotypes, for oviposition female P. xylostella adults preferred plants that expressed PsbS least strongly. However, there were no significant differences between the genotypes in levels of the 10 most prominent glucosinolates; key substances in the Arabidopsis anti-herbivore chemical defence arsenal. After transfer from a growth chamber to the field we detected significant differences in the genotypes’ metabolomic profiles at all tested time points, using GC-MS, but no consistent “metabolic signature” for the lack of PsbS. These findings suggest that the observed differences in herbivore preferences were due to differences in the primary metabolism of the plants rather than their contents of typical “defence compounds”. A potentially significant factor is that superoxide accumulated most rapidly and to the highest levels under high light conditions in npq4 mutants. This could trigger changes in planta that are sensed by herbivores either directly or indirectly, following its dismutation to H2O2. PMID:23301046

  16. Different Transcript Patterns in Response to Specialist and Generalist Herbivores in the Wild Arabidopsis Relative Boechera divaricarpa

    PubMed Central

    Vogel, Heiko; Kroymann, Juergen; Mitchell-Olds, Thomas

    2007-01-01

    Background Plants defend themselves against herbivorous insects, utilizing both constitutive and inducible defenses. Induced defenses are controlled by several phytohormone-mediated signaling pathways. Here, we analyze transcriptional changes in the North American Arabidopsis relative Boechera divaricarpa in response to larval herbivory by the crucifer specialist lepidopteran Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth) and by the generalist lepidopteran Trichoplusia ni (cabbage semilooper), and compare them to wounding and exogenous phytohormone application. Methodology/Principal Findings We use a custom macroarray constructed from B. divaricarpa herbivory-regulated cDNAs identified by suppression subtractive hybridization and from known stress-responsive A. thaliana genes for transcript profiling after insect herbivory, wounding and in response to jasmonate, salicylate and ethylene. In addition, we introduce path analysis as a novel approach to analyze transcript profiles. Path analyses reveal that transcriptional responses to the crucifer specialist P. xylostella are primarily determined by direct effects of the ethylene and salicylate pathways, whereas responses to the generalist T. ni are influenced by the ethylene and jasmonate pathways. Wound-induced transcriptional changes are influenced by all three pathways, with jasmonate having the strongest effect. Conclusions/Significance Our results show that insect herbivory is distinct from simple mechanical plant damage, and that different lepidopteran herbivores elicit different transcriptional responses. PMID:17957263

  17. Performance of Generalist and Specialist Herbivores and their Endoparasitoids Differs on Cultivated and Wild Brassica Populations

    PubMed Central

    Bukovinszky, Tibor; van Dam, Nicole M.; Dicke, Marcel; Bullock, James M.; Harvey, Jeffrey A.

    2008-01-01

    Through artificial selection, domesticated plants often contain modified levels of primary and secondary metabolites compared to their wild progenitors. It is hypothesized that the changed chemistry of cultivated plants will affect the performance of insects associated with these plants. In this paper, the development of several specialist and generalist herbivores and their endoparasitoids were compared when reared on a wild and cultivated population of cabbage, Brassica oleracea, and a recently established feral Brassica species. Irrespective of insect species or the degree of dietary specialization, herbivores and parasitoids developed most poorly on the wild population. For the specialists, plant population influenced only development time and adult body mass, whereas for the generalists, plant populations also affected egg-to-adult survival. Two parasitoid species, a generalist (Diadegma fenestrale) and a specialist (D. semiclausum), were reared from the same host (Plutella xylostella). Performance of D. semiclausum was closely linked to that of its host, whereas the correlation between survival of D. fenestrale and host performance was less clear. Plants in the Brassicaceae characteristically produce defense-related glucosinolates (GS). Levels of GS in leaves of undamaged plants were significantly higher in plants from the wild population than from the domesticated populations. Moreover, total GS concentrations increased significantly in wild plants after herbivory, but not in domesticated or feral plants. The results of this study reveal that a cabbage cultivar and plants from a wild cabbage population exhibit significant differences in quality in terms of their effects on the growth and development of insect herbivores and their natural enemies. Although cultivated plants have proved to be model systems in agroecology, we argue that some caution should be applied to evolutionary explanations derived from studies on domesticated plants, unless some knowledge

  18. (The effects of atmospheric CO/sub 2/ on insect herbivores and their host plants): Progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Lincoln, D.E.

    1987-04-01

    Preliminary analysis of two populations of Artemisia tridentata compared leaf chemical and physiological characteristics which influence herbivores. The proportion of sixteen of the volatile compounds differed significantly between the two populations; however, total yield of volatiles did not. This initial survey established the reliability of the procedure to quantitatively monitor plant responses to CO/sub 2/ enrichment and suggests that test samples be restricted to a single population. Four sesquiterpene lactones have been selected for the experimental quantitative HPLC analysis; all peaks have been assigned identities and have demonstrated high degree of reproducibility. Growth of Artemisia under high and low light at three CO/sub 2/ levels demonstrated that this species also undergoes a ''dilution'' of the leaf carbon content and is useful as test species for herbivory response to CO/sub 2/ induced effects. The initial experiment also showed that high irradiance is a necessary growth condition. 10 refs.

  19. Silencing defense pathways in Arabidopsis by heterologous gene sequences from Brassica oleracea enhances the performance of a specialist and a generalist herbivorous insect.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Si-Jun; Zhang, Peng-Jun; van Loon, Joop J A; Dicke, Marcel

    2011-08-01

    The jasmonic acid (JA) signaling pathway and defensive secondary metabolites such as glucosinolates are generally considered to play central roles in the defense of brassicaceous plants against herbivorous insects. To determine the function of specific plant genes in plant-insect interactions, signaling or biosynthetic mutants are needed. However, mutants are not yet available for brassicaceous plants other than Arabidopsis thaliana, e.g., cabbage (Brassica oleracea). We employed virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) by using tobacco rattle virus (TRV) to knock down the endogenous expression of lipoxygenase (LOX), an upstream enzyme of the JA pathway and thioglucoside glucohydrolase: myrosinase (TGG1/TGG2), a hydrolytic enzyme that catalyzes the release of defensive volatile products originating from glucosinolates, in Arabidopsis thaliana. This was done by using the heterologous gene sequences from B. oleracea. Silencing these genes in A. thaliana plants is efficient and specific. Only 18 nucleotides with 100% identity between the trigger (BoMYR) and the target (AtTGG1/2) sequence are sufficient to achieve gene silencing. LOX-silenced plants showed significantly reduced AtLOX2 transcript accumulation after Pieris rapae larval feeding. TGG-silenced plants exhibited significantly lower TGG1/TGG2 transcript levels only after shorter larval feeding. The inhibition of TGG1/TGG2 transcript accumulation via gene silencing may be overruled by longer larval feeding. Specialist P. rapae larvae developed significantly better on both types of silenced plants than on empty vector (EV) control plants, while generalist Mamestra brassicae larvae developed significantly better on the TGG1/TGG2 silenced plants than on EV control plants. This shows that not only the generalist herbivore but also the Brassicaceae-specialist P. rapae is negatively affected by the ability of brassicaceous plants to produce their specific secondary metabolites, i.e., glucosinolates. Our results

  20. Impacts of local adaptation of forest trees on associations with herbivorous insects: implications for adaptive forest management.

    PubMed

    Sinclair, Frazer H; Stone, Graham N; Nicholls, James A; Cavers, Stephen; Gibbs, Melanie; Butterill, Philip; Wagner, Stefanie; Ducousso, Alexis; Gerber, Sophie; Petit, Rémy J; Kremer, Antoine; Schönrogge, Karsten

    2015-12-01

    Disruption of species interactions is a key issue in climate change biology. Interactions involving forest trees may be particularly vulnerable due to evolutionary rate limitations imposed by long generation times. One mitigation strategy for such impacts is Climate matching - the augmentation of local native tree populations by input from nonlocal populations currently experiencing predicted future climates. This strategy is controversial because of potential cascading impacts on locally adapted animal communities. We explored these impacts using abundance data for local native gallwasp herbivores sampled from 20 provenances of sessile oak (Quercus petraea) planted in a common garden trial. We hypothesized that non-native provenances would show (i) declining growth performance with increasing distance between provenance origin and trial site, and (ii) phenological differences to local oaks that increased with latitudinal differences between origin and trial site. Under a local adaptation hypothesis, we predicted declining gallwasp abundance with increasing phenological mismatch between native and climate-matched trees. Both hypotheses for oaks were supported. Provenance explained significant variation in gallwasp abundance, but no gall type showed the relationship between abundance and phenological mismatch predicted by a local adaptation hypothesis. Our results show that climate matching would have complex and variable impacts on oak gall communities. PMID:26640522

  1. Impacts of local adaptation of forest trees on associations with herbivorous insects: implications for adaptive forest management

    PubMed Central

    Sinclair, Frazer H; Stone, Graham N; Nicholls, James A; Cavers, Stephen; Gibbs, Melanie; Butterill, Philip; Wagner, Stefanie; Ducousso, Alexis; Gerber, Sophie; Petit, Rémy J; Kremer, Antoine; Schönrogge, Karsten

    2015-01-01

    Disruption of species interactions is a key issue in climate change biology. Interactions involving forest trees may be particularly vulnerable due to evolutionary rate limitations imposed by long generation times. One mitigation strategy for such impacts is Climate matching – the augmentation of local native tree populations by input from nonlocal populations currently experiencing predicted future climates. This strategy is controversial because of potential cascading impacts on locally adapted animal communities. We explored these impacts using abundance data for local native gallwasp herbivores sampled from 20 provenances of sessile oak (Quercus petraea) planted in a common garden trial. We hypothesized that non-native provenances would show (i) declining growth performance with increasing distance between provenance origin and trial site, and (ii) phenological differences to local oaks that increased with latitudinal differences between origin and trial site. Under a local adaptation hypothesis, we predicted declining gallwasp abundance with increasing phenological mismatch between native and climate-matched trees. Both hypotheses for oaks were supported. Provenance explained significant variation in gallwasp abundance, but no gall type showed the relationship between abundance and phenological mismatch predicted by a local adaptation hypothesis. Our results show that climate matching would have complex and variable impacts on oak gall communities. PMID:26640522

  2. Bacillus thuringiensis resistance in Plutella - too many trees?

    PubMed

    Crickmore, Neil

    2016-06-01

    Plutella xylostella was the first insect for which resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis was reported in the field, yet despite many studies on the nature of this resistance phenotype its genetic and molecular basis remains elusive. Many different factors have been proposed as contributing to resistance, although in many cases it has not been possible to establish a causal link. Indeed, there are so many studies published that it has become very difficult to 'see the wood for the trees'. This article will attempt to clarify our current understanding of Bt resistance in P. xylostella and consider the criteria that are used when validating a particular model. PMID:27436736

  3. Jack of all trades masters novel host plants: positive genetic correlations in specialist and generalist insect herbivores expanding their diets to novel hosts

    PubMed Central

    GARCÍA-ROBLEDO, CARLOS; HORVITZ, CAROL C.

    2011-01-01

    One explanation for the widespread host specialization of insect herbivores is the “Jack of all trades-master of none” principle, which states that genotypes with high performance on one host will perform poorly on other hosts. This principle predicts that cross-host correlation in performance of genotypes will be negative. In this study we experimentally explored cross-host correlations and performance among families in four species (two generalist and two specialist) of leaf beetles (Cephaloleia spp.) that are currently expanding their diets from native to exotic plants. All four species displayed similar responses in body size, developmental rates and mortality rates to experimentally controlled diets. When raised on novel hosts, body size of larvae, pupae and adults were reduced. Development times were longer and larval mortality was higher on novel hosts. Genotype × host plant interactions were not detected for most traits. All significant cross-host correlations were positive. These results indicate very different ecological and evolutionary dynamics than those predicted by the “Jack of all trades-master of none” principle. PMID:22022877

  4. Solar ultraviolet-B radiation affects seedling emergence, DNA integrity, plant morphology, growth rate, and attractiveness to herbivore insects in Datura ferox

    SciTech Connect

    Ballare, C.L.; Scopel, A.L.; Stapleton, A.E.

    1996-09-01

    To study functional relationships between the effects of solar ultraviolet-B radiation (UV0B) on different aspects of the physiology of a wild plant, we carried out exclusion experiments in the field with the summer annual Datura ferrox L. Solar UV-B incident over Buenos Aires reduced daytime seedling emergence, inhibited stem elongation and leaf expansion, and tended to reduce biomass accumulation during early growth. However, UV-B had no effect on calculated net assimilation rate. Using a monoclonal antibody specific to the cyclobutane-pyrimidine dimer (CPD), we found that plants receiving full sunlight had more CPDs per unit of DNA than plants shielded from solar UV-B, but the positive correlation between UV-B and CPD burden tended to level off at high (near solar) UV-B levels. At our field site, Datura plants were consumed by leaf beetles (Coleoptera), and the proportion of plants attacked by insects declined with the amount of UV-B received during growth. Field experiments showed that plant exposure to solar UV-B reduced the likelihood of leaf beetle attack by one-half. Our results highlight the complexities associated with scaling plant responses to solar UV-B, because they show: (a) a lack of correspondence between UV-B effects on net assimilation rate and whole-plant growth rate, (b) nonlinear UV-B dose-response curves, and (c) UV-B effects of plant attractiveness to natural herbivores. 56 refs., 7 figs.

  5. Solar Ultraviolet-B Radiation Affects Seedling Emergence, DNA Integrity, Plant Morphology, Growth Rate, and Attractiveness to Herbivore Insects in Datura ferox.

    PubMed Central

    Ballare, C. L.; Scopel, A. L.; Stapleton, A. E.; Yanovsky, M. J.

    1996-01-01

    To study functional relationships between the effects of solar ultraviolet-B radiation (UV-B) on different aspects of the physiology of a wild plant, we carried out exclusion experiments in the field with the summer annual Datura ferox L. Solar UV-B incident over Buenos Aires reduced daytime seedling emergence, inhibited stem elongation and leaf expansion, and tended to reduce biomass accumulation during early growth. However, UV-B had no effect on calculated net assimilation rate. Using a monoclonal antibody specific to the cyclobutane-pyrimidine dimer (CPD), we found that plants receiving full sunlight had more CPDs per unit of DNA than plants shielded from solar UV-B, but the positive correlation between UV-B and CPD burden tended to level off at high (near solar) UV-B levels. At our field site, Datura plants were consumed by leaf beetles (Coleoptera), and the proportion of plants attacked by insects declined with the amount of UV-B received during growth. Field experiments showed that plant exposure to solar UV-B reduced the likelihood of leaf beetle attack by one-half. Our results highlight the complexities associated with scaling plant responses to solar UV-B, because they show: (a) a lack of correspondence between UV-B effects on net assimilation rate and whole-plant growth rate, (b) nonlinear UV-B dose-response curves, and (c) UV-B effects of plant attractiveness to natural herbivores. PMID:12226382

  6. Fluorescence reports intact quantum dot uptake into roots and translocation to leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana and subsequent ingestion by insect herbivores.

    PubMed

    Koo, Yeonjong; Wang, Jing; Zhang, Qingbo; Zhu, Huiguang; Chehab, E Wassim; Colvin, Vicki L; Alvarez, Pedro J J; Braam, Janet

    2015-01-01

    We explored the impact of quantum dot (QD) coat characteristics on NP stability, uptake, and translocation in Arabidopsis thaliana, and subsequent transfer to primary consumers, Trichoplusia ni (T. ni). Arabidopsis was exposed to CdSe/CdZnS QDs with three different coatings: Poly(acrylic acid-ethylene glycol) (PAA-EG), polyethylenimine (PEI) and poly(maleic anhydride-alt-1-octadecene)-poly(ethylene glycol) (PMAO-PEG), which are anionic, cationic, and relatively neutral, respectively. PAA-EG-coated QDs were relatively stable and taken up from a hydroponic medium through both Arabidopsis leaf petioles and roots, without apparent aggregation, and showed generally uniform distribution in leaves. In contrast, PEI- and PMAO-PEG-coated QDs displayed destabilization in the hydroponic medium, and generated particulate fluorescence plant tissues, suggesting aggregation. PAA-EG QDs moved faster than PEI QDs through leaf petioles; however, 8-fold more cadmium accumulated in PEI QD-treated leaves than in those exposed to PAA-EG QDs, possibly due to PEI QD dissolution and direct metal uptake. T. ni caterpillars that fed on Arabidopsis exposed to QDs had reduced performance, and QD fluorescence was detected in both T. ni bodies and frass, demonstrating trophic transfer of intact QDs from plants to insects. Overall, this paper demonstrates that QD coat properties influence plant nanoparticle uptake and translocation and can impact transfer to herbivores. PMID:25437125

  7. Population Dynamics of an Insect Herbivore over 32 Years are Driven by Precipitation and Host-Plant Effects: Testing Model Predictions.

    PubMed

    Price, Peter W; Hunter, Mark D

    2015-06-01

    The interaction between the arroyo willow, Salix lasiolepis Bentham, and its specialist herbivore, the arroyo willow stem-galling sawfly, Euura lasiolepis Smith (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae), was studied for 32 yr in Flagstaff, AZ, emphasizing a mechanistic understanding of insect population dynamics. Long-term weather records were evaluated to provide a climatic context for this study. Previously, predictive models of sawfly dynamics were developed from estimates of sawfly gall density made between 1981 and 2002; one model each for drier and wetter sites. Predictor variables in these models included winter precipitation and the Palmer Drought Severity Index, which impact the willow growth, with strong bottom-up effects on sawflies. We now evaluate original model predictions of sawfly population dynamics using new data (from 2003-2012). Additionally, willow resources were evaluated in 1986 and in 2012, using as criteria clone area, shoot density, and shoot length. The dry site model accounted for 40% of gall population density variation between 2003 and 2012 (69% over the 32 yr), providing strong support for the bottom-up, mechanistic hypothesis that water supply to willow hosts impacts sawfly populations. The current drying trend stressed willow clones: in drier sites, willow resources declined and gall density decreased by 98%. The wet site model accounted for 23% of variation in gall population density between 2003 and 2012 (48% over 30 yr), consistent with less water limitation. Nonetheless, gall populations were reduced by 72%. PMID:26313951

  8. Generating Within-Plant Spatial Distributions of an Insect Herbivore Based on Aggregation Patterns and Per-Node Infestation Probabilities.

    PubMed

    Rincon, Diego F; Hoy, Casey W; Cañas, Luis A

    2015-04-01

    Most predator-prey models extrapolate functional responses from small-scale experiments assuming spatially uniform within-plant predator-prey interactions. However, some predators focus their search in certain plant regions, and herbivores tend to select leaves to balance their nutrient uptake and exposure to plant defenses. Individual-based models that account for heterogeneous within-plant predator-prey interactions can be used to scale-up functional responses, but they would require the generation of explicit prey spatial distributions within-plant architecture models. The silverleaf whitefly, Bemisia tabaci biotype B (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae), is a significant pest of tomato crops worldwide that exhibits highly aggregated populations at several spatial scales, including within the plant. As part of an analytical framework to understand predator-silverleaf whitefly interactions, the objective of this research was to develop an algorithm to generate explicit spatial counts of silverleaf whitefly nymphs within tomato plants. The algorithm requires the plant size and the number of silverleaf whitefly individuals to distribute as inputs, and includes models that describe infestation probabilities per leaf nodal position and the aggregation pattern of the silverleaf whitefly within tomato plants and leaves. The output is a simulated number of silverleaf whitefly individuals for each leaf and leaflet on one or more plants. Parameter estimation was performed using nymph counts per leaflet censused from 30 artificially infested tomato plants. Validation revealed a substantial agreement between algorithm outputs and independent data that included the distribution of counts of both eggs and nymphs. This algorithm can be used in simulation models that explore the effect of local heterogeneity on whitefly-predator dynamics. PMID:26313173

  9. Differential effects of indole and aliphatic glucosinolates on lepidopteran herbivores.

    PubMed

    Müller, René; de Vos, Martin; Sun, Joel Y; Sønderby, Ida E; Halkier, Barbara A; Wittstock, Ute; Jander, Georg

    2010-08-01

    Glucosinolates are a diverse group of defensive secondary metabolites that is characteristic of the Brassicales. Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. (Brassicaceae) lines with mutations that greatly reduce abundance of indole glucosinolates (cyp79B2 cyp79B3), aliphatic glucosinolates (myb28 myb29), or both (cyp79B2 cyp79B3 myb28 myb29) make it possible to test the in vivo defensive function of these two major glucosinolate classes. In experiments with Lepidoptera that are not crucifer-feeding specialists, aliphatic and indole glucosinolates had an additive effect on Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) larval growth, whereas Trichoplusia ni (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and Manduca sexta (L.) (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) were affected only by the absence of aliphatic glucosinolates. In the case of two crucifer-feeding specialists, Pieris rapae (L.) (Lepidoptera: Pieridae) and Plutella xylostella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), there were no major changes in larval performance due to decreased aliphatic and/or indole glucosinolate content. Nevertheless, choice tests show that aliphatic and indole glucosinolates act in an additive manner to promote larval feeding of both species and P. rapae oviposition. Together, these results support the hypothesis that a diversity of glucosinolates is required to limit the growth of multiple insect herbivores. PMID:20617455

  10. Prey perception of predation risk: volatile chemical cues mediate non-consumptive effects of a predator on a herbivorous insect.

    PubMed

    Hermann, Sara L; Thaler, Jennifer S

    2014-11-01

    Predators can affect prey in two ways-by reducing their density (consumptive effects) or by changing their behavior, physiology or other phenotypic traits (non-consumptive effects). Understanding the cues and sensory modalities prey use to detect predators is critical for predicting the strength of non-consumptive effects and the outcome of predator-prey encounters. While predator-associated cues have been well studied in aquatic systems, less is known about how terrestrial prey, particularly insect larvae, detect their predators. We evaluated how Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, larvae perceive predation risk by isolating cues from its stink bug predator, the spined soldier bug, Podisus maculiventris. When exposed to male "risk" predators that were surgically manipulated so they could hunt but not kill, beetles reduced feeding 29% compared to controls. Exposure to risk females caused an intermediate response. Beetles ate 24% less on leaves pre-exposed to predators compared to leaves never exposed to predators, indicating that tactile and visual cues are not required for the prey's response. Volatile odor cues from predators reduced beetle feeding by 10% overall, although male predators caused a stronger reduction than females. Finally, visual cues from the predator had a weak effect on beetle feeding. Because multiple cues appear to be involved in prey perception of risk, and because male and female predators have differential effects, beetle larvae likely experience tremendous variation in the information about risk from their local environment. PMID:25234373

  11. Baculoviral p94 homologs encoded in Cotesia plutellae bracovirus suppress both immunity and development of the diamondback moth, Plutellae xylostella.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yonggyun; Hepat, Rahul

    2016-04-01

    Polydnaviruses (PDVs) are a group of insect DNA viruses, which exhibit a mutual symbiotic relationship with their specific host wasps. Moreover, most encapsidated genes identified so far in PDVs share homologies with insect-originated genes, but not with virus-originated genes. In the meantime, PDVs associated with 2 wasp genera Cotesia and Glytapanteles encode some genes presumably originated from other viruses. Cotesia plutellae bracovirus (CpBV) encodes 4 genes homologous to baculoviral p94: CpBV-E94k1, CpBV-E94k2, CpBV-E94k3, and CpBV-E94k4. This study was conducted to predict the origin of CpBV-E94ks by comparing their sequences with those of baculoviral orthologs and to determine the physiological functions by their transient expressions in nonparasitized larvae and subsequent specific RNA interference. Our phylogenetic analysis indicated that CpBV-E94ks were clustered with other E94ks originated from different PDVs and shared high similarity with betabaculoviral p94s. These 4 CpBV genes were expressed during most developmental stages of the larvae of Plutella xylostella parasitized by C. plutellae. Expression of these 4 E94ks was mainly detected in hemocytes and fat body. Subsequent functional analysis by in vivo transient expression showed that all 4 viral genes significantly inhibited both host immune and developmental processes. These results suggest that CpBV-E94ks share an origin with betabaculoviral p94s and play parasitic roles in suppressing host immune and developmental processes. PMID:25973570

  12. Metamicrobiomics in herbivore beetles of the genus Cryptocephalus (Chrysomelidae): toward the understanding of ecological determinants in insect symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Montagna, Matteo; Gómez-Zurita, Jesús; Giorgi, Annamaria; Epis, Sara; Lozzia, Giuseppe; Bandi, Claudio

    2015-03-01

    The Cryptocephalus marginellus (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) complex is composed by six species that are supposed to have originated by events of allo- or parapatric speciation. In the present study we investigated the alternative hypotheses that the bacterial communities associated with six populations of this species complex are shaped by environmental factors, or reflect the proposed pattern of speciation. The microbiota associated with the six populations, from five species of the complex, have been characterized through 16S rRNA pyrotag sequencing. Based on a 97% sequence similarity threshold, data were clustered into 381 OTUs, which were analyzed using a variety of diversity indices. The microbiota of C. acquitanus and C. marginellus (Calanques) were the most diverse (over 100 OTUs), while that from C. zoiai yielded less bacterial diversity (45 OTUs). Taxonomic assignment revealed Proteobacteria, Tenericutes and Firmicutes as the dominant components of these beetles' microbiota. The most abundant genera were Ralstonia, Sphingomonas, Rickettsia, and Pseudomonas. Different strains of Rickettsia were detected in C. eridani and C. renatae. The analysis of β-diversity revealed high OTU turnover among the populations of C. marginellus complex, with only few shared species. Hierarchical clustering taking into account relative abundances of OTUs does not match the phylogeny of the beetles, therefore we hypothesize that factors other than phylogenetic constraints play a role in shaping the insects' microbiota. Environmental factors that could potentially affect the composition of bacterial communities were tested by fitting them on the results of a multi-dimensional scaling analysis. No significant correlations were observed towards the geographic distances or the host plants, while the composition of the microbiota appeared associated with altitude. The metabolic profiles of the microbiotas associated with each population were inferred from bacterial taxonomy, and

  13. Temperature and Plant Genotype Alter Alkaloid Concentrations in Ryegrass Infected with an Epichloë Endophyte and This Affects an Insect Herbivore.

    PubMed

    Hennessy, Louise M; Popay, Alison J; Finch, Sarah C; Clearwater, Michael J; Cave, Vanessa M

    2016-01-01

    Asexual Epichloë endophytes colonize agricultural forage grasses in a relationship which is mutually beneficial and provides the host plant with protection against herbivorous insects. The endophyte strain AR37 (Epichloë festucae var. lolii) produces epoxy-janthitrem alkaloids and is the only endophyte known to provide ryegrass with resistance against porina larvae (Wiseana cervinata (Walker)), a major pasture pest in cooler areas of New Zealand. This study examined the effect of temperature on concentrations of epoxy-janthitrems in AR37-infected ryegrass and determined how the resulting variations in concentration affected consumption, growth and survival of porina larvae. Twenty replicate pairs of perennial (Lolium perenne L.) and Italian ryegrass (L. multiflorum Lam.) plants with and without endophyte were prepared by cloning, with one of each pair grown at either high (20°C) or low (7°C) temperature. After 10 weeks, herbage on each plant was harvested, divided into leaf and pseudostem, then freeze dried and ground. Leaf and pseudostem material was then incorporated separately into semi-synthetic diets which were fed to porina larvae in a bioassay over 3 weeks. Epoxy-janthitrem concentrations within the plant materials and the semi-synthetic diets were analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography. AR37-infected ryegrass grown at high temperature contained high in planta concentrations of epoxy-janthitrem (30.6 μg/g in leaves and 83.9 μg/g in pseudostems) that had a strong anti-feedant effect on porina larvae when incorporated into their diets, reducing their survival by 25-42% on pseudostems. In comparison, in planta epoxy-janthitrem concentrations in AR37-infected ryegrass grown at low temperature were very low (0.67 μg/g in leaves and 7.4 μg/g in pseudostems) resulting in a small anti-feedant effect in perennial but not in Italian ryegrass. Although alkaloid concentrations were greatly reduced by low temperature this reduction did not occur until

  14. Temperature and Plant Genotype Alter Alkaloid Concentrations in Ryegrass Infected with an Epichloë Endophyte and This Affects an Insect Herbivore

    PubMed Central

    Hennessy, Louise M.; Popay, Alison J.; Finch, Sarah C.; Clearwater, Michael J.; Cave, Vanessa M.

    2016-01-01

    Asexual Epichloë endophytes colonize agricultural forage grasses in a relationship which is mutually beneficial and provides the host plant with protection against herbivorous insects. The endophyte strain AR37 (Epichloë festucae var. lolii) produces epoxy-janthitrem alkaloids and is the only endophyte known to provide ryegrass with resistance against porina larvae (Wiseana cervinata (Walker)), a major pasture pest in cooler areas of New Zealand. This study examined the effect of temperature on concentrations of epoxy-janthitrems in AR37-infected ryegrass and determined how the resulting variations in concentration affected consumption, growth and survival of porina larvae. Twenty replicate pairs of perennial (Lolium perenne L.) and Italian ryegrass (L. multiflorum Lam.) plants with and without endophyte were prepared by cloning, with one of each pair grown at either high (20°C) or low (7°C) temperature. After 10 weeks, herbage on each plant was harvested, divided into leaf and pseudostem, then freeze dried and ground. Leaf and pseudostem material was then incorporated separately into semi-synthetic diets which were fed to porina larvae in a bioassay over 3 weeks. Epoxy-janthitrem concentrations within the plant materials and the semi-synthetic diets were analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography. AR37-infected ryegrass grown at high temperature contained high in planta concentrations of epoxy-janthitrem (30.6 μg/g in leaves and 83.9 μg/g in pseudostems) that had a strong anti-feedant effect on porina larvae when incorporated into their diets, reducing their survival by 25–42% on pseudostems. In comparison, in planta epoxy-janthitrem concentrations in AR37-infected ryegrass grown at low temperature were very low (0.67 μg/g in leaves and 7.4 μg/g in pseudostems) resulting in a small anti-feedant effect in perennial but not in Italian ryegrass. Although alkaloid concentrations were greatly reduced by low temperature this reduction did not occur

  15. Ozone degrades common herbivore-induced plant volatiles: does this affect herbivore prey location by predators and parasitoids?

    PubMed

    Pinto, Delia M; Blande, James D; Nykänen, Riikka; Dong, Wen-Xia; Nerg, Anne-Marja; Holopainen, Jarmo K

    2007-04-01

    Inducible terpenes and lipoxygenase pathway products, e.g., green-leaf volatiles (GLVs), are emitted by plants in response to herbivory. They are used by carnivorous arthropods to locate prey. These compounds are highly reactive with atmospheric pollutants. We hypothesized that elevated ozone (O(3)) may affect chemical communication between plants and natural enemies of herbivores by degrading signal compounds. In this study, we have used two tritrophic systems (Brassica oleracea-Plutella xylostella-Cotesia plutellae and Phaseolus lunatus-Tetranychus urticae-Phytoseiulus persimilis) to show that exposure of plants to moderately enhanced atmospheric O(3) levels (60 and 120 nl l(-1)) results in complete degradation of most herbivore-induced terpenes and GLVs, which is congruent with our hypothesis. However, orientation behavior of natural enemies was not disrupted by O(3) exposure in either tritrophic system. Other herbivore-induced volatiles, such as benzyl cyanide, a nitrile in cabbage, and methyl salicylate in lima bean, were not significantly reduced in reactions with O(3). We suggest that more atmospherically stable herbivore-induced volatile compounds can provide important long-distance plant-carnivore signals and may be used by natural enemies of herbivores to orientate in O(3)-polluted environments. PMID:17333375

  16. Transcriptome Analysis of Barbarea vulgaris Infested with Diamondback Moth (Plutella xylostella) Larvae

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Di; Wang, Haiping; Wu, Qingjun; Lu, Peng; Qiu, Yang; Song, Jiangping; Zhang, Youjun; Li, Xixiang

    2013-01-01

    Background The diamondback moth (DBM, Plutella xylostella) is a crucifer-specific pest that causes significant crop losses worldwide. Barbarea vulgaris (Brassicaceae) can resist DBM and other herbivorous insects by producing feeding-deterrent triterpenoid saponins. Plant breeders have long aimed to transfer this insect resistance to other crops. However, a lack of knowledge on the biosynthetic pathways and regulatory networks of these insecticidal saponins has hindered their practical application. A pyrosequencing-based transcriptome analysis of B. vulgaris during DBM larval feeding was performed to identify genes and gene networks responsible for saponin biosynthesis and its regulation at the genome level. Principal Findings Approximately 1.22, 1.19, 1.16, 1.23, 1.16, 1.20, and 2.39 giga base pairs of clean nucleotides were generated from B. vulgaris transcriptomes sampled 1, 4, 8, 12, 24, and 48 h after onset of P. xylostella feeding and from non-inoculated controls, respectively. De novo assembly using all data of the seven transcriptomes generated 39,531 unigenes. A total of 37,780 (95.57%) unigenes were annotated, 14,399 of which were assigned to one or more gene ontology terms and 19,620 of which were assigned to 126 known pathways. Expression profiles revealed 2,016–4,685 up-regulated and 557–5188 down-regulated transcripts. Secondary metabolic pathways, such as those of terpenoids, glucosinolates, and phenylpropanoids, and its related regulators were elevated. Candidate genes for the triterpene saponin pathway were found in the transcriptome. Orthological analysis of the transcriptome with four other crucifer transcriptomes identified 592 B. vulgaris-specific gene families with a P-value cutoff of 1e−5. Conclusion This study presents the first comprehensive transcriptome analysis of B. vulgaris subjected to a series of DBM feedings. The biosynthetic and regulatory pathways of triterpenoid saponins and other DBM deterrent metabolites in this plant were

  17. S-Nitrosoglutathione reductase (GSNOR) mediates the biosynthesis of jasmonic acid and ethylene induced by feeding of the insect herbivore Manduca sexta and is important for jasmonate-elicited responses in Nicotiana attenuata

    PubMed Central

    Wünsche, Hendrik; Baldwin, Ian T.; Wu, Jianqiang

    2011-01-01

    S-nitrosoglutathione reductase (GSNOR) reduces the nitric oxide (NO) adduct S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO), an essential reservoir for NO bioactivity. In plants, GSNOR has been found to be important in resistance to bacterial and fungal pathogens, but whether it is also involved in plant–herbivore interactions was not known. Using a virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) system, the activity of GSNOR in a wild tobacco species, Nicotiana attenuata, was knocked down and the function of GSNOR in defence against the insect herbivore Manduca sexta was examined. Silencing GSNOR decreased the herbivory-induced accumulation of jasmonic acid (JA) and ethylene, two important phytohormones regulating plant defence levels, without compromising the activity of two mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), salicylic acid-induced protein kinase (SIPK) and wound-induced protein kinase (WIPK). Decreased activity of trypsin proteinase inhibitors (TPIs) were detected in GSNOR-silenced plants after simulated M. sexta feeding and bioassays indicated that GSNOR-silenced plants have elevated susceptibility to M. sexta attack. Furthermore, GSNOR is required for methyl jasmonate (MeJA)-induced accumulation of defence-related secondary metabolites (TPI, caffeoylputrescine, and diterpene glycosides) but is not needed for the transcriptional regulation of JAZ3 (jasmonate ZIM-domain 3) and TD (threonine deaminase), indicating that GSNOR mediates certain but not all jasmonate-inducible responses. This work highlights the important role of GSNOR in plant resistance to herbivory and jasmonate signalling and suggests the potential involvement of NO in plant–herbivore interactions. Our data also suggest that GSNOR could be a target of genetic modification for improving crop resistance to herbivores. PMID:21622839

  18. Molecular interactions between the specialist herbivore Manduca sexta (Lepidoptera, Sphingidae) and its natural host Nicotiana attenuata. IV. Insect-Induced ethylene reduces jasmonate-induced nicotine accumulation by regulating putrescine N-methyltransferase transcripts.

    PubMed

    Winz, R A; Baldwin, I T

    2001-04-01

    Attack by the specialist herbivore, Manduca sexta, on its native host Nicotiana attenuata Torr. ex Wats. produces a dramatic ethylene release, a jasmonate burst, and a suppression of the nicotine accumulation that results from careful simulations of the herbivore's damage. Methyl-jasmonate (MeJA) treatment induces nicotine biosynthesis. However, this induction can be suppressed by ethylene as pretreatment of plants with 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), a competitive inhibitor of ethylene receptors, restores the full MeJA-induced nicotine response in herbivore attacked plants (J. Kahl, D.H. Siemens, R.J. Aerts, R. Gäbler, F. Kühnemann, C.A. Preston, I.T. Baldwin [2000] Planta 210: 336-342). To understand whether this herbivore-induced signal cross-talk occurs at the level of transcript accumulation, we cloned the putrescine methyltransferase genes (NaPMT1 and NaPMT2) of N. attenuata, which are thought to represent the rate limiting step in nicotine biosynthesis, and measured transcript accumulations by northern analysis after various jasmonate, 1-MCP, ethephon, and herbivory treatments. Transcripts of both root putrescine N-methyltransferase (PMT) genes and nicotine accumulation increased dramatically within 10 h of shoot MeJA treatment and immediately after root treatments. Root ethephon treatments suppressed this response, which could be reversed by 1-MCP pretreatment. Moreover, 1-MCP pretreatment dramatically amplified the transcript accumulation resulting from both wounding and M. sexta herbivory. We conclude that attack from this nicotine-tolerant specialist insect causes N. attenuata to produce ethylene, which directly suppresses the nitrogen-intensive biosynthesis of nicotine. PMID:11299398

  19. Herbivory by a Phloem-Feeding Insect Inhibits Floral Volatile Production

    PubMed Central

    Pareja, Martin; Qvarfordt, Erika; Webster, Ben; Mayon, Patrick; Pickett, John; Birkett, Michael; Glinwood, Robert

    2012-01-01

    There is extensive knowledge on the effects of insect herbivory on volatile emission from vegetative tissue, but little is known about its impact on floral volatiles. We show that herbivory by phloem-feeding aphids inhibits floral volatile emission in white mustard Sinapis alba measured by gas chromatographic analysis of headspace volatiles. The effect of the Brassica specialist aphid Lipaphis erysimi was stronger than the generalist aphid Myzus persicae and feeding by chewing larvae of the moth Plutella xylostella caused no reduction in floral volatile emission. Field observations showed no effect of L. erysimi-mediated floral volatile emission on the total number of flower visits by pollinators. Olfactory bioassays suggested that although two aphid natural enemies could detect aphid inhibition of floral volatiles, their olfactory orientation to infested plants was not disrupted. This is the first demonstration that phloem-feeding herbivory can affect floral volatile emission, and that the outcome of interaction between herbivory and floral chemistry may differ depending on the herbivore's feeding mode and degree of specialisation. The findings provide new insights into interactions between insect herbivores and plant chemistry. PMID:22384116

  20. Site-specific cassette exchange systems in the Aedes aegypti mosquito and the Plutella xylostella moth.

    PubMed

    Haghighat-Khah, Roya Elaine; Scaife, Sarah; Martins, Sara; St John, Oliver; Matzen, Kelly Jean; Morrison, Neil; Alphey, Luke

    2015-01-01

    Genetically engineered insects are being evaluated as potential tools to decrease the economic and public health burden of mosquitoes and agricultural pest insects. Here we describe a new tool for the reliable and targeted genome manipulation of pest insects for research and field release using recombinase mediated cassette exchange (RMCE) mechanisms. We successfully demonstrated the established ΦC31-RMCE method in the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, which is the first report of RMCE in mosquitoes. A new variant of this RMCE system, called iRMCE, combines the ΦC31-att integration system and Cre or FLP-mediated excision to remove extraneous sequences introduced as part of the site-specific integration process. Complete iRMCE was achieved in two important insect pests, Aedes aegypti and the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, demonstrating the transferability of the system across a wide phylogenetic range of insect pests. PMID:25830287

  1. Site-Specific Cassette Exchange Systems in the Aedes aegypti Mosquito and the Plutella xylostella Moth

    PubMed Central

    Haghighat-Khah, Roya Elaine; Scaife, Sarah; Martins, Sara; St John, Oliver; Matzen, Kelly Jean; Morrison, Neil; Alphey, Luke

    2015-01-01

    Genetically engineered insects are being evaluated as potential tools to decrease the economic and public health burden of mosquitoes and agricultural pest insects. Here we describe a new tool for the reliable and targeted genome manipulation of pest insects for research and field release using recombinase mediated cassette exchange (RMCE) mechanisms. We successfully demonstrated the established ΦC31-RMCE method in the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, which is the first report of RMCE in mosquitoes. A new variant of this RMCE system, called iRMCE, combines the ΦC31-att integration system and Cre or FLP-mediated excision to remove extraneous sequences introduced as part of the site-specific integration process. Complete iRMCE was achieved in two important insect pests, Aedes aegypti and the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, demonstrating the transferability of the system across a wide phylogenetic range of insect pests. PMID:25830287

  2. Feeding preference for and impact on an invasive weed (Crepis tectorum L.) by a native, generalist insect herbivore, Melanoplus borealis (Orthoptera: Acrididae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crepis tectorum L., narrow leaf hawksbeard, was first collected in Alaska in 1974 and by 2004 was a common weed in agricultural fields. Introduction and establishment of a new plant species in a region represents a potential new resource for herbivores, as well as a new competitor for plant species ...

  3. Insect herbivory and vertebrate grazing impact food limitation and grasshopper populations during a severe outbreak

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Interspecific competition between distantly related herbivores, as well as between large vertebrate herbivores and phytophagous insects, has received little attention. Livestock grazing is the dominant land use in western North American grasslands, where phytophagous insects can be the dominant herb...

  4. Reciprocal feeding facilitation between above- and below-ground herbivores.

    PubMed

    McKenzie, Scott W; Vanbergen, Adam J; Hails, Rosemary S; Jones, T Hefin; Johnson, Scott N

    2013-10-23

    Interspecific interactions between insect herbivores predominantly involve asymmetric competition. By contrast, facilitation, whereby herbivory by one insect benefits another via induced plant susceptibility, is uncommon. Positive reciprocal interactions between insect herbivores are even rarer. Here, we reveal a novel case of reciprocal feeding facilitation between above-ground aphids (Amphorophora idaei) and root-feeding vine weevil larvae (Otiorhynchus sulcatus), attacking red raspberry (Rubus idaeus). Using two raspberry cultivars with varying resistance to these herbivores, we further demonstrate that feeding facilitation occurred regardless of host plant resistance. This positive reciprocal interaction operates via an, as yet, unreported mechanism. Specifically, the aphid induces compensatory growth, possibly as a prelude to greater resistance/tolerance, whereas the root herbivore causes the plant to abandon this strategy. Both herbivores may ultimately benefit from this facilitative interaction. PMID:23883576

  5. A Coevolutionary Arms Race: Understanding Plant-Herbivore Interactions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Becklin, Katie M.

    2008-01-01

    Plants and insects share a long evolutionary history characterized by relationships that affect individual, population, and community dynamics. Plant-herbivore interactions are a prominent feature of this evolutionary history; it is by plant-herbivore interactions that energy is transferred from primary producers to the rest of the food web. Not…

  6. Subterranean Herbivore-induced Volatiles Released by Citrus Roots upon Feeding by Diaprepes abbreviatus Recruit Entomopathogenic Nematodes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Herbivore induced volatile emissions benefit plant hosts by recruiting natural enemies of herbivorous insects. Such tritrophic interactions have been thoroughly examined in the above-ground terrestrial environment. Recently, similar signals have also been described in the subterranean environment, ...

  7. Electroantennogram and behavioral responses of Cotesia plutellae to plant volatiles.

    PubMed

    Yang, Guang; Zhang, You-Nan; Gurr, Geoff M; Vasseur, Liette; You, Min-Sheng

    2016-04-01

    Plant volatiles have been demonstrated to play an important role in regulating the behavior of Cotesia plutellae, a major larval parasitoid of the diamondback moth (DBM), Plutella xylostella, but little is currently known about the function of each volatile and their mixtures. We selected 13 volatiles of the DBM host plant, a cruciferous vegetable, to study the electroantennogram (EAG) and behavioral responses of C. plutellae. EAG responses to each of the compounds generally increased with concentration. Strong EAG responses were to 100 μL/mL of trans-2-hexenal, benzaldehyde, nonanal and cis-3-hexenol, and 10 μL/mL of trans-2-hexenal and benzaldehyde with the strongest response provoked by trans-2-hexenal at 100 μL/mL. In the Y-tube olfactometer, C. plutellae, was significantly attracted by 1 μL/mL of trans-2-hexenal and benzaldehyde. β-caryophyllene, cis-3-hexenol or trans-2-hexenal significantly attracted C. plutellae at 10 μL/mL, while nonanal, benzyl alcohol, cis-3-hexenol or benzyl cyanide at 100 μL/mL significantly attracted C. plutellae. Trans-2-hexenal significantly repelled C. plutellae at 100 μL/mL. EAG of C. plutellae showed strong responses to all mixtures made of five various compounds with mixtures 3 (trans-2-hexenal, benzaldehyde, nonanal, cis-3-hexenol, benzyl cyanide, farnesene, eucalyptol) and 4 (trans-2-hexenal, benzaldehyde, benzyl alcohol, (R)-(+)-limonene, β-ionone, farnesene, eucalyptol) significantly attracting C. plutellae. These findings demonstrate that the behavior of C. plutellae can be affected either by individual compounds or mixtures of plant volatiles, suggesting a potential of using plant volatiles to improve the efficiency of this parasitoid for biocontrol of P. xylostella. PMID:26711914

  8. Sublethal Effects of Fenoxycarb on the Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae)

    PubMed Central

    Mahmoudvand, Mohammad; Moharramipour, Saeid

    2015-01-01

    The effects of fenoxycarb, a Juvenile hormone analogue, at sublethal concentrations were tested on some biological parameters of Plutella xylostella (L.) in two consecutive generations. The calculated LC10, LC25, and LC50 values of the insecticide were 21.58, 43.25, and 93.62 mg/liter on third-instar larvae, respectively. Fenoxycarb significantly reduced pupal weight and oviposition period in parent generation. In addition, the fecundity of treated groups (LC10 = 71.06, LC25 = 40.60 eggs per female) in parents was significantly lower than control (169.40 eggs per female). Although fenoxycarb could not affect gross reproductive rate and death rate, it decreased net reproductive rate, intrinsic rate of increase, finite rate of increase, and birth rate in offspring generation. Also, mean generation time and doubling time of treated insects was significantly longer than control at LC10 level. Therefore, the data from this study suggested that fenoxycarb could adversely cause population decline in the subsequent generation. PMID:26136495

  9. Effects of plant availability on population size and dynamics of an insect community: diamondback moth and two of its parasitoids.

    PubMed

    Soufbaf, M; Fathipour, Y; Karimzadeh, J; Zalucki, M P

    2014-08-01

    To understand the effect of plant availability/structure on the population size and dynamics of insects, a specialist herbivore in the presence of two of its parasitoids was studied in four replicated time-series experiments with high and low plant availabilities; under the latter condition, the herbivore suffered from some periods of resource limitation (starvation) and little plant-related structural refuges. Population dynamics of the parasitoid Cotesia vestalis was governed mainly by the delayed density-dependent process under both plant setups. The parasitoid, Diadegma semiclausum, under different plant availabilities and different coexistence situations (either +competitor or -competitor) showed dynamics patterns that were governed mainly by the delayed density process (significant lags at weeks 2-4). Both the competing parasitoids did not experience beneficial or costly interferences from each other in terms of their own population size when the plant resource was limited. Variation in the Plutella xylostella population under limited plant availability is higher than that under the other plant setup. For both parasitoids, under limited plant setup, the extinction risk was lower when parasitoids were engaged in competition, while under the unlimited plant setup, the mentioned risk was higher when parasitoids competed. In this situation, parasitoids suffered from two forces, competition and higher escaped hosts. PMID:24521693

  10. Transcriptional and metabolic signatures of Arabidopsis responses to chewing damage by an insect herbivore and bacterial infection and the consequences of their interaction

    PubMed Central

    Appel, Heidi M.; Maqbool, Shahina B.; Raina, Surabhi; Jagadeeswaran, Guru; Acharya, Biswa R.; Hanley, John C.; Miller, Kathryn P.; Hearnes, Leonard; Jones, A. Daniel; Raina, Ramesh; Schultz, Jack C.

    2014-01-01

    Plants use multiple interacting signaling systems to identify and respond to biotic stresses. Although it is often assumed that there is specificity in signaling responses to specific pests, this is rarely examined outside of the gene-for-gene relationships of plant-pathogen interactions. In this study, we first compared early events in gene expression and later events in metabolite profiles of Arabidopsis thaliana following attack by either the caterpillar Spodoptera exigua or avirulent (DC3000 avrRpm1) Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato at three time points. Transcriptional responses of the plant to caterpillar feeding were rapid, occurring within 1 h of feeding, and then decreased at 6 and 24 h. In contrast, plant response to the pathogen was undetectable at 1 h but grew larger and more significant at 6 and 24 h. There was a surprisingly large amount of overlap in jasmonate and salicylate signaling in responses to the insect and pathogen, including levels of gene expression and individual hormones. The caterpillar and pathogen treatments induced different patterns of expression of glucosinolate biosynthesis genes and levels of glucosinolates. This suggests that when specific responses develop, their regulation is complex and best understood by characterizing expression of many genes and metabolites. We then examined the effect of feeding by the caterpillar Spodoptera exigua on Arabidopsis susceptibility to virulent (DC3000) and avirulent (DC3000 avrRpm1) P. syringae pv. tomato, and found that caterpillar feeding enhanced Arabidopsis resistance to the avirulent pathogen and lowered resistance to the virulent strain. We conclude that efforts to improve plant resistance to bacterial pathogens are likely to influence resistance to insects and vice versa. Studies explicitly comparing plant responses to multiple stresses, including the role of elicitors at early time points, are critical to understanding how plants organize responses in natural settings. PMID:25278943

  11. [Repellent and antifeedant effect of secondary metabolites of non-host plants on Plutella xylostella].

    PubMed

    Wei, Hui; Hou, Youming; Yang, Guang; You, Minsheng

    2004-03-01

    Based on the theory of co-evolution between plants and phytophagous insects, the repellent and antifeedant effect of secondary metabolites of non-host plants on diamondback moth(DBM) Plutella xylostella was studied, aimed at finding out the oviposition repellents and antifeedants of insect pests. When the ethanol extracts(Etho Exts) of Bauhinia variegata, Eucalyptus tereticornis, Euphorbia hirta, Duranta repens, Zanthoxylum bungeanum, Magnolia grandiflora, and Nicotiana tabacum were applied respectively, the oviposition repellent rates were all over 80.00%; while after forty-eight hours treatment with the Etho Exts of Euphorbia pulcherrima, Broussonetia papyrifera, Artemisia argyi, Camellia oleifera, Salix babylonica, Euphorbia hirta, Bauhinia variegata, and Setaria viridisa, the antifeedant rates of DBM larvae were all more than 80.00%. PMID:15228000

  12. Molecular interactions between the specialist herbivore Manduca sexta (Lepidoptera, Sphingidae) and its natural host Nicotiana attenuata. II. Accumulation of plant mRNAs in response to insect-derived cues.

    PubMed

    Schittko, U; Hermsmeier, D; Baldwin, I T

    2001-02-01

    The transcriptional changes in Nicotiana attenuata Torr. ex Wats. elicited by attack from Manduca sexta larvae were previously characterized by mRNA differential display (D. Hermsmeier, U. Schittko, I.T. Baldwin [2001] Plant Physiol 125: 683-700). Because herbivore attack causes wounding, we disentangled wound-induced changes from those elicited by M. sexta oral secretions and regurgitant (R) with a northern analysis of a subset of the differentially expressed transcripts encoding threonine deaminase, pathogen-induced oxygenase, a photosystem II light-harvesting protein, a retrotransposon homolog, and three unknown genes. R extensively modified wound-induced responses by suppressing wound-induced transcripts (type I) or amplifying the wound-induced response (type II) further down-regulating wound-suppressed transcripts (type IIa) or up-regulating wound-induced transcripts (type IIb). It is interesting that although all seven genes displayed their R-specific patterns in the treated tissues largely independently of the leaf or plant developmental stage, only the type I genes displayed strong systemic induction. Ethylene was not responsible for any of the specific patterns of expression. R collected from different tobacco feeding insects, M. sexta, Manduca quinquemaculata, and Heliothis virescens, as well as from different instars of M. sexta were equally active. The active components of M. sexta R were heat stable and active in minute amounts, comparable with real transfer rates during larval feeding. Specific expression patterns may indicate that the plant is adjusting its wound response to efficiently fend off M. sexta, but may also be advantageous to the larvae, especially when R suppress wound-induced plant responses. PMID:11161027

  13. Sequence of arrival determines plant-mediated interactions between herbivores

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Summary 1. Induced changes in plant quality are important factors mediating indirect interactions between herbivores. Although the sequence of attack has been shown to influence plant responses, little is known about how it may affect the outcome of insect-plant-insect interactions. 2. We therefore...

  14. Host plant defense signaling in response to a coevolved herbivore combats introduced herbivore attack

    PubMed Central

    Woodard, Anastasia M; Ervin, Gary N; Marsico, Travis D

    2012-01-01

    Defense-free space resulting from coevolutionarily naïve host plants recently has been implicated as a factor facilitating invasion success of some insect species. Host plants, however, may not be entirely defenseless against novel herbivore threats. Volatile chemical-mediated defense signaling, which allows plants to mount specific, rapid, and intense responses, may play a role in systems experiencing novel threats. Here we investigate defense responses of host plants to a native and exotic herbivore and show that (1) host plants defend more effectively against the coevolved herbivore, (2) plants can be induced to defend against a newly-associated herbivore when in proximity to plants actively defending against the coevolved species, and (3) these defenses affect larval performance. These findings highlight the importance of coevolved herbivore-specific defenses and suggest that naïveté or defense limitations can be overcome via defense signaling. Determining how these findings apply across various host–herbivore systems is critical to understand mechanisms of successful herbivore invasion. PMID:22837849

  15. Insect Phylogenomics

    PubMed Central

    Behura, Susanta K.

    2015-01-01

    With the advent of next-generation sequencing methods, phylogenetics has taken a new turn in the recent years. Phylogenomics, the integration of phylogenetics with genome data, has emerged as a powerful approach to study systematics and evolution of species. Recently, breakthrough researches employing phylogenomic tools have provided better insights into the timing and pattern of insect evolution. The next-generation sequencing methods are now increasingly used by entomologists to generate genomic and transcript sequences of various insect species and strains. These data provide opportunities for comparative genomics and large-scale multigene phylogenies of diverse lineages of insects. Phylogenomic investigations help us better understand systematic and evolutionary relationships of insect species that play important roles as herbivores, predators, detritivores, pollinators, or disease vectors. It is important that we critically assess the prospects and limitations of phylogenomic methods. In this review, I describe the current status, outline the major challenges, and remark on potential future applications of phylogenomic tools in studying insect systematics and evolution. PMID:25963452

  16. Non-Host Plant Volatiles Disrupt Sex Pheromone Communication in a Specialist Herbivore.

    PubMed

    Wang, Fumin; Deng, Jianyu; Schal, Coby; Lou, Yonggen; Zhou, Guoxin; Ye, Bingbing; Yin, Xiaohui; Xu, Zhihong; Shen, Lize

    2016-01-01

    The ecological effects of plant volatiles on herbivores are manifold. Little is known, however, about the impacts of non-host plant volatiles on intersexual pheromonal communication in specialist herbivores. We tested the effects of several prominent constitutive terpenoids released by conifers and Eucalyptus trees on electrophysiological and behavioral responses of an oligophagous species, Plutella xylostella, which feeds on Brassicaceae. The non-host plant volatile terpenoids adversely affected the calling behavior (pheromone emission) of adult females, and the orientation responses of adult males to sex pheromone were also significantly inhibited by these terpenoids in a wind tunnel and in the field. We suggest that disruption of both pheromone emission and orientation to sex pheromone may explain, at least in part, an observed reduction in herbivore attack in polyculture compared with monoculture plantings. We also propose that mating disruption of both male and female moths with non-host plant volatiles may be a promising alternative pest management strategy. PMID:27585907

  17. Non-Host Plant Volatiles Disrupt Sex Pheromone Communication in a Specialist Herbivore

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Fumin; Deng, Jianyu; Schal, Coby; Lou, Yonggen; Zhou, Guoxin; Ye, Bingbing; Yin, Xiaohui; Xu, Zhihong; Shen, Lize

    2016-01-01

    The ecological effects of plant volatiles on herbivores are manifold. Little is known, however, about the impacts of non-host plant volatiles on intersexual pheromonal communication in specialist herbivores. We tested the effects of several prominent constitutive terpenoids released by conifers and Eucalyptus trees on electrophysiological and behavioral responses of an oligophagous species, Plutella xylostella, which feeds on Brassicaceae. The non-host plant volatile terpenoids adversely affected the calling behavior (pheromone emission) of adult females, and the orientation responses of adult males to sex pheromone were also significantly inhibited by these terpenoids in a wind tunnel and in the field. We suggest that disruption of both pheromone emission and orientation to sex pheromone may explain, at least in part, an observed reduction in herbivore attack in polyculture compared with monoculture plantings. We also propose that mating disruption of both male and female moths with non-host plant volatiles may be a promising alternative pest management strategy. PMID:27585907

  18. Eco-evolutionary dynamics of plant-herbivore communities: incorporating plant phenotypic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Ohgushi, Takayuki

    2016-04-01

    The interplay between evolution and ecological communities is critical for the integration of different levels of biological organization. Recent work has begun to unveil the importance of plant phenotypic plasticity and plant-herbivore (co)evolution to link plant evolution and associated insect communities. Specifically, herbivore-induced plant traits (i.e., plastic phenotypes) have significant effects on the structure and diversity of herbivore communities, which can in turn promote the evolution of not only the focal plant but also insect community members. Here, I will provide a conceptual framework on the eco-evolutionary dynamics of plant-herbivore communities to understand how biological organizations are integrated in plant-insect interactions. Research on eco-evolutionary dynamics of plant-herbivore communities will undoubtedly enrich understanding of a wide range of plant-insect interactions. PMID:27436645

  19. Trade-off between thermal tolerance and insecticide resistance in Plutella xylostella

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Lin Jie; Wu, Zhao Li; Wang, Kuan Fu; Liu, Qun; Zhuang, Hua Mei; Wu, Gang

    2015-01-01

    Fitness costs associated with resistance to insecticides have been well documented, usually at normal temperature conditions, in many insect species. In this study, using chlorpyrifos-resistant homozygote (RR) and chlorpyrifos-susceptible homozygote (SS) of resistance ace1 allele of Plutella xylostella (DBM), we confirmed firstly that high temperature experience in pupal stage influenced phenotype of wing venation in insecticide-resistant and insecticide-susceptible Plutella xylostella, and SS DBM showed significantly higher thermal tolerance and lower damages of wing veins under heat stress than RR DBM. As compared to SS DBM, RR DBM displayed significantly lower AChE sensitivity to chlorpyrifos, higher basal GSTs activity and P450 production at 25°C, but higher inhibitions on the enzyme activities and P450 production as well as reduced resistance to chlorpyrifos under heat stress. Furthermore, RR DBM displayed significantly higher basal expressions of hsp69s, hsp72s, hsp20,hsp90,Apaf-1, and caspase-7 at 25°C, but lower induced expressions of hsps and higher induced expressions of Apaf-1,caspase-9, and caspase-7 under heat stress. These results suggest that fitness costs of chlorpyrifos resistance in DBM may partly attribute to excess consumption of energy caused by over production of detoxification enzymes and hsps when the proteins are less demanded at conducive environments but reduced expressions when they are highly demanded by the insects to combat environmental stresses, or to excess expressions of apoptotic genes under heat stress, which results in higher apoptosis. The evolutionary and ecological implications of these findings at global warming are discussed. PMID:25691976

  20. Phytohormone mediation of interactions between herbivores and plant pathogens.

    PubMed

    Lazebnik, Jenny; Frago, Enric; Dicke, Marcel; van Loon, Joop J A

    2014-07-01

    Induced plant defenses against either pathogens or herbivore attackers are regulated by phytohormones. These phytohormones are increasingly recognized as important mediators of interactions between organisms associated with plants. In this review, we discuss the role of plant defense hormones in sequential tri-partite interactions among plants, pathogenic microbes, and herbivorous insects, based on the most recent literature. We discuss the importance of pathogen trophic strategy in the interaction with herbivores that exhibit different feeding modes. Plant resistance mechanisms also affect plant quality in future interactions with attackers. We discuss exemplary evidence for the hypotheses that (i) biotrophic pathogens can facilitate chewing herbivores, unless plants exhibit effector-triggered immunity, but (ii) facilitate or inhibit phloem feeders. (iii) Necrotrophic pathogens, on the other hand, can inhibit both phloem feeders and chewers. We also propose herbivore feeding mode as predictor of effects on pathogens of different trophic strategies, providing evidence for the hypotheses that (iv) phloem feeders inhibit pathogen attack by increasing SA induction, whereas (v) chewing herbivores tend not to affect necrotrophic pathogens, while they may either inhibit or facilitate biotrophic pathogens. Putting these hypotheses to the test will increase our understanding of phytohormonal regulation of plant defense to sequential attack by plant pathogens and insect herbivores. This will provide valuable insight into plant-mediated ecological interactions among members of the plant-associated community. PMID:25059974

  1. Paleobiology of Herbivorous Dinosaurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrett, Paul M.

    2014-05-01

    Herbivorous dinosaurs were abundant, species-rich components of Late Triassic-Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystems. Obligate high-fiber herbivory evolved independently on several occasions within Dinosauria, through the intermediary step of omnivory. Anatomical character complexes associated with this diet exhibit high levels of convergence and morphological disparity, and may have evolved by correlated progression. Dinosaur faunas changed markedly during the Mesozoic, from early faunas dominated by taxa with simple, uniform feeding mechanics to Cretaceous biomes including diverse sophisticated sympatric herbivores; the environmental and biological drivers causing these changes remain unclear. Isotopic, taphonomic, and anatomical evidence implies that niche partitioning reduced competition between sympatric herbivores, via morphological differentiation, dietary preferences, and habitat selection. Large body size in dinosaur herbivores is associated with low plant productivity, and gave these animals prominent roles as ecosystem engineers. Although dinosaur herbivores lived through several major events in floral evolution, there is currently no evidence for plant-dinosaur coevolutionary interactions.

  2. Exotic weevil invasion increases floral herbivore community density, function, and impact on a native plant

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Consumer communities are being re-arranged through unprecedented rates of human-mediated invasions and extinctions. Such changes in consumer composition and diversity potentially alter pressure and impact on resource populations. Although insect herbivore invasions are common, and exotic herbivores...

  3. Direct and indirect plant defenses are not suppressed by endosymbionts of a specialist root herbivore

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect endosymbionts influence many important metabolic and developmental processes of their host. It has been speculated that they may also help to manipulate and suppress plant defenses to the benefit of herbivores. Recently, endosymbionts of the root herbivore Diabrotica virgifera virgifera have ...

  4. Degree of herbivore feeding damage as an important contributor to multitrophic plant-parasitoid signaling under climate change

    PubMed Central

    Nerg, Anne-Marja; Holopainen, Jarmo K

    2009-01-01

    Biogenic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) serve as signals mediating information between plants and their higher trophic level beneficials, such as parasitoids and predators of herbivores. We recently demonstrated with oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) plants, herbivorous diamond-back moth (Plutella xylostella L. (Lepidoptera: Yponomeutidae)) larvae and Cotesia vestalis (Haliday) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) parasitoids that atmospheric pollution, i.e., elevated ozone (O3), can disturb attraction of natural enemies by plant-emitted host-induced volatile cues. Additionally, we found that the degree of herbivore feeding damage is an important contributor to this O3 interference. Low feeding damage in herbivore-resistant plants was sufficient to attract C. vestalis females to host-damaged plants under ambient air, but this tritrophic signaling turned non-functional in the combination of low feeding damage and high O3 concentration. Here we present some additional data of how climate change factors may modify feeding patterns and growth of herbivores. We further discuss how the degree of herbivore feeding damage and the tritrophic signaling interaction relaying on the herbivore-induced VOCs from attacked plants might change through direct and indirect effects of increased levels of carbon dioxide, temperature and O3. PMID:19721765

  5. Cotesia vestalis parasitization suppresses expression of a Plutella xylostella thioredoxin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Thioredoxins (Trxs) are a family of small, highly conserved and ubiquitous proteins involved in protecting organisms against toxic reactive oxygen species (ROS). In this study, a typical thioredoxin gene, PxTrx, was isolated from Plutella xylostella. The full-length cDNA sequence is composed of 959 ...

  6. Herbivores mediate different competitive and facilitative responses of native and invader populations of Brassica nigra.

    PubMed

    Oduor, Ayub M O; Strauss, Sharon Y; García, Yedra; Cascales, Modesto Berbel; Gómez, José M

    2013-10-01

    Differences in plant and herbivore community assemblages between exotic and native ranges may select for different levels of plant traits in invasive and native populations of plant species. Little is currently known of how herbivores may mediate competitive and facilitative interactions between invasive and native populations of plant species and their plant neighbors. Here, we conducted a common-garden field experiment to test whether invasive and native populations of Brassica nigra differ in phenotypic expressions of growth (biomass and plant height) and reproductive (seed yield) traits under different plant neighbor treatments and ambient vs. reduced level of insect herbivore damage on the B. nigra plants. We found significant interactive effects of plant neighbor treatments, level of insect herbivore damage on B. nigra plants, and invasive status of B. nigra on the phenotypic trait expressions. Plant neighbor treatments had minimal effects on phenotypic trait expressions by invasive populations of B. nigra under either level of insect herbivore damage. In contrast, for native populations of B. nigra, ambient level of insect herbivore damage resulted in plant neighbors facilitating expression of the traits above, while reduced damage resulted in plant neighbors competitively suppressing trait expression. Our results suggest that insect herbivores and plant neighbors interactively shape expression of plant traits in native and exotic ranges of invasive plants. Such interactions could potentially lead to different selection pressures on traits that determine antiherbivore defenses and plant-plant interactions. PMID:24358714

  7. An analytical model assessing the potential threat to natural habitats from insect resistance transgenes: continuous transgene input

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Colleen K; Bowler, Michael; Breden, Felix

    2006-01-01

    The potential effects of ‘escape’ of genetically modified material (transgenes) into natural communities is a major concern in their use. These effects may be limited in the first instance by limiting the proportion of transgene-carrying plants in the natural community. We previously presented an analytical model of the ecological processes governing the relative abundance and persistence of insect resistance (IR) transgenes in a natural community. In that paper, we illustrated the case in which the transgene is input into the community in a single season using data from oilseed rape (OSR) and its known herbivore, Plutella macropennis. We found that the transgene is unlikely to have a great impact on the natural community. Here, we extend the model for repeated input of crop pollen carrying the transgene. We show the model output, again using OSR, for continuous input of the transgene over 10 years, the projected commercial lifetime of a transgene without associated undesirable agronomic effects. Our results do not change our original conclusion that the IR transgene need not have a large impact on the natural community and our suggestions for assessing and mitigating any threat still stand. PMID:17148386

  8. Herbivore-induced plant volatiles mediate host selection by a root herbivore.

    PubMed

    Robert, Christelle A M; Erb, Matthias; Duployer, Marianne; Zwahlen, Claudia; Doyen, Gwladys R; Turlings, Ted C J

    2012-06-01

    In response to herbivore attack, plants mobilize chemical defenses and release distinct bouquets of volatiles. Aboveground herbivores are known to use changes in leaf volatile patterns to make foraging decisions, but it remains unclear whether belowground herbivores also use volatiles to select suitable host plants. We therefore investigated how above- and belowground infestation affects the performance of the root feeder Diabrotica virgifera virgifera, and whether the larvae of this specialized beetle are able to use volatile cues to assess from a distance whether a potential host plant is already under herbivore attack. Diabrotica virgifera larvae showed stronger growth on roots previously attacked by conspecific larvae, but performed more poorly on roots of plants whose leaves had been attacked by larvae of the moth Spodoptera littoralis. Fittingly, D. virgifera larvae were attracted to plants that were infested with conspecifics, whereas they avoided plants that were attacked by S. littoralis. We identified (E)-β-caryophyllene, which is induced by D. virgifera, and ethylene, which is suppressed by S. littoralis, as two signals used by D. virgifera larvae to locate plants that are most suitable for their development. Our study demonstrates that soil-dwelling insects can use herbivore-induced changes in root volatile emissions to identify suitable host plants. PMID:22486361

  9. Asymmetric impacts of two herbivore ecotypes on similar host plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ecotypes may arise following allopatric separation from source populations. The simultaneous transfer of an exotic plant to a novel environment, along with its stenophagous herbivore, may complicate more traditional patterns of divergence from the plant and insect source populations. We evaluated ...

  10. Merging molecular and ecological approaches in plant-insect interactions.

    PubMed

    Baldwin, I T; Halitschke, R; Kessler, A; Schittko, U

    2001-08-01

    The singer-song-writer Paul Simon sang about the '50 ways to leave your lover'; plants have at least as many ways of coping with their insect herbivores. Recent research has elucidated the mechanisms of direct and indirect plant defenses, and has provided the first proof of a protective function for indirect defenses in nature. Insect attack elicits a large transcriptional reorganization that differs from that elicited by mechanical wounding. Elicitors in herbivore oral secretions can account for herbivore-specific responses. Patterns of transcriptional changes point to the existence of central herbivore-activated regulators of metabolism. PMID:11418346

  11. Complex inheritance of larval adaptation in Plutella xylostella to a novel host plant

    PubMed Central

    Henniges-Janssen, K; Reineke, A; Heckel, D G; Groot, A T

    2011-01-01

    Studying the genetics of host shifts and range expansions in phytophagous insects contributes to our understanding of the evolution of host plant adaptation. We investigated the recent host range expansion to pea, in the pea-adapted strain (P-strain) of the crucifer-specialist diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae). Larval survivorship on the novel host plant pea and a typical crucifer host (kale) was measured in reciprocal F1, F2 and backcrosses between the P-strain and a strain reared only on crucifers (C-strain). Reciprocal F1 hybrids differed: offspring from P-strain mothers survived better on pea, indicating a maternal effect. However, no evidence for sex-linkage was found. Backcrosses to the P-strain produced higher survivorship on pea than C-strain backcrosses, suggesting recessive inheritance. In a linkage analysis with amplified fragment length polymorphism markers using P-strain backcrosses, two, four and five linkage groups contributing to survival on pea were identified in three different families respectively, indicating oligogenic inheritance. Thus, the newly evolved ability to survive on pea has a complex genetic basis, and the P-strain is still genetically heterogeneous and not yet fixed for all the alleles enabling it to survive on pea. Survivorship on kale was variable, but not related to survivorship on pea. This pattern may characterize the genetic inheritance of early host plant adaptation in oligophagous insect species. PMID:21673741

  12. Neonate Plutella xylostella responses to surface wax components of a resistant cabbage (Brassica oleracea)

    SciTech Connect

    Eigenbrode, S.D.; Pillai, S.K.

    1998-10-01

    Behavior of neonate Plutella xylostella was observed and quantified during the first 5 min of contact with cabbage surface waxes and surface wax components deposited as a film (60 {micro}g/cm{sup 2}) on glass. The time larvae spent biting was greater and the time walking was less on waxes extracted from the susceptible cabbage variety, Round-Up, than on an insect-resistant glossy-wax breeding line, NY 9472. The waxes of both cabbage types were characterized and some of the compounds present at higher concentrations in the glossy waxes were tested for their deterrent effects on larvae by adding them to the susceptible waxes. Adding a mixture of four n-alkane-1-ols or a mixture of {alpha}- and {beta}-amyrins to wax from susceptible cabbage reduced the number of insects biting and, among those biting, reduced the time biting and increased the time walking in a dose-dependent manner. Among individual n-alkane-1-ols, adding C{sub 24} or C{sub 25} alcohols reduced the number of insects biting but only adding C{sub 25} alcohol reduced the time spent biting among those insects that initiated biting. Adding a mixture of five n-alkanoic acids did not affect biting, but increased the time spent palpating and decreased walking time. Among individual n-alkanoic acids, only adding C{sub 14} significantly increased the time palpating. If the observed responses were gustory, the results indicate that some primary wax components, including specific long-chain alkyl components, have allelochemical activity influencing host acceptance behavior by a lepidopteran larva.

  13. Phytochemical mimicry of reproductive hormones and modulation of herbivore fertility by phytoestrogens.

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, C L

    1988-01-01

    Plants have physical and chemical mechanisms for defense from attack by animals. Phytochemical defenses that protect plants from attack by insects include antifeedants, insecticides, and insect growth regulators. Phytochemical options exist by which plants can modulate the fertility of the other major group of plant predators, vertebrate herbivores, and thereby reduce cumulative attacks by those herbivores. The success of such a defense depends upon phytochemical mimicry of vertebrate reproductive hormones. Phytoestrogens do mimic reproductive hormones and are proposed to be defensive substances produced by plants to modulate the fertility of herbivores. PMID:3203635

  14. Secondary succession: insect-plant relationships

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, V.K.

    1984-12-01

    Botanists have dominated the study of secondary succession, and as a result, models and theories have focused on plants. Recent work, however, has revealed several complex relationships between plants and insects during succession, including adaptations of life-cycle strategies. Furthermore, insect herbivores play a key role in the course and rate of plant succession.

  15. Plant defense against insect herbivory

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Damage to maize crops by insect herbivores such as beet and fall army worm causes significant impact in the Southern United States in terms of both yield loss and insecticide use. Enhanced understanding of how maize can defend itself against such attacks at a molecular level will enable development ...

  16. Asymmetric competition via induced resistance: specialist herbivores indirectly suppress generalist preference and populations.

    PubMed

    Long, Jeremy D; Hamilton, Rebecca S; Mitchell, Jocelyn L

    2007-05-01

    Species may compete indirectly by altering the traits of a shared resource. For example, herbivore-induced responses in plants may make plants more resistant or susceptible to additional herbivorous insect species. Herbivore-induced plant responses can significantly affect interspecific competition and herbivore population dynamics. These herbivore-herbivore indirect interactions have been overlooked in aquatic ecosystems where previous studies used the same herbivore species to induce changes and to assess the effects of these changes. We asked whether seaweed grazing by one of two herbivorous, congeneric snail species (Littorina obtusata or Littorina littorea) with different feeding strategies and preferences would affect subsequent feeding preferences of three herbivore species (both snails and the isopod Idotea baltica) and population densities of three herbivore species (both snails and a third periwinkle snail, Lacuna vincta). In addition, we measured phlorotannin concentrations to test the hypothesis that these metabolites function as induced defenses in the Phaeophyceae. Snail herbivory induced cue-specific responses in apical tissues of the seaweed Fucus vesiculosus that affected the three herbivore species similarly. When compared to ungrazed controls, direct grazing by Littorina obtusata reduced seaweed palatability by at least 52% for both snail species and the isopod species. In contrast, direct grazing by L. littorea did not decrease seaweed palatability for any herbivore, indicating herbivore-specific responses. Previous grazing by L. obtusata reduced populations of L. littorea on outplanted seaweeds by 46% but had no effect on L. obtusata populations. Phlorotannins, a potential class of inducible chemicals in brown algae, were not more concentrated in grazed seaweed tissues, suggesting that some other trait was responsible for the induced resistance. Our results indicate that marine herbivores may compete via inducible responses in shared seaweeds

  17. Herbivore exploits orally secreted bacteria to suppress plant defenses

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Seung Ho; Rosa, Cristina; Scully, Erin D.; Peiffer, Michelle; Tooker, John F.; Hoover, Kelli; Luthe, Dawn S.; Felton, Gary W.

    2013-01-01

    Induced plant defenses in response to herbivore attack are modulated by cross-talk between jasmonic acid (JA)- and salicylic acid (SA)-signaling pathways. Oral secretions from some insect herbivores contain effectors that overcome these antiherbivore defenses. Herbivores possess diverse microbes in their digestive systems and these microbial symbionts can modify plant–insect interactions; however, the specific role of herbivore-associated microbes in manipulating plant defenses remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) larvae exploit bacteria in their oral secretions to suppress antiherbivore defenses in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). We found that antibiotic-untreated larvae decreased production of JA and JA-responsive antiherbivore defenses, but increased SA accumulation and SA-responsive gene expression. Beetles benefit from down-regulating plant defenses by exhibiting enhanced larval growth. In SA-deficient plants, suppression was not observed, indicating that suppression of JA-regulated defenses depends on the SA-signaling pathway. Applying bacteria isolated from larval oral secretions to wounded plants confirmed that three microbial symbionts belonging to the genera Stenotrophomonas, Pseudomonas, and Enterobacter are responsible for defense suppression. Additionally, reinoculation of these bacteria to antibiotic-treated larvae restored their ability to suppress defenses. Flagellin isolated from Pseudomonas sp. was associated with defense suppression. Our findings show that the herbivore exploits symbiotic bacteria as a decoy to deceive plants into incorrectly perceiving the threat as microbial. By interfering with the normal perception of herbivory, beetles can evade antiherbivore defenses of its host. PMID:24019469

  18. Herbivore exploits orally secreted bacteria to suppress plant defenses.

    PubMed

    Chung, Seung Ho; Rosa, Cristina; Scully, Erin D; Peiffer, Michelle; Tooker, John F; Hoover, Kelli; Luthe, Dawn S; Felton, Gary W

    2013-09-24

    Induced plant defenses in response to herbivore attack are modulated by cross-talk between jasmonic acid (JA)- and salicylic acid (SA)-signaling pathways. Oral secretions from some insect herbivores contain effectors that overcome these antiherbivore defenses. Herbivores possess diverse microbes in their digestive systems and these microbial symbionts can modify plant-insect interactions; however, the specific role of herbivore-associated microbes in manipulating plant defenses remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) larvae exploit bacteria in their oral secretions to suppress antiherbivore defenses in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). We found that antibiotic-untreated larvae decreased production of JA and JA-responsive antiherbivore defenses, but increased SA accumulation and SA-responsive gene expression. Beetles benefit from down-regulating plant defenses by exhibiting enhanced larval growth. In SA-deficient plants, suppression was not observed, indicating that suppression of JA-regulated defenses depends on the SA-signaling pathway. Applying bacteria isolated from larval oral secretions to wounded plants confirmed that three microbial symbionts belonging to the genera Stenotrophomonas, Pseudomonas, and Enterobacter are responsible for defense suppression. Additionally, reinoculation of these bacteria to antibiotic-treated larvae restored their ability to suppress defenses. Flagellin isolated from Pseudomonas sp. was associated with defense suppression. Our findings show that the herbivore exploits symbiotic bacteria as a decoy to deceive plants into incorrectly perceiving the threat as microbial. By interfering with the normal perception of herbivory, beetles can evade antiherbivore defenses of its host. PMID:24019469

  19. Genomic sequence analysis of a nucleopolyhedrovirus isolated from the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The CL3 plaque isolate of Plutella xylostella multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (PlxyMNPV-CL3) is a variant of Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) but exhibits a much higher degree of virulence against the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella. To identify genetic differences ...

  20. Preference—Performance Linkage in the Diamondback Moth, Plutella xylostella, and Implications for Its Management

    PubMed Central

    Marchioro, Cesar Augusto; Foerster, Luís Amilton

    2014-01-01

    Host plants affect development, survival, and reproduction of phytophagous insects. In the case of holometabolous species, whose larvae have little mobility to find a host plant, the ability of females to discriminate hosts on the basis of their nutritional quality may be an important factor determining insect performance. The preference—performance correlation hypothesis states that females will choose to lay their eggs on host plants that provide the best offspring performance. The effects of three cultivated and two wild brassicas (Brassicales: Brassicaceae) on the biology of the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella L. (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), an important pest of brassicas, were investigated. Based on these data, the preference-performance correlation hypothesis was tested. The results allowed the discussion of the possible role of wild brassicas on population dynamics of the pest. The life table parameters net reproduction rate and intrinsic rate of increase were used as indicatives of insect performance because they provide a detailed description of the survivorship, development, and reproduction of a population. Development, survival, and reproduction were affected by the cultivated and wild brassicas. Both net reproduction rate and intrinsic rate of increase were lower in individuals fed on wild brassicas, which indicates that brassicas are not nutritionally suitable for P. xylostella. Nevertheless, females showed no oviposition preference among host plants. The results showed that host plant quality might not be the only factor determining host selection by female P. xylostella. Results also suggest that wild brassicas may serve as a refuge for P. xylostella, favoring pest survival when crops are disturbed by insecticide application, irrigation, or ploughing. PMID:25368041

  1. Changes in fitness-associated traits due to the stacking of transgenic glyphosate resistance and insect resistance in Brassica napus L.

    PubMed

    Londo, J P; Bollman, M A; Sagers, C L; Lee, E H; Watrud, L S

    2011-10-01

    Increasingly, genetically modified crops are being developed to express multiple 'stacked' traits for different types of transgenes, for example, herbicide resistance, insect resistance, crop quality and tolerance to environmental stresses. The release of crops that express multiple traits could result in ecological changes in weedy environments if feral crop plants or hybrids formed with compatible weeds results in more competitive plants outside of agriculture. To examine the effects of combining transgenes, we developed a stacked line of canola (Brassica napus L.) from a segregating F(2) population that expresses both transgenic glyphosate resistance (CP4 EPSPS) and lepidopteran insect resistance (Cry1Ac). Fitness-associated traits were evaluated between this stacked genotype and five other Brassica genotypes in constructed mesocosm plant communities exposed to insect herbivores (Plutella xylostella L.) or glyphosate-drift. Vegetative biomass, seed production and relative fecundity were all reduced in stacked trait plants when compared with non-transgenic plants in control treatments, indicating potential costs of expressing multiple transgenes without selection pressure. Although costs of the transgenes were offset by selective treatment, the stacked genotype continued to produce fewer seeds than either single transgenic line. However, the increase in fitness of the stacked genotype under selective pressure contributed to an increased number of seeds within the mesocosm community carrying unselected, hitchhiking transgenes. These results demonstrate that the stacking of these transgenes in canola results in fitness costs and benefits that are dependent on the type and strength of selection pressure, and could also contribute to changes in plant communities through hitchhiking of unselected traits. PMID:21427753

  2. Modulation of plant defense responses to herbivores by simultaneous recognition of different herbivore-associated elicitors in rice

    PubMed Central

    Shinya, Tomonori; Hojo, Yuko; Desaki, Yoshitake; Christeller, John T.; Okada, Kazunori; Shibuya, Naoto; Galis, Ivan

    2016-01-01

    Induced plant defense responses against insect herbivores are triggered by wounding and/or perception of herbivore elicitors from their oral secretions (OS) and/or saliva. In this study, we analyzed OS isolated from two rice chewing herbivores, Mythimna loreyi and Parnara guttata. Both types of crude OS had substantial elicitor activity in rice cell system that allowed rapid detection of early and late defense responses, i.e. accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and defense secondary metabolites, respectively. While the OS from M. loreyi contained large amounts of previously reported insect elicitors, fatty acid-amino acid conjugates (FACs), the elicitor-active P. guttata’s OS contained no detectable FACs. Subsequently, elicitor activity associated with the high molecular mass fraction in OS of both herbivores was identified, and shown to promote ROS and metabolite accumulations in rice cells. Notably, the application of N-linolenoyl-Gln (FAC) alone had only negligible elicitor activity in rice cells; however, the activity of isolated elicitor fraction was substantially promoted by this FAC. Our results reveal that plants integrate various independent signals associated with their insect attackers to modulate their defense responses and reach maximal fitness in nature. PMID:27581373

  3. Modulation of plant defense responses to herbivores by simultaneous recognition of different herbivore-associated elicitors in rice.

    PubMed

    Shinya, Tomonori; Hojo, Yuko; Desaki, Yoshitake; Christeller, John T; Okada, Kazunori; Shibuya, Naoto; Galis, Ivan

    2016-01-01

    Induced plant defense responses against insect herbivores are triggered by wounding and/or perception of herbivore elicitors from their oral secretions (OS) and/or saliva. In this study, we analyzed OS isolated from two rice chewing herbivores, Mythimna loreyi and Parnara guttata. Both types of crude OS had substantial elicitor activity in rice cell system that allowed rapid detection of early and late defense responses, i.e. accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and defense secondary metabolites, respectively. While the OS from M. loreyi contained large amounts of previously reported insect elicitors, fatty acid-amino acid conjugates (FACs), the elicitor-active P. guttata's OS contained no detectable FACs. Subsequently, elicitor activity associated with the high molecular mass fraction in OS of both herbivores was identified, and shown to promote ROS and metabolite accumulations in rice cells. Notably, the application of N-linolenoyl-Gln (FAC) alone had only negligible elicitor activity in rice cells; however, the activity of isolated elicitor fraction was substantially promoted by this FAC. Our results reveal that plants integrate various independent signals associated with their insect attackers to modulate their defense responses and reach maximal fitness in nature. PMID:27581373

  4. The role of herbivore-induced plant volatiles in biological control: a journey from lab to field

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Some plants respond to herbivory by emitting volatiles that attract natural enemies of the herbivores responsible for the damage. Several herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) are known to affect the behavior of pest and beneficial insects. Thus, chemical signaling by plants in response to her...

  5. The Effects of Plant Compensatory Regrowth and Induced Resistance on Herbivore Population Dynamics.

    PubMed

    Stieha, Christopher R; Abbott, Karen C; Poveda, Katja

    2016-02-01

    Outbreaks of herbivorous insects are detrimental to natural and agricultural systems, but the mechanisms driving outbreaks are not well understood. Plant responses to herbivory have the potential to produce outbreaks, but long-term effects of plant responses on herbivore dynamics are understudied. To quantify these effects, we analyze mathematical models of univoltine herbivores consuming annual plants with two responses: (1) compensatory regrowth, which affects herbivore survival in food-limited situations by increasing the amount of food available to the herbivore; and (2) induced resistance, which reduces herbivore survival proportional to the strength of the response. Compensatory regrowth includes tolerance, where plants replace some or all of the consumed biomass, and overcompensation, where plants produce more biomass than was consumed. We found that overcompensation can cause bounded fluctuations in the herbivore density (called outbreaks here) by itself, whereas neither tolerance nor induced resistance can cause an outbreak on its own. Food limitation and induced resistance can also drive outbreaks when they act simultaneously. Tolerance damps these outbreaks, but overcompensation, by contrast, qualitatively changes the conditions under which the outbreaks occur. Not properly accounting for these interactions may explain why it has been difficult to document plant-driven insect outbreaks and could undermine efforts to control herbivore populations in agricultural systems. PMID:26807745

  6. Flower color preferences of insects and livestock: effects on Gentiana lutea reproductive success

    PubMed Central

    Losada, María; Veiga, Tania; Guitián, Javier; Guitián, José; Guitián, Pablo

    2016-01-01

    Angiosperms diversification was primarily driven by pollinator agents, but non-pollinator agents also promoted floral evolution. Gentiana lutea shows pollinator driven flower color variation in NW Spain. We test whether insect herbivores and livestock, which frequently feed in G.lutea, play a role in G. lutea flower color variation, by answering the following questions: (i) Do insect herbivores and grazing livestock show flower color preferences when feeding on G. lutea? (ii) Do mutualists (pollinators) and antagonists (seed predators, insect herbivores and livestock) jointly affect G. lutea reproductive success? Insect herbivores fed more often on yellow flowering individuals but they did not affect seed production, whereas livestock affected seed production but did not show clear color preferences. Our data indicate that flower color variation of G. lutea is not affected by insect herbivores or grazing livestock. PMID:27014509

  7. Baseline Susceptibility of Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) to the Novel Insecticide Spinetoram in China.

    PubMed

    Li, Weidi; Zhang, Jingming; Zhang, Pengjun; Lin, Wencai; Lin, Qingsheng; Li, Zhenyu; Hang, Fang; Zhang, Zhijun; Lu, Yaobin

    2015-04-01

    Spinetoram is a spinosyn, which is a unique class of natural insecticide. Because of its novel mode of action, spinetoram is more potent and faster acting than other insecticides, even the older spinosyn product, spinosad. On account of being efficient on insect order Lepidoptera, spinetoram provides a new alternative for control of Plutella xylostella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), which are resistant to other chemicals. To determine the current situation of resistance of P. xylostella to spinetoram, the susceptibility of 16 P. xylostella populations from different regions of China or different time in addition to the population from laboratory was assessed using a leaf dip bioassay. The variation in spinetoram susceptibility among the 16 field populations was narrow, with median lethal concentrations (LC50 values) ranging from 0.131 to 1.001 mg/liter. Toxicity ratios (TRs) ranged from 1.5 to 7.6 and were 5.6 and 7.6 for populations SY-2 and FX-1, respectively, indicating some low level of tolerance in these populations. A discriminating concentration (a concentration that can detect the occurrence of resistance in a population) of 10 mg/liter, which was identified based on the pooled toxicological data, caused 100% mortality in all nine tested populations. The baseline susceptibility data reflect the natural variation of the P. xylostella populations to spinetoram rather than variation caused by previous exposure. PMID:26470185

  8. Toxicological study of Wedelia trilobata (Asteraceae) extracts as alternative control strategies for Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae).

    PubMed

    Junhirun, P; Pluempanupat, W; Bullangpoti, V

    2012-01-01

    The Diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella (L)) is an economically important pest in Thailand and the indiscriminant use of chemical pesticides against this pest has been responsible for environmental hazards. Present research, therefore, is trying to develop alternative strategies by using plant based-products for the control of this pest. Wedelia trilobata (L) Hitchc extracts prepared in hexane, dichloroethane, ethyl acetate and ethanol were used initially against the second instars of P. xylostella by topical application to determine the dose dependent toxicity. The highest yield of the extracts was obtained with EtOH extract followed by hexane, EtOAc and dichloroethane. However, the EtOAc extract exhibited the highest toxicity (24h-LC50 = 442.8 ppm) that became more prominent after 48 h (LC50 = 376.71 ppm). This suggests there was an increase in toxicity with the duration of exposure to the treatment. With the exception of the hexane extract, all other treatments were significantly correlated, which suggests that W. trolobata contains a varied profile of anti-insect allelochemicals that can be exploited in any integrated pest management strategy. The identification of the active ingredients is in progress. PMID:23885442

  9. Macroevolution and the biological diversity of plants and herbivores

    PubMed Central

    Futuyma, Douglas J.; Agrawal, Anurag A.

    2009-01-01

    Terrestrial biodiversity is dominated by plants and the herbivores that consume them, and they are one of the major conduits of energy flow up to higher trophic levels. Here, we address the processes that have generated the spectacular diversity of flowering plants (>300,000 species) and insect herbivores (likely >1 million species). Long-standing macroevolutionary hypotheses have postulated that reciprocal evolution of adaptations and subsequent bursts of speciation have given rise to much of this biodiversity. We critically evaluate various predictions based on this coevolutionary theory. Phylogenetic reconstruction of ancestral states has revealed evidence for escalation in the potency or variety of plant lineages' chemical defenses; however, escalation of defense has been moderated by tradeoffs and alternative strategies (e.g., tolerance or defense by biotic agents). There is still surprisingly scant evidence that novel defense traits reduce herbivory and that such evolutionary novelty spurs diversification. Consistent with the coevolutionary hypothesis, there is some evidence that diversification of herbivores has lagged behind, but has nevertheless been temporally correlated with that of their host-plant clades, indicating colonization and radiation of insects on diversifying plants. However, there is still limited support for the role of host-plant shifts in insect diversification. Finally, a frontier area of research, and a general conclusion of our review, is that community ecology and the long-term evolutionary history of plant and insect diversification are inexorably intertwined. PMID:19815508

  10. Tropical forests are not flat: how mountains affect herbivore diversity.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Castañeda, Genoveva; Dyer, Lee A; Brehm, Gunnar; Connahs, Heidi; Forkner, Rebecca E; Walla, Thomas R

    2010-11-01

    Ecologists debate whether tropical insect diversity is better explained by higher plant diversity or by host plant species specialization. However, plant-herbivore studies are primarily based in lowland rainforests (RF) thus excluding topographical effects on biodiversity. We examined turnover in Eois (Geometridae) communities across elevation by studying elevational transects in Costa Rica and Ecuador. We found four distinct Eois communities existing across the elevational gradients. Herbivore diversity was highest in montane forests (MF), whereas host plant diversity was highest in lowland RF. This was correlated with higher specialization and species richness of Eois/host plant species we found in MF. Based on these relationships, Neotropical Eois richness was estimated to range from 313 (only lowland RF considered) to 2034 (considering variation with elevation). We conclude that tropical herbivore diversity and diet breadth covary significantly with elevation and urge the inclusion of montane ecosystems in host specialization and arthropod diversity estimates. PMID:20807233

  11. Tissue-specific Proteogenomic Analysis of Plutella xylostella Larval Midgut Using a Multialgorithm Pipeline.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xun; Xie, Shangbo; Armengaud, Jean; Xie, Wen; Guo, Zhaojiang; Kang, Shi; Wu, Qingjun; Wang, Shaoli; Xia, Jixing; He, Rongjun; Zhang, Youjun

    2016-06-01

    The diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.), is the major cosmopolitan pest of brassica and other cruciferous crops. Its larval midgut is a dynamic tissue that interfaces with a wide variety of toxicological and physiological processes. The draft sequence of the P. xylostella genome was recently released, but its annotation remains challenging because of the low sequence coverage of this branch of life and the poor description of exon/intron splicing rules for these insects. Peptide sequencing by computational assignment of tandem mass spectra to genome sequence information provides an experimental independent approach for confirming or refuting protein predictions, a concept that has been termed proteogenomics. In this study, we carried out an in-depth proteogenomic analysis to complement genome annotation of P. xylostella larval midgut based on shotgun HPLC-ESI-MS/MS data by means of a multialgorithm pipeline. A total of 876,341 tandem mass spectra were searched against the predicted P. xylostella protein sequences and a whole-genome six-frame translation database. Based on a data set comprising 2694 novel genome search specific peptides, we discovered 439 novel protein-coding genes and corrected 128 existing gene models. To get the most accurate data to seed further insect genome annotation, more than half of the novel protein-coding genes, i.e. 235 over 439, were further validated after RT-PCR amplification and sequencing of the corresponding transcripts. Furthermore, we validated 53 novel alternative splicings. Finally, a total of 6764 proteins were identified, resulting in one of the most comprehensive proteogenomic study of a nonmodel animal. As the first tissue-specific proteogenomics analysis of P. xylostella, this study provides the fundamental basis for high-throughput proteomics and functional genomics approaches aimed at deciphering the molecular mechanisms of resistance and controlling this pest. PMID:26902207

  12. Species-specific defence responses facilitate conspecifics and inhibit heterospecifics in above-belowground herbivore interactions.

    PubMed

    Huang, Wei; Siemann, Evan; Xiao, Li; Yang, Xuefang; Ding, Jianqing

    2014-01-01

    Conspecific and heterospecific aboveground and belowground herbivores often occur together in nature and their interactions may determine community structure. Here we show how aboveground adults and belowground larvae of the tallow tree specialist beetle Bikasha collaris and multiple heterospecific aboveground species interact to determine herbivore performance. Conspecific aboveground adults facilitate belowground larvae, but other aboveground damage inhibits larvae or has no effect. Belowground larvae increase conspecific adult feeding, but decrease heterospecific aboveground insect feeding and abundance. Chemical analyses and experiments with plant populations varying in phenolics show that all these positive and negative effects on insects are closely related to root and shoot tannin concentrations. Our results show that specific plant herbivore responses allow herbivore facilitation and inhibition to co-occur, likely shaping diverse aboveground and belowground communities. Considering species-specific responses of plants is critical for teasing apart inter- and intraspecific interactions in aboveground and belowground compartments. PMID:25241651

  13. Herbivore-induced resource sequestration in plants: why bother?

    PubMed

    Orians, Colin M; Thorn, Alexandra; Gómez, Sara

    2011-09-01

    Herbivores can cause numerous changes in primary plant metabolism. Recent studies using radioisotopes, for example, have found that insect herbivores and related cues can induce faster export from leaves and roots and greater partitioning into tissues inaccessible to foraging herbivores. This process, termed induced resource sequestration, is being proposed as an important response of plants to cope with herbivory. Here, we review the evidence for resource sequestration and suggest that associated allocation and ecological costs may limit the benefit of this response because resources allocated to storage are not immediately available to other plant functions or may be consumed by other enemies. We then present a conceptual model that describes the conditions under which benefits might outweigh costs of induced resource sequestration. Benefits and costs are discussed in the context of differences in plant life-history traits and biotic and abiotic conditions, and new testable hypotheses are presented to guide future research. We predict that intrinsic factors related to life history, ontogeny and phenology will alter patterns of induced sequestration. We also predict that induced sequestration will depend on certain external factors: abiotic conditions, types of herbivores, and trophic interactions. We hope the concepts presented here will stimulate more focused research on the ecological and evolutionary costs and benefits of herbivore-induced resource sequestration. PMID:21431939

  14. Cost of inbreeding in resistance to herbivores in Datura stramonium

    PubMed Central

    Bello-Bedoy, Rafael; Núñez-Farfán, Juan

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aims Experiments show that inbred progenies are frequently more damaged by herbivores than outcrossed progenies, suggesting that selfing is costly when herbivores are present and can increase the magnitude of inbreeding depression in survival and reproductive components of fitness. The present study assesses whether inbreeding increases herbivory and estimates the magnitude of inbreeding depression on reproductive components of fitness in the annual plant Datura stramonium. Methods Two experiments were performed under natural conditions of herbivory to assess the effect of inbreeding on plant damage in D. stramonium. In the first experiment, outcrossed progeny was generated using foreign pollen donors, whereas inbred progeny was produced by self-pollination. In both groups, survival, herbivore damage and reproductive components of fitness were measured. In the second experiment, inbred and outcrossed progenies were produced using only local pollen donors, and only damage by herbivores was measured. Key Results Despite yearly variation in damage caused by the same specialist herbivores, inbred progeny suffered consistently more damage than outcrossed progeny. There was a significant inbreeding depression for fruit number (δ = 0·3), seed number per fruit (δ = 0·19) and seed number per plant (δ = 0·43). Furthermore, significant genetic variation amongst families in the magnitude of inbreeding depression was observed. Discussion The results suggest that the plant's mating system modified the pattern of herbivory by specialist insects in D. stramonium. Inbred plants suffer not only from the genetic cost of low vigour but also from greater damage by herbivores. The mechanism by which inbreeding reduces plant resistance to herbivores remains unknown but is an interesting area for future research. PMID:20237119

  15. Plutella xylostella (L.) infestations at varying temperatures induce the emission of specific volatile blends by Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh

    PubMed Central

    Truong, Dieu-Hien; Delory, Benjamin M; Brostaux, Yves; Heuskin, Stéphanie; Delaplace, Pierre; Francis, Frédéric; Lognay, Georges

    2014-01-01

    The effect of combined abiotic and biotic factors on plant volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions is poorly understood. This study evaluated the VOC emissions produced by Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Col-0 subjected to 3 temperature regimes (17, 22, and 27°C) in the presence and absence of Plutella xylostella larvae over 2 time intervals (0–4 and 4–8 h), in comparison to control plants. The analyses of VOCs emitted by Arabidopsis plants were made by headspace solid phase microextraction (HS-SPME) coupled with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). It was found that certain volatile groups (e.g., alcohols, ketones, aldehydes, and terpenes) are induced by both single factors (temperature or larval infestation) and combined factors (temperature and larvae interactions), whereas other volatile groups (e.g., isothiocyanates [ITCs] and nitrile) were specific to the experimental conditions. ITCs (mainly 4-methylpentyl isothiocyanate) were emitted from plants subjected to larval infestation at 17 and 27°C after the 2 time intervals. The proportions of sulfides (mainly dimethyl disulfide) and 4-(methylthio) butanenitrile were significantly higher on herbivore-infested plants at 22°C compared to the other treatments. Overall, our findings indicate that changes in all experimental conditions caused significant changes to the VOC emissions of Arabidopsis plants. Therefore, the interaction between temperature and larval feeding may represent an important factor determining the variability of volatile emissions by plants subjected to multiple simultaneous factors. PMID:25482777

  16. Variable effects of temperature on insect herbivory

    PubMed Central

    Burkepile, Deron E.; Parker, John D.

    2014-01-01

    Rising temperatures can influence the top-down control of plant biomass by increasing herbivore metabolic demands. Unfortunately, we know relatively little about the effects of temperature on herbivory rates for most insect herbivores in a given community. Evolutionary history, adaptation to local environments, and dietary factors may lead to variable thermal response curves across different species. Here we characterized the effect of temperature on herbivory rates for 21 herbivore-plant pairs, encompassing 14 herbivore and 12 plant species. We show that overall consumption rates increase with temperature between 20 and 30 °C but do not increase further with increasing temperature. However, there is substantial variation in thermal responses among individual herbivore-plant pairs at the highest temperatures. Over one third of the herbivore-plant pairs showed declining consumption rates at high temperatures, while an approximately equal number showed increasing consumption rates. Such variation existed even within herbivore species, as some species exhibited idiosyncratic thermal response curves on different host plants. Thus, rising temperatures, particularly with respect to climate change, may have highly variable effects on plant-herbivore interactions and, ultimately, top-down control of plant biomass. PMID:24860701

  17. Parasitism overrides herbivore identity allowing hyperparasitoids to locate their parasitoid host using herbivore-induced plant volatiles.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Feng; Broekgaarden, Colette; Weldegergis, Berhane T; Harvey, Jeffrey A; Vosman, Ben; Dicke, Marcel; Poelman, Erik H

    2015-06-01

    Foraging success of predators profoundly depends on reliable and detectable cues indicating the presence of their often inconspicuous prey. Carnivorous insects rely on chemical cues to optimize foraging efficiency. Hyperparasitoids that lay their eggs in the larvae or pupae of parasitic wasps may find their parasitoid hosts developing in different herbivores. They can use herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) to locate parasitized caterpillars. Because different herbivore species induce different HIPV emission from plants, hyperparasitoids may have to deal with large variation in volatile information that indicates host presence. In this study, we used an ecogenomics approach to first address whether parasitized caterpillars of two herbivore species (Pieris rapae and P. brassicae) induce similar transcriptional and metabolomic responses in wild Brassica oleracea plants and, second, whether hyperparasitoids Lysibia nana are able to discriminate between these induced plant responses to locate their parasitoid host in different herbivores under both laboratory and field conditions. Our study revealed that both herbivore identity and parasitism affect plant transcriptional and metabolic responses to herbivory. We also found that hyperparasitoids are able to respond to HIPVs released by wild B. oleracea under both laboratory and field conditions. In addition, we observed stronger attraction of hyperparasitoids to HIPVs when plants were infested with parasitized caterpillars. However, hyperparasitoids were equally attracted to plants infested by either herbivore species. Our results indicate that parasitism plays a major role in HIPV-mediated plant-hyperparasitoid interactions. Furthermore, these findings also indicate that plant trait-mediated indirect interaction networks play important roles in community-wide species interactions. PMID:25789566

  18. How herbivores coopt plant defenses: natural selection, specialization, and sequestration.

    PubMed

    Petschenka, Georg; Agrawal, Anurag A

    2016-04-01

    We review progress in understanding sequestration by herbivorous insects, the use of plant chemical defenses for their own defense. We incorporate sequestration into the framework of plant-insect coevolution by integrating three hierarchical issues: (1) the relationship between dietary specialization and sequestration of plant defenses, (2) the physiological mechanisms involved in sequestration, and (3) how sequestration evolves via interactions between trophic levels. Sequestration is often associated with specialization, but even specialized sequestration is not an evolutionary dead-end. Despite considerable progress in understanding physiological mechanisms, detailed knowledge of how plant toxins cross the insect gut epithelium is still largely lacking. Sequestration is likely a major vehicle for coevolutionary escalation in speciose plant-insect-predator interactions, suggesting that a strictly bitrophic view is untenable. PMID:27436642

  19. R2R3-NaMYB8 Regulates the Accumulation of Phenylpropanoid-Polyamine Conjugates, Which Are Essential for Local and Systemic Defense against Insect Herbivores in Nicotiana attenuata1[W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Kaur, Harleen; Heinzel, Nicolas; Schöttner, Mathias; Baldwin, Ian T.; Gális, Ivan

    2010-01-01

    Although phenylpropanoid-polyamine conjugates (PPCs) occur ubiquitously in plants, their biological roles remain largely unexplored. The two major PPCs of Nicotiana attenuata plants, caffeoylputrescine (CP) and dicaffeoylspermidine, increase dramatically in local and systemic tissues after herbivore attack and simulations thereof. We identified NaMYB8, a homolog of NtMYBJS1, which in BY-2 cells regulates PPC biosynthesis, and silenced its expression by RNA interference in N. attenuata (ir-MYB8), to understand the ecological role(s) of PPCs. The regulatory role of NaMYB8 in PPC biosynthesis was validated by a microarray analysis, which revealed that transcripts of several key biosynthetic genes in shikimate and polyamine metabolism accumulated in a NaMYB8-dependent manner. Wild-type N. attenuata plants typically contain high levels of PPCs in their reproductive tissues; however, NaMYB8-silenced plants that completely lacked CP and dicaffeoylspermidine showed no changes in reproductive parameters of the plants. In contrast, a defensive role for PPCs was clear; both specialist (Manduca sexta) and generalist (Spodoptera littoralis) caterpillars feeding on systemically preinduced young stem leaves performed significantly better on ir-MYB8 plants lacking PPCs compared with wild-type plants expressing high levels of PPCs. Moreover, the growth of M. sexta caterpillars was significantly reduced when neonates were fed ir-MYB8 leaves sprayed with synthetic CP, corroborating the role of PPCs as direct plant defense. The spatiotemporal accumulation and function of PPCs in N. attenuata are consistent with the predictions of the optimal defense theory: plants preferentially protect their most fitness-enhancing and vulnerable parts, young tissues and reproductive organs, to maximize their fitness. PMID:20089770

  20. Plutella australiana (Lepidoptera, Plutellidae), an overlooked diamondback moth revealed by DNA barcodes

    PubMed Central

    Landry, Jean-François; Hebert, Paul DN

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The genus Plutella was thought to be represented in Australia by a single introduced species, Plutella xylostella (Linnaeus), the diamondback moth. Its status as a major pest of cruciferous crops, and the difficulty in developing control strategies has motivated broad-ranging studies on its biology. Prior genetic work has generally supported the conclusion that populations of this migratory species are connected by substantial gene flow. However, the present study reveals the presence of two genetically divergent lineages of this taxonin Australia. One shows close genetic and morphological similarity with the nearly cosmopolitan Plutella xylostella. The second lineage possesses a similar external morphology, but marked sequence divergence in the barcode region of the cytochrome c oxidase I gene, coupled with clear differences in genitalia. As a consequence, members of this lineage are described as a new species, Plutella australiana Landry & Hebert, which is broadly distributed in the eastern half of Australia. PMID:24167421

  1. Insects, infestations and nutrient fluxes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michalzik, B.

    2012-04-01

    Forest ecosystems are characterized by a high temporal and spatial variability in the vertical transfer of energy and matter within the canopy and the soil compartment. The mechanisms and controlling factors behind canopy processes and system-internal transfer dynamics are imperfectly understood at the moment. Seasonal flux diversities and inhomogeneities in throughfall composition have been reported from coniferous and deciduous forests, and in most cases leaf leaching has been considered as principle driver for differences in the amount and quality of nutrients and organic compounds (Tukey and Morgan 1963). Since herbivorous insects and the processes they initiate received less attention in past times, ecologists now emphasize the need for linking biological processes occurring in different ecosystem strata to explain rates and variability of nutrient cycling (Bardgett et al. 1998, Wardle et al. 2004). Consequently, herbivore insects in the canopies of forests are increasingly identified to play an important role for the (re)cycling and availability of nutrients, or, more generally, for the functioning of ecosystems not only in outbreak situations but also at endemic (non-outbreak) density levels (Stadler et al. 2001, Hunter et al. 2003). Before, little attention was paid to insect herbivores when quantifying element and energy fluxes through ecosystems, although the numerous and different functions insects fulfill in ecosystems (e.g. as pollinators, herbivores or detritivores) were unanimously recognized (Schowalter 2000). Amongst the reasons for this restraint was the argument that the total biomass of insects tends to be relatively low compared to the biomass of trees or the pool of soil organic matter (Ohmart et al. 1983). A second argument which was put forward to justify the inferior role of insects in nutrient cycling were the supposed low defoliation losses between 5-10% of the annual leaf biomass, or net primary production, due to insect herbivory under

  2. Plant Defense against Herbivorous Pests: Exploiting Resistance and Tolerance Traits for Sustainable Crop Protection.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Carolyn; Brennan, Rex M; Graham, Julie; Karley, Alison J

    2016-01-01

    Interactions between plants and insect herbivores are important determinants of plant productivity in managed and natural vegetation. In response to attack, plants have evolved a range of defenses to reduce the threat of injury and loss of productivity. Crop losses from damage caused by arthropod pests can exceed 15% annually. Crop domestication and selection for improved yield and quality can alter the defensive capability of the crop, increasing reliance on artificial crop protection. Sustainable agriculture, however, depends on reduced chemical inputs. There is an urgent need, therefore, to identify plant defensive traits for crop improvement. Plant defense can be divided into resistance and tolerance strategies. Plant traits that confer herbivore resistance typically prevent or reduce herbivore damage through expression of traits that deter pests from settling, attaching to surfaces, feeding and reproducing, or that reduce palatability. Plant tolerance of herbivory involves expression of traits that limit the negative impact of herbivore damage on productivity and yield. Identifying the defensive traits expressed by plants to deter herbivores or limit herbivore damage, and understanding the underlying defense mechanisms, is crucial for crop scientists to exploit plant defensive traits in crop breeding. In this review, we assess the traits and mechanisms underpinning herbivore resistance and tolerance, and conclude that physical defense traits, plant vigor and herbivore-induced plant volatiles show considerable utility in pest control, along with mixed species crops. We highlight emerging approaches for accelerating the identification of plant defensive traits and facilitating their deployment to improve the future sustainability of crop protection. PMID:27524994

  3. Plant Defense against Herbivorous Pests: Exploiting Resistance and Tolerance Traits for Sustainable Crop Protection

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, Carolyn; Brennan, Rex M.; Graham, Julie; Karley, Alison J.

    2016-01-01

    Interactions between plants and insect herbivores are important determinants of plant productivity in managed and natural vegetation. In response to attack, plants have evolved a range of defenses to reduce the threat of injury and loss of productivity. Crop losses from damage caused by arthropod pests can exceed 15% annually. Crop domestication and selection for improved yield and quality can alter the defensive capability of the crop, increasing reliance on artificial crop protection. Sustainable agriculture, however, depends on reduced chemical inputs. There is an urgent need, therefore, to identify plant defensive traits for crop improvement. Plant defense can be divided into resistance and tolerance strategies. Plant traits that confer herbivore resistance typically prevent or reduce herbivore damage through expression of traits that deter pests from settling, attaching to surfaces, feeding and reproducing, or that reduce palatability. Plant tolerance of herbivory involves expression of traits that limit the negative impact of herbivore damage on productivity and yield. Identifying the defensive traits expressed by plants to deter herbivores or limit herbivore damage, and understanding the underlying defense mechanisms, is crucial for crop scientists to exploit plant defensive traits in crop breeding. In this review, we assess the traits and mechanisms underpinning herbivore resistance and tolerance, and conclude that physical defense traits, plant vigor and herbivore-induced plant volatiles show considerable utility in pest control, along with mixed species crops. We highlight emerging approaches for accelerating the identification of plant defensive traits and facilitating their deployment to improve the future sustainability of crop protection. PMID:27524994

  4. Dynamics of glucosinolate-myrosinase system during Plutella xylostella interaction to a novel host Lepidium latifolium L.

    PubMed

    Kaur, Tarandeep; Bhat, Rohini; Khajuria, Manu; Vyas, Ruchika; Kumari, Anika; Nadda, Gireesh; Vishwakarma, Ram; Vyas, Dhiraj

    2016-09-01

    Plutella xylostella L. is a notorious pest of cruciferous crops causing worldwide losses of $4-5 billion per year. Developing classical biological control to this pest include an introduction of host plants that act as natural enemies showing deviation from the preference-performance regimen in the evolutionary ecology of plant-insect interactions. The present study was designed to understand the role of glucosinolate-myrosinase system during P. xylostella interactions with a novel host. Adult moth preference and larval performance study were conducted on a novel host Lepidium latifolium L. (LL) that has high sinigrin content and was compared with its laboratory host Arabidopsis thaliana (AT). The glucosinolate-myrosinase system was studied in a time course experiment during larval feeding in choice and no-choice experiments. Adult moths visit and prefers LL over AT for oviposition. Conversely, LL leaves were not preferred and proved detrimental for P. xylostella larvae. Aliphatic and indolic glucosinolates were found to decrease significantly (p≤0.05) in AT during initial 12h of P. xylostella challenge, whereas, they were not affected in LL. Also, MYB transcription factor expression and myrosinase activity in LL do not suggest a typical host response to a specialist insect. This preference-performance mismatch of P. xylostella on LL mediated by glucosinolate pattern suggests that this novel plant could be utilized in P. xylostella management. PMID:27457978

  5. Genome-wide characterization and expression profiling of immune genes in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.)

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Xiaofeng; Yu, Liying; Xue, Minqian; Yu, Xiaoqiang; Vasseur, Liette; Gurr, Geoff M.; Baxter, Simon W.; Lin, Hailan; Lin, Junhan; You, Minsheng

    2015-01-01

    The diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.), is a destructive pest that attacks cruciferous crops worldwide. Immune responses are important for interactions between insects and pathogens and information on these underpins the development of strategies for biocontrol-based pest management. Little, however, is known about immune genes and their regulation patterns in P. xylostella. A total of 149 immune-related genes in 20 gene families were identified through comparison of P. xylostella genome with the genomes of other insects. Complete and conserved Toll, IMD and JAK-STAT signaling pathways were found in P. xylostella. Genes involved in pathogen recognition were expanded and more diversified than genes associated with intracellular signal transduction. Gene expression profiles showed that the IMD pathway may regulate expression of antimicrobial peptide (AMP) genes in the midgut, and be related to an observed down-regulation of AMPs in experimental lines of insecticide-resistant P. xylostella. A bacterial feeding study demonstrated that P. xylostella could activate different AMPs in response to bacterial infection. This study has established a framework of comprehensive expression profiles that highlight cues for immune regulation in a major pest. Our work provides a foundation for further studies on the functions of P. xylostella immune genes and mechanisms of innate immunity. PMID:25943446

  6. DNA Sequencing Reveals the Midgut Microbiota of Diamondback Moth, Plutella xylostella (L.) and a Possible Relationship with Insecticide Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Xiaofeng; Zheng, Dandan; Zhong, Huanzi; Qin, Bingcai; Gurr, Geoff M.; Vasseur, Liette; Lin, Hailan; Bai, Jianlin; He, Weiyi; You, Minsheng

    2013-01-01

    Background Insect midgut microbiota is important in host nutrition, development and immune response. Recent studies indicate possible links between insect gut microbiota and resistance to biological and chemical toxins. Studies of this phenomenon and symbionts in general have been hampered by difficulties in culture-based approach. In the present study, DNA sequencing was used to examine the midgut microbiota of diamondback moth (DBM), Plutella xylostella (L.), a destructive pest that attacks cruciferous crops worldwide. Its ability to develop resistance to many types of synthetic insecticide and even Bacillus thuringiensis toxins makes it an important species to study. Methodology/Principal Findings Bacteria of the DBM larval midgut in a susceptible and two insecticide (chlorpyrifos and fipronil) resistant lines were examined by Illumina sequencing sampled from an insect generation that was not exposed to insecticide. This revealed that more than 97% of the bacteria were from three orders: Enterobacteriales, Vibrionales and Lactobacillales. Both insecticide-resistant lines had more Lactobacillales and the much scarcer taxa Pseudomonadales and Xanthomonadales with fewer Enterobacteriales compared with the susceptible strain. Consistent with this, a second study observed an increase in the proportion of Lactobacillales in the midgut of DBM individuals from a generation treated with insecticides. Conclusions/Significance This is the first report of high-throughput DNA sequencing of the entire microbiota of DBM. It reveals differences related to inter- and intra-generational exposure to insecticides. Differences in the midgut microbiota among susceptible and insecticide-resistant lines are independent of insecticide exposure in the sampled generations. While this is consistent with the hypothesis that Lactobacillales or other scarcer taxa play a role in conferring DBM insecticide resistance, further studies are necessary to rule out other possibilities. Findings

  7. Turnabout Is Fair Play: Herbivory-Induced Plant Chitinases Excreted in Fall Armyworm Frass Suppress Herbivore Defenses in Maize.

    PubMed

    Ray, Swayamjit; Alves, Patrick C M S; Ahmad, Imtiaz; Gaffoor, Iffa; Acevedo, Flor E; Peiffer, Michelle; Jin, Shan; Han, Yang; Shakeel, Samina; Felton, Gary W; Luthe, Dawn S

    2016-05-01

    The perception of herbivory by plants is known to be triggered by the deposition of insect-derived factors such as saliva and oral secretions, oviposition materials, and even feces. Such insect-derived materials harbor chemical cues that may elicit herbivore and/or pathogen-induced defenses in plants. Several insect-derived molecules that trigger herbivore-induced defenses in plants are known; however, insect-derived molecules suppressing them are largely unknown. In this study, we identified two plant chitinases from fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) larval frass that suppress herbivore defenses while simultaneously inducing pathogen defenses in maize (Zea mays). Fall armyworm larvae feed in enclosed whorls of maize plants, where frass accumulates over extended periods of time in close proximity to damaged leaf tissue. Our study shows that maize chitinases, Pr4 and Endochitinase A, are induced during herbivory and subsequently deposited on the host with the feces. These plant chitinases mediate the suppression of herbivore-induced defenses, thereby increasing the performance of the insect on the host. Pr4 and Endochitinase A also trigger the antagonistic pathogen defense pathway in maize and suppress fungal pathogen growth on maize leaves. Frass-induced suppression of herbivore defenses by deposition of the plant-derived chitinases Pr4 and Endochitinase A is a unique way an insect can co-opt the plant's defense proteins for its own benefit. It is also a phenomenon unlike the induction of herbivore defenses by insect oral secretions in most host-herbivore systems. PMID:26979328

  8. Deciphering the plant-insect phenotypic arms race

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plants and herbivorous insects interact with each other on three different time scales (i.e., macro-evolutionary, micro-evolutionary, and ecological time scale). On the ecological time scale, the interacting species, both plants and insects, exhibit a back-and-forth attack-defense-counterdefense cy...

  9. Positive selection of digestive Cys proteases in herbivorous Coleoptera.

    PubMed

    Vorster, Juan; Rasoolizadeh, Asieh; Goulet, Marie-Claire; Cloutier, Conrad; Sainsbury, Frank; Michaud, Dominique

    2015-10-01

    Positive selection is thought to contribute to the functional diversification of insect-inducible protease inhibitors in plants in response to selective pressures exerted by the digestive proteases of their herbivorous enemies. Here we assessed whether a reciprocal evolutionary process takes place on the insect side, and whether ingestion of a positively selected plant inhibitor may translate into a measurable rebalancing of midgut proteases in vivo. Midgut Cys proteases of herbivorous Coleoptera, including the major pest Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata), were first compared using a codon-based evolutionary model to look for the occurrence of hypervariable, positively selected amino acid sites among the tested sequences. Hypervariable sites were found, distributed within -or close to- amino acid regions interacting with Cys-type inhibitors of the plant cystatin protein family. A close examination of L. decemlineata sequences indicated a link between their assignment to protease functional families and amino acid identity at positively selected sites. A function-diversifying role for positive selection was further suggested empirically by in vitro protease assays and a shotgun proteomic analysis of L. decemlineata Cys proteases showing a differential rebalancing of protease functional family complements in larvae fed single variants of a model cystatin mutated at positively selected amino acid sites. These data confirm overall the occurrence of hypervariable, positively selected amino acid sites in herbivorous Coleoptera digestive Cys proteases. They also support the idea of an adaptive role for positive selection, useful to generate functionally diverse proteases in insect herbivores ingesting functionally diverse, rapidly evolving dietary cystatins. PMID:26264818

  10. Influence of host plant nitrogen fertilization on haemolymph protein profiles of herbivore Spodoptera exigua and on the endoparasitiod Cotesia marginiventris development

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nitrogen has complex effects on plant-herbivore-parasitoid tri-trophic interactions. The negative effects of host plant with low nitrogen fertilization on insect herbivores in many cases can be amplified to the higher trophic levels. In the present study, we examined the impact of varying ni...

  11. Dominant Inheritance of Field-Evolved Resistance to Fipronil in Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae).

    PubMed

    Wang, Xingliang; Wu, Shuwen; Gao, Weiyue; Wu, Yidong

    2016-02-01

    A field-collected strain (HF) of Plutella xylostella (L.) showed 420-fold resistance to fipronil compared with a susceptible laboratory strain (Roth). The HF-R strain, derived from the HF strain by 25 generations of successive selection with fipronil in the laboratory, developed 2,200-fold resistance to fipronil relative to the Roth strain. The F(1) progeny of the reciprocal crosses between HF-R and Roth showed 640-fold (R♀ × S♂) and 1,380-fold (R♂ × S♀) resistance to fipronil, indicating resistance is inherited as an incompletely dominant trait. Analysis of progeny from a backcross (F1♂ × S♀) suggests that resistance is controlled by one major locus. The LC(50) of the R♂ × S♀ cross F(1) progeny is slightly but significantly higher than that of the R♀ × S♂ cross F(1) progeny, suggesting a minor resistance gene on the Z chromosome. Sequence analysis of PxGABARα1 (an Rdl-homologous GABA receptor gene of P. xylostella) from the HF-R strain identified two mutations A282S and A282G (corresponding to the A302S mutation of the Drosophila melanogaster Rdl gene), which have been previously implicated in fipronil resistance in several insect species including P. xylostella. PxGABARα1 was previously mapped to the Z chromosome of P. xylostella. In conclusion, fipronil resistance in the HF-R strain of P. xylostella was incompletely dominant, and controlled by a major autosomal locus and a sex-linked minor gene (PxGABARα1) on the Z chromosome. PMID:26511983

  12. Modulation of Juvenile Hormone Esterase Gene Expression Against Development of Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae).

    PubMed

    2016-04-01

    The diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), is a widespread and destructive pest of cruciferous crops. Owing to its increasing resistance to conventional pesticides, new strategies need to be developed for diamondback moth control. Here, we investigated factors that modulate juvenile hormone esterase (JHE) activity and jhe (Px004817) transcription, and determined the effects of these factors on subsequent growth and development in diamondback moth. Starvation inhibited JHE activity and jhe transcription, increased mortality, and decreased the rate of molting from the third- to the fourth-instar stages. Larvae kept at 32°C molted earlier and showed increased JHE activity and jhe transcription after 24-h treatment. Exposure to 1,325 mg/liter OTFP (3-octylthio-1,1,1-trifluoro-2-propanone) delayed molting and pupation, increased pupal weight, and decreased JHE activity and jhe transcription at both 24 and 48 h. Treatment with 500 mg/liter pyriproxyfen delayed molting, completely suppressed pupation, and significantly increased JHE activity at 48 h and jhe transcription at 24 and 48 h. A combination of OTFP (1,325 mg/liter) and pyriproxyfen (500 mg/liter) induced the highest mortality, delayed molting, completely suppressed pupation, and significantly increased JHE activity at 48 h and jhe transcription at 24 and 48 h. These effects on JHE activity and jhe transcription were similar to those in insects treated only with pyriproxyfen. The results demonstrated that JHE and jhe (Px004817) were involved in the responses of diamondback moth to external modulators and caused changes in growth and development. The combination of OTFP and pyriproxyfen increased the effectiveness of action against diamondback moth. PMID:26880398

  13. General odorant-binding proteins and sex pheromone guide larvae of Plutella xylostella to better food.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jiao; Ban, Liping; Song, Li-Mei; Liu, Yang; Pelosi, Paolo; Wang, Guirong

    2016-05-01

    Olfaction of Lepidopteran larvae has received little attention, compared to the damage to crops done by insects at this stage. We report that larvae of the diamondback moth Plutella xylostella are attracted to their natural sex pheromone and to their major component (Z)-11-hexadecenal, but only in a food context. For such task they use two general odorant-binding proteins (GOBPs), abundantly expressed in the three major sensilla basiconica of the larval antenna, as shown by whole-mount immunostaining and immunocytochemistry experiments. None of the three genes encoding pheromone-binding proteins (PBPs) are expressed at this stage. Both recombinant GOBPs bind (Z)-11-hexadecenal and the corresponding alcohol, but not the acetate. Binding experiments performed with five mutants of GOBP2, where aromatic residues in the binding pocket were replaced with leucine showed that only one or two amino acid substitutions can completely abolish binding to the pheromone shifting the affinity to plant-derived compounds. We hypothesise that detection of their species-specific pheromone may direct larvae to the sites of foraging chosen by their mother when laying eggs, to find better food, as well as to reduce competition with individuals of the same or other species sharing the same host plant. We also provide evidence that GOBP2 is a narrowly tuned binding protein, whose affinity can be easily switched from linear pheromones to branched plants terpenoids, representing a tool better suited for the simple olfactory system of larvae, as compared to the more sophisticated organ of adults. PMID:27001069

  14. Tissue-Specific Transcriptome Profiling of Plutella Xylostella Third Instar Larval Midgut

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Wen; Lei, Yanyuan; Fu, Wei; Yang, Zhongxia; Zhu, Xun; Guo, Zhaojiang; Wu, Qingjun; Wang, Shaoli; Xu, Baoyun; Zhou, Xuguo; Zhang, Youjun

    2012-01-01

    The larval midgut of diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, is a dynamic tissue that interfaces with a diverse array of physiological and toxicological processes, including nutrient digestion and allocation, xenobiotic detoxification, innate and adaptive immune response, and pathogen defense. Despite its enormous agricultural importance, the genomic resources for P. xylostella are surprisingly scarce. In this study, a Bt resistant P. xylostella strain was subjected to the in-depth transcriptome analysis to identify genes and gene networks putatively involved in various physiological and toxicological processes in the P. xylostella larval midgut. Using Illumina deep sequencing, we obtained roughly 40 million reads containing approximately 3.6 gigabases of sequence data. De novo assembly generated 63,312 ESTs with an average read length of 416bp, and approximately half of the P. xylostella sequences (45.4%, 28,768) showed similarity to the non-redundant database in GenBank with a cut-off E-value below 10-5. Among them, 11,092 unigenes were assigned to one or multiple GO terms and 16,732 unigenes were assigned to 226 specific pathways. In-depth analysis indentified genes putatively involved in insecticide resistance, nutrient digestion, and innate immune defense. Besides conventional detoxification enzymes and insecticide targets, novel genes, including 28 chymotrypsins and 53 ABC transporters, have been uncovered in the P. xylostella larval midgut transcriptome; which are potentially linked to the Bt toxicity and resistance. Furthermore, an unexpectedly high number of ESTs, including 46 serpins and 7 lysozymes, were predicted to be involved in the immune defense. As the first tissue-specific transcriptome analysis of P. xylostella, this study sheds light on the molecular understanding of insecticide resistance, especially Bt resistance in an agriculturally important insect pest, and lays the foundation for future functional genomics research. In addition, current

  15. Distance and Sex Determine Host Plant Choice by Herbivorous Beetles

    PubMed Central

    Ballhorn, Daniel J.; Kautz, Stefanie; Heil, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Background Plants respond to herbivore damage with the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This indirect defense can cause ecological costs when herbivores themselves use VOCs as cues to localize suitable host plants. Can VOCs reliably indicate food plant quality to herbivores? Methodology We determined the choice behavior of herbivorous beetles (Chrysomelidae: Gynandrobrotica guerreroensis and Cerotoma ruficornis) when facing lima bean plants (Fabaceae: Phaseolus lunatus) with different cyanogenic potential, which is an important constitutive direct defense. Expression of inducible indirect defenses was experimentally manipulated by jasmonic acid treatment at different concentrations. The long-distance responses of male and female beetles to the resulting induced plant volatiles were investigated in olfactometer and free-flight experiments and compared to the short-distance decisions of the same beetles in feeding trials. Conclusion Female beetles of both species were repelled by VOCs released from all induced plants independent of the level of induction. In contrast, male beetles were repelled by strongly induced plants, showed no significant differences in choice behavior towards moderately induced plants, but responded positively to VOCs released from little induced plants. Thus, beetle sex and plant VOCs had a significant effect on host searching behavior. By contrast, feeding behavior of both sexes was strongly determined by the cyanogenic potential of leaves, although females again responded more sensitively than males. Apparently, VOCs mainly provide information to these beetles that are not directly related to food quality. Being induced by herbivory and involved in indirect plant defense, such VOCs might indicate the presence of competitors and predators to herbivores. We conclude that plant quality as a food source and finding a potentially enemy-free space is more important for female than for male insect herbivores, whereas the presence of a

  16. Assessing the consequences of global change for forest disturbance from herbivores and pathogens.

    PubMed

    Ayres, M P; Lombardero, M J

    2000-11-15

    Herbivores and pathogens impact the species composition, ecosystem function, and socioeconomic value of forests. Herbivores and pathogens are an integral part of forests, but sometimes produce undesirable effects and a degradation of forest resources. In the United States, a few species of forest pests routinely have significant impacts on up to 20 million ha of forest with economic costs that probably exceed $1 billion/year. Climatic change could alter patterns of disturbance from herbivores and pathogens through: (1) direct effects on the development and survival of herbivores and pathogens; (2) physiological changes in tree defenses; and (3) indirect effects from changes in the abundance of natural enemies (e.g. parasitoids of insect herbivores), mutualists (e.g. insect vectors of tree pathogens), and competitors. Because of their short life cycles, mobility, reproductive potential, and physiological sensitivity to temperature, even modest climate change will have rapid impacts on the distribution and abundance of many forest insects and pathogens. We identify 32 syndromes of biotic disturbance in North American forests that should be carefully evaluated for their responses to climate change: 15 insect herbivores, browsing mammals; 12 pathogens; 1 plant parasite; and 3 undiagnosed patterns of forest decline. It is probable that climatic effects on some herbivores and pathogens will impact on biodiversity, recreation, property value, forest industry, and even water quality. Some scenarios are beneficial (e.g. decreased snow cover may increase winter mortality of some insect pests), but many are detrimental (e.g. warming tends to accelerate insect development rate and facilitate range expansions of pests and climate change tends to produce a mismatch between mature trees and their environment, which can increase vulnerability to herbivores and pathogens). Changes in forest disturbance can produce feedback to climate through affects on water and carbon flux in

  17. Effects of Local Tree Diversity on Herbivore Communities Diminish with Increasing Forest Fragmentation on the Landscape Scale

    PubMed Central

    Peter, Franziska; Berens, Dana G.; Farwig, Nina

    2014-01-01

    Forest fragmentation and plant diversity have been shown to play a crucial role for herbivorous insects (herbivores, hereafter). In turn, herbivory-induced leaf area loss is known to have direct implications for plant growth and reproduction as well as long-term consequences for ecosystem functioning and forest regeneration. So far, previous studies determined diverging responses of herbivores to forest fragmentation and plant diversity. Those inconsistent results may be owed to complex interactive effects of both co-occurring environmental factors albeit they act on different spatial scales. In this study, we investigated whether forest fragmentation on the landscape scale and tree diversity on the local habitat scale show interactive effects on the herbivore community and leaf area loss in subtropical forests in South Africa. We applied standardized beating samples and a community-based approach to estimate changes in herbivore community composition, herbivore abundance, and the effective number of herbivore species on the tree species-level. We further monitored leaf area loss to link changes in the herbivore community to the associated process of herbivory. Forest fragmentation and tree diversity interactively affected the herbivore community composition, mainly by a species turnover within the family of Curculionidae. Furthermore, herbivore abundance increased and the number of herbivore species decreased with increasing tree diversity in slightly fragmented forests whereas the effects diminished with increasing forest fragmentation. Surprisingly, leaf area loss was neither affected by forest fragmentation or tree diversity, nor by changes in the herbivore community. Our study highlights the need to consider interactive effects of environmental changes across spatial scales in order to draw reliable conclusions for community and interaction patterns. Moreover, forest fragmentation seems to alter the effect of tree diversity on the herbivore community, and thus

  18. Effects of local tree diversity on herbivore communities diminish with increasing forest fragmentation on the landscape scale.

    PubMed

    Peter, Franziska; Berens, Dana G; Farwig, Nina

    2014-01-01

    Forest fragmentation and plant diversity have been shown to play a crucial role for herbivorous insects (herbivores, hereafter). In turn, herbivory-induced leaf area loss is known to have direct implications for plant growth and reproduction as well as long-term consequences for ecosystem functioning and forest regeneration. So far, previous studies determined diverging responses of herbivores to forest fragmentation and plant diversity. Those inconsistent results may be owed to complex interactive effects of both co-occurring environmental factors albeit they act on different spatial scales. In this study, we investigated whether forest fragmentation on the landscape scale and tree diversity on the local habitat scale show interactive effects on the herbivore community and leaf area loss in subtropical forests in South Africa. We applied standardized beating samples and a community-based approach to estimate changes in herbivore community composition, herbivore abundance, and the effective number of herbivore species on the tree species-level. We further monitored leaf area loss to link changes in the herbivore community to the associated process of herbivory. Forest fragmentation and tree diversity interactively affected the herbivore community composition, mainly by a species turnover within the family of Curculionidae. Furthermore, herbivore abundance increased and the number of herbivore species decreased with increasing tree diversity in slightly fragmented forests whereas the effects diminished with increasing forest fragmentation. Surprisingly, leaf area loss was neither affected by forest fragmentation or tree diversity, nor by changes in the herbivore community. Our study highlights the need to consider interactive effects of environmental changes across spatial scales in order to draw reliable conclusions for community and interaction patterns. Moreover, forest fragmentation seems to alter the effect of tree diversity on the herbivore community, and thus

  19. Insect-Plant Relationships in Ecological Teaching.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fry, G. L. A.; Wratten, S. D.

    1979-01-01

    Discusses the current theories concerning the evolution of insect-plant relationships. Offers several experiments based on recent publications in this field, concerning relationships between herbivore number and plants' successional status, geographical range, geological history, and stage of growth, and also experiments on the chemical basis of…

  20. Insect destroyers of Tamarisk in southeastern Kazakhstan

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This monograph contains the results of research work on the insect herbivores of tamarisk in southeastern Kazakhstan, which were conducted annually for last 12 years (1994-2006), and also the information, obtained by one of the authors (Mityaev) in the mid-1950s. Studies were conducted within the f...

  1. Characterizing Herbivore Resistance Mechanisms: Spittlebugs on Brachiaria spp. as an Example

    PubMed Central

    Parsa, Soroush; Sotelo, Guillermo; Cardona, Cesar

    2011-01-01

    Plants can resist herbivore damage through three broad mechanisms: antixenosis, antibiosis and tolerance1. Antixenosis is the degree to which the plant is avoided when the herbivore is able to select other plants2. Antibiosis is the degree to which the plant affects the fitness of the herbivore feeding on it1.Tolerance is the degree to which the plant can withstand or repair damage caused by the herbivore, without compromising the herbivore's growth and reproduction1. The durability of herbivore resistance in an agricultural setting depends to a great extent on the resistance mechanism favored during crop breeding efforts3. We demonstrate a no-choice experiment designed to estimate the relative contributions of antibiosis and tolerance to spittlebug resistance in Brachiaria spp. Several species of African grasses of the genus Brachiaria are valuable forage and pasture plants in the Neotropics, but they can be severely challenged by several native species of spittlebugs (Hemiptera: Cercopidae)4.To assess their resistance to spittlebugs, plants are vegetatively-propagated by stem cuttings and allowed to grow for approximately one month, allowing the growth of superficial roots on which spittlebugs can feed. At that point, each test plant is individually challenged with six spittlebug eggs near hatching. Infestations are allowed to progress for one month before evaluating plant damage and insect survival. Scoring plant damage provides an estimate of tolerance while scoring insect survival provides an estimate of antibiosis. This protocol has facilitated our plant breeding objective to enhance spittlebug resistance in commercial brachiariagrases5. PMID:21712800

  2. Characterizing herbivore resistance mechanisms: spittlebugs on Brachiaria spp. as an example.

    PubMed

    Parsa, Soroush; Sotelo, Guillermo; Cardona, Cesar

    2011-01-01

    Plants can resist herbivore damage through three broad mechanisms: antixenosis, antibiosis and tolerance(1). Antixenosis is the degree to which the plant is avoided when the herbivore is able to select other plants(2). Antibiosis is the degree to which the plant affects the fitness of the herbivore feeding on it(1).Tolerance is the degree to which the plant can withstand or repair damage caused by the herbivore, without compromising the herbivore's growth and reproduction(1). The durability of herbivore resistance in an agricultural setting depends to a great extent on the resistance mechanism favored during crop breeding efforts(3). We demonstrate a no-choice experiment designed to estimate the relative contributions of antibiosis and tolerance to spittlebug resistance in Brachiaria spp. Several species of African grasses of the genus Brachiaria are valuable forage and pasture plants in the Neotropics, but they can be severely challenged by several native species of spittlebugs (Hemiptera: Cercopidae)(4).To assess their resistance to spittlebugs, plants are vegetatively-propagated by stem cuttings and allowed to grow for approximately one month, allowing the growth of superficial roots on which spittlebugs can feed. At that point, each test plant is individually challenged with six spittlebug eggs near hatching. Infestations are allowed to progress for one month before evaluating plant damage and insect survival. Scoring plant damage provides an estimate of tolerance while scoring insect survival provides an estimate of antibiosis. This protocol has facilitated our plant breeding objective to enhance spittlebug resistance in commercial brachiariagrases(5). PMID:21712800

  3. Synergistic effects of three Piper amides on generalist and specialist herbivores.

    PubMed

    Dyer, L A; Dodson, C D; Stireman, J O; Tobler, M A; Smilanich, A M; Fincher, R M; Letourneau, D K

    2003-11-01

    The tropical rainforest shrub Piper cenocladum, which is normally defended against herbivores by a mutualistic ant, contains three amides that have various defensive functions. While the ants are effective primarily against specialist herbivores, we hypothesized that these secondary compounds would be effective against a wider range of insects, thus providing a broad array of defenses against herbivores. We also tested whether a mixture of amides would be more effective against herbivores than individual amides. Diets spiked with amides were offered to five herbivores: a naïve generalist caterpillar (Spodoptera frugiperda), two caterpillar species that are monophagous on P. cenocladum (Eois spp.), leaf-cutting ants (Atta cephalotes), and an omnivorous ant (Paraponera clavata). Amides had negative effects on all insects, whether they were naïve, experienced, generalized, or specialized feeders. For Spodoptera, amide mixtures caused decreased pupal weights and survivorship and increased development times. Eois pupal weights, larval mass gain, and development times were affected by additions of individual amides, but increased parasitism and lower survivorship were caused only by the amide mixture. Amide mixtures also deterred feeding by the two ant species, and crude plant extracts were strongly deterrent to P. clavata. The mixture of all three amides had the most dramatic deterrent and toxic effects across experiments, with the effects usually surpassing expected additive responses, indicating that these compounds can act synergistically against a wide array of herbivores. PMID:14682530

  4. ScaleNet: A literature-based model of scale insect biology and systematics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Scale insects (Hemiptera: Coccoidea) are small herbivorous insects found in all continents except Antarctica. They are extremely invasive, and many species are serious agricultural pests. They are also emerging models for studies of the evolution of genetic systems, endosymbiosis, and plant-insect i...

  5. Transgenerational acclimatization in an herbivore-host plant relationship.

    PubMed

    Cahenzli, Fabian; Erhardt, Andreas

    2013-04-01

    Twenty years ago, scientists began to recognize that parental effects are one of the most important influences on progeny phenotype. Consequently, it was postulated that herbivorous insects could produce progeny that are acclimatized to the host plant experienced by the parents to improve progeny fitness, because host plants vary greatly in quality and quantity, and can thus provide important cues about the resources encountered by the next generation. However, despite the possible profound implications for our understanding of host-use evolution of herbivores, host-race formation and sympatric speciation, intense research has been unable to verify transgenerational acclimatization in herbivore-host plant relationships. We reared Coenonympha pamphilus larvae in the parental generation (P) on high- and low-quality host plants, and reared the offspring (F(1)) of both treatments again on high- and low-quality plants. We tested not only for maternal effects, as most previous studies, but also for paternal effects. Our results show that parents experiencing predictive cues on their host plant can indeed adjust progeny's phenotype to anticipated host plant quality. Maternal effects affected female and male offspring, whereas paternal effects affected only male progeny. We here verify, for the first time to our knowledge, the long postulated transgenerational acclimatization in an herbivore-host plant interaction. PMID:23407834

  6. Ant plant herbivore interactions in the neotropical cerrado savanna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliveira, Paulo S.; Freitas, André V. L.

    2004-12-01

    The Brazilian cerrado savanna covers nearly 2 million km2 and has a high incidence on foliage of various liquid food sources such as extrafloral nectar and insect exudates. These liquid rewards generate intense ant activity on cerrado foliage, making ant plant herbivore interactions especially prevalent in this biome. We present data on the distribution and abundance of extrafloral nectaries in the woody flora of cerrado communities and in the flora of other habitats worldwide, and stress the relevance of liquid food sources (including hemipteran honeydew) for the ant fauna. Consumption by ants of plant and insect exudates significantly affects the activity of the associated herbivores of cerrado plant species, with varying impacts on the reproductive output of the plants. Experiments with an ant plant butterfly system unequivocally demonstrate that the behavior of both immature and adult lepidopterans is closely related to the use of a risky host plant, where intensive visitation by ants can have a severe impact on caterpillar survival. We discuss recent evidence suggesting that the occurrence of liquid rewards on leaves plays a key role in mediating the foraging ecology of foliage-dwelling ants, and that facultative ant plant mutualisms are important in structuring the community of canopy arthropods. Ant-mediated effects on cerrado herbivore communities can be revealed by experiments performed on wide spatial scales, including many environmental factors such as soil fertility and vegetation structure. We also present some research questions that could be rewarding to investigate in this major neotropical savanna.

  7. ECOLOGICAL AND EVOLUTIONARY CONSTRAINTS TO HERBIVORE RESISTANCE IN A NATIVE PLANT-MULTIPLE HERBIVORE COMMUNITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    This research project will reveal that novel constraints on resistance emerge with a consideration of more than one herbivore species. These constraints include genetic correlations in resistance to different herbivores, ecological interactions among the herbivores, non-addit...

  8. Chlorpyrifos-induced hormesis in insecticide-resistant and -susceptible Plutella xylostella under normal and high temperatures.

    PubMed

    Deng, Z Z; Zhang, F; Wu, Z L; Yu, Z Y; Wu, G

    2016-06-01

    Hormesis induced by insecticides at the dosage lower than what ostensibly directly causes death on insects was studied. This paper reports the effects of the in vivo application of varied concentrations of chlorpyrifos (CPF) on Plutella xylostella (DBM). The insecticide concentrations applied included 0.000025-2.5 mg l-1, which are far lower than LC1 (7.2 mg l-1), for the CPF-susceptable (Si) DBM, and 250 mg l-1 which is far below LC1 (1286 mg l-1), for the CPF-resistant (Rc) DBM, as well as LC10- and LC50-doses for both strains. Significant hormesis was found with the 'hermetic-CPFs', i.e., 0.0025 mg l-1 for Si DBM and 2.5 mg l-1 for Rc DBM, at the normal or high temperature either in a 24 h or under a long-term treatment. These doses of CPF significantly stimulated the development and increased the fecundity of Si and Rc DBM at 25°C with approximately 23.5-29.8% activity increase on acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and 30.5-91.3% increase on glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) at 25 or 38°C in 4-24 h. The enzymatic activities were significantly reduced by LC50-CPF at 25°C in vivo, but the inhibition was relieved significantly, if the insects were first subjected to a hormetic-CPF pretreatment. It was remarkable that the average rates of enzymatic activity increase were 67.5-76.6% for AChE and 366-546% for GSTs. Consequently, it was concluded that the hormesis on Si and Rc DBM could be induced by CPF doses far below LC1 at normal or high temperature in short- or long-term treatment. These findings might help to improve the current insect control practices in the field. PMID:27241230

  9. Functional trait diversity across trophic levels determines herbivore impact on plant community biomass.

    PubMed

    Deraison, Hélène; Badenhausser, Isabelle; Loeuille, Nicolas; Scherber, Christoph; Gross, Nicolas

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the consequences of trophic interactions for ecosystem functioning is challenging, as contrasting effects of species and functional diversity can be expected across trophic levels. We experimentally manipulated functional identity and diversity of grassland insect herbivores and tested their impact on plant community biomass. Herbivore resource acquisition traits, i.e. mandible strength and the diversity of mandibular traits, had more important effects on plant biomass than body size. Higher herbivore functional diversity increased overall impact on plant biomass due to feeding niche complementarity. Higher plant functional diversity limited biomass pre-emption by herbivores. The functional diversity within and across trophic levels therefore regulates the impact of functionally contrasting consumers on primary producers. By experimentally manipulating the functional diversity across trophic levels, our study illustrates how trait-based approaches constitute a promising way to tackle existing links between trophic interactions and ecosystem functioning. PMID:26439435

  10. KONAGAbase: a genomic and transcriptomic database for the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The diamondback moth (DBM), Plutella xylostella, is one of the most harmful insect pests for crucifer crops worldwide. DBM has rapidly evolved high resistance to most conventional insecticides such as pyrethroids, organophosphates, fipronil, spinosad, Bacillus thuringiensis, and diamides. Therefore, it is important to develop genomic and transcriptomic DBM resources for analysis of genes related to insecticide resistance, both to clarify the mechanism of resistance of DBM and to facilitate the development of insecticides with a novel mode of action for more effective and environmentally less harmful insecticide rotation. To contribute to this goal, we developed KONAGAbase, a genomic and transcriptomic database for DBM (KONAGA is the Japanese word for DBM). Description KONAGAbase provides (1) transcriptomic sequences of 37,340 ESTs/mRNAs and 147,370 RNA-seq contigs which were clustered and assembled into 84,570 unigenes (30,695 contigs, 50,548 pseudo singletons, and 3,327 singletons); and (2) genomic sequences of 88,530 WGS contigs with 246,244 degenerate contigs and 106,455 singletons from which 6,310 de novo identified repeat sequences and 34,890 predicted gene-coding sequences were extracted. The unigenes and predicted gene-coding sequences were clustered and 32,800 representative sequences were extracted as a comprehensive putative gene set. These sequences were annotated with BLAST descriptions, Gene Ontology (GO) terms, and Pfam descriptions, respectively. KONAGAbase contains rich graphical user interface (GUI)-based web interfaces for easy and efficient searching, browsing, and downloading sequences and annotation data. Five useful search interfaces consisting of BLAST search, keyword search, BLAST result-based search, GO tree-based search, and genome browser are provided. KONAGAbase is publicly available from our website (http://dbm.dna.affrc.go.jp/px/) through standard web browsers. Conclusions KONAGAbase provides DBM comprehensive transcriptomic

  11. Behavioral Avoidance - Will Physiological Insecticide Resistance Level of Insect Strains Affect Their Oviposition and Movement Responses?

    PubMed Central

    Nansen, Christian; Baissac, Olivier; Nansen, Maria; Powis, Kevin; Baker, Greg

    2016-01-01

    Agricultural organisms, such as insect herbivores, provide unique opportunities for studies of adaptive evolutionary processes, including effects of insecticides on movement and oviposition behavior. In this study, Brassica leaves were treated with one of two non-systemic insecticides and exposed to two individual strains (referred to as single or double resistance) of diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) (DBM) exhibiting physiological resistance. Behavioral responses by these two strains were compared as part of characterizing the relative effect of levels of physiological resistance on the likelihood of insects showing signs of behavioral avoidance. For each DBM strain, we used choice bioassays to quantify two possible types of behavioral avoidance: 1) females ovipositing predominantly on leaf surfaces without insecticides, and 2) larvae avoiding insecticide-treated leaf surfaces. In three-choice bioassays (leaves with no pesticide, 50% coverage with pesticide, or 100% coverage with pesticide), females from the single resistance DBM strain laid significantly more eggs on water treated leaves compared to leaves with 100% insecticide coverage (both gamma-cyhalothrin and spinetoram). Females from the double resistance DBM strain also laid significantly more eggs on water treated leaves compared to leaves with 100% gamma-cyhalothrin, while moths did not adjust their oviposition behavior in response to spinetoram. Larvae from the single resistance DBM strain showed a significant increase in mobility in response to both insecticides and avoided insecticide-treated portions of leaves when given a choice. On the other hand, DBM larvae from the double resistance strain showed a significant decrease in mobility in response to insecticides, and they did not avoid insecticide-treated portions of leaves when given a choice. Our results suggest that pest populations with physiological resistance may show behavioral avoidance, as resistant females avoided oviposition on

  12. Autumn leaves seen through herbivore eyes

    PubMed Central

    Döring, Thomas F; Archetti, Marco; Hardie, Jim

    2008-01-01

    Why leaves of some trees turn red in autumn has puzzled biologists for decades, as just before leaf fall the pigments causing red coloration are newly synthesized. One idea to explain this apparently untimely investment is that red colour signals the tree's quality to herbivorous insects, particularly aphids. However, it is unclear whether red leaves are indeed less attractive to aphids than green leaves. Because aphids lack a red photoreceptor, it was conjectured that red leaves could even be indiscernable from green ones for these insects. Here we show, however, that the colour of autumnal tree leaves that appear red to humans are on average much less attractive to aphids than green leaves, whereas yellow leaves are much more attractive. We conclude that, while active avoidance of red leaves by aphids is unlikely, red coloration in autumn could still be a signal of the tree's quality, or alternatively serve to mask the over-attractive yellow that is unveiled when the green chlorophyll is recovered from senescing leaves. Our study shows that in sensory ecology, receiver physiology alone is not sufficient to reveal the whole picture. Instead, the combined analysis of behaviour and a large set of natural stimuli unexpectedly shows that animals lacking a red photoreceptor may be able to differentiate between red and green leaves. PMID:18782744

  13. Urban Land Use Decouples Plant-Herbivore-Parasitoid Interactions at Multiple Spatial Scales

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Amanda E.; Forbes, Andrew A.

    2014-01-01

    Intense urban and agricultural development alters habitats, increases fragmentation, and may decouple trophic interactions if plants or animals cannot disperse to needed resources. Specialist insects represent a substantial proportion of global biodiversity and their fidelity to discrete microhabitats provides a powerful framework for investigating organismal responses to human land use. We sampled site occupancy and densities for two plant-herbivore-parasitoid systems from 250 sites across a 360 km2 urban/agricultural landscape to ask whether and how human development decouples interactions between trophic levels. We compared patterns of site occupancy, host plant density, herbivory and parasitism rates of insects at two trophic levels with respect to landcover at multiple spatial scales. Geospatial analyses were used to identify landcover characters predictive of insect distributions. We found that herbivorous insect densities were decoupled from host tree densities in urban landcover types at several spatial scales. This effect was amplified for the third trophic level in one of the two insect systems: despite being abundant regionally, a parasitoid species was absent from all urban/suburban landcover even where its herbivore host was common. Our results indicate that human land use patterns limit distributions of specialist insects. Dispersal constraints associated with urban built development are specifically implicated as a limiting factor. PMID:25019962

  14. Trophic Interactions during Primary Succession: Herbivores Slow a Plant Reinvasion at Mount St. Helens.

    PubMed

    Fagan; Bishop

    2000-02-01

    Lupines (Lupinus lepidus var. lobbii), the earliest plant colonists of primary successional habitats at Mount St. Helens, were expected to strongly affect successional trajectories through facilitative effects. However, their effects remain localized because initially high rates of reinvasive spread were short lived, despite widespread habitat availability. We experimentally tested whether insect herbivores, by reducing plant growth and fecundity at the edge of the expanding lupine population, could curtail the rate of reinvasion and whether those herbivores had comparable impacts in the older, more successionally advanced core region. We found that removing insect herbivores increased both the areal growth of individual lupine plants and the production of new plants in the edge region, thereby accelerating the lupine's intrinsic rate of increase at the front of the lupine reinvasion. We found no such impacts of herbivory in the core region, where low plant quality or a complex of recently arrived natural enemies may hold herbivores in check. In the context of invasion theory, herbivore-mediated decreases in lupine population growth rate in the edge region translate into decreased rates of lupine spread, which we quantify here using diffusion models. In the Mount St. Helens system, decreased rate of lupine reinvasion will result in reductions in rates of soil formation, nitrogen input, and entrapment of seeds and detritus that are likely to postpone or alter trajectories of primary succession. If the type of spatial subtleties in herbivore effects we found here are common, with herbivory focused on the edge of an expanding plant population and suppressed or ineffective in the larger, denser central region (where the plants might be more readily noticed and studied), then insect herbivores may have stronger impacts on the dynamics of primary succession and plant invasions than previously recognized. PMID:10686163

  15. Abscisic acid and water stress as mediators of root herbivore-induced leaf resistance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Systemically induced resistance is a common and important phenomenon in plant-pathogen and plant-insect interactions. The mechanisms triggered by microorganisms and leaf-herbivores that lead to systemic resistance are largely understood, but, as yet, it remains unknown how root herbivory may increas...

  16. A physiological and behavioral mechanism for leaf-herbivore induced systemic root resistance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Indirect plant-mediated interactions between herbivores are important drivers of community composition in terrestrial ecosystems. Among the most striking examples are the strong indirect interactions between spatially separated leaf and root feeding insects sharing a host plant. Although leaf-feeder...

  17. Plant elicitor peptides are conserved signals regulating direct and indirect anti-herbivore defense

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect-induced defenses occur in nearly all plants and are regulated by conserved signaling pathways. As the first described plant peptide signal, systemin regulates anti-herbivore defenses in the Solanaceae, but in other plant families peptides with analogous activity have remained elusive. In th...

  18. Nature, evolution and characterisation of rhizospheric chemical exudates affecting root herbivores

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Similarly as aboveground, root-feeding insect herbivores meet the necessity to locate and identify suitable resources. To do so in the darkness of the soil matrix, they mainly rely on root chemical exudations and therefore evolved a complex behavior and sense of smell. Because of their impact on cro...

  19. Plant elicitor peptides are conserved signals regulating direct and indirect anti-herbivore defense

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect-induced defenses occur in nearly all plants and are regulated by conserved signaling pathways. As the first described plant peptide signal, systemin regulates anti-herbivore defenses in the Solanaceae, but in other plant families peptides with analogous activity have remained elusive. In the ...

  20. Tropical Plant–Herbivore Networks: Reconstructing Species Interactions Using DNA Barcodes

    PubMed Central

    García-Robledo, Carlos; Erickson, David L.; Staines, Charles L.; Erwin, Terry L.; Kress, W. John

    2013-01-01

    Plants and their associated insect herbivores, represent more than 50% of all known species on earth. The first step in understanding the mechanisms generating and maintaining this important component of biodiversity is to identify plant-herbivore associations. In this study we determined insect-host plant associations for an entire guild of insect herbivores using plant DNA extracted from insect gut contents. Over two years, in a tropical rain forest in Costa Rica (La Selva Biological Station), we recorded the full diet breadth of rolled-leaf beetles, a group of herbivores that feed on plants in the order Zingiberales. Field observations were used to determine the accuracy of diet identifications using a three-locus DNA barcode (rbcL, trnH-psbA and ITS2). Using extraction techniques for ancient DNA, we obtained high-quality sequences for two of these loci from gut contents (rbcL and ITS2). Sequences were then compared to a comprehensive DNA barcode library of the Zingiberales. The rbcL locus identified host plants to family (success/sequence = 58.8%) and genus (success/sequence = 47%). For all Zingiberales except Heliconiaceae, ITS2 successfully identified host plants to genus (success/sequence = 67.1%) and species (success/sequence = 61.6%). Kindt’s sampling estimates suggest that by collecting ca. four individuals representing each plant-herbivore interaction, 99% of all host associations included in this study can be identified to genus. For plants that amplified ITS2, 99% of the hosts can be identified to species after collecting at least four individuals representing each interaction. Our study demonstrates that host plant identifications at the species-level using DNA barcodes are feasible, cost-effective, and reliable, and that reconstructing plant-herbivore networks with these methods will become the standard for a detailed understanding of these interactions. PMID:23308128

  1. Tropical plant-herbivore networks: reconstructing species interactions using DNA barcodes.

    PubMed

    García-Robledo, Carlos; Erickson, David L; Staines, Charles L; Erwin, Terry L; Kress, W John

    2013-01-01

    Plants and their associated insect herbivores, represent more than 50% of all known species on earth. The first step in understanding the mechanisms generating and maintaining this important component of biodiversity is to identify plant-herbivore associations. In this study we determined insect-host plant associations for an entire guild of insect herbivores using plant DNA extracted from insect gut contents. Over two years, in a tropical rain forest in Costa Rica (La Selva Biological Station), we recorded the full diet breadth of rolled-leaf beetles, a group of herbivores that feed on plants in the order Zingiberales. Field observations were used to determine the accuracy of diet identifications using a three-locus DNA barcode (rbcL, trnH-psbA and ITS2). Using extraction techniques for ancient DNA, we obtained high-quality sequences for two of these loci from gut contents (rbcL and ITS2). Sequences were then compared to a comprehensive DNA barcode library of the Zingiberales. The rbcL locus identified host plants to family (success/sequence = 58.8%) and genus (success/sequence = 47%). For all Zingiberales except Heliconiaceae, ITS2 successfully identified host plants to genus (success/sequence = 67.1%) and species (success/sequence = 61.6%). Kindt's sampling estimates suggest that by collecting ca. four individuals representing each plant-herbivore interaction, 99% of all host associations included in this study can be identified to genus. For plants that amplified ITS2, 99% of the hosts can be identified to species after collecting at least four individuals representing each interaction. Our study demonstrates that host plant identifications at the species-level using DNA barcodes are feasible, cost-effective, and reliable, and that reconstructing plant-herbivore networks with these methods will become the standard for a detailed understanding of these interactions. PMID:23308128

  2. Diversity protects plant communities against generalist molluscan herbivores

    PubMed Central

    Fabian, Yvonne; Sandau, Nadine; Bruggisser, Odile T; Kehrli, Patrik; Aebi, Alexandre; Rohr, Rudolf P; Naisbit, Russell E; Bersier, Louis-Félix

    2012-01-01

    Wildflower strips are used to increase natural enemies of crop pests and to conserve insect diversity on farmland. Mollusks, especially slugs, can affect the vegetation development in these strips considerably. Although recent theoretical work suggests that more diverse plant communities will exhibit greater resistance against herbivore pressure, empirical studies are scarce. We conducted a semi-natural experiment in wildflower strips, manipulating trophic structure (reduction in herbivorous mollusks and reduction in major predators) and plant diversity (2, 6, 12, 20 and 24 sown species). This design allowed us to assess the effect of plant diversity, biomass and composition on mollusks, and vice versa, the effect of mollusc abundance on vegetation. Seven species of mollusks were found in the strips, with the slugs Arion lusitanicus, Deroceras reticulatum and Deroceras panormitanum being most frequent. We found a negative relationship between plant diversity and mollusk abundance, which was due predominantly to a decrease in the agricultural pest species A. lusitanicus. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that plant diversity can reduce the impact of herbivores. However, plant identity also had an effect on mollusks, and accounted for a much larger fraction of the variation in mollusk communities than biodiversity effects. While overall plant diversity decreased during the 3 years of the study, in the final year the highest plant diversity was found in the plots where mollusk populations were experimentally reduced. We conclude that selective feeding by generalist herbivores leads to changes in plant community composition and hence reduced plant diversity. Our results highlight the importance of plant biodiversity as protection against generalist herbivores, which if abundant can in the long term negatively impact plant diversity, driving the system along a “low plant diversity – high mollusk abundance” trajectory. PMID:23145332

  3. Potato tuber herbivory increases resistance to aboveground lepidopteran herbivores.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Pavan; Ortiz, Erandi Vargas; Garrido, Etzel; Poveda, Katja; Jander, Georg

    2016-09-01

    Plants mediate interactions between aboveground and belowground herbivores. Although effects of root herbivory on foliar herbivores have been documented in several plant species, interactions between tuber-feeding herbivores and foliar herbivores are rarely investigated. We report that localized tuber damage by Tecia solanivora (Guatemalan tuber moth) larvae reduced aboveground Spodoptera exigua (beet armyworm) and Spodoptera frugiperda (fall armyworm) performance on Solanum tuberosum (potato). Conversely, S. exigua leaf damage had no noticeable effect on belowground T. solanivora performance. Tuber infestation by T. solanivora induced systemic plant defenses and elevated resistance to aboveground herbivores. Lipoxygenase 3 (Lox3), which contributes to the synthesis of plant defense signaling molecules, had higher transcript abundance in T. solanivora-infested leaves and tubers than in equivalent control samples. Foliar expression of the hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA quinate hydroxycinnamoyl transferase (HQT) and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA reductase I (HMGR1) genes, which are involved in chlorogenic acid and steroidal glycoalkaloid biosynthesis, respectively, also increased in response to tuber herbivory. Leaf metabolite profiling demonstrated the accumulation of unknown metabolites as well as the known potato defense compounds chlorogenic acid, α-solanine, and α-chaconine. When added to insect diet at concentrations similar to those found in potato leaves, chlorogenic acid, α-solanine, and α-chaconine all reduced S. exigua larval growth. Thus, despite the fact that tubers are a metabolic sink tissue, T. solanivora feeding elicits a systemic signal that induces aboveground resistance against S. exigua and S. frugiperda by increasing foliar abundance of defensive metabolites. PMID:27147449

  4. Insects as alternative hosts for phytopathogenic bacteria.

    PubMed

    Nadarasah, Geetanchaly; Stavrinides, John

    2011-05-01

    Phytopathogens have evolved specialized pathogenicity determinants that enable them to colonize their specific plant hosts and cause disease, but their intimate associations with plants also predispose them to frequent encounters with herbivorous insects, providing these phytopathogens with ample opportunity to colonize and eventually evolve alternative associations with insects. Decades of research have revealed that these associations have resulted in the formation of bacterial-vector relationships, in which the insect mediates dissemination of the plant pathogen. Emerging research, however, has highlighted the ability of plant pathogenic bacteria to use insects as alternative hosts, exploiting them as they would their primary plant host. The identification of specific bacterial genetic determinants that mediate the interaction between bacterium and insect suggests that these interactions are not incidental, but have likely arisen following the repeated association of microorganisms with particular insects over evolutionary time. This review will address the biology and ecology of phytopathogenic bacteria that interact with insects, including the traditional role of insects as vectors, as well as the newly emerging paradigm of insects serving as alternative primary hosts. Also discussed is one case where an insect serves as both host and vector, which may represent a transitionary stage in the evolution of insect-phytopathogen associations. PMID:21251027

  5. miRNAs regulated overexpression of ryanodine receptor is involved in chlorantraniliprole resistance in Plutella xylostella (L.)

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiuxia; Guo, Lei; Zhou, Xuguo; Gao, Xiwu; Liang, Pei

    2015-01-01

    The amino acid mutations in ryanodine receptor (RyR) and elevated activity of detoxification enzymes have been associated with the diamide insecticide resistance in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.). The up-regulation of P. xylostella RyR mRNA (PxRyR) expression has also been reported in field populations of different graphical origin. However, whether the up-regulation of PxRyR is involved in diamide resistance remains unknown. In this paper, 2.28- to 4.14-fold higher expression of PxRyR was detected in five field collected resistant populations, compared to that in a susceptible population. The expression of PxRyR was up-regulated 5.0- and 7.2-fold, respectively, after P. xylostella was treated with LC50 and LC75 of chlorantraniliprole for 12 h. Suppression of PxRyR using RNA interference restored the toxicity of chlorantraniliprole against the fourth instar larvae from the resistant population. More importantly, the expression of PxRyR is regulated by two miRNAs, miR-7a and miR-8519. These findings provide an empirical evidence of the involvement of miRNAs in the regulation of insecticide resistance, and shed light on the novel targets for the sustainable management of this devastating insect pest. PMID:26370154

  6. Identification and expression of caspase-1 gene under heat stress in insecticide-susceptible and -resistant Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae).

    PubMed

    Zhuang, Hua Mei; Wang, Kuan Fu; Miyata, Tadashi; Wu, Zu Jian; Wu, Gang; Xie, Lian Hui

    2011-04-01

    A caspase gene in Plutella xylostella (DBM) was identified firstly and named Px-caspase-1. It had a full-length of 1172 bp and contained 900 bp open reading frame that encoded 300 amino acids with 33.6 kDa. The deduced amino acid of Px-caspase-1 had two domain profile including caspase_p20 (position 61-184) and caspase_p10 (position 203-298) (i.e. the big and small catalytic domains), and the highly conserved pentapeptide QACQG in caspase_p20 domain (the recognized catalytic site of caspases). Being highly homologous to effector caspase genes in other insect and mammalian species, Px-caspase-1 was thought to be an effector caspase gene. Heat stress could result in significant mortality increase on adult DBM. Px-caspase-1 mRNA expression and caspase-3 enzyme activity (a effector caspase) were elevated with age and heat treatment. And, heat stress facilitated the procession of Px-caspase-1 expression. Significantly higher mRNA transcription levels were found in a chlorpyrifos-resistant DBM strain, as compared to those in insecticide-susceptible DBM. The results indicated that high temperature could significantly promote apoptosis process resulting in an the increased DBM mortality rate, and that insecticide-susceptible DBM had a significantly higher physiological fitness at high temperatures than insecticide-resistant DBM. PMID:21086181

  7. A Single Hot Event That Does Not Affect Survival but Decreases Reproduction in the Diamondback Moth, Plutella xylostella

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Wei; Zhao, Fei; Hoffmann, Ary A.; Ma, Chun-Sen

    2013-01-01

    Extremely hot events (usually involving a few hours at extreme high temperatures in summer) are expected to increase in frequency in temperate regions under global warming. The impact of these events is generally overlooked in insect population prediction, since they are unlikely to cause widespread mortality, however reproduction may be affected by them. In this study, we examined such stress effects in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella. We simulated a single extreme hot day (maximum of 40°C lasting for 3, 4 or 5 h) increasingly experienced under field conditions. This event had no detrimental effects on immediate mortality, copulation duration, mating success, longevity or lifetime fecundity, but stressed females produced 21% (after 3 or 4 h) fewer hatched eggs because of a decline in the number and hatching success of eggs laid on the first two days. These negative effects on reproduction were no longer evident in the following days. Male heat exposure led to a similar but smaller effect on fertile egg production, and exposure extended pre-mating period in both sexes. Our results indicate that a single hot day can have detrimental effects on reproduction, particularly through maternal effects on egg hatching, and thereby influence the population dynamics of diamondback moth. PMID:24116081

  8. Molecular Cloning and Characterization of a P-Glycoprotein from the Diamondback Moth, Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae)

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Lixia; Yang, Jiaqiang; Hou, Wenjie; Xu, Baoyun; Xie, Wen; Wang, Shaoli; Zhang, Youjun; Zhou, Xuguo; Wu, Qingjun

    2013-01-01

    Macrocyclic lactones such as abamectin and ivermectin constitute an important class of broad-spectrum insecticides. Widespread resistance to synthetic insecticides, including abamectin and ivermectin, poses a serious threat to the management of diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), a major pest of cruciferous plants worldwide. P-glycoprotein (Pgp), a member of the ABC transporter superfamily, plays a crucial role in the removal of amphiphilic xenobiotics, suggesting a mechanism for drug resistance in target organisms. In this study, PxPgp1, a putative Pgp gene from P. xylostella, was cloned and characterized. The open reading frame (ORF) of PxPgp1 consists of 3774 nucleotides, which encodes a 1257-amino acid peptide. The deduced PxPgp1 protein possesses structural characteristics of a typical Pgp, and clusters within the insect ABCB1. PxPgp1 was expressed throughout all developmental stages, and showed the highest expression level in adult males. PxPgp1 was highly expressed in midgut, malpighian tubules and testes. Elevated expression of PxPgp1 was observed in P. xylostella strains after they were exposed to the abamectin treatment. In addition, the constitutive expressions of PxPgp1 were significantly higher in laboratory-selected and field-collected resistant strains in comparison to their susceptible counterpart. PMID:24264038

  9. IDENTIFICATION AND MOLECULAR CHARACTERIZATION OF TWO SERINE PROTEASES AND THEIR POTENTIAL INVOLVEMENT IN PROPHENOLOXIDASE ACTIVATION IN Plutella xylostella.

    PubMed

    Gao, Gang; Xu, Xiao-Xia; Yu, Jing; Li, Lin-Miao; Ju, Wen-Yan; Jin, Feng-Liang; Freed, Shoaib

    2016-09-01

    The proteolytic activation of prophenoloxidase (proPO) is a humoral defense mechanism in insects and crustaceans. Phenoloxidase (PO) is produced as an inactive precursor namely, proPO and is activated via specific proteolytic cleavage by proPO-activating proteinase. The current research reports two novel serine proteinase genes (PxSP1-768 bp and PxSP2-816 bp) from Plutella xylostella, encoding 255 and 271 amino acid residues, respectively. Tissue distribution analyses by semiquantitative reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) revealed the resultant genes to be primarily expressed in the hemocytes, while quantitative-RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) assay showed that transcription level of PxSP1 and PxSP2 increased significantly after injection of the fungal pathogen Beauveria bassiana. Purified recombinant fusion proteins of PxSP2 and PxSP1 were injected to New Zealand white rabbits and polyclonal antibodies were generated with the titers of 1:12,800. After silencing the expression of PxSP2 by RNAi, the PO activity decreased significantly. The results show that PxSP2 is involved in prophenoloxidase activation in P. xylostella. PMID:27306978

  10. Molecular cloning and characterization of a P-glycoprotein from the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae).

    PubMed

    Tian, Lixia; Yang, Jiaqiang; Hou, Wenjie; Xu, Baoyun; Xie, Wen; Wang, Shaoli; Zhang, Youjun; Zhou, Xuguo; Wu, Qingjun

    2013-01-01

    Macrocyclic lactones such as abamectin and ivermectin constitute an important class of broad-spectrum insecticides. Widespread resistance to synthetic insecticides, including abamectin and ivermectin, poses a serious threat to the management of diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), a major pest of cruciferous plants worldwide. P-glycoprotein (Pgp), a member of the ABC transporter superfamily, plays a crucial role in the removal of amphiphilic xenobiotics, suggesting a mechanism for drug resistance in target organisms. In this study, PxPgp1, a putative Pgp gene from P. xylostella, was cloned and characterized. The open reading frame (ORF) of PxPgp1 consists of 3774 nucleotides, which encodes a 1257-amino acid peptide. The deduced PxPgp1 protein possesses structural characteristics of a typical Pgp, and clusters within the insect ABCB1. PxPgp1 was expressed throughout all developmental stages, and showed the highest expression level in adult males. PxPgp1 was highly expressed in midgut, malpighian tubules and testes. Elevated expression of PxPgp1 was observed in P. xylostella strains after they were exposed to the abamectin treatment. In addition, the constitutive expressions of PxPgp1 were significantly higher in laboratory-selected and field-collected resistant strains in comparison to their susceptible counterpart. PMID:24264038

  11. Nickel hyperaccumulation as an elemental defense of Streptanthus polygaloides (Brassicaceae): influence of herbivore feeding mode.

    PubMed

    Jhee, Edward M; Boyd, Robert S; Eubanks, Micky D

    2005-11-01

    No study of a single nickel (Ni) hyperaccumulator species has investigated the impact of hyperaccumulation on herbivores representing a variety of feeding modes. Streptanthus polygaloides plants were grown on high- or low-Ni soils and a series of no-choice and choice feeding experiments was conducted using eight arthropod herbivores. Herbivores used were two leaf-chewing folivores (the grasshopper Melanoplus femurrubrum and the lepidopteran Evergestis rimosalis), a dipteran rhizovore (the cabbage maggot Delia radicum), a xylem-feeder (the spittlebug Philaenus spumarius), two phloem-feeders (the aphid, Lipaphis erysimi and the spidermite Trialeurodes vaporariorum) and two cell-disruptors (the bug Lygus lineolaris and the whitefly Tetranychus urticae). Hyperaccumulated Ni significantly decreased survival of the leaf-chewers and rhizovore, and significantly reduced population growth of the whitefly cell-disruptor. However, vascular tissue-feeding insects were unaffected by hyperaccumulated Ni, as was the bug cell-disruptor. We conclude that Ni can defend against tissue-chewing herbivores but is ineffective against vascular tissue-feeding herbivores. The effects of Ni on cell-disruptors varies, as a result of either variation of insect Ni sensitivity or the location of Ni in S. polygaloides cells and tissues. PMID:16219073

  12. Cytokinin levels and signaling respond to wounding and the perception of herbivore elicitors in Nicotiana attenuata

    PubMed Central

    Schäfer, Martin; Meza-Canales, Ivan D; Navarro-Quezada, Aura; Brütting, Christoph; Vanková, Radomira; Baldwin, Ian T; Meldau, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    Nearly half a century ago insect herbivores were found to induce the formation of green islands by manipulating cytokinin (CK) levels. However, the response of the CK pathway to attack by chewing insect herbivores remains unclear. Here, we characterize the CK pathway of Nicotiana attenuata (Torr. ex S. Wats.) and its response to wounding and perception of herbivore-associated molecular patterns (HAMPs). We identified 44 genes involved in CK biosynthesis, inactivation, degradation, and signaling. Leaf wounding rapidly induced transcriptional changes in multiple genes throughout the pathway, as well as in the levels of CKs, including isopentenyladenosine and cis-zeatin riboside; perception of HAMPs present in the oral secretions (OS) of the specialist herbivore Manduca sexta amplified these responses. The jasmonate pathway, which triggers many herbivore-induced processes, was not required for these HAMP-triggered changes, but rather suppressed the CK responses. Interestingly CK pathway changes were observed also in systemic leaves in response to wounding and OS application indicating a role of CKs in mediating long distance systemic processes in response to herbivory. Since wounding and grasshopper OS elicited similar accumulations of CKs in Arabidopsis thaliana L., we propose that CKs are integral components of wounding and HAMP-triggered responses in many plant species. PMID:24924599

  13. Microbial detoxification in the gut of a specialist avian herbivore, the Greater Sage-Grouse.

    PubMed

    Kohl, Kevin D; Connelly, John W; Dearing, M Denise; Forbey, Jennifer Sorensen

    2016-07-01

    One function of the gut microbiota gaining recent attention, especially in herbivorous mammals and insects, is the metabolism of plant secondary metabolites (PSMs). We investigated whether this function exists within the gut communities of a specialist avian herbivore. We sequenced the cecal metagenome of the Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), which specializes on chemically defended sagebrush (Artemisia spp.). We predicted that the cecal metagenome of the sage-grouse would be enriched in genes associated with the metabolism of PSMs when compared to the metagenome of the domestic chicken. We found that representation of microbial genes associated with 'xenobiotic degradation and metabolism' was 3-fold higher in the sage-grouse cecal metagenomes when compared to that of the domestic chicken. Further, we identified a complete metabolic pathway for the degradation of phenol to pyruvate, which was not detected in the metagenomes of the domestic chicken, bovine rumen or 14 species of mammalian herbivores. Evidence of monoterpene degradation (a major class of PSMs in sagebrush) was less definitive, although we did detect genes for several enzymes associated with this process. Overall, our results suggest that the gut microbiota of specialist avian herbivores plays a similar role to the microbiota of mammalian and insect herbivores in degrading PSMs. PMID:27242374

  14. Avoiding incidental predation by mammalian herbivores: accurate detection and efficient response in aphids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gish, Moshe; Dafni, Amots; Inbar, Moshe

    2011-09-01

    Mammalian herbivores eat plants that may also provide food and shelter for insects. The direct trophic effect of the browsing and grazing of mammalian herbivory on insects, which is probably prevalent in terrestrial ecosystems, has been mostly neglected by ecologists. We examined how the aphid Uroleucon sonchi L. deals with the danger of incidental predation by mammalian herbivores. We found that most (76%) of the aphids in a colony survive the ingestion of the plant by a feeding herbivore. They do so by sensing the combination of heat and humidity in the herbivore's breath and immediately dropping off the plant in large numbers. Their ability to sense the herbivore's breath or their tendency to drop off the plant weakens as ambient temperature rises. This could indicate a limitation of the aphids' sensory system or an adaptation that enables them to avoid the hostile conditions on a hot ground. Once on the ground, U. sonchi is highly mobile and capable of locating a new host plant by advancing in a pattern that differs significantly from random movement. The accurate and efficient defense mechanism of U. sonchi emphasizes the significance of incidental predation as a danger to plant-dwelling invertebrates.

  15. [Evaluation of plant protectants against pest insects].

    PubMed

    Pang, X; Zhang, M; Hou, Y; Jiao, Y; Cen, Y

    2000-02-01

    An interference index of population control (IIPC) was constructed for investigating the complex effects of plant protectants, including the effects of repelling insect pests away from the plant, deterring the egg laying of adults and the continuation of feeding, and causing death by toxicity. At the same time, indicated by IIPC, the alcohol extracts of some common plants, such as Eucalytus rubusta, Wedelia chinensis etc. and the neem oil gave very good results to protect the plant against Plutella xylostella. The D-C-Tron NR Petroleum Spray Oil (CALTEX) also gave an excellent effect to protect citrus against red mite. All the experiments show the important role of the repellent effect on the pests. PMID:11766564

  16. Characterization of plant growth-promoting traits of bacteria isolated from larval guts of diamondback moth Plutella xylostella (lepidoptera: plutellidae).

    PubMed

    Indiragandhi, P; Anandham, R; Madhaiyan, M; Sa, T M

    2008-04-01

    Eight bacterial isolates from the larval guts of Diamondback moths (Plutella xylostella) were tested for their plant growth-promoting (PGP) traits and effects on early plant growth. All of the strains tested positive for nitrogen fixation and indole 3-acetic acid (IAA) and salicylic acid production but negative for hydrogen cyanide and pectinase production. In addition, five of the isolates exhibited significant levels of tricalcium phosphate and zinc oxide solubilization; six isolates were able to oxidize sulfur in growth media; and four isolates tested positive for chitinase and beta-1,3-glucanase activities. Based on their IAA production, six strains including four that were 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase positive and two that were ACC deaminase negative were tested for PGP activity on the early growth of canola and tomato seeds under gnotobiotic conditions. Acinetobacter sp. PSGB04 significantly increased root length (41%), seedling vigor, and dry biomass (30%) of the canola test plants, whereas Pseudomonas sp. PRGB06 inhibited the mycelial growth of Botrytis cinerea, Colletotrichum coccodes, C. gleospoiroides, Rhizoctonia solani, and Sclerotia sclerotiorum under in vitro conditions. A significant increase, greater than that of the control, was also noted for growth parameters of the tomato test plants when the seeds were treated with PRGB06. Therefore, the results of the present study suggest that bacteria associated with insect larval guts possess PGP traits and positively influence plant growth. Therefore, insect gut bacteria as effective PGP agents represent an unexplored niche and may broaden the spectrum of beneficial bacteria available for crop production. PMID:18172718

  17. Herbivore-mediated material fluxes in a northern deciduous forest under elevated carbon dioxide and ozone concentrations.

    PubMed

    Meehan, Timothy D; Couture, John J; Bennett, Alison E; Lindroth, Richard L

    2014-10-01

    Anthropogenic changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 ) and ozone (O3 ) are known to alter tree physiology and growth, but the cascading effects on herbivore communities and herbivore-mediated nutrient cycling are poorly understood. We sampled herbivore frass, herbivore-mediated greenfall, and leaf-litter deposition in temperate forest stands under elevated CO2 (c. 560 ppm) and O3 (c. 1.5× ambient), analyzed substrate chemical composition, and compared the quality and quantity of fluxes under multiple atmospheric treatments. Leaf-chewing herbivores fluxed 6.2 g m(-2)  yr(-1) of frass and greenfall from the canopy to the forest floor, with a carbon : nitrogen (C : N) ratio 32% lower than that of leaf litter. Herbivore fluxes of dry matter, C, condensed tannins, and N increased under elevated CO2 (35, 32, 63 and 39%, respectively), while fluxes of N decreased (18%) under elevated O3 . Herbivore-mediated dry matter inputs scaled across atmospheric treatments as a constant proportion of leaf-litter inputs. Increased fluxes under elevated CO2 were consistent with increased herbivore consumption and abundance, and with increased plant growth and soil respiration, previously reported for this experimental site. Results suggest that insect herbivory will reinforce other factors, such as photosynthetic rate and fine-root production, impacting C sequestration by forests in future environments. PMID:25078062

  18. Attraction of egg-killing parasitoids toward induced plant volatiles in a multi-herbivore context.

    PubMed

    Cusumano, Antonino; Weldegergis, Berhane T; Colazza, Stefano; Dicke, Marcel; Fatouros, Nina E

    2015-09-01

    In response to insect herbivory, plants emit volatile organic compounds which may act as indirect plant defenses by attracting natural enemies of the attacking herbivore. In nature, plants are often attacked by multiple herbivores, but the majority of studies which have investigated indirect plant defenses to date have focused on the recruitment of different parasitoid species in a single-herbivore context. Here, we report our investigation on the attraction of egg parasitoids of lepidopteran hosts (Trichogramma brassicae and T. evanescens) toward plant volatiles induced by different insect herbivores in olfactometer bioassays. We used a system consisting of a native crucifer, Brassica nigra, two naturally associated herbivores [the butterfly Pieris brassicae (eggs and caterpillars) and the aphid Brevicoryne brassicae] and an alien invasive herbivore (eggs and caterpillars of the moth Spodoptera exigua). We found that Trichogramma wasps were attracted by volatiles induced in the plants by P. brassicae eggs, but not by those induced in the plants by S. exigua eggs, indicating the specificity of the plant responses toward lepidopteran herbivores. The results of the chemical analysis revealed significant differences between the volatile blends emitted by plants in response to attack by P. brassicae and S. exigua eggs which were in agreement with the behavioural observations. We investigated the attraction of Trichogramma wasps toward P. brassicae egg-induced volatiles in plants simultaneously attacked by larvae and nymphs of different non-hosts. The two chewing caterpillars P. brassicae and S. exigua, but not the phloem-feeding aphid B. brassicae, can disrupt the attraction of Trichogramma species toward P. brassicae egg-induced volatiles. Indirect plant defenses are discussed in the context of multiple herbivory by evaluating the importance of origin, dietary specialization and feeding guild of different attackers on the recruitment of egg-killing parasitoids. PMID

  19. Jasmonate-inducible plant enzymes degrade essential amino acids in the herbivore midgut

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Hui; Wilkerson, Curtis G.; Kuchar, Jason A.; Phinney, Brett S.; Howe, Gregg A.

    2005-01-01

    The plant hormone jasmonic acid (JA) activates host defense responses against a broad spectrum of herbivores. Although it is well established that JA controls the expression of a large set of target genes in response to tissue damage, very few gene products have been shown to play a direct role in reducing herbivore performance. To test the hypothesis that JA-inducible proteins (JIPs) thwart attack by disrupting digestive processes in the insect gut, we used a MS-based approach to identify host proteins that accumulate in the midgut of Manduca sexta larvae reared on tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) plants. We show that two JIPs, arginase and threonine deaminase (TD), act in the M. sexta midgut to catabolize the essential amino acids Arg and Thr, respectively. Transgenic plants that overexpress arginase were more resistant to M. sexta larvae, and this effect was correlated with reduced levels of midgut Arg. We present evidence indicating that the ability of TD to degrade Thr in the midgut is enhanced by herbivore-induced proteolytic removal of the enzyme's C-terminal regulatory domain, which confers negative feedback regulation by isoleucine in planta. Our results demonstrate that the JA signaling pathway strongly influences the midgut protein content of phytophagous insects and support the hypothesis that catabolism of amino acids in the insect digestive tract by host enzymes plays a role in plant protection against herbivores. PMID:16357201

  20. Turnabout Is Fair Play: Herbivory-Induced Plant Chitinases Excreted in Fall Armyworm Frass Suppress Herbivore Defenses in Maize1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Alves, Patrick C.M.S.; Gaffoor, Iffa; Acevedo, Flor E.; Peiffer, Michelle; Jin, Shan; Han, Yang; Shakeel, Samina; Felton, Gary W.

    2016-01-01

    The perception of herbivory by plants is known to be triggered by the deposition of insect-derived factors such as saliva and oral secretions, oviposition materials, and even feces. Such insect-derived materials harbor chemical cues that may elicit herbivore and/or pathogen-induced defenses in plants. Several insect-derived molecules that trigger herbivore-induced defenses in plants are known; however, insect-derived molecules suppressing them are largely unknown. In this study, we identified two plant chitinases from fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) larval frass that suppress herbivore defenses while simultaneously inducing pathogen defenses in maize (Zea mays). Fall armyworm larvae feed in enclosed whorls of maize plants, where frass accumulates over extended periods of time in close proximity to damaged leaf tissue. Our study shows that maize chitinases, Pr4 and Endochitinase A, are induced during herbivory and subsequently deposited on the host with the feces. These plant chitinases mediate the suppression of herbivore-induced defenses, thereby increasing the performance of the insect on the host. Pr4 and Endochitinase A also trigger the antagonistic pathogen defense pathway in maize and suppress fungal pathogen growth on maize leaves. Frass-induced suppression of herbivore defenses by deposition of the plant-derived chitinases Pr4 and Endochitinase A is a unique way an insect can co-opt the plant’s defense proteins for its own benefit. It is also a phenomenon unlike the induction of herbivore defenses by insect oral secretions in most host-herbivore systems. PMID:26979328

  1. Influences of Plant Traits on Immune Responses of Specialist and Generalist Herbivores

    PubMed Central

    Lampert, Evan

    2012-01-01

    Specialist and generalist insect herbivore species often differ in how they respond to host plant traits, particularly defensive traits, and these responses can include weakened or strengthened immune responses to pathogens and parasites. Accurate methods to measure immune response in the presence and absence of pathogens and parasites are necessary to determine whether susceptibility to these natural enemies is reduced or increased by host plant traits. Plant chemical traits are particularly important in that host plant metabolites may function as antioxidants beneficial to the immune response, or interfere with the immune response of both specialist and generalist herbivores. Specialist herbivores that are adapted to process and sometimes accumulate specific plant compounds may experience high metabolic demands that may decrease immune response, whereas the metabolic demands of generalist species differ due to more broad-substrate enzyme systems. However, the direct deleterious effects of plant compounds on generalist herbivores may weaken their immune responses. Further research in this area is important given that the ecological relevance of plant traits to herbivore immune responses is equally important in natural systems and agroecosystems, due to potential incompatibility of some host plant species and cultivars with biological control agents of herbivorous pests. PMID:26466545

  2. Inter-varietal interactions among plants in genotypically diverse mixtures tend to decrease herbivore performance.

    PubMed

    Grettenberger, Ian M; Tooker, John F

    2016-09-01

    Much research has explored the effects of plant species diversity on herbivore populations, but far less has considered effects of plant genotypic diversity, or how abiotic stressors, like drought, can modify effects. Mechanisms by which plant genotypic diversity affects herbivore populations remain largely unresolved. We used greenhouse studies with a model system of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and bird cherry-oat aphid (Rhopalosiphum padi L.) to determine whether the genotypic diversity of a plant's neighborhood influences performance and fitness of herbivores on a focal plant and if drought changes the influence of neighborhood diversity. Taken across all varieties we tested, plant-plant interactions in diverse neighborhoods reduced aphid performance and generated associational resistance, although effects on aphids depended on variety identity. In diverse mixtures, drought stress greatly diminished the genotypic diversity-driven reduction in aphid performance. Neighborhood diversity influenced mother aphid size, and appeared to partially explain how plant-plant interactions reduced the number of offspring produced in mixtures. Plant size did not mediate effects on aphid performance, although neighborhood diversity reduced plant mass across varieties and watering treatments. Our results suggest inter-varietal interactions in genotypic mixtures can affect herbivore performance in the absence of herbivore movement and that abiotic stress may diminish any effects. Accounting for how neighborhood diversity influences resistance of an individual plant to herbivores will help aid development of mixtures of varieties for managing insect pests and clarify the role of plant genotypic diversity in ecosystems. PMID:27170329

  3. Genetic Diversity Increases Insect Herbivory on Oak Saplings

    PubMed Central

    Castagneyrol, Bastien; Lagache, Lélia; Giffard, Brice; Kremer, Antoine; Jactel, Hervé

    2012-01-01

    A growing body of evidence from community genetics studies suggests that ecosystem functions supported by plant species richness can also be provided by genetic diversity within plant species. This is not yet true for the diversity-resistance relationship as it is still unclear whether damage by insect herbivores responds to genetic diversity in host plant populations. We developed a manipulative field experiment based on a synthetic community approach, with 15 mixtures of one to four oak (Quercus robur) half-sib families. We quantified genetic diversity at the plot level by genotyping all oak saplings and assessed overall damage caused by ectophagous and endophagous herbivores along a gradient of increasing genetic diversity. Damage due to ectophagous herbivores increased with the genetic diversity in oak sapling populations as a result of higher levels of damage in mixtures than in monocultures for all families (complementarity effect) rather than because of the presence of more susceptible oak genotypes in mixtures (selection effect). Assemblages of different oak genotypes would benefit polyphagous herbivores via improved host patch location, spill over among neighbouring saplings and diet mixing. By contrast, genetic diversity was a poor predictor of the abundance of endophagous herbivores, which increased with individual sapling apparency. Plant genetic diversity may not provide sufficient functional contrast to prevent tree sapling colonization by specialist herbivores while enhancing the foraging of generalist herbivores. Long term studies are nevertheless required to test whether the effect of genetic diversity on herbivory change with the ontogeny of trees and local adaptation of specialist herbivores. PMID:22937168

  4. Gas-chromatography and electroantennogram analysis of saturated hydrocarbons of cruciferous host plants and host larval body extracts of Plutella xylostella for behavioural manipulation of Cotesia plutellae.

    PubMed

    Seenivasagan, T; Paul, A V Navarajan

    2011-05-01

    Saturated hydrocarbons (SHC) of five cruciferous host plants viz., cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, knol khol and Brussels sprout and the larvae of diamondback moth (DBM), Plutella xylostella reared on these host plants were identified through gas-chromatography. The hydrocarbon profile of host plants and larval body extract of DBM reared on respective host plants revealed a wide variation in quantity as well as quality. Long chain hydrocarbons C26-C30 were detected in all the extracts. In electroantennogram (EAG) studies, SHCs at 10(-3) g dose elicited differential EAG response in the antennal receptors of gravid Cotesia plutellae females. Tricosane (C23) and hexacosane (C26) elicited 10-fold increased EAG response compared to control stimulus. Long chain hydrocarbons C27, C28 and C29 elicited, 6-7 fold increased responses. The sensitivity of antenna was 4-5 folds for C25, C14, C24, C15 and C30, while the short chain hydrocarbons elicited 2-3 fold increased EAG responses. Dual choice flight orientation experiments in a wind tunnel revealed that the gravid C. plutellae females preferred the odour of C16, C26, C29, C15, C21, C23, C30, C27, C24 and C22 as 60-70% females oriented and landed on SHC treated substrate compared to control odour, while the odour of eicosane (C20), pentacosane (C25) and octacosane (C28) were not preferred by the females. PMID:21615063

  5. Evaluating trap crops for diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae).

    PubMed

    Badenes-Perez, Francisco R; Shelton, Anthony M; Nault, Brian A

    2004-08-01

    Potential trap crops for the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), were evaluated through a series of ovipositional preference and larval survival experiments in outdoor screenhouses in 2002 and 2003. Hosts examined as trap crops were glossy and waxy collards, Brassica oleracea L. variety acephala; Indian mustard, Brassica juncea (L.) Czern; and yellow rocket, Barbarea vulgaris (R. Br.) variety arcuata. More eggs were laid on the potential trap crops, with the exception of waxy collards, than on cabbage. When P. xylostella was offered multiple hosts at the same time, numbers of eggs laid on glossy collards, Indian mustard, and yellow rocket were 3, 18, and 12 times greater than on cabbage, respectively. Similarly, when P. xylostella was offered a single trap crop host and cabbage, numbers of eggs laid on glossy collards, Indian mustard, and yellow rocket were 300, 19, and 110 times greater than on cabbage, respectively. Our studies suggest differences in oviposition between the potential trap crops and cabbage were likely due to host volatiles, leaf morphology and color, or a combination of these factors, rather than to total leaf areas, leaf shape, or plant architecture. Two-choice tests with a Y-tube olfactometer indicated that plant volatiles were major factors in P. xylostella host preference. The percentage larval survival from egg to pupation was 22.2% on cabbage, 18.9% on waxy collards, and 24.4% on Indian mustard, whereas survival was significantly lower on glossy collards (6.7%) and yellow rocket (0%). Based on our tests, it seems that yellow rocket may be the best candidate for use as a trap crop for P. xylostella because it is highly attractive for oviposition, but larvae do not survive on it. PMID:15384349

  6. Herbivore-associated elicitors: FAC signaling and metabolism.

    PubMed

    Bonaventure, Gustavo; VanDoorn, Arjen; Baldwin, Ian T

    2011-06-01

    The recognition of insect and pathogen attack requires the plant's ability to perceive chemical cues generated by the attacker. In contrast to the recognition of microbe-associated molecular patterns and effectors, little is known about the molecular recognition of herbivore-associated elicitors (HAEs) and the signaling mechanisms operating in plants after their perception. HAE perception depends strongly on the natural history of both plants and insects and it is therefore expected that many of the responses induced by different HAEs are specific to the species involved in the interaction. The interaction between Nicotiana attenuata and the specialist lepidopteran Manduca sexta presents a relevant biological system to understand HAE perception and signal transduction systems in plants. PMID:21354852

  7. Genomic sequence analysis of a nucleopolyhedrovirus isolated from the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The CL3 plaque isolate of Plutella xylostella multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (PlxyMNPV-CL3) exhibits a high degree of genetic similarity with the Autographa californica MNPV but is significantly more virulent against the diamondback moth, P. xylostella, than AcMNPV. To identify genetic differences b...

  8. Maize Plants Recognize Herbivore-Associated Cues from Caterpillar Frass.

    PubMed

    Ray, Swayamjit; Gaffor, Iffa; Acevedo, Flor E; Helms, Anjel; Chuang, Wen-Po; Tooker, John; Felton, Gary W; Luthe, Dawn S

    2015-09-01

    Caterpillar behaviors such as feeding, crawling, and oviposition are known to induce defenses in maize and other plant species. We examined plant defense responses to another important caterpillar behavior, their defecation. Fall armyworms (FAW, Spodoptera frugiperda), a major threat to maize (Zea mays), are voracious eaters and deposit copious amounts of frass in the enclosed whorl tissue surrounding their feeding site, where it remains for long periods of time. FAW frass is composed of molecules derived from the host plant, the insect itself, and associated microbes, and hence provides abundant cues that may alter plant defense responses. We observed that proteins from FAW frass initially induced wound-responsive defense genes in maize; however, a pathogenesis-related (pr) defense gene was induced as the time after application increased. Elicitation of pathogen defenses by frass proteins was correlated with increased herbivore performance and reduced fungal pathogen performance over time. These responses differ from the typical plant response to oral secretions of the FAW. The results pave the way for identification of protein molecule(s) from the excretion of an herbivore that elicits pathogen defense responses while attenuating herbivore defenses in plants. PMID:26306592

  9. A viral histone H4 suppresses insect insulin signal and delays host development.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Sunil; Gu, Xiaojun; Kim, Yonggyun

    2016-10-01

    Parasitization by an endoparasitoid wasp, Cotesia plutellae, alters host development of Plutella xylostella by extending larval period and preventing metamorphosis. Insulin signal plays a crucial role in mediating insect development and controlling blood sugar level in insects. In this study, three insulin-like peptide genes (PxILP1-3) were predicted from the genome of P. xylostella. However, only PxILP1 was confirmed to be expressed in P. xylostella. Starvation suppressed the expression level of PxILP1 and up-regulated plasma trehalose level. RNA interference against PxILP1 mimicked starvation effect and extended the larval period of P. xylostella. Parasitized larvae exhibited significantly lower levels of PxILP1 expression compared to nonparasitized larvae. Injection of wasp-symbiotic polydnavirus C. plutellae bracovirus (CpBV) also suppressed PxILP1 expression and extended the larval period. Injection of a viral segment (CpBV-S30) containing a viral histone H4 (CpBV-H4) also suppressed PxILP1 expression. Co-injection of CpBV-S30 and double-stranded RNA (dsCpBV-H4) specific to CpBV-H4 rescued the suppression of PxILP1 expression. Injection of CpBV-S30 significantly extended larval development. Co-injection of CpBV-S30 with dsCpBV-H4 rescued the delay of larval development. Injection of a bovine insulin to parasitized larvae prevented parasitoid development. These results indicate that parasitism of C. plutellae can down-regulate host insulin signaling with the help of parasitic factor CpBV-H4. PMID:27216029

  10. ADDITIVE IMPACTS OF PLANT PATHOGEN-INSECT ENHANCES PEST-PLANT CONTROL EFFICACY: EXPERIMENTAL EVIDENCE FROM THE RUST-INSECT-MELALEUCA SYSTEM.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant pathogen-insect integration is becoming popular in pest plant control programs. Herein, we tested the impacts of pathogen-herbivorous insect integration in the biological control of a pest tree, Melaleuca quinquenervia (melaleuca). Melaleuca trees were cut at 25-cm above ground, allowed to cop...

  11. Phenotypic plasticity of plant response to herbivore eggs: effects on resistance to caterpillars and plant development.

    PubMed

    Pashalidou, Foteini G; Lucas-Barbosa, Dani; van Loon, Joop J A; Dicke, Marcel; Fatouros, Nina E

    2013-03-01

    Herbivory induces direct resistance responses in plants that negatively affect subsequently colonizing herbivores. Moreover, eggs of herbivorous insects can also activate plant resistance, which in some cases prevents hatching larvae from feeding. Until now, plant-mediated effects of eggs on subsequent herbivory, and the specificity of such responses, have remained poorly understood. We studied the specificity and effects of plant resistance induced by herbivore egg deposition against lepidopteran larvae of species with different dietary breadths, feeding on a wild annual plant, the crucifer Brassica nigra. We examined whether this plant-mediated response affects the growth of caterpillars of a specialist (Pieris brassicae) that feeds on B. nigra leaves and flowers, and a generalist (Mamestra brassicae) that rarely attacks this wild crucifer. We measured growth rates of neonate larvae to the end of their second instar after the larvae had hatched on plants exposed to eggs vs. plants without eggs, under laboratory and semi-field conditions. Moreover, we studied the effects of egg deposition by the two herbivore species on plant height and flowering rate before and after larval hatching. Larvae of both herbivore species that developed on plants previously infested with eggs of the specialist butterfly P. brassicae gained less mass compared with larvae that developed on egg-free plants. Plants exposed to butterfly eggs showed accelerated plant growth and flowering compared to egg-free plants. Egg deposition by the generalist moth M. brassicae, in contrast, had no effect on subsequent performance by either herbivore species, or on plant development. Our results demonstrate that B. nigra plants respond differently to eggs of two herbivore species in terms of plant development and induced resistance to caterpillar attack. For this annual crucifer, the retardation of caterpillar growth in response to deposition of eggs by P. brassicae in combination with enhanced growth

  12. Contemporary evolution of host plant range expansion in an introduced herbivorous beetle Ophraella communa.

    PubMed

    Fukano, Y; Doi, H; Thomas, C E; Takata, M; Koyama, S; Satoh, T

    2016-04-01

    Host range expansion of herbivorous insects is a key event in ecological speciation and insect pest management. However, the mechanistic processes are relatively unknown because it is difficult to observe the ongoing host range expansion in natural population. In this study, we focused on the ongoing host range expansion in introduced populations of the ragweed leaf beetle, Ophraella communa, to estimate the evolutionary process of host plant range expansion of a herbivorous insect. In the native range of North America, O. communa does not utilize Ambrosia trifida, as a host plant, but this plant is extensively utilized in the beetle's introduced range. Larval performance and adult preference experiments demonstrated that native O. communa beetles show better survival on host plant individuals from introduced plant populations than those from native plant populations and they also oviposit on the introduced plant, but not on the native plant. Introduced O. communa beetles showed significantly higher performance on and preference for both introduced and native A. trifida plants, when compared with native O. communa. These results indicate the contemporary evolution of host plant range expansion of introduced O. communa and suggest that the evolutionary change of both the host plant and the herbivorous insect involved in the host range expansion. PMID:26728888

  13. A Latex Metabolite Benefits Plant Fitness under Root Herbivore Attack.

    PubMed

    Huber, Meret; Epping, Janina; Schulze Gronover, Christian; Fricke, Julia; Aziz, Zohra; Brillatz, Théo; Swyers, Michael; Köllner, Tobias G; Vogel, Heiko; Hammerbacher, Almuth; Triebwasser-Freese, Daniella; Robert, Christelle A M; Verhoeven, Koen; Preite, Veronica; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Erb, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Plants produce large amounts of secondary metabolites in their shoots and roots and store them in specialized secretory structures. Although secondary metabolites and their secretory structures are commonly assumed to have a defensive function, evidence that they benefit plant fitness under herbivore attack is scarce, especially below ground. Here, we tested whether latex secondary metabolites produced by the common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale agg.) decrease the performance of its major native insect root herbivore, the larvae of the common cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha), and benefit plant vegetative and reproductive fitness under M. melolontha attack. Across 17 T. officinale genotypes screened by gas and liquid chromatography, latex concentrations of the sesquiterpene lactone taraxinic acid β-D-glucopyranosyl ester (TA-G) were negatively associated with M. melolontha larval growth. Adding purified TA-G to artificial diet at ecologically relevant concentrations reduced larval feeding. Silencing the germacrene A synthase ToGAS1, an enzyme that was identified to catalyze the first committed step of TA-G biosynthesis, resulted in a 90% reduction of TA-G levels and a pronounced increase in M. melolontha feeding. Transgenic, TA-G-deficient lines were preferred by M. melolontha and suffered three times more root biomass reduction than control lines. In a common garden experiment involving over 2,000 T. officinale individuals belonging to 17 different genotypes, high TA-G concentrations were associated with the maintenance of high vegetative and reproductive fitness under M. melolontha attack. Taken together, our study demonstrates that a latex secondary metabolite benefits plants under herbivore attack, a result that provides a mechanistic framework for root herbivore driven natural selection and evolution of plant defenses below ground. PMID:26731567

  14. A Latex Metabolite Benefits Plant Fitness under Root Herbivore Attack

    PubMed Central

    Huber, Meret; Epping, Janina; Schulze Gronover, Christian; Fricke, Julia; Aziz, Zohra; Brillatz, Théo; Swyers, Michael; Köllner, Tobias G.; Vogel, Heiko; Hammerbacher, Almuth; Triebwasser-Freese, Daniella; Robert, Christelle A. M.; Verhoeven, Koen; Preite, Veronica; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Erb, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Plants produce large amounts of secondary metabolites in their shoots and roots and store them in specialized secretory structures. Although secondary metabolites and their secretory structures are commonly assumed to have a defensive function, evidence that they benefit plant fitness under herbivore attack is scarce, especially below ground. Here, we tested whether latex secondary metabolites produced by the common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale agg.) decrease the performance of its major native insect root herbivore, the larvae of the common cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha), and benefit plant vegetative and reproductive fitness under M. melolontha attack. Across 17 T. officinale genotypes screened by gas and liquid chromatography, latex concentrations of the sesquiterpene lactone taraxinic acid β-D-glucopyranosyl ester (TA-G) were negatively associated with M. melolontha larval growth. Adding purified TA-G to artificial diet at ecologically relevant concentrations reduced larval feeding. Silencing the germacrene A synthase ToGAS1, an enzyme that was identified to catalyze the first committed step of TA-G biosynthesis, resulted in a 90% reduction of TA-G levels and a pronounced increase in M. melolontha feeding. Transgenic, TA-G-deficient lines were preferred by M. melolontha and suffered three times more root biomass reduction than control lines. In a common garden experiment involving over 2,000 T. officinale individuals belonging to 17 different genotypes, high TA-G concentrations were associated with the maintenance of high vegetative and reproductive fitness under M. melolontha attack. Taken together, our study demonstrates that a latex secondary metabolite benefits plants under herbivore attack, a result that provides a mechanistic framework for root herbivore driven natural selection and evolution of plant defenses below ground. PMID:26731567

  15. Herbivore and Fungal Pathogen Exclusion Affects the Seed Production of Four Common Grassland Species

    PubMed Central

    Dickson, Timothy L.; Mitchell, Charles E.

    2010-01-01

    Insect herbivores and fungal pathogens can independently affect plant fitness, and may have interactive effects. However, few studies have experimentally quantified the joint effects of insects and fungal pathogens on seed production in non-agricultural populations. We examined the factorial effects of insect herbivore exclusion (via insecticide) and fungal pathogen exclusion (via fungicide) on the population-level seed production of four common graminoid species (Andropogon gerardii, Schizachyrium scoparium, Poa pratensis, and Carex siccata) over two growing seasons in Minnesota, USA. We detected no interactive effects of herbivores and pathogens on seed production. However, the seed production of all four species was affected by either insecticide or fungicide in at least one year of the study. Insecticide consistently doubled the seed production of the historically most common species in the North American tallgrass prairie, A. gerardii (big bluestem). This is the first report of insect removal increasing seed production in this species. Insecticide increased A. gerardii number of seeds per seed head in one year, and mass per seed in both years, suggesting that consumption of flowers and seed embryos contributed to the effect on seed production. One of the primary insect species consuming A. gerardii flowers and seed embryos was likely the Cecidomyiid midge, Contarinia wattsi. Effects on all other plant species varied among years. Herbivores and pathogens likely reduce the dispersal and colonization ability of plants when they reduce seed output. Therefore, impacts on seed production of competitive dominant species may help to explain their relatively poor colonization abilities. Reduced seed output by dominant graminoids may thereby promote coexistence with subdominant species through competition-colonization tradeoffs. PMID:20711408

  16. Gut microbes may facilitate insect herbivory of chemically defended plants.

    PubMed

    Hammer, Tobin J; Bowers, M Deane

    2015-09-01

    The majority of insect species consume plants, many of which produce chemical toxins that defend their tissues from attack. How then are herbivorous insects able to develop on a potentially poisonous diet? While numerous studies have focused on the biochemical counter-adaptations to plant toxins rooted in the insect genome, a separate body of research has recently emphasized the role of microbial symbionts, particularly those inhabiting the gut, in plant-insect interactions. Here we outline the "gut microbial facilitation hypothesis," which proposes that variation among herbivores in their ability to consume chemically defended plants can be due, in part, to variation in their associated microbial communities. More specifically, different microbes may be differentially able to detoxify compounds toxic to the insect, or be differentially resistant to the potential antimicrobial effects of some compounds. Studies directly addressing this hypothesis are relatively few, but microbe-plant allelochemical interactions have been frequently documented from non-insect systems-such as soil and the human gut-and thus illustrate their potential importance for insect herbivory. We discuss the implications of this hypothesis for insect diversification and coevolution with plants; for example, evolutionary transitions to host plant groups with novel allelochemicals could be initiated by heritable changes to the insect microbiome. Furthermore, the ecological implications extend beyond the plant and insect herbivore to higher trophic levels. Although the hidden nature of microbes and plant allelochemicals make their interactions difficult to detect, recent molecular and experimental techniques should enable research on this neglected, but likely important, aspect of insect-plant biology. PMID:25936531

  17. Insect Allergy.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hobart; Halverson, Sara; Mackey, Regina

    2016-09-01

    Insect bites and stings are common. Risk factors are mostly associated with environmental exposure. Most insect bites and stings result in mild, local, allergic reactions. Large local reactions and systemic reactions like anaphylaxis are possible. Common insects that bite or sting include mosquitoes, ticks, flies, fleas, biting midges, bees, and wasps. The diagnosis is made clinically. Identification of the insect should occur when possible. Management is usually supportive. For anaphylaxis, patients should be given epinephrine and transported to the emergency department for further evaluation. Venom immunotherapy (VIT) has several different protocols. VIT is highly effective in reducing systemic reactions and anaphylaxis. PMID:27545732

  18. The compatibility of a nucleopolyhedrosis virus control with resistance management for Bacillus thuringiensis: co-infection and cross-resistance studies with the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella.

    PubMed

    Raymond, B; Sayyed, A H; Wright, D J

    2006-10-01

    The use of genetically modified crops expressing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins can lead to the reduction in application of broad-spectrum pesticides and an increased opportunity for supplementary biological control. Bt microbial sprays are also used by organic growers or as part of integrated pest management programs that rely on the use of natural enemies. In both applications the evolution of resistance to Bt toxins is a potential problem. Natural enemies (pathogens or insects) acting in combination with toxins can accelerate or decelerate the evolution of resistance to Bt. In the present study we investigated whether the use of a nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) could potentially affect the evolution of resistance to the Bt toxin Cry1Ac in Plutella xylostella. At low toxin doses there was evidence for antagonistic interactions between AcMNPV and Cry1Ac resistant and susceptible insects. However, this antagonism was much stronger and more widespread for susceptible larvae; interactions were generally not distinguishable from additive for resistant larvae. Selection for resistance to Cry1Ac in two populations of P. xylostella with differing resistance mechanisms did not produce any correlated changes in resistance to AcMNPV. Stronger antagonistic interactions between Bt and AcMNPV on susceptible rather than resistant larvae can decrease the relative fitness between Bt-resistant and susceptible larvae. These interactions and the lack of cross-resistance between virus and toxin suggest that the use of NPV is compatible with resistance management to Bt products. PMID:16905146

  19. Molecular cloning, genomic structure, and genetic mapping of two Rdl-orthologous genes of GABA receptors in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Guorui; Gao, Weiyue; Yang, Yihua; Wu, Yidong

    2010-06-01

    The Resistance to dieldrin (Rdl) gene encodes a subunit of the insect gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor. Cyclodiene resistance in many insects is associated with replacement of a single amino acid (alanine at position 302) with either a serine or a glycine in the Rdl gene. Two Rdl-orthologous genes of GABA receptors (PxGABARalpha1 and PxGABARalpha2) were cloned and sequenced from a susceptible strain (Roth) of Plutella xylostella. PxGABARalpha1 and PxGABARalpha2 showed 84% and 77% identity with the Rdl gene of Drosophila melanogaster at an amino acid level, respectively. The coding regions of PxGABARalpha1 and PxGABARalpha2 both comprise ten exons, with two alternative RNA-splicing forms in exon 3 of both genes. At the orthologous position of alanine-302 in D. melanogaster Rdl, PxGABARalpha1 has a conserved alanine at position 282. PxGABARalpha2 has a serine instead of an alanine at the equivalent position. With two informative DNA markers, both PxGABARalpha1 and PxGABARalpha2 were mapped onto the Z chromosome of P. xylostella. PMID:20513056

  20. Restoring a Maize Root Signal That Attracts Insect-killing Nematodes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    When attacked by insects, plants emit volatiles that can serve as foraging cues for natural enemies of herbivorous insects. It has been proposed that the emissions of these volatile signals can be manipulated to improve crop protection. Here we demonstrate the full potential of this strategy by re...

  1. Floral scent of Canada thistle, and its potential as a generic insect attractant

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The flowers of Canada thistles, Cirsium arvense (L.)attract a wide range of insects including pollinators and herbivorous species. This attraction is primarily mediated by floral odor, which offers potential for developing generic insect attractants based on odor. In this study we have analyzed the ...

  2. Structural and chemical insect defenses in calcium oxalate defective mutants of Medicago truncatula

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant structures can act as defense against herbivorous insects, causing them to avoid feeding on a given plant or tissue. Mineral crystals of calcium oxalate in leaves of Medicago truncatula Gaertn. are effective deterrents of lepidopteran feeding, and they inhibit conversion of leaves into insect ...

  3. Physical characteristics of Medicago truncatula calcium oxalate crystals determine their effectiveness in insect defense

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant structural traits can act as defense against herbivorous insects, causing them to avoid feeding on a given plant or tissue. Mineral crystals of calcium oxalate in leaves of Medicago truncatula Gaertn. have previously been shown to be effective deterrents of lepidopteran insect feeding. They ar...

  4. Effect of Racemic, (+)- and (-)-Gossypol on the survival and development of the specialist Herbivore Heliothis virescens (Fabricius)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Gossypol is a constituent of the lysigenous foliar glands of cotton and is also found in glands in the cottonseed. Gossypol protects the plant from insect herbivores. Gossypol exist as enantiomers due to restricted rotation around the binaphthyl bond. The biological activities of the enantiomers ...

  5. Elevated air temperature alters an old-field insect community in a multi-factor climate change experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Villalpando, Sean; Williams, Ray; Norby, Richard J

    2009-01-01

    To address how multiple, interacting climate drivers may affect plant-insect community associations, we sampled the insect community from a constructed old-field plant community grown under simultaneous [CO2], temperature, and water manipulation. Insects were identified to morphospecies, assigned to feeding guilds and abundance, richness and evenness quantified. Warming significantly increased Order Thysanoptera abundance and reduced overall morphospecies richness and evenness. Non-metric multidimensional scaling clearly supported the effect of warming on insect community composition. Reductions in richness for herbivores and parasitoids suggest trophic-level effects within the insect community. Analysis of dominant insects demonstrated the effects of warming were limited to a relatively small number of morphospecies. Reported reductions in whole-community foliar N at elevated [CO2] unexpectedly did not result in any effects on herbivores. These results demonstrate climatic warming may alter certain insect communities via effects on insect species most responsive to higher temperature, contributing to a change in community structure.

  6. Insect Keepers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, Virginia J.; Chessin, Debby A.; Theobald, Becky

    2010-01-01

    Insects are fascinating creatures--especially when you and your students get up close and personal with them! To that end, the authors facilitated an inquiry-based investigation with an emphasis on identification of the different types of insects found in the school yard, their characteristics, their habitat, and what they eat, while engaging the…

  7. Incredible Insects.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Braus, Judy, Ed.

    1989-01-01

    Ranger Rick's NatureScope is a creative education series dedicated to inspiring in children an understanding and appreciation of the natural world while developing the skills they will need to make responsible decisions about the environment. Contents are organized into the following sections: (1) "What Makes an Insect an Insect?," including…

  8. Dietary phosphate affects food selection, post-ingestive phosphorus fate, and performance of a polyphagous herbivore.

    PubMed

    Cease, Arianne J; Fay, Michelle; Elser, James J; Harrison, Jon F

    2016-01-01

    Comparisons of the carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus (P) content of plants and insect herbivores suggests that P limitation and herbivore foraging to balance P intake could be common. However, the lack of synthetic diets for testing the effects of lower ranges of dietary P has been a major impediment to experimental assessment of the ecological importance of, and physiological responses to, P limitation for terrestrial herbivores. We manipulated dietary P content (%P) over its observed range in terrestrial foliage using artificial diets containing near-optimal content of other nutrients for the grasshopper Schistocerca americana. Over much of the ecologically relevant range, when consuming single diets over a lifetime, higher P stimulated growth rates and increased survival, with an optimal dietary %P of 0.25-0.50% when measured throughout development. Excessive dietary P (1%) reduced growth and survival. However, with only short-term (3 day) confinement to single diets, dietary P had no effect on food consumption or growth rates. During these short exposures, fifth (but not third) instar hoppers increased the proportion of P excreted relative to P assimilated as dietary P increased. Target experiments demonstrated that, when given a choice, grasshoppers select among foods to attain a P intake target of 0.6%. These data suggest that P limitation could be common for terrestrial insect herbivores and that they can exhibit ingestive and post-ingestive mechanisms to attain sufficient but not excessive P. PMID:26567345

  9. A below-ground herbivore shapes root defensive chemistry in natural plant populations.

    PubMed

    Huber, Meret; Bont, Zoe; Fricke, Julia; Brillatz, Théo; Aziz, Zohra; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Erb, Matthias

    2016-03-30

    Plants display extensive intraspecific variation in secondary metabolites. However, the selective forces shaping this diversity remain often unknown, especially below ground. Using Taraxacum officinale and its major native insect root herbivore Melolontha melolontha, we tested whether below-ground herbivores drive intraspecific variation in root secondary metabolites. We found that high M. melolontha infestation levels over recent decades are associated with high concentrations of major root latex secondary metabolites across 21 central European T. officinale field populations. By cultivating offspring of these populations, we show that both heritable variation and phenotypic plasticity contribute to the observed differences. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the production of the sesquiterpene lactone taraxinic acid β-D-glucopyranosyl ester (TA-G) is costly in the absence, but beneficial in the presence of M. melolontha, resulting in divergent selection of TA-G. Our results highlight the role of soil-dwelling insects for the evolution of plant defences in nature. PMID:27009228

  10. Two novel sodium channel mutations associated with resistance to indoxacarb and metaflumizone in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xing-Liang; Su, Wen; Zhang, Jian-Heng; Yang, Yi-Hua; Dong, Ke; Wu, Yi-Dong

    2016-02-01

    Indoxacarb and metaflumizone belong to a relatively new class of sodium channel blocker insecticides (SCBIs). Due to intensive use of indoxacarb, field-evolved indoxacarb resistance has been reported in several lepidopteran pests, including the diamondback moth Plutella xylostella, a serious pest of cruciferous crops. In particular, the BY12 population of P. xylostella, collected from Baiyun, Guangdong Province of China in 2012, was 750-fold more resistant to indoxacarb and 70-fold more resistant to metaflumizone compared with the susceptible Roth strain. Comparison of complementary DNA sequences encoding the sodium channel genes of Roth and BY12 revealed two point mutations (F1845Y and V1848I) in the sixth segment of domain IV of the PxNav protein in the BY population. Both mutations are located within a highly conserved sequence region that is predicted to be involved in the binding sites of local anesthetics and SCBIs based on mammalian sodium channels. A significant correlation was observed among 10 field-collected populations between the mutant allele (Y1845 or I1848) frequencies (1.7% to 52.5%) and resistance levels to both indoxacarb (34- to 870-fold) and metaflumizone (1- to 70-fold). The two mutations were never found to co-exist in the same allele of PxNav , suggesting that they arose independently. This is the first time that sodium channel mutations have been associated with high levels of resistance to SCBIs. F1845Y and V1848I are molecular markers for resistance monitoring in the diamondback moth and possibly other insect pest species. PMID:25850422

  11. Broomcorn millet grain cultures of the entomophthoralean fungus Zoophthora radicans: sporulation capacity and infectivity to Plutella xylostella.

    PubMed

    Hua, Li; Feng, Ming-Gung

    2005-03-01

    The shelled grains of glutinous broomcorn millet, Panicum miliaceum, were used as solid substrate to prepare granular cultures of Zoophthora radicans, an entomophthoralean biocontrol agent against numerous insect pests. Steamed millet grains were inoculated by mixing 15 g millet grains (D.W.) with mashed pieces of half a 60-mm-dish colony in 3 ml modified Sabouraud dextrose broth and incubated at 15 degrees C and L:D 12:12 for up to 24 d. 20 grains were sampled at 3 d intervals from day six onwards and individually assessed for their sporulation capacity using a self-designed device for spore collection. The millet cultures after > or = 12 d incubation produced 12.0 - 14.9 x 10(4) spores grain(-1) during a 7 d period. The maximal sporulation capacity associated with the 21 d-old culture was about half of that of Z. radicans-killed Plutella xylostella larvae (28.7 x 10(4) spores cadaver(-1)), which individually were at least three times larger than the millet grains. Based on the time-concentration-mortality responses of second-instar P. xylostella larvae to Z. radicans in three independent bioassays, the spores ejected from the cultured millet grains, from the mycelial mats from liquid culture, and from larval cadavers displayed insignificant variations in infectivity to the host species, and yielded similar LC50 and LT50 estimates. Conclusively, the millet-based technology for production of granular cultures of Z. radicans was easy, inexpensive and highly efficient, and it could be superior to previous methods used in mass production of mycelium-based preparations of Entomophthorales since this new approach requires no special additives, drying, freezing and milling. This technology may suit to mass production of culturable but nutritionally fastidious entomopathogens from the Entomophthorales. PMID:15912949

  12. Laboratory evaluations of a wild crucifer Barbarea vulgaris as a management tool for the diamondback moth Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae).

    PubMed

    Lu, Jian-hua; Liu, Shu-sheng; Shelton, A M

    2004-12-01

    The term 'dead-end trap cropping' has recently been proposed to identify a plant that is highly attractive for oviposition by an insect pest, but on which offspring of the pest cannot survive. The potential of the wild crucifer Barbarea vulgaris R. Br. to allure and serve as a dead-end trap crop for the diamondback moth Plutella xylostella (L.), an important pest of cruciferous crops worldwide, was examined in laboratory experiments. When P. xylostella adults were provided with a dual-choice of plants of B. vulgaris, and Chinese cabbage Brassica campestris (L.), in one arena, adult moths laid 2.5-6.8 times more eggs on the former than on the latter. When P. xylostella adults were provided with a dual-choice of plants of B. vulgaris and common cabbage Brassica oleracea L., adult moths laid virtually all their eggs on the former and ignored the latter. Nearly all P. xylostella eggs laid on the three species of plants hatched successfully, but nearly all individuals on plants of B. vulgaris died as neonates or early instar larvae, while 87-100% of the larvae on Chinese cabbage and common cabbage survived to pupation. Dual choice tests with a Y-tube olfactometer showed that volatiles from B. vulgaris were much more attractive to P. xylostella adults than those from common cabbage. The results demonstrate that B. vulgaris has a great potential as a dead-end trap crop for improving management of P. xylostella. Factors that may influence the feasibility of using B. vulgaris as a trap crop in the field are discussed, and ways to utilize this plant are proposed. PMID:15541190

  13. Experimental infection of plants with an herbivore-associated bacterial endosymbiont influences herbivore host selection behavior

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although bacterial endosymbioses are common among phloeophagous herbivores, little is known regarding the effects of symbionts on herbivore host selection and population dynamics. We tested the hypothesis that plant selection and reproductive performance by a phloem-feeding herbivore (potato psyllid...

  14. Sending mixed messages: a trophic cascade produced by a belowground herbivore-induced cue.

    PubMed

    Ali, Jared G; Campos-Herrera, Raquel; Alborn, Hans T; Duncan, Larry W; Stelinski, Lukasz L

    2013-08-01

    Plants defend themselves against herbivores both directly (chemical toxins and physical barriers) and indirectly (attracting natural enemies of their herbivores). Previous work has shown that plant roots of citrus defend against root herbivores by releasing an herbivore-induced plant volatile (HIPV), pregeijerene (1,5-dimethylcyclodeca-1,5,7-triene), that attracts naturally occurring entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) to Diaprepes abbreviatus larvae when applied in the field. However, the soil community is complex and contains a diversity of interspecific relationships that modulate food web assemblages. Herein, we tested the hypothesis that other nematode types beyond EPNs, as well as, nematophagous fungi are affected by the same HIPV that attracts EPNs to herbivore-damaged roots. We employed molecular probes designed to detect and quantify nematodes from the Acrobeloides-group (free-living bacterivorous nematodes, FLBNs), some of which compete with EPNs by 'hyperparasitizing' insect cadavers, and five species of nematophagous fungi (NF), which attack and kill EPNs. In two different agricultural systems (citrus and blueberry), we detected diverse species of nematodes and fungi; however, only the behavior of FLBNs was affected in a manner similar to that reported previously for EPNs. Although detected, NF abundance was not statistically affected by the presence of the belowground HIPV. We provide the first evidence showing subterranean HIPVs behave much the same as those aboveground, attracting not only parasitoids, but also hyperparasites and other food web members. PMID:23925492

  15. Salicylic Acid, a Plant Defense Hormone, Is Specifically Secreted by a Molluscan Herbivore

    PubMed Central

    Kästner, Julia; von Knorre, Dietrich; Himanshu, Himanshu; Erb, Matthias; Baldwin, Ian T.; Meldau, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    Slugs and snails are important herbivores in many ecosystems. They differ from other herbivores by their characteristic mucus trail. As the mucus is secreted at the interface between the plants and the herbivores, its chemical composition may play an essential role in plant responses to slug and snail attack. Based on our current knowledge about host-manipulation strategies employed by pathogens and insects, we hypothesized that mollusks may excrete phytohormone-like substances into their mucus. We therefore screened locomotion mucus from thirteen molluscan herbivores for the presence of the plant defense hormones jasmonic acid (JA), salicylic acid (SA) and abscisic acid (ABA). We found that the locomotion mucus of one slug, Deroceras reticulatum, contained significant amounts of SA, a plant hormone that is known to induce resistance to pathogens and to suppress plant immunity against herbivores. None of the other slugs and snails contained SA or any other hormone in their locomotion mucus. When the mucus of D. reticulatum was applied to wounded leaves of A. thaliana, the promotor of the SA-responsive gene pathogenesis related 1 (PR1) was activated, demonstrating the potential of the mucus to regulate plant defenses. We discuss the potential ecological, agricultural and medical implications of this finding. PMID:24466122

  16. Induced jasmonate signaling leads to contrasting effects on root damage and herbivore performance.

    PubMed

    Lu, Jing; Robert, Christelle Aurélie Maud; Riemann, Michael; Cosme, Marco; Mène-Saffrané, Laurent; Massana, Josep; Stout, Michael Joseph; Lou, Yonggen; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Erb, Matthias

    2015-03-01

    Induced defenses play a key role in plant resistance against leaf feeders. However, very little is known about the signals that are involved in defending plants against root feeders and how they are influenced by abiotic factors. We investigated these aspects for the interaction between rice (Oryza sativa) and two root-feeding insects: the generalist cucumber beetle (Diabrotica balteata) and the more specialized rice water weevil (Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus). Rice plants responded to root attack by increasing the production of jasmonic acid (JA) and abscisic acid, whereas in contrast to in herbivore-attacked leaves, salicylic acid and ethylene levels remained unchanged. The JA response was decoupled from flooding and remained constant over different soil moisture levels. Exogenous application of methyl JA to the roots markedly decreased the performance of both root herbivores, whereas abscisic acid and the ethylene precursor 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid did not have any effect. JA-deficient antisense 13-lipoxygenase (asLOX) and mutant allene oxide cyclase hebiba plants lost more root biomass under attack from both root herbivores. Surprisingly, herbivore weight gain was decreased markedly in asLOX but not hebiba mutant plants, despite the higher root biomass removal. This effect was correlated with a herbivore-induced reduction of sucrose pools in asLOX roots. Taken together, our experiments show that jasmonates are induced signals that protect rice roots from herbivores under varying abiotic conditions and that boosting jasmonate responses can strongly enhance rice resistance against root pests. Furthermore, we show that a rice 13-lipoxygenase regulates root primary metabolites and specifically improves root herbivore growth. PMID:25627217

  17. Induced Jasmonate Signaling Leads to Contrasting Effects on Root Damage and Herbivore Performance1

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Jing; Robert, Christelle Aurélie Maud; Riemann, Michael; Cosme, Marco; Mène-Saffrané, Laurent; Massana, Josep; Stout, Michael Joseph; Lou, Yonggen; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Erb, Matthias

    2015-01-01

    Induced defenses play a key role in plant resistance against leaf feeders. However, very little is known about the signals that are involved in defending plants against root feeders and how they are influenced by abiotic factors. We investigated these aspects for the interaction between rice (Oryza sativa) and two root-feeding insects: the generalist cucumber beetle (Diabrotica balteata) and the more specialized rice water weevil (Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus). Rice plants responded to root attack by increasing the production of jasmonic acid (JA) and abscisic acid, whereas in contrast to in herbivore-attacked leaves, salicylic acid and ethylene levels remained unchanged. The JA response was decoupled from flooding and remained constant over different soil moisture levels. Exogenous application of methyl JA to the roots markedly decreased the performance of both root herbivores, whereas abscisic acid and the ethylene precursor 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid did not have any effect. JA-deficient antisense 13-lipoxygenase (asLOX) and mutant allene oxide cyclase hebiba plants lost more root biomass under attack from both root herbivores. Surprisingly, herbivore weight gain was decreased markedly in asLOX but not hebiba mutant plants, despite the higher root biomass removal. This effect was correlated with a herbivore-induced reduction of sucrose pools in asLOX roots. Taken together, our experiments show that jasmonates are induced signals that protect rice roots from herbivores under varying abiotic conditions and that boosting jasmonate responses can strongly enhance rice resistance against root pests. Furthermore, we show that a rice 13-lipoxygenase regulates root primary metabolites and specifically improves root herbivore growth. PMID:25627217

  18. Biological Warfare of the Spiny Plant Introducing Pathogenic Microorganisms into Herbivore's Tissues.

    PubMed

    Halpern, Malka; Waissler, Avivit; Dror, Adi; Lev-Yadun, Simcha

    2011-01-01

    Recently, it has been proposed that plants which have spines, thorns, and prickles use pathogenic aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, as well as pathogenic fungi, for defense against herbivores, especially vertebrates. Their sharp defensive appendages may inject various pathogenic agents into the body of the herbivores by piercing the outer defensive layer of the skin in a type of biological warfare. Here, we review data regarding the various bacterial taxa found on spines, as well as the medical literature regarding infections by bacteria and fungi related to spine injuries. We also present new evidence that, concerning the microbial flora, spines belonging to the palm tree Washingtonia filifera are probably a different habitat than the nondefensive green photosynthetic leaf surfaces. In addition, many plant species have microscopic internal and external spines (raphids and silica needles) which can also wound large herbivores as well as insects and other small invertebrate herbivores that usually attack in between large spines, prickles, and thorns. The large spines and sharp microscopic structures may inject not only the microorganisms that inhabit them into the herbivore's tissues, but also those preexisting on the skin surface or inside the digestive system of the herbivores and on the surface of nonspiny plant parts. A majority of the spiny plants visually advertise their spiny nature, a characteristic known as aposematism (warning coloration). The pathogenic microorganisms may sometimes be much more dangerous than the physical wounds inflicted by the spines. In accordance, we suggest that the possible cooperation or even just the random association of spines with pathogenic microorganisms contributed to the evolution of aposematism in spiny plants and animals. The role of these sharp defensive structures in inserting pathogenic viruses into the tissues of herbivores was never studied systematically and deserves special attention. PMID:21459195

  19. A Specialist Herbivore Uses Chemical Camouflage to Overcome the Defenses of an Ant-Plant Mutualism

    PubMed Central

    Whitehead, Susan R.; Reid, Ellen; Sapp, Joseph; Poveda, Katja; Royer, Anne M.; Posto, Amanda L.; Kessler, André

    2014-01-01

    Many plants and ants engage in mutualisms where plants provide food and shelter to the ants in exchange for protection against herbivores and competitors. Although several species of herbivores thwart ant defenses and extract resources from the plants, the mechanisms that allow these herbivores to avoid attack are poorly understood. The specialist insect herbivore, Piezogaster reclusus (Hemiptera: Coreidae), feeds on Neotropical bull-horn acacias (Vachellia collinsii) despite the presence of Pseudomyrmex spinicola ants that nest in and aggressively defend the trees. We tested three hypotheses for how P. reclusus feeds on V. collinsii while avoiding ant attack: (1) chemical camouflage via cuticular surface compounds, (2) chemical deterrence via metathoracic defense glands, and (3) behavioral traits that reduce ant detection or attack. Our results showed that compounds from both P. reclusus cuticles and metathoracic glands reduce the number of ant attacks, but only cuticular compounds appear to be essential in allowing P. reclusus to feed on bull-horn acacia trees undisturbed. In addition, we found that ant attack rates to P. reclusus increased significantly when individuals were transferred between P. spinicola ant colonies. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that chemical mimicry of colony-specific ant or host plant odors plays a key role in allowing P. reclusus to circumvent ant defenses and gain access to important resources, including food and possibly enemy-free space. This interaction between ants, acacias, and their herbivores provides an excellent example of the ability of herbivores to adapt to ant defenses of plants and suggests that herbivores may play an important role in the evolution and maintenance of mutualisms. PMID:25047551

  20. Virus strains differentially induce plant susceptibility to aphid vectors and chewing herbivores.

    PubMed

    Kersch-Becker, Mônica F; Thaler, Jennifer S

    2014-03-01

    Plants are frequently attacked by both pathogens and insects, and an attack from one can induce plant responses that affect resistance to the other. However, we currently lack a predictive framework for understanding how pathogens, their vectors, and other herbivores interact. To address this gap, we have investigated the effects of a viral infection in the host plant on both its aphid vector and non-vector herbivores. We tested whether the infection by three different strains of Potato virus Y (PVY(NTN), PVY(NO) and PVY(O)) on tomato plants affected: (1) the induced plant defense pathways; (2) the abundance and fecundity of the aphid vector (Macrosiphum euphorbiae); and (3) the performance of two non-vector species: a caterpillar (Trichoplusia ni) and a beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata). While infection by all three strains of PVY induced the salicylate pathway, PVY(NTN) induced a stronger and longer response. Fecundity and density of aphids increased on all PVY-infected plants, suggesting that the aphid response is not negatively associated with salicylate induction. In contrast, the performance of non-vector herbivores positively correlated with the strength of salicylate induction. PVY(NTN) infection decreased plant resistance to both non-vector herbivores, increasing their growth rates. We also demonstrated that the impact of host plant viral infection on the caterpillar results from host plant responses and not the effects of aphid vector feeding. We propose that pathogens chemically mediate insect-plant interactions by activating the salicylate pathway and decreasing plant resistance to chewing insects, which has implications for both disease transmission and insect community structure. PMID:24178835

  1. Herbivore-plant interactions: mixed-function oxidases and secondary plant substances.

    PubMed

    Brattsten, L B; Wilkinson, C F; Eisner, T

    1977-06-17

    The mixed-function oxidases of a polyphagous insect larva (the southern armyworm, Spodoptera eridania) were found to be induced by a diversity of secondary plant substances. The induction proceeds rapidly and in response to a small quantity of secondary substance. Following induction, the larva is less susceptible to dietary poisoning. It is argued that mixed-function oxidases play a major role in protecting herbivores against chemical stress from secondary plant substances. PMID:17831753

  2. Contrasting Effects of Land Use Intensity and Exotic Host Plants on the Specialization of Interactions in Plant-Herbivore Networks

    PubMed Central

    de Araújo, Walter Santos; Vieira, Marcos Costa; Lewinsohn, Thomas M.; Almeida-Neto, Mário

    2015-01-01

    Human land use tends to decrease the diversity of native plant species and facilitate the invasion and establishment of exotic ones. Such changes in land use and plant community composition usually have negative impacts on the assemblages of native herbivorous insects. Highly specialized herbivores are expected to be especially sensitive to land use intensification and the presence of exotic plant species because they are neither capable of consuming alternative plant species of the native flora nor exotic plant species. Therefore, higher levels of land use intensity might reduce the proportion of highly specialized herbivores, which ultimately would lead to changes in the specialization of interactions in plant-herbivore networks. This study investigates the community-wide effects of land use intensity on the degree of specialization of 72 plant-herbivore networks, including effects mediated by the increase in the proportion of exotic plant species. Contrary to our expectation, the net effect of land use intensity on network specialization was positive. However, this positive effect of land use intensity was partially canceled by an opposite effect of the proportion of exotic plant species on network specialization. When we analyzed networks composed exclusively of endophagous herbivores separately from those composed exclusively of exophagous herbivores, we found that only endophages showed a consistent change in network specialization at higher land use levels. Altogether, these results indicate that land use intensity is an important ecological driver of network specialization, by way of reducing the local host range of herbivore guilds with highly specialized feeding habits. However, because the effect of land use intensity is offset by an opposite effect owing to the proportion of exotic host species, the net effect of land use in a given herbivore assemblage will likely depend on the extent of the replacement of native host species with exotic ones. PMID

  3. Contrasting effects of land use intensity and exotic host plants on the specialization of interactions in plant-herbivore networks.

    PubMed

    de Araújo, Walter Santos; Vieira, Marcos Costa; Lewinsohn, Thomas M; Almeida-Neto, Mário

    2015-01-01

    Human land use tends to decrease the diversity of native plant species and facilitate the invasion and establishment of exotic ones. Such changes in land use and plant community composition usually have negative impacts on the assemblages of native herbivorous insects. Highly specialized herbivores are expected to be especially sensitive to land use intensification and the presence of exotic plant species because they are neither capable of consuming alternative plant species of the native flora nor exotic plant species. Therefore, higher levels of land use intensity might reduce the proportion of highly specialized herbivores, which ultimately would lead to changes in the specialization of interactions in plant-herbivore networks. This study investigates the community-wide effects of land use intensity on the degree of specialization of 72 plant-herbivore networks, including effects mediated by the increase in the proportion of exotic plant species. Contrary to our expectation, the net effect of land use intensity on network specialization was positive. However, this positive effect of land use intensity was partially canceled by an opposite effect of the proportion of exotic plant species on network specialization. When we analyzed networks composed exclusively of endophagous herbivores separately from those composed exclusively of exophagous herbivores, we found that only endophages showed a consistent change in network specialization at higher land use levels. Altogether, these results indicate that land use intensity is an important ecological driver of network specialization, by way of reducing the local host range of herbivore guilds with highly specialized feeding habits. However, because the effect of land use intensity is offset by an opposite effect owing to the proportion of exotic host species, the net effect of land use in a given herbivore assemblage will likely depend on the extent of the replacement of native host species with exotic ones. PMID

  4. Genome Scale Transcriptomics of Baculovirus-Insect Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Quan; Nielsen, Lars K.; Reid, Steven

    2013-01-01

    Baculovirus-insect cell technologies are applied in the production of complex proteins, veterinary and human vaccines, gene delivery vectors‚ and biopesticides. Better understanding of how baculoviruses and insect cells interact would facilitate baculovirus-based production. While complete genomic sequences are available for over 58 baculovirus species, little insect genomic information is known. The release of the Bombyx mori and Plutella xylostella genomes, the accumulation of EST sequences for several Lepidopteran species, and especially the availability of two genome-scale analysis tools, namely oligonucleotide microarrays and next generation sequencing (NGS), have facilitated expression studies to generate a rich picture of insect gene responses to baculovirus infections. This review presents current knowledge on the interaction dynamics of the baculovirus-insect system‚ which is relatively well studied in relation to nucleocapsid transportation, apoptosis, and heat shock responses, but is still poorly understood regarding responses involved in pro-survival pathways, DNA damage pathways, protein degradation, translation, signaling pathways, RNAi pathways, and importantly metabolic pathways for energy, nucleotide and amino acid production. We discuss how the two genome-scale transcriptomic tools can be applied for studying such pathways and suggest that proteomics and metabolomics can produce complementary findings to transcriptomic studies. PMID:24226166

  5. Herbivore preference drives plant community composition.

    PubMed

    Kempel, Anne; Razanajatovo, Mialy; Stein, Claudia; Unsicker, Sybille B; Auge, Harald; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Fischer, Markus; Prati, Daniel

    2015-11-01

    Herbivores are important drivers of plant species coexistence and community assembly. However, detailed mechanistic information on how herbivores affect dominance hierarchies between plant species is scarce. Here, we used data of a multi-site herbivore exclusion experiment in grasslands to assess changes in the cover of 28 plant species in response to aboveground pesticide. application. Moreover, we assessed species-specific values of plant defense of these 28 species measured as the performance of a generalist caterpillar, and the preference of the caterpillar and a slug species in no-choice and choice feeding experiments, respectively. We show that more preferred species in the feeding experiments were those that increased in cover after herbivore exclusion in the field, whereas less preferred ones decreased. Herbivore performance and several measured leaf traits were not related to the change in plant cover in the field in response to herbivore removal. Additionally, the generalist slug and the generalist caterpillar preferred and disliked the same plant species, indicating that they perceive the balance between defense and nutritional value similarly. We conclude that the growth-defense trade-off in grassland species acts via the preference of herbivores and that among-species variation in plant growth and preference to herbivores drives plant community composition. PMID:27070012

  6. New experimental techniques for studying root herbivores

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Relatively less is known about belowground ground herbivores than their aboveground counterparts . This is largely because root-feeding herbivores live in the soil, an opaque, tri-phasic medium, which makes them harder to study and perhaps less perceptible as key components of many terrestrial ecosy...

  7. Local adaptation of Ruellia nudiflora (Acanthaceae) to biotic counterparts: complex scenarios revealed when two herbivore guilds are considered.

    PubMed

    Ortegón-Campos, I; Parra-Tabla, V; Abdala-Roberts, L; Herrera, C M

    2009-11-01

    This study evaluated whether the herb Ruellia nudiflora is locally adapted to a specialist insect seed predator (SP) and insect folivores, and if plant local adaptation (LA) to the former is more likely. A reciprocal transplant experiment was conducted using three sites in Yucatan (Mexico) (n = 864 plants). A third of the plants of each origin were placed at each site, and we recorded the following during a 9-month period: fruit number, leaf damage, and fruits attacked by SP. Results indicated lack of plant LA for all the variables measured. Instead, seed predation was c. 100% greater for native plants at one study site, suggesting insect LA or plant maladaptation; folivory was homogeneous across sites/origins. Based on these results, we discuss differences in the potential each herbivore guild has to promote plant LA, as well as divergent evolutionary outcomes of plant-herbivore interactions across sites. PMID:19796082

  8. A three amino acid deletion in the transmembrane domain of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α6 subunit confers high-level resistance to spinosad in Plutella xylostella

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jing; Wang, Xingliang; Lansdell, Stuart J.; Zhang, Jianheng; Millar, Neil S.; Wu, Yidong

    2016-01-01

    Spinosad is a macrocyclic lactone insecticide that acts primarily at the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) of target insects. Here we describe evidence that high levels of resistance to spinosad in the diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) are associated with a three amino acid (3-aa) deletion in the fourth transmembrane domain (TM4) of the nAChR α6 subunit (Pxα6). Following laboratory selection with spinosad, the SZ-SpinR strain of P. xylostella exhibited 940-fold resistance to spinosad. In addition, the selected insect population had 1060-fold cross-resistance to spinetoram but, in contrast, no cross-resistance to abamectin was observed. Genetic analysis indicates that spinosad resistance in SZ-SpinR is inherited as a recessive and autosomal trait, and that the 3-aa deletion (IIA) in TM4 of Pxα6 is tightly linked to spinosad resistance. Because of well-established difficulties in functional expression of cloned insect nAChRs, the analogous resistance-associated deletion mutation was introduced into a prototype nAChR (the cloned human α7 subunit). Two-electrode voltage-clamp recording with wild-type and mutated nAChRs expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes indicated that the mutation causes a complete loss of agonist activation. In addition, radioligand binding studies indicated that the 3-aa deletion resulted in significantly lower-affinity binding of the extracellular neurotransmitter-binding site. These findings are consistent with the 3-amino acid (IIA) deletion within the transmembrane domain of Pxα6 being responsible for target-site resistance to spinosad in the SZ-SpinR strain of P. xylostella. PMID:26855198

  9. A three amino acid deletion in the transmembrane domain of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α6 subunit confers high-level resistance to spinosad in Plutella xylostella.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jing; Wang, Xingliang; Lansdell, Stuart J; Zhang, Jianheng; Millar, Neil S; Wu, Yidong

    2016-04-01

    Spinosad is a macrocyclic lactone insecticide that acts primarily at the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) of target insects. Here we describe evidence that high levels of resistance to spinosad in the diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) are associated with a three amino acid (3-aa) deletion in the fourth transmembrane domain (TM4) of the nAChR α6 subunit (Pxα6). Following laboratory selection with spinosad, the SZ-SpinR strain of P. xylostella exhibited 940-fold resistance to spinosad. In addition, the selected insect population had 1060-fold cross-resistance to spinetoram but, in contrast, no cross-resistance to abamectin was observed. Genetic analysis indicates that spinosad resistance in SZ-SpinR is inherited as a recessive and autosomal trait, and that the 3-aa deletion (IIA) in TM4 of Pxα6 is tightly linked to spinosad resistance. Because of well-established difficulties in functional expression of cloned insect nAChRs, the analogous resistance-associated deletion mutation was introduced into a prototype nAChR (the cloned human α7 subunit). Two-electrode voltage-clamp recording with wild-type and mutated nAChRs expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes indicated that the mutation causes a complete loss of agonist activation. In addition, radioligand binding studies indicated that the 3-aa deletion resulted in significantly lower-affinity binding of the extracellular neurotransmitter-binding site. These findings are consistent with the 3-amino acid (IIA) deletion within the transmembrane domain of Pxα6 being responsible for target-site resistance to spinosad in the SZ-SpinR strain of P. xylostella. PMID:26855198

  10. Collapse of the world's largest herbivores.

    PubMed

    Ripple, William J; Newsome, Thomas M; Wolf, Christopher; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Everatt, Kristoffer T; Galetti, Mauro; Hayward, Matt W; Kerley, Graham I H; Levi, Taal; Lindsey, Peter A; Macdonald, David W; Malhi, Yadvinder; Painter, Luke E; Sandom, Christopher J; Terborgh, John; Van Valkenburgh, Blaire

    2015-05-01

    Large wild herbivores are crucial to ecosystems and human societies. We highlight the 74 largest terrestrial herbivore species on Earth (body mass ≥100 kg), the threats they face, their important and often overlooked ecosystem effects, and the conservation efforts needed to save them and their predators from extinction. Large herbivores are generally facing dramatic population declines and range contractions, such that ~60% are threatened with extinction. Nearly all threatened species are in developing countries, where major threats include hunting, land-use change, and resource depression by livestock. Loss of large herbivores can have cascading effects on other species including large carnivores, scavengers, mesoherbivores, small mammals, and ecological processes involving vegetation, hydrology, nutrient cycling, and fire regimes. The rate of large herbivore decline suggests that ever-larger swaths of the world will soon lack many of the vital ecological services these animals provide, resulting in enormous ecological and social costs. PMID:26601172

  11. The effect of nutrients on pyrrolizidine alkaloids in Senecio plants and their interactions with herbivores and pathogens.

    PubMed

    Hol, W H G

    2011-03-01

    The aim of this review is to combine the knowledge of studies on effects of nutrients on pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) in Senecio with those studies of effects of PAs on herbivores and pathogens in order to predict the effects that nutrients may have on herbivores and pathogens via changes in PAs. We discuss whether these predictions match with the outcome of studies where the effect of nutrients on herbivores and insects were measured. PA concentrations in S. jacobaea, S. vulgaris and S. aquaticus were mostly reduced by NPK fertilization, with genotype-specific effects occurring. Plant organs varied in their response to increased fertilization; PA concentrations in flowers remained constant, while shoot and roots were mostly negatively affected. Biomass change is probably largely responsible for the change in concentrations. Nutrients affect both the variety and the levels of PAs in the plant. The reduced PA concentrations after NPK fertilization was expected to benefit herbivores, but no or negative responses from insect herbivores were observed. Apparently other changes in the plant after fertilization are overriding the effect of PAs. Pathogens do seem to benefit from the lower PA concentrations after fertilization; they were more detrimental to fertilized plants than to unfertilized control plants. Future studies should include the effect of each element of nutrients separately and in combinations in order to gain more insight in the effect of specific nutrients on PA content in Senecio plants. PMID:21475405

  12. Increased temperature reduces herbivore host-plant quality.

    PubMed

    Bauerfeind, Stephanie S; Fischer, Klaus

    2013-11-01

    Globally increasing temperatures may strongly affect insect herbivore performance, as their growth and development is directly linked to ambient temperature as well as host-plant quality. In contrast to direct effects of temperature on herbivores, indirect effects mediated via thermal effects on host-plant quality are only poorly understood, despite having the potential to substantially impact performance and thereby to alter responses to the changing climatic conditions. We here use a full-factorial design to explore the direct (larvae were reared at 17 °C or 25 °C) and indirect effects (host plants were reared at 17 °C or 25 °C) of temperature on larval growth and life-history traits in the temperate-zone butterfly Pieris napi. Direct temperature effects reflected the common pattern of prolonged development and increased body mass at lower temperatures. At the higher temperature, efficiency of converting food into body matter was much reduced being accompanied by an increased food intake, suggesting compensatory feeding. Indirect temperature effects were apparent as reduced body mass, longer development time, an increased food intake, and a reduced efficiency of converting food into body matter in larvae feeding on plants grown at the higher temperature, thus indicating poor host-plant quality. The effects of host-plant quality were more pronounced at the higher temperature, at which compensatory feeding was much less efficient. Our results highlight that temperature-mediated changes in host-plant quality are a significant, but largely overlooked source of variation in herbivore performance. Such effects may exaggerate negative effects of global warming, which should be considered when trying to forecast species' responses to climate change. PMID:23775632

  13. How generalist herbivores exploit belowground plant diversity in temperate grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Wallinger, Corinna; Staudacher, Karin; Schallhart, Nikolaus; Mitterrutzner, Evi; Steiner, Eva-Maria; Juen, Anita; Traugott, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Belowground herbivores impact plant performance, thereby inducing changes in plant community composition, which potentially leads to cascading effects onto higher trophic levels and ecosystem processes and productivity. Among soil-living insects, external root-chewing generalist herbivores have the strongest impact on plants. However, the lack of knowledge on their feeding behaviour under field conditions considerably hampers achieving a comprehensive understanding of how they affect plant communities. Here, we address this gap of knowledge by investigating the feeding behaviour of Agriotes click beetle larvae, which are common generalist external root-chewers in temperate grassland soils. Utilizing diagnostic multiplex PCR to assess the larval diet, we examined the seasonal patterns in feeding activity, putative preferences for specific plant taxa, and whether species identity and larval instar affect food choices of the herbivores. Contrary to our hypothesis, most of the larvae were feeding-active throughout the entire vegetation period, indicating that the grassland plants are subjected to constant belowground feeding pressure. Feeding was selective, with members of Plantaginaceae and Asteraceae being preferred; Apiaceae were avoided. Poaceae, although assumed to be most preferred, had an intermediate position. The food preferences exhibited seasonal changes, indicating a fluctuation in plant traits important for wireworm feeding choice. Species- and instar-specific differences in dietary choice of the Agriotes larvae were small, suggesting that species and larval instars occupy the same trophic niche. According to the current findings, the food choice of these larvae is primarily driven by plant identity, exhibiting seasonal changes. This needs to be considered when analysing soil herbivore–plant interactions. PMID:24188592

  14. A novel mechanism of insect resistance engineered into tobacco

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilder, Vaughan A.; Gatehouse, Angharad M. R.; Sheerman, Suzanne E.; Barker, Richard F.; Boulter, Donald

    1987-11-01

    A major goal of plant genetic engineering is the introduction of agronomically desirable phenotypic traits into crop plants in situations where conventional breeding methods have been unsuccessful. One such target is enhanced resistance to insect pests which, in view of the estimated production losses world-wide and the heavy costs of protective treatments, is very important. We report here that a gene encoding a cowpea trypsin inhibitor, which has been shown to give some measure of field resistance to insect pests1, confers, when transferred to tobacco, enhanced resistance to this species' own herbivorous insect pests.

  15. Nutrient fluxes from insect herbivory increase during ecosystem retrogression in boreal forest.

    PubMed

    Metcalfe, Daniel B; Crutsinger, Gregory M; Kumordzi, Bright B; Wardle, David A

    2016-01-01

    Ecological theory, developed largely from ungulates and grassland systems, predicts that herbivory accelerates nutrient cycling more in productive than unproductive systems. This prediction may be important for understanding patterns of ecosystem change over time and space, but its applicability to other ecosystems and types of herbivore remain uncertain. We estimated fluxes of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from herbivory of a common tree species (Betula pubescens) by a common species of herbivorous insect along a -5000-yr boreal chronosequence. Contrary to established theory, fluxes of N and P via herbivory increased along the chronosequence despite a decline in plant productivity. The herbivore-mediated N and P fluxes to the soil are comparable to the main alternative pathway for these nutrients via tree leaf litterfall. We conclude that insect herbivores can make large contributions to nutrient cycling even in unproductive systems, and influence the rate and pattern of ecosystem development, particularly in systems with low external nutrient inputs. PMID:27008782

  16. Insect biological control accelerates leaf litter decomposition and alters short-term nutrient dynamics in a Tamarix-invaded riparian ecosystem

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect herbivory can strongly influence ecosystem nutrient dynamics, yet the indirect effects of herbivore-altered litter quality on subsequent decomposition remain poorly understood. The northern tamarisk beetle, Diorhabda carinulata, was released across several western states as a biological contr...

  17. The developmental race between maturing host plants and their butterfly herbivore - the influence of phenological matching and temperature.

    PubMed

    Posledovich, Diana; Toftegaard, Tenna; Wiklund, Christer; Ehrlén, Johan; Gotthard, Karl

    2015-11-01

    Interactions between herbivorous insects and their host plants that are limited in time are widespread. Therefore, many insect-plant interactions result in a developmental race, where herbivores need to complete their development before plants become unsuitable, while plants strive to minimize damage from herbivores by outgrowing them. When spring phenologies of interacting species change asymmetrically in response to climate warming, there will be a change in the developmental state of host plants at the time of insect herbivore emergence. In combination with altered temperatures during the subsequent developmental period, this is likely to affect interaction strength as well as fitness of interacting species. Here, we experimentally explore whether the combined effect of phenological matching and thermal conditions influence the outcome of an insect-host interaction. We manipulated both developmental stages of the host plants at the start of the interaction and temperature during the subsequent developmental period in a model system of a herbivorous butterfly, Anthocharis cardamines, and five of its Brassicaceae host plant species. Larval performance characteristics were favoured by earlier stages of host plants at oviposition as well as by higher developmental temperatures on most of the host species. The probability of a larva needing a second host plant covered the full range from no influence of either phenological matching or temperature to strong effects of both factors, and complex interactions between them. The probability of a plant outgrowing a larva was dependent only on the species identity. This study demonstrates that climatic variation can influence the outcome of consumer-resource interactions in multiple ways and that its effects differ among host plant species. Therefore, climate warming is likely to change the temporal match between larval and plant development in some plant species, but not in the others. This is likely to have important

  18. Herbivore space use influences coral reef recovery

    PubMed Central

    Eynaud, Yoan; McNamara, Dylan E.; Sandin, Stuart A.

    2016-01-01

    Herbivores play an important role in marine communities. On coral reefs, the diversity and unique feeding behaviours found within this functional group can have a comparably diverse set of impacts in structuring the benthic community. Here, using a spatially explicit model of herbivore foraging, we explore how the spatial pattern of grazing behaviours impacts the recovery of a reef ecosystem, considering movements at two temporal scales—short term (e.g. daily foraging patterns) and longer term (e.g. monthly movements across the landscape). Model simulations suggest that more spatially constrained herbivores are more effective at conferring recovery capability by providing a favourable environment to coral recruitment and growth. Results also show that the composition of food available to the herbivore community is linked directly to the pattern of space use by herbivores. To date, most studies of variability among the impacts of herbivore species have considered the diversity of feeding modes and mouthparts. Our work provides a complementary view of spatial patterns of foraging, revealing that variation in movement behaviours alone can affect patterns of benthic change, and thus broadens our view of realized links between herbivore diversity and reef recovery. PMID:27429784

  19. Herbivore space use influences coral reef recovery.

    PubMed

    Eynaud, Yoan; McNamara, Dylan E; Sandin, Stuart A

    2016-06-01

    Herbivores play an important role in marine communities. On coral reefs, the diversity and unique feeding behaviours found within this functional group can have a comparably diverse set of impacts in structuring the benthic community. Here, using a spatially explicit model of herbivore foraging, we explore how the spatial pattern of grazing behaviours impacts the recovery of a reef ecosystem, considering movements at two temporal scales-short term (e.g. daily foraging patterns) and longer term (e.g. monthly movements across the landscape). Model simulations suggest that more spatially constrained herbivores are more effective at conferring recovery capability by providing a favourable environment to coral recruitment and growth. Results also show that the composition of food available to the herbivore community is linked directly to the pattern of space use by herbivores. To date, most studies of variability among the impacts of herbivore species have considered the diversity of feeding modes and mouthparts. Our work provides a complementary view of spatial patterns of foraging, revealing that variation in movement behaviours alone can affect patterns of benthic change, and thus broadens our view of realized links between herbivore diversity and reef recovery. PMID:27429784

  20. Young aphids avoid erroneous dropping when evading mammalian herbivores by combining input from two sensory modalities.

    PubMed

    Gish, Moshe; Dafni, Amots; Inbar, Moshe

    2012-01-01

    Mammalian herbivores may incidentally ingest plant-dwelling insects while foraging. Adult pea aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum) avoid this danger by dropping off their host plant after sensing the herbivore's warm and humid breath and the vibrations it causes while feeding. Aphid nymphs may also drop (to escape insect enemies), but because of their slow movement, have a lower chance of finding a new plant. We compared dropping rates of first-instar nymphs with those of adults, after exposing pea aphids to different combinations of simulated mammalian breath and vibrations. We hypothesized that nymphs would compensate for the greater risk they face on the ground by interpreting more conservatively the mammalian herbivore cues they perceive. Most adults dropped in response to breath alone, but nymphs rarely did so. Breath stimulus accompanied by one concurrent vibrational stimulus, caused a minor rise in adult dropping rates. Adding a second vibration during breath had no additional effect on adults. The nymphs, however, relied on a combination of the two types of stimuli, with a threefold increase in dropping rates when the breath was accompanied by one vibration, and a further doubling of dropping rates when the second vibration was added. The age-specificity of the aphids' herbivore detection mechanism is probably an adaptation to the different cost of dropping for the different age groups. Relying on a combination of stimuli from two sensory modalities enables the vulnerable nymphs to avoid costly mistakes. Our findings emphasize the importance of the direct trophic effect of mammalian herbivory for plant-dwelling insects. PMID:22496734

  1. Young Aphids Avoid Erroneous Dropping when Evading Mammalian Herbivores by Combining Input from Two Sensory Modalities

    PubMed Central

    Gish, Moshe; Dafni, Amots; Inbar, Moshe

    2012-01-01

    Mammalian herbivores may incidentally ingest plant-dwelling insects while foraging. Adult pea aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum) avoid this danger by dropping off their host plant after sensing the herbivore's warm and humid breath and the vibrations it causes while feeding. Aphid nymphs may also drop (to escape insect enemies), but because of their slow movement, have a lower chance of finding a new plant. We compared dropping rates of first-instar nymphs with those of adults, after exposing pea aphids to different combinations of simulated mammalian breath and vibrations. We hypothesized that nymphs would compensate for the greater risk they face on the ground by interpreting more conservatively the mammalian herbivore cues they perceive. Most adults dropped in response to breath alone, but nymphs rarely did so. Breath stimulus accompanied by one concurrent vibrational stimulus, caused a minor rise in adult dropping rates. Adding a second vibration during breath had no additional effect on adults. The nymphs, however, relied on a combination of the two types of stimuli, with a threefold increase in dropping rates when the breath was accompanied by one vibration, and a further doubling of dropping rates when the second vibration was added. The age-specificity of the aphids' herbivore detection mechanism is probably an adaptation to the different cost of dropping for the different age groups. Relying on a combination of stimuli from two sensory modalities enables the vulnerable nymphs to avoid costly mistakes. Our findings emphasize the importance of the direct trophic effect of mammalian herbivory for plant-dwelling insects. PMID:22496734

  2. Hyperparasitoids Use Herbivore-Induced Plant Volatiles to Locate Their Parasitoid Host

    PubMed Central

    Poelman, Erik H.; Bruinsma, Maaike; Zhu, Feng; Weldegergis, Berhane T.; Boursault, Aline E.; Jongema, Yde; van Loon, Joop J. A.; Vet, Louise E. M.; Harvey, Jeffrey A.; Dicke, Marcel

    2012-01-01

    Plants respond to herbivory with the emission of induced plant volatiles. These volatiles may attract parasitic wasps (parasitoids) that attack the herbivores. Although in this sense the emission of volatiles has been hypothesized to be beneficial to the plant, it is still debated whether this is also the case under natural conditions because other organisms such as herbivores also respond to the emitted volatiles. One important group of organisms, the enemies of parasitoids, hyperparasitoids, has not been included in this debate because little is known about their foraging behaviour. Here, we address whether hyperparasitoids use herbivore-induced plant volatiles to locate their host. We show that hyperparasitoids find their victims through herbivore-induced plant volatiles emitted in response to attack by caterpillars that in turn had been parasitized by primary parasitoids. Moreover, only one of two species of parasitoids affected herbivore-induced plant volatiles resulting in the attraction of more hyperparasitoids than volatiles from plants damaged by healthy caterpillars. This resulted in higher levels of hyperparasitism of the parasitoid that indirectly gave away its presence through its effect on plant odours induced by its caterpillar host. Here, we provide evidence for a role of compounds in the oral secretion of parasitized caterpillars that induce these changes in plant volatile emission. Our results demonstrate that the effects of herbivore-induced plant volatiles should be placed in a community-wide perspective that includes species in the fourth trophic level to improve our understanding of the ecological functions of volatile release by plants. Furthermore, these findings suggest that the impact of species in the fourth trophic level should also be considered when developing Integrated Pest Management strategies aimed at optimizing the control of insect pests using parasitoids. PMID:23209379

  3. Ethylene contributes to mir1-mediated maize defense against the phloem-sap sucking insect Rhopalosiphum maidis.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Signaling networks among multiple phytohormones fine-tune plant defense responses to insect herbivore attack. Previously, it was reported that the synergistic combination of ethylene (ET) and jasmonic acid (JA) was required for providing maize insect resistance1 (mir1), a key endogenous defense sign...

  4. Physical characteristics of calcium oxalate crystals as determinants in structural defense against chewing insects in Medicago truncatula

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In addition to the numerous chemical defenses that plants employ to fend off insect herbivores, simple structural components can also play important roles in effective protection. Our investigations have shown that plant crystals of calcium oxalate can function in insect defense. The isolation of ca...

  5. Medicago truncatula-derived calcium oxalate crystals have a negative impact on chewing insect performance via their physical properties

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant structural traits often act as defenses against herbivorous insects, causing them to avoid feeding on a given plant or tissue. Mineral crystals of calcium oxalate in Medicago truncatula Gaertn. (Fabaceae) leaves have previously been shown to be effective deterrents of lepidopteran insect feedi...

  6. Resistance to sap-sucking insects in modern-day agriculture

    PubMed Central

    VanDoorn, Arjen; de Vos, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Plants and herbivores have co-evolved in their natural habitats for about 350 million years, but since the domestication of crops, plant resistance against insects has taken a different turn. With the onset of monoculture-driven modern agriculture, selective pressure on insects to overcome resistances has dramatically increased. Therefore plant breeders have resorted to high-tech tools to continuously create new insect-resistant crops. Efforts in the past 30 years have resulted in elucidation of mechanisms of many effective plant defenses against insect herbivores. Here, we critically appraise these efforts and – with a focus on sap-sucking insects – discuss how these findings have contributed to herbivore-resistant crops. Moreover, in this review we try to assess where future challenges and opportunities lay ahead. Of particular importance will be a mandatory reduction in systemic pesticide usage and thus a greater reliance on alternative methods, such as improved plant genetics for plant resistance to insect herbivores. PMID:23818892

  7. From Plants to Birds: Higher Avian Predation Rates in Trees Responding to Insect Herbivory

    PubMed Central

    Mäntylä, Elina; Alessio, Giorgio A.; Blande, James D.; Heijari, Juha; Holopainen, Jarmo K.; Laaksonen, Toni; Piirtola, Panu; Klemola, Tero

    2008-01-01

    Background An understanding of the evolution of potential signals from plants to the predators of their herbivores may provide exciting examples of co-evolution among multiple trophic levels. Understanding the mechanism behind the attraction of predators to plants is crucial to conclusions about co-evolution. For example, insectivorous birds are attracted to herbivore-damaged trees without seeing the herbivores or the defoliated parts, but it is not known whether birds use cues from herbivore-damaged plants with a specific adaptation of plants for this purpose. Methodology We examined whether signals from damaged trees attract avian predators in the wild and whether birds could use volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions or net photosynthesis of leaves as cues to detect herbivore-rich trees. We conducted a field experiment with mountain birches (Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii), their main herbivore (Epirrita autumnata) and insectivorous birds. Half of the trees had herbivore larvae defoliating trees hidden inside branch bags and half had empty bags as controls. We measured predation rate of birds towards artificial larvae on tree branches, and VOC emissions and net photosynthesis of leaves. Principal Findings and Significance The predation rate was higher in the herbivore trees than in the control trees. This confirms that birds use cues from trees to locate insect-rich trees in the wild. The herbivore trees had decreased photosynthesis and elevated emissions of many VOCs, which suggests that birds could use either one, or both, as cues. There was, however, large variation in how the VOC emission correlated with predation rate. Emissions of (E)-DMNT [(E)-4,8-dimethyl-1,3,7-nonatriene], β-ocimene and linalool were positively correlated with predation rate, while those of highly inducible green leaf volatiles were not. These three VOCs are also involved in the attraction of insect parasitoids and predatory mites to herbivore-damaged plants, which suggests that

  8. The midgut cadherin-like gene is not associated with resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis toxin Cry1Ac in Plutella xylostella (L.).

    PubMed

    Guo, Zhaojiang; Kang, Shi; Zhu, Xun; Wu, Qingjun; Wang, Shaoli; Xie, Wen; Zhang, Youjun

    2015-03-01

    The Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) produces Cry toxins that have been used to control important agricultural pests. Evolution of resistance in target pests threatens the effectiveness of these toxins when used either in sprayed biopesticides or in Bt transgenic crops. Although alterations of the midgut cadherin-like receptor can lead to Bt Cry toxin resistance in many insects, whether the cadherin gene is involved in Cry1Ac resistance of Plutella xylostella (L.) remains unclear. Here, we present experimental evidence that resistance to Cry1Ac or Bt var. kurstaki (Btk) in P. xylostella is not due to alterations of the cadherin gene. The bona fide P. xylostella cadherin cDNA sequence was cloned and analyzed, and comparisons of the cadherin cDNA sequence among susceptible and resistant P. xylostella strains confirmed that Cry1Ac resistance was independent of mutations in this gene. In addition, real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) indicated that cadherin transcript levels did not significantly differ among susceptible and resistant P. xylostella strains. RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated suppression of cadherin gene expression did not affect larval susceptibility to Cry1Ac toxin. Furthermore, genetic linkage assays using four cadherin gDNA allelic biomarkers confirmed that the cadherin gene is not linked to resistance against Cry1Ac in P. xylostella. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that Cry1Ac resistance of P. xylostella is independent of the cadherin gene. PMID:25595643

  9. Genome wide discovery of long intergenic non-coding RNAs in Diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) and their expression in insecticide resistant strains

    PubMed Central

    Etebari, Kayvan; Furlong, Michael J.; Asgari, Sassan

    2015-01-01

    Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play important roles in genomic imprinting, cancer, differentiation and regulation of gene expression. Here, we identified 3844 long intergenic ncRNAs (lincRNA) in Plutella xylostella, which is a notorious pest of cruciferous plants that has developed field resistance to all classes of insecticides, including Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) endotoxins. Further, we found that some of those lincRNAs may potentially serve as precursors for the production of small ncRNAs. We found 280 and 350 lincRNAs that are differentially expressed in Chlorpyrifos and Fipronil resistant larvae. A survey on P. xylostella midgut transcriptome data from Bt-resistant populations revealed 59 altered lincRNA in two resistant strains compared with the susceptible population. We validated the transcript levels of a number of putative lincRNAs in deltamethrin-resistant larvae that were exposed to deltamethrin, which indicated that this group of lincRNAs might be involved in the response to xenobiotics in this insect. To functionally characterize DBM lincRNAs, gene ontology (GO) enrichment of their associated protein-coding genes was extracted and showed over representation of protein, DNA and RNA binding GO terms. The data presented here will facilitate future studies to unravel the function of lincRNAs in insecticide resistance or the response to xenobiotics of eukaryotic cells. PMID:26411386

  10. Genome wide discovery of long intergenic non-coding RNAs in Diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) and their expression in insecticide resistant strains.

    PubMed

    Etebari, Kayvan; Furlong, Michael J; Asgari, Sassan

    2015-01-01

    Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play important roles in genomic imprinting, cancer, differentiation and regulation of gene expression. Here, we identified 3844 long intergenic ncRNAs (lincRNA) in Plutella xylostella, which is a notorious pest of cruciferous plants that has developed field resistance to all classes of insecticides, including Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) endotoxins. Further, we found that some of those lincRNAs may potentially serve as precursors for the production of small ncRNAs. We found 280 and 350 lincRNAs that are differentially expressed in Chlorpyrifos and Fipronil resistant larvae. A survey on P. xylostella midgut transcriptome data from Bt-resistant populations revealed 59 altered lincRNA in two resistant strains compared with the susceptible population. We validated the transcript levels of a number of putative lincRNAs in deltamethrin-resistant larvae that were exposed to deltamethrin, which indicated that this group of lincRNAs might be involved in the response to xenobiotics in this insect. To functionally characterize DBM lincRNAs, gene ontology (GO) enrichment of their associated protein-coding genes was extracted and showed over representation of protein, DNA and RNA binding GO terms. The data presented here will facilitate future studies to unravel the function of lincRNAs in insecticide resistance or the response to xenobiotics of eukaryotic cells. PMID:26411386

  11. Quantification of γ-aminobutyric acid in the heads of houseflies (Musca domestica) and diamondback moths (Plutella xylostella (L.)), using capillary electrophoresis with laser-induced fluorescence detection.

    PubMed

    Shi, Xueyan; Liang, Pei; Song, Dunlun; Yang, Wenling; Gao, Xiwu

    2012-02-01

    A novel method was developed for quantifying the levels of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the heads of houseflies (Musca domestica) and diamondback moths (Plutella xylostella (L.)), using capillary electrophoresis with laser-induced fluorescence detection (CE-LIF). The GABA in sample was derivatized with 4-chloro-7-nitro-2,1,3-benzoxadiazole (NBD-Cl) prior to CE-LIF analysis. In total, 32 mmol/L borate buffer, at pH 9.2 and containing 5.3 mmol/L β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) and 10.4 mmol/L sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), was determined to be the optimum CE background electrolyte (BGE) for GABA analysis. The detection limit of GABA was 0.016 μmol/L. The relative standard deviations (RSDs) of the migration time and peak area of GABA were 1.78 and 4.93%, respectively. The average recoveries of 0.97, 3.88, and 5.83 μmol/L of GABA, each added to the head sample of housefly, ranged from 88.9 to 110.5%. This method is simple and applicable to GABA assays of the heads of insects. With this newly developed CE-LIF method, the amounts of GABA in the heads of houseflies (M. domestica) and diamondback moths (P. xylostella (L.)) were measured. The results are relevant to the understandings of some insecticides and insecticide-resistance mechanisms in pests. PMID:22282416

  12. Plant Size as Determinant of Species Richness of Herbivores, Natural Enemies and Pollinators across 21 Brassicaceae Species

    PubMed Central

    Schlinkert, Hella; Westphal, Catrin; Clough, Yann; László, Zoltán; Ludwig, Martin; Tscharntke, Teja

    2015-01-01

    Large plants are often more conspicuous and more attractive for associated animals than small plants, e.g. due to their wider range of resources. Therefore, plant size can positively affect species richness of associated animals, as shown for single groups of herbivores, but studies usually consider intraspecific size differences of plants in unstandardised environments. As comprehensive tests of interspecific plant size differences under standardised conditions are missing so far, we investigated effects of plant size on species richness of all associated arthropods using a common garden experiment with 21 Brassicaceae species covering a broad interspecific plant size gradient from 10 to 130 cm height. We recorded plant associated ecto- and endophagous herbivores, their natural enemies and pollinators on and in each aboveground plant organ, i.e. flowers, fruits, leaves and stems. Plant size (measured as height from the ground), the number of different plant organ entities and their biomass were assessed. Increasing plant size led to increased species richness of associated herbivores, natural enemies and pollinating insects. This pattern was found for ectophagous and endophagous herbivores, their natural enemies, as well as for herbivores associated with leaves and fruits and their natural enemies, independently of the additional positive effects of resource availability (i.e. organ biomass or number of entities and, regarding natural enemies, herbivore species richness). We found a lower R2 for pollinators compared to herbivores and natural enemies, probably caused by the high importance of flower characteristics for pollinator species richness besides plant size. Overall, the increase in plant height from 10 to 130 cm led to a 2.7-fold increase in predicted total arthropod species richness. In conclusion, plant size is a comprehensive driver of species richness of the plant associated arthropods, including pollinators, herbivores and their natural enemies

  13. Integrating temperature and nutrition--environmental impacts on an insect immune system.

    PubMed

    Bauerfeind, Stephanie S; Fischer, Klaus

    2014-05-01

    Globally increasing temperatures may strongly affect insect herbivore performance. In contrast to direct effects of temperature on herbivores, indirect effects mediated via thermal effects on host-plant quality are only poorly understood, despite having the potential to substantially impact the herbivores' performance. Part of this performance is the organisms' immune system which may be of pivotal importance for local survival. We here use a full-factorial design to explore the direct (larvae were reared at 17°C or 25°C) and indirect effects (host plants were reared at 17°C or 25°C) of temperature on immune function of the temperate-zone butterfly Pieris napi. At the higher rearing temperature haemocyte numbers and prophenoloxidase activity were reduced. Plant temperature, in contrast, did not affect immune competence despite clear effects on insect growth patterns. Overall, thermal and dietary impacts on the insects' immune responses were weak and trait-specific. PMID:24636910

  14. Host-Plant Specialization Mediates the Influence of Plant Abundance on Host Use by Flower Head-Feeding Insects.

    PubMed

    Nobre, Paola A F; Bergamini, Leonardo L; Lewinsohn, Thomas M; Jorge, Leonardo R; Almeida-Neto, Mário

    2016-02-01

    Among-population variation in host use is a common phenomenon in herbivorous insects. The simplest and most trivial explanation for such variation in host use is the among-site variation in plant species composition. Another aspect that can influence spatial variation in host use is the relative abundance of each host-plant species compared to all available hosts. Here, we used endophagous insects that develop in flower heads of Asteraceae species as a study system to investigate how plant abundance influences the pattern of host-plant use by herbivorous insects with distinct levels of host-range specialization. Only herbivores recorded on three or more host species were included in this study. In particular, we tested two related hypotheses: 1) plant abundance has a positive effect on the host-plant preference of herbivorous insects, and 2) the relative importance of plant abundance to host-plant preference is greater for herbivorous species that use a wider range of host-plant species. We analyzed 11 herbivore species in 20 remnants of Cerrado in Southeastern Brazil. For 8 out of 11 herbivore species, plant abundance had a positive influence on host use. In contrast to our expectation, both the most specialized and the most generalist herbivores showed a stronger positive effect of plant species abundance in host use. Thus, we found evidence that although the abundance of plant species is a major factor determining the preferential use of host plants, its relative importance is mediated by the host-range specialization of herbivores. PMID:26637546

  15. A Physiological and Behavioral Mechanism for Leaf Herbivore-Induced Systemic Root Resistance1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Erb, Matthias; Robert, Christelle A.M.; Marti, Guillaume; Lu, Jing; Doyen, Gwladys R.; Villard, Neil; Barrière, Yves; Wolfender, Jean-Luc; Turlings, Ted C.J.

    2015-01-01

    Indirect plant-mediated interactions between herbivores are important drivers of community composition in terrestrial ecosystems. Among the most striking examples are the strong indirect interactions between spatially separated leaf- and root-feeding insects sharing a host plant. Although leaf feeders generally reduce the performance of root herbivores, little is known about the underlying systemic changes in root physiology and the associated behavioral responses of the root feeders. We investigated the consequences of maize (Zea mays) leaf infestation by Spodoptera littoralis caterpillars for the root-feeding larvae of the beetle Diabrotica virgifera virgifera, a major pest of maize. D. virgifera strongly avoided leaf-infested plants by recognizing systemic changes in soluble root components. The avoidance response occurred within 12 h and was induced by real and mimicked herbivory, but not wounding alone. Roots of leaf-infested plants showed altered patterns in soluble free and soluble conjugated phenolic acids. Biochemical inhibition and genetic manipulation of phenolic acid biosynthesis led to a complete disappearance of the avoidance response of D. virgifera. Furthermore, bioactivity-guided fractionation revealed a direct link between the avoidance response of D. virgifera and changes in soluble conjugated phenolic acids in the roots of leaf-attacked plants. Our study provides a physiological mechanism for a behavioral pattern that explains the negative effect of leaf attack on a root-feeding insect. Furthermore, it opens up the possibility to control D. virgifera in the field by genetically mimicking leaf herbivore-induced changes in root phenylpropanoid patterns. PMID:26430225

  16. Reexamination of chlorophyllase function implies its involvement in defense against chewing herbivores.

    PubMed

    Hu, Xueyun; Makita, Satoru; Schelbert, Silvia; Sano, Shinsuke; Ochiai, Masanori; Tsuchiya, Tohru; Hasegawa, Shigeaki F; Hörtensteiner, Stefan; Tanaka, Ayumi; Tanaka, Ryouichi

    2015-03-01

    Chlorophyllase (CLH) is a common plant enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of chlorophyll to form chlorophyllide, a more hydrophilic derivative. For more than a century, the biological role of CLH has been controversial, although this enzyme has been often considered to catalyze chlorophyll catabolism during stress-induced chlorophyll breakdown. In this study, we found that the absence of CLH does not affect chlorophyll breakdown in intact leaf tissue in the absence or the presence of methyl-jasmonate, which is known to enhance stress-induced chlorophyll breakdown. Fractionation of cellular membranes shows that Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) CLH is located in the endoplasmic reticulum and the tonoplast of intact plant cells. These results indicate that CLH is not involved in endogenous chlorophyll catabolism. Instead, we found that CLH promotes chlorophyllide formation upon disruption of leaf cells, or when it is artificially mistargeted to the chloroplast. These results indicate that CLH is responsible for chlorophyllide formation after the collapse of cells, which led us to hypothesize that chlorophyllide formation might be a process of defense against chewing herbivores. We found that Arabidopsis leaves with genetically enhanced CLH activity exhibit toxicity when fed to Spodoptera litura larvae, an insect herbivore. In addition, purified chlorophyllide partially suppresses the growth of the larvae. Taken together, these results support the presence of a unique binary defense system against insect herbivores involving chlorophyll and CLH. Potential mechanisms of chlorophyllide action for defense are discussed. PMID:25583926

  17. Reexamination of Chlorophyllase Function Implies Its Involvement in Defense against Chewing Herbivores1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Xueyun; Makita, Satoru; Schelbert, Silvia; Sano, Shinsuke; Tsuchiya, Tohru; Hasegawa, Shigeaki F.; Hörtensteiner, Stefan; Tanaka, Ayumi

    2015-01-01

    Chlorophyllase (CLH) is a common plant enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of chlorophyll to form chlorophyllide, a more hydrophilic derivative. For more than a century, the biological role of CLH has been controversial, although this enzyme has been often considered to catalyze chlorophyll catabolism during stress-induced chlorophyll breakdown. In this study, we found that the absence of CLH does not affect chlorophyll breakdown in intact leaf tissue in the absence or the presence of methyl-jasmonate, which is known to enhance stress-induced chlorophyll breakdown. Fractionation of cellular membranes shows that Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) CLH is located in the endoplasmic reticulum and the tonoplast of intact plant cells. These results indicate that CLH is not involved in endogenous chlorophyll catabolism. Instead, we found that CLH promotes chlorophyllide formation upon disruption of leaf cells, or when it is artificially mistargeted to the chloroplast. These results indicate that CLH is responsible for chlorophyllide formation after the collapse of cells, which led us to hypothesize that chlorophyllide formation might be a process of defense against chewing herbivores. We found that Arabidopsis leaves with genetically enhanced CLH activity exhibit toxicity when fed to Spodoptera litura larvae, an insect herbivore. In addition, purified chlorophyllide partially suppresses the growth of the larvae. Taken together, these results support the presence of a unique binary defense system against insect herbivores involving chlorophyll and CLH. Potential mechanisms of chlorophyllide action for defense are discussed. PMID:25583926

  18. Mining the plant-herbivore interface with a leafmining Drosophila of Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Whiteman, Noah K.; Groen, Simon C.; Chevasco, Daniela; Bear, Ashley; Beckwith, Noor; Gregory, T. Ryan; Denoux, Carine; Mammarella, Nicole; Ausubel, Frederick M.; Pierce, Naomi E.

    2010-01-01

    Experimental infections of Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis) with genomically characterized plant pathogens such as Pseudomonas syringae have facilitated dissection of canonical eukaryotic defense pathways and parasite virulence factors. Plants are also attacked by herbivorous insects, and the development of an ecologically relevant genetic model herbivore that feeds on Arabidopsis will enable the parallel dissection of host defense and reciprocal resistance pathways such as those involved in xenobiotic metabolism. An ideal candidate is Scaptomyza flava, a drosophilid fly whose leafmining larvae are true herbivores that can be found in nature feeding on Arabidopsis and other crucifers. Here we describe the eukaryotic life cycle of S. flava on Arabidopsis, and use multiple approaches to characterize the response of Arabidopsis to S. flava attack. Oviposition choice tests and growth performance assays on different Arabidopsis ecotypes, defense-related mutants, and hormone and chitin-treated plants revealed significant differences in host preference and variation in larval performance across Arabidopsis accessions. The jasmonate (JA) and glucosinolate pathways in Arabidopsis are important in mediating quantitative resistance against S. flava, and priming with JA or chitin resulted in increased resistance. Expression of xenobiotic detoxification genes was reduced in S. flava larvae reared on Arabidopsis JA signaling mutants, and increased in plants pre-treated with chitin. These results and future research directions are discussed in the context of developing a genetic model system to analyze insect/plant interactions. PMID:21073583

  19. A Physiological and Behavioral Mechanism for Leaf Herbivore-Induced Systemic Root Resistance.

    PubMed

    Erb, Matthias; Robert, Christelle A M; Marti, Guillaume; Lu, Jing; Doyen, Gwladys R; Villard, Neil; Barrière, Yves; French, B Wade; Wolfender, Jean-Luc; Turlings, Ted C J; Gershenzon, Jonathan

    2015-12-01

    Indirect plant-mediated interactions between herbivores are important drivers of community composition in terrestrial ecosystems. Among the most striking examples are the strong indirect interactions between spatially separated leaf- and root-feeding insects sharing a host plant. Although leaf feeders generally reduce the performance of root herbivores, little is known about the underlying systemic changes in root physiology and the associated behavioral responses of the root feeders. We investigated the consequences of maize (Zea mays) leaf infestation by Spodoptera littoralis caterpillars for the root-feeding larvae of the beetle Diabrotica virgifera virgifera, a major pest of maize. D. virgifera strongly avoided leaf-infested plants by recognizing systemic changes in soluble root components. The avoidance response occurred within 12 h and was induced by real and mimicked herbivory, but not wounding alone. Roots of leaf-infested plants showed altered patterns in soluble free and soluble conjugated phenolic acids. Biochemical inhibition and genetic manipulation of phenolic acid biosynthesis led to a complete disappearance of the avoidance response of D. virgifera. Furthermore, bioactivity-guided fractionation revealed a direct link between the avoidance response of D. virgifera and changes in soluble conjugated phenolic acids in the roots of leaf-attacked plants. Our study provides a physiological mechanism for a behavioral pattern that explains the negative effect of leaf attack on a root-feeding insect. Furthermore, it opens up the possibility to control D. virgifera in the field by genetically mimicking leaf herbivore-induced changes in root phenylpropanoid patterns. PMID:26430225

  20. Genetic Structure and Demographic History Reveal Migration of the Diamondback Moth Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) from the Southern to Northern Regions of China

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Shu-Jun; Shi, Bao-Cai; Gong, Ya-Jun; Jin, Gui-Hua; Chen, Xue-Xin; Meng, Xiang-Feng

    2013-01-01

    The diamondback moth Plutella xylostella (Linnaeus) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) is one of the most destructive insect pests of cruciferous plants worldwide. Biological, ecological and genetic studies have indicated that this moth is migratory in many regions around the world. Although outbreaks of this pest occur annually in China and cause heavy damage, little is known concerning its migration. To better understand its migration pattern, we investigated the population genetic structure and demographic history of the diamondback moth by analyzing 27 geographical populations across China using four mitochondrial genes and nine microsatellite loci. The results showed that high haplotype diversity and low nucleotide diversity occurred in the diamondback moth populations, a finding that is typical for migratory species. No genetic differentiation among all populations and no correlation between genetic and geographical distance were found. However, pairwise analysis of the mitochondrial genes has indicated that populations from the southern region were more differentiated than those from the northern region. Gene flow analysis revealed that the effective number of migrants per generation into populations of the northern region is very high, whereas that into populations of the southern region is quite low. Neutrality testing, mismatch distribution and Bayesian Skyline Plot analyses based on mitochondrial genes all revealed that deviation from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and sudden expansion of the effective population size were present in populations from the northern region but not in those from the southern region. In conclusion, all our analyses strongly demonstrated that the diamondback moth migrates within China from the southern to northern regions with rare effective migration in the reverse direction. Our research provides a successful example of using population genetic approaches to resolve the seasonal migration of insects. PMID:23565158

  1. Detection of carboxylesterase and esterase activity in culturable gut bacterial flora isolated from diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (Linnaeus), from India and its possible role in indoxacarb degradation.

    PubMed

    Ramya, Shanivarsanthe Leelesh; Venkatesan, Thiruvengadam; Srinivasa Murthy, Kottilingam; Jalali, Sushil Kumar; Verghese, Abraham

    2016-01-01

    Diamondback moth (DBM), Plutella xylostella (Linnaeus), is a notorious pest of brassica crops worldwide and is resistant to all groups of insecticides. The insect system harbors diverse groups of microbiota, which in turn helps in enzymatic degradation of xenobiotic-like insecticides. The present study aimed to determine the diversity of gut microflora in DBM, quantify esterase activity and elucidate their possible role in degradation of indoxacarb. We screened 11 geographic populations of DBM in India and analyzed them for bacterial diversity. The culturable gut bacterial flora underwent molecular characterization with 16S rRNA. We obtained 25 bacterial isolates from larvae (n=13) and adults (n=12) of DBM. In larval gut isolates, gammaproteobacteria was the most abundant (76%), followed by bacilli (15.4%). Molecular characterization placed adult gut bacterial strains into three major classes based on abundance: gammaproteobacteria (66%), bacilli (16.7%) and flavobacteria (16.7%). Esterase activity from 19 gut bacterial isolates ranged from 0.072 to 2.32μmol/min/mg protein. Esterase bands were observed in 15 bacterial strains and the banding pattern differed in Bacillus cereus - KC985225 and Pantoea agglomerans - KC985229. The bands were characterized as carboxylesterase with profenofos used as an inhibitor. Minimal media study showed that B. cereus degraded indoxacarb up to 20%, so it could use indoxacarb for metabolism and growth. Furthermore, esterase activity was greater with minimal media than control media: 1.87 versus 0.26μmol/min/mg protein. Apart from the insect esterases, bacterial carboxylesterase may aid in the degradation of insecticides in DBM. PMID:26991291

  2. Caught between parasitoids and predators - survival of a specialist herbivore on leaves and flowers of mustard plants.

    PubMed

    Lucas-Barbosa, Dani; Poelman, Erik H; Aartsma, Yavanna; Snoeren, Tjeerd A L; van Loon, Joop J A; Dicke, Marcel

    2014-06-01

    The survival of insect herbivores typically is constrained by food choice and predation risk. Here, we explored whether movement from leaves to flowers increases survival of herbivores that prefer to feed on floral tissues. Combining field and greenhouse experiments, we investigated whether flowering influences the behavior of Pieris brassicae butterflies and caterpillars and, consequently, herbivore survival in the field. In this context, we investigated also if flowers of Brassica nigra can provide caterpillars refuge from the specialist parasitoid Cotesia glomerata and from predatory social wasps. By moving to flowers, caterpillars escaped from the parasitoid. Flowers are nutritionally superior when compared with leaves, and caterpillars develop faster when feeding on flowers. However, late-stage caterpillars can be preyed upon intensively by social wasps, irrespective of whether they feed on leaves or flowers. We conclude that flower preference by P. brassicae is more likely driven by nutritional advantages and reduced parasitism on flowers, than by risks of being killed by generalist predators. PMID:24888744

  3. Insects: A nutritional alternative

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dufour, P. A.

    1981-01-01

    Insects are considered as potential food sources in space. Types of insects consumed are discussed. Hazards of insect ingestion are considered. Insect reproduction, requirements, and raw materials conversion are discussed. Nutrition properties and composition of insects are considered. Preparation of insects as human food is discussed.

  4. Herbivore responses to plants grown in enriched carbon dioxide atmospheres

    SciTech Connect

    Lincoln, D.E.

    1990-05-01

    Our initial study of sagebrush and grasshopper responses to elevated and historical carbon dioxide atmospheres is complete and has been accepted for publication. The study on Biomass Allocation Patterns of Defoliated Sagebrush Grown Under Two Levels of Carbon Dioxide has completed and the manuscript has been submitted for publication. We have completed the study of plant growth under two nutrient and carbon dioxide regimes and grasshopper feeding responses. The study of a specialist feeding caterpillar, the cabbage butterfly, and a mustard hostplant has recently been completed. We were able to identify the principal allelochemicals of the mustard plants, butenyl and pentenyl isothiocyanates, by combined gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. Measurement of these chemicals has been a critical component of this study since these compounds contain nitrogen and sulphur and act as a feeding stimulant to the caterpillar. This insect responds to elevated carbon dioxide by consuming more leaves and we can now say that this is not due to a change in the feeding stimulants. Reduced leaf protein content is a critical factor for even specialist feeding insect herbivores under elevated carbon dioxide conditions. The study on Grasshopper Population Responses to Enriched Carbon Dioxide Concentration is currently in progress at the Duke University Phytotron. We have changed hostplant species in order to complement the investigations of carbon dioxide effects on tallgrass prairie. Specifically, we are using big bluestem, Andropogon geradii, as the host plant to feed to the grasshoppers. This experiment will be completed in July 1990.

  5. Integrative Model for Binding of Bacillus thuringiensis Toxins in Susceptible and Resistant Larvae of the Diamondback Moth (Plutella xylostella)

    PubMed Central

    Ballester, Victoria; Granero, Francisco; Tabashnik, Bruce E.; Malvar, Thomas; Ferré, Juan

    1999-01-01

    Insecticidal crystal proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis in sprays and transgenic crops are extremely useful for environmentally sound pest management, but their long-term efficacy is threatened by evolution of resistance by target pests. The diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) is the first insect to evolve resistance to B. thuringiensis in open-field populations. The only known mechanism of resistance to B. thuringiensis in the diamondback moth is reduced binding of toxin to midgut binding sites. In the present work we analyzed competitive binding of B. thuringiensis toxins Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac, and Cry1F to brush border membrane vesicles from larval midguts in a susceptible strain and in resistant strains from the Philippines, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania. Based on the results, we propose a model for binding of B. thuringiensis crystal proteins in susceptible larvae with two binding sites for Cry1Aa, one of which is shared with Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac, and Cry1F. Our results show that the common binding site is altered in each of the three resistant strains. In the strain from the Philippines, the alteration reduced binding of Cry1Ab but did not affect binding of the other crystal proteins. In the resistant strains from Hawaii and Pennsylvania, the alteration affected binding of Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac, and Cry1F. Previously reported evidence that a single mutation can confer resistance to Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac, and Cry1F corresponds to expectations based on the binding model. However, the following two other observations do not: the mutation in the Philippines strain affected binding of only Cry1Ab, and one mutation was sufficient for resistance to Cry1Aa. The imperfect correspondence between the model and observations suggests that reduced binding is not the only mechanism of resistance in the diamondback moth and that some, but not all, patterns of resistance and cross-resistance can be predicted correctly from the results of competitive binding analyses of susceptible

  6. Genotype × Herbivore Effect on Leaf Litter Decomposition in Betula Pendula Saplings: Ecological and Evolutionary Consequences and the Role of Secondary Metabolites

    PubMed Central

    Silfver, Tarja; Paaso, Ulla; Rasehorn, Mira; Rousi, Matti; Mikola, Juha

    2015-01-01

    Plant genetic variation and herbivores can both influence ecosystem functioning by affecting the quantity and quality of leaf litter. Few studies have, however, investigated the effects of herbivore load on litter decomposition at plant genotype level. We reduced insect herbivory using an insecticide on one half of field-grown Betula Pendula saplings of 17 genotypes, representing random intrapopulation genetic variation, and allowed insects to naturally colonize the other half. We hypothesized that due to induced herbivore defence, saplings under natural herbivory produce litter of higher concentrations of secondary metabolites (terpenes and soluble phenolics) and have slower litter decomposition rate than saplings under reduced herbivory. We found that leaf damage was 89 and 53% lower in the insecticide treated saplings in the summer and autumn surveys, respectively, which led to 73% higher litter production. Litter decomposition rate was also affected by herbivore load, but the effect varied from positive to negative among genotypes and added up to an insignificant net effect at the population level. In contrast to our hypothesis, concentrations of terpenes and soluble phenolics were higher under reduced than natural herbivory. Those genotypes, whose leaves were most injured by herbivores, produced litter of lowest mass loss, but unlike we expected, the concentrations of terpenes and soluble phenolics were not linked to either leaf damage or litter decomposition. Our results show that (1) the genetic and herbivore effects on B. pendula litter decomposition are not mediated through variation in terpene or soluble phenolic concentrations and suggest that (2) the presumably higher insect herbivore pressure in the future warmer climate will not, at the ecological time scale, affect the mean decomposition rate in genetically diverse B. pendula populations. However, (3) due to the significant genetic variation in the response of decomposition to herbivory, evolutionary

  7. Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Insect Communities: A Transplant Experiment

    PubMed Central

    Nooten, Sabine S.; Andrew, Nigel R.; Hughes, Lesley

    2014-01-01

    Climate change will have profound impacts on the distribution, abundance and ecology of all species. We used a multi-species transplant experiment to investigate the potential effects of a warmer climate on insect community composition and structure. Eight native Australian plant species were transplanted into sites approximately 2.5°C (mean annual temperature) warmer than their native range. Subsequent insect colonisation was monitored for 12 months. We compared the insect communities on transplanted host plants at the warmer sites with control plants transplanted within the species' native range. Comparisons of the insect communities were also made among transplanted plants at warmer sites and congeneric plant species native to the warmer transplant area. We found that the morphospecies composition of the colonising Coleoptera and Hemiptera communities differed markedly between transplants at the control compared to the warmer sites. Community structure, as described by the distribution of feeding guilds, was also found to be different between the controls and transplants when the entire Coleoptera and Hemiptera community, including non-herbivore feeding guilds, was considered. However, the structure of the herbivorous insect community showed a higher level of consistency between plants at control and warm sites. There were marked differences in community composition and feeding guild structure, for both herbivores and non-herbivores, between transplants and congenerics at the warm sites. These results suggest that as the climate warms, considerable turnover in the composition of insect communities may occur, but insect herbivore communities may retain elements of their present-day structure. PMID:24465827

  8. Insect evolution.

    PubMed

    Engel, Michael S

    2015-10-01

    It goes without saying that insects epitomize diversity, and with over a million documented species they stand out as one of the most remarkable lineages in the 3.5-billion-year history of life on earth (Figure 1). This reality is passé to even the layperson and is taken for granted in the same way none of us think much of our breathing as we go about our day, and yet insects are just as vital to our existence. Insects are simultaneously familiar and foreign to us, and while a small fraction are beloved or reviled, most are simply ignored. These inexorable evolutionary overachievers outnumber us all, their segmented body plan is remarkably labile, they combine a capacity for high rates of speciation with low levels of natural extinction, and their history of successes eclipses those of the more familiar ages of dinosaurs and mammals alike. It is their evolution - persisting over vast expanses of geological time and inextricably implicated in the diversification of other lineages - that stands as one of the most expansive subjects in biology. PMID:26439349

  9. Herbivore impact on grassland plant diversity depends on habitat productivity and herbivore size.

    PubMed

    Bakker, Elisabeth S; Ritchie, Mark E; Olff, Han; Milchunas, Daniel G; Knops, Johannes M H

    2006-07-01

    Mammalian herbivores can have pronounced effects on plant diversity but are currently declining in many productive ecosystems through direct extirpation, habitat loss and fragmentation, while being simultaneously introduced as livestock in other, often unproductive, ecosystems that lacked such species during recent evolutionary times. The biodiversity consequences of these changes are still poorly understood. We experimentally separated the effects of primary productivity and herbivores of different body size on plant species richness across a 10-fold productivity gradient using a 7-year field experiment at seven grassland sites in North America and Europe. We show that assemblages including large herbivores increased plant diversity at higher productivity but decreased diversity at low productivity, while small herbivores did not have consistent effects along the productivity gradient. The recognition of these large-scale, cross-site patterns in herbivore effects is important for the development of appropriate biodiversity conservation strategies. PMID:16796567

  10. Marine and terrestrial herbivores display convergent chemical ecology despite 400 million years of independent evolution.

    PubMed

    Rasher, Douglas B; Stout, E Paige; Engel, Sebastian; Shearer, Tonya L; Kubanek, Julia; Hay, Mark E

    2015-09-29

    Chemical cues regulate key ecological interactions in marine and terrestrial ecosystems. They are particularly important in terrestrial plant-herbivore interactions, where they mediate both herbivore foraging and plant defense. Although well described for terrestrial interactions, the identity and ecological importance of herbivore foraging cues in marine ecosystems remain unknown. Here we show that the specialist gastropod Elysia tuca hunts its seaweed prey, Halimeda incrassata, by tracking 4-hydroxybenzoic acid to find vegetative prey and the defensive metabolite halimedatetraacetate to find reproductive prey. Foraging cues were predicted to be polar compounds but instead were nonpolar secondary metabolites similar to those used by specialist terrestrial insects. Tracking halimedatetraacetate enables Elysia to increase in abundance by 12- to 18-fold on reproductive Halimeda, despite reproduction in Halimeda being rare and lasting for only ∼36 h. Elysia swarm to reproductive Halimeda where they consume the alga's gametes, which are resource rich but are chemically defended from most consumers. Elysia sequester functional chloroplasts and halimedatetraacetate from Halimeda to become photosynthetic and chemically defended. Feeding by Elysia suppresses the growth of vegetative Halimeda by ∼50%. Halimeda responds by dropping branches occupied by Elysia, apparently to prevent fungal infection associated with Elysia feeding. Elysia is remarkably similar to some terrestrial insects, not only in its hunting strategy, but also its feeding method, defense tactics, and effects on prey behavior and performance. Such striking parallels indicate that specialist herbivores in marine and terrestrial systems can evolve convergent ecological strategies despite 400 million years of independent evolution in vastly different habitats. PMID:26324909

  11. Marine and terrestrial herbivores display convergent chemical ecology despite 400 million years of independent evolution

    PubMed Central

    Rasher, Douglas B.; Stout, E. Paige; Engel, Sebastian; Shearer, Tonya L.; Kubanek, Julia; Hay, Mark E.

    2015-01-01

    Chemical cues regulate key ecological interactions in marine and terrestrial ecosystems. They are particularly important in terrestrial plant–herbivore interactions, where they mediate both herbivore foraging and plant defense. Although well described for terrestrial interactions, the identity and ecological importance of herbivore foraging cues in marine ecosystems remain unknown. Here we show that the specialist gastropod Elysia tuca hunts its seaweed prey, Halimeda incrassata, by tracking 4-hydroxybenzoic acid to find vegetative prey and the defensive metabolite halimedatetraacetate to find reproductive prey. Foraging cues were predicted to be polar compounds but instead were nonpolar secondary metabolites similar to those used by specialist terrestrial insects. Tracking halimedatetraacetate enables Elysia to increase in abundance by 12- to 18-fold on reproductive Halimeda, despite reproduction in Halimeda being rare and lasting for only ∼36 h. Elysia swarm to reproductive Halimeda where they consume the alga’s gametes, which are resource rich but are chemically defended from most consumers. Elysia sequester functional chloroplasts and halimedatetraacetate from Halimeda to become photosynthetic and chemically defended. Feeding by Elysia suppresses the growth of vegetative Halimeda by ∼50%. Halimeda responds by dropping branches occupied by Elysia, apparently to prevent fungal infection associated with Elysia feeding. Elysia is remarkably similar to some terrestrial insects, not only in its hunting strategy, but also its feeding method, defense tactics, and effects on prey behavior and performance. Such striking parallels indicate that specialist herbivores in marine and terrestrial systems can evolve convergent ecological strategies despite 400 million years of independent evolution in vastly different habitats. PMID:26324909

  12. Habitats as Complex Odour Environments: How Does Plant Diversity Affect Herbivore and Parasitoid Orientation?

    PubMed Central

    Wäschke, Nicole; Hardge, Kristin; Hancock, Christine; Hilker, Monika; Obermaier, Elisabeth; Meiners, Torsten

    2014-01-01

    Plant diversity is known to affect success of host location by pest insects, but its effect on olfactory orientation of non-pest insect species has hardly been addressed. First, we tested in laboratory experiments the hypothesis that non-host plants, which increase odour complexity in habitats, affect the host location ability of herbivores and parasitoids. Furthermore, we recorded field data of plant diversity in addition to herbivore and parasitoid abundance at 77 grassland sites in three different regions in Germany in order to elucidate whether our laboratory results reflect the field situation. As a model system we used the herb Plantago lanceolata, the herbivorous weevil Mecinus pascuorum, and its larval parasitoid Mesopolobus incultus. The laboratory bioassays revealed that both the herbivorous weevil and its larval parasitoid can locate their host plant and host via olfactory cues even in the presence of non-host odour. In a newly established two-circle olfactometer, the weeviĺs capability to detect host plant odour was not affected by odours from non-host plants. However, addition of non-host plant odours to host plant odour enhanced the weeviĺs foraging activity. The parasitoid was attracted by a combination of host plant and host volatiles in both the absence and presence of non-host plant volatiles in a Y-tube olfactometer. In dual choice tests the parasitoid preferred the blend of host plant and host volatiles over its combination with non-host plant volatiles. In the field, no indication was found that high plant diversity disturbs host (plant) location by the weevil and its parasitoid. In contrast, plant diversity was positively correlated with weevil abundance, whereas parasitoid abundance was independent of plant diversity. Therefore, we conclude that weevils and parasitoids showed the sensory capacity to successfully cope with complex vegetation odours when searching for hosts. PMID:24416354

  13. Keystone Herbivores and the Evolution of Plant Defenses.

    PubMed

    Poelman, Erik H; Kessler, André

    2016-06-01

    Plants need to defend themselves against a diverse and dynamic herbivore community. Such communities may be shaped by keystone herbivores that through their feeding alter the plant phenotype as well as the likelihood of attack by other herbivores. Here, we discuss such herbivores that have a large effect on the interaction network structure with associated fitness consequences for the plant, as dominant agents of selection on plant defense traits. Merging the keystone herbivore concept with plant fitness and trait selection frameworks will provide an approach to identify which herbivores drive selection in complex multispecies interactions in natural and agricultural systems. PMID:26832946

  14. Elevated Atmospheric CO2 Triggers Compensatory Feeding by Root Herbivores on a C3 but Not a C4 Grass

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Scott N.; Lopaticki, Goran; Hartley, Susan E.

    2014-01-01

    Predicted increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations often reduce nutritional quality for herbivores by increasing the C∶N ratio of plant tissue. This frequently triggers compensatory feeding by aboveground herbivores, whereby they consume more shoot material in an attempt to meet their nutritional needs. Little, however, is known about how root herbivores respond to such changes. Grasslands are particularly vulnerable to root herbivores, which can collectively exceed the mass of mammals grazing aboveground. Here we provide novel evidence for compensatory feeding by a grass root herbivore, Sericesthis nigrolineata, under elevated atmospheric CO2 (600 µmol mol−1) on a C3 (Microlaena stipoides) but not a C4 (Cymbopogon refractus) grass species. At ambient CO2 (400 µmol mol−1) M. stipoides roots were 44% higher in nitrogen (N) and 7% lower in carbon (C) concentrations than C. refractus, with insects performing better on M. stipoides. Elevated CO2 decreased N and increased C∶N in M. stipoides roots, but had no impact on C. refractus roots. Root-feeders displayed compensatory feeding on M. stipoides at elevated CO2, consuming 118% more tissue than at ambient atmospheric CO2. Despite this, root feeder biomass remained depressed by 24%. These results suggest that compensatory feeding under elevated atmospheric CO2 may make some grass species particularly vulnerable to attack, potentially leading to future shifts in the community composition of grasslands. PMID:24651855

  15. Contribution of insectivorous avifauna to top down control of Lindera benzoin herbivores at forest edge and interior habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skoczylas, Daniel R.; Muth, Norris Z.; Niesenbaum, Richard A.

    2007-11-01

    Predation of herbivorous Lepidoptera larvae by insectivorous avifauna was estimated on Lindera benzoin in edge and interior habitats at two sites in eastern Pennsylvania (USA). Clay baits modeled after Epimecis hortaria (Geometridae) larvae, the primary herbivore of L. benzoin at our study sites, were used to estimate predation by birds. In both habitat types, models were placed on uninjured L. benzoin leaves as well as on leaves that had prior insect herbivore damage. Rates of model attack were greater, and model longevity reduced, in forest edge plots compared to interiors. Naturally occurring herbivore damage on L. benzoin was greater in forest interiors. However, model attack was not significantly greater on leaves with prior herbivory damage, suggesting that birds do not effectively use this type of leaf damage as a cue in their foraging. Our findings are consistent with a contribution of bird predation towards top-down control of herbivory in this system. We further discuss these results in a broader context considering the possible effects of habitat type on leaf quality, leaf defense, and herbivore performance.

  16. When can herbivores slow or reverse the spread of an invading plant? A test case from Mount St. Helens.

    PubMed

    Fagan, William F; Lewis, Mark; Neubert, Michael G; Aumann, Craig; Apple, Jennifer L; Bishop, John G

    2005-12-01

    Here we study the spatial dynamics of a coinvading consumer-resource pair. We present a theoretical treatment with extensive empirical data from a long-studied field system in which native herbivorous insects attack a population of lupine plants recolonizing a primary successional landscape created by the 1980 volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens. Using detailed data on the life history and interaction strengths of the lupine and one of its herbivores, we develop a system of integrodifference equations to study plant-herbivore invasion dynamics. Our analyses yield several new insights into the spatial dynamics of coinvasions. In particular, we demonstrate that aspects of plant population growth and the intensity of herbivory under low-density conditions can determine whether the plant population spreads across a landscape or is prevented from doing so by the herbivore. In addition, we characterize the existence of threshold levels of spatial extent and/or temporal advantage for the plant that together define critical values of "invasion momentum," beyond which herbivores are unable to reverse a plant invasion. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings for successional dynamics and the use of biological control agents to limit the spread of pest species. PMID:16475084

  17. Insect abatement system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spiro, Clifford Lawrence (Inventor); Burnell, Timothy Brydon (Inventor); Wengrovius, Jeffrey Hayward (Inventor)

    1997-01-01

    An insect abatement system prevents adhesion of insect debris to surfaces which must be kept substantially free of insect debris. An article is coated with an insect abatement coating comprising polyorganosiloxane with a Shore A hardness of less than 50 and a tensile strength of less than 4 MPa. A method for preventing the adhesion of insect debris to surfaces includes the step of applying an insect abatement coating to a surface which must be kept substantially free of insect debris.

  18. Hijacking common mycorrhizal networks for herbivore-induced defence signal transfer between tomato plants

    PubMed Central

    Song, Yuan Yuan; Ye, Mao; Li, Chuanyou; He, Xinhua; Zhu-Salzman, Keyan; Wang, Rui Long; Su, Yi Juan; Luo, Shi Ming; Zeng, Ren Sen

    2014-01-01

    Common mycorrhizal networks (CMNs) link multiple plants together. We hypothesized that CMNs can serve as an underground conduit for transferring herbivore-induced defence signals. We established CMN between two tomato plants in pots with mycorrhizal fungus Funneliformis mosseae, challenged a ‘donor' plant with caterpillar Spodoptera litura, and investigated defence responses and insect resistance in neighbouring CMN-connected ‘receiver' plants. After CMN establishment caterpillar infestation on ‘donor' plant led to increased insect resistance and activities of putative defensive enzymes, induction of defence-related genes and activation of jasmonate (JA) pathway in the ‘receiver' plant. However, use of a JA biosynthesis defective mutant spr2 as ‘donor' plants resulted in no induction of defence responses and no change in insect resistance in ‘receiver' plants, suggesting that JA signalling is required for CMN-mediated interplant communication. These results indicate that plants are able to hijack CMNs for herbivore-induced defence signal transfer and interplant defence communication. PMID:24468912

  19. Gall insects and indirect plant defenses

    PubMed Central

    De Moraes, Consuelo M

    2008-01-01

    Many plants can defend themselves against insect herbivory by attracting natural enemies that kill feeding herbivores and limit the damage they inflict. Such “indirect defenses” can be induced by insects feeding on different plant tissues and using a variety of feeding styles. However, we have recently shown that gall-inducing insect species can avoid the indirect defenses of their host plant species and even alter volatile emissions following subsequent herbivory. One of the species we studied, Eurosta solidaginis, induces galls on goldenrod (Solidago altissima) and appears to exert a unique influence over the indirect defenses of its host plant that is not readily explained by levels of defense-related phytohormones, gall formation or resource depletion. Our evidence suggests that this gall-insect species may be able to manipulate its host plant species to avoid and/or modify its defensive responses. The results also provide insight into gall induction because the gall-insect species that we screened did not increase levels of jasmonic acid, which, in addition to triggering volatile emissions, is a powerful growth regulator that could prevent the cell growth and division that leads to gall formation. PMID:19704500

  20. Root herbivore effects on aboveground multitrophic interactions: patterns, processes and mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Soler, Roxina; Van der Putten, Wim H; Harvey, Jeffrey A; Vet, Louise E M; Dicke, Marcel; Bezemer, T Martijn

    2012-06-01

    In terrestrial food webs, the study of multitrophic interactions traditionally has focused on organisms that share a common domain, mainly above ground. In the last two decades, it has become clear that to further understand multitrophic interactions, the barrier between the belowground and aboveground domains has to be crossed. Belowground organisms that are intimately associated with the roots of terrestrial plants can influence the levels of primary and secondary chemistry and biomass of aboveground plant parts. These changes, in turn, influence the growth, development, and survival of aboveground insect herbivores. The discovery that soil organisms, which are usually out of sight and out of mind, can affect plant-herbivore interactions aboveground raised the question if and how higher trophic level organisms, such as carnivores, could be influenced. At present, the study of above-belowground interactions is evolving from interactions between organisms directly associated with the plant roots and shoots (e.g., root feeders - plant - foliar herbivores) to interactions involving members of higher trophic levels (e.g., parasitoids), as well as non-herbivorous organisms (e.g., decomposers, symbiotic plant mutualists, and pollinators). This multitrophic approach linking above- and belowground food webs aims at addressing interactions between plants, herbivores, and carnivores in a more realistic community setting. The ultimate goal is to understand the ecology and evolution of species in communities and, ultimately how community interactions contribute to the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. Here, we summarize studies on the effects of root feeders on aboveground insect herbivores and parasitoids and discuss if there are common trends. We discuss the mechanisms that have been reported to mediate these effects, from changes in concentrations of plant nutritional quality and secondary chemistry to defense signaling. Finally, we discuss how the traditional

  1. Sending mixed messages: a trophic cascade produced by a belowground herbivore-induced cue

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plants defend themselves against herbivores both directly (chemical toxins and physical barriers) and indirectly (attracting natural enemies of their herbivores). Previous work has shown that roots of citrus defend themselves against root herbivores by releasing an herbivore induced plant volatile (...

  2. Physiological function and ecological aspects of fatty acid-amino acid conjugates in insects.

    PubMed

    Yoshinaga, Naoko

    2016-07-01

    In tritrophic interactions, plants recognize herbivore-produced elicitors and release a blend of volatile compounds (VOCs), which work as chemical cues for parasitoids or predators to locate their hosts. From detection of elicitors to VOC emissions, plants utilize sophisticated systems that resemble the plant-microbe interaction system. Fatty acid-amino acid conjugates (FACs), a class of insect elicitors, resemble compounds synthesized by microbes in nature. Recent evidence suggests that the recognition of insect elicitors by an ancestral microbe-associated defense system may be the origin of tritrophic interactions mediated by FACs. Here we discuss our findings in light of how plants have customized this defense to be effective against insect herbivores, and how some insects have successfully adapted to these defenses. PMID:26940831

  3. Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal Cry1Aa toxin binds to a highly conserved region of aminopeptidase N in the host insect leading to its evolutionary success.

    PubMed

    Nakanishi, K; Yaoi, K; Shimada, N; Kadotani, T; Sato, R

    1999-06-15

    Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal protein, Cry1Aa toxin, binds to a specific receptor in insect midguts and has insecticidal activity. Therefore, the structure of the receptor molecule is probably a key factor in determining the binding affinity of the toxin and insect susceptibility. The cDNA fragment (PX frg1) encoding the Cry1Aa toxin-binding region of an aminopeptidase N (APN) or an APN family protein from diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella midgut was cloned and sequenced. A comparison between the deduced amino acid sequence of PX frg1 and other insect APN sequences shows that Cry1Aa toxin binds to a highly conserved region of APN family protein. In this paper, we propose a model to explain the mechanism that causes B. thuringiensis evolutionary success and differing insect susceptibility to Cry1Aa toxin. PMID:10366728

  4. Impacts of alternative timber harvest practices on leaf-chewing herbivores of oak.

    PubMed

    Forkner, Rebecca E; Marquis, Robert J; Lill, John T; Le Corff, Josiane

    2006-04-01

    Studies of the effects of logging on Lepidoptera rarely address landscape-level effects or effects on larval, leaf-feeding stages. We examined the impacts of uneven-aged and even-aged logging on the abundance, richness, and community structure of leaf-chewing insects of white (Quercus alba L.) and black (Q. velutina L.) oak trees remaining in unharvested areas by sampling 3 years before and 7 years after harvest. After harvest, white oaks in uneven-aged sites had 32% fewer species of leaf-chewing insects than control sites. This reduction in species richness may have resulted from changes in microclimate (reducing plant quality and/or changing leaf phenology) that affected a much larger total area of each site than did even-aged cuts. For black oak after harvest, species richness in uneven- and even-aged sites increased relative to levels before harvest. Harvesting did not alter total insect density or community structure in the unlogged habitat for either oak species with one exception: insect density on black oak increased in the oldest forest block. Community structure of herbivores of black and white oaks in clearcut gaps differed from that of oaks in intact areas of even-aged sites. Furthermore, both richness and total insect density of black oaks were reduced in clearcut gaps. We suggest that low-level harvests alter herbivore species richness at the landscape level. Treatment effects were subtle because we sampled untreated areas of logged landscapes, only one harvest had occurred, and large temporal and spatial variation in abundance and richness existed. Although the effects of logging were greater in uneven-aged sites, the effects of even-aged management are likely to increase as harvesting continues. PMID:16903104

  5. Revisiting macronutrient regulation in the polyphagous herbivore Helicoverpa zea (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae): New insights via nutritional geometry.

    PubMed

    Deans, Carrie A; Sword, Gregory A; Behmer, Spencer T

    2015-10-01

    Insect herbivores that ingest protein and carbohydrates in physiologically-optimal proportions and concentrations show superior performance and fitness. The first-ever study of protein-carbohydrate regulation in an insect herbivore was performed using the polyphagous agricultural pest Helicoverpa zea. In that study, experimental final instar caterpillars were presented two diets - one containing protein but no carbohydrates, the other containing carbohydrates but no protein - and allowed to self-select their protein-carbohydrate intake. The results showed that H. zea selected a diet with a protein-to-carbohydrate (p:c) ratio of 4:1. At about this same time, the geometric framework (GF) for the study of nutrition was introduced. The GF is now established as the most rigorous means to study nutrient regulation (in any animal). It has been used to study protein-carbohydrate regulation in several lepidopteran species, which exhibit a range of self-selected p:c ratios between 0.8 and 1.5. Given the economic importance of H. zea, and it is extremely protein-biased p:c ratio of 4:1 relative to those reported for other lepidopterans, we decided to revisit its protein-carbohydrate regulation. Our results, using the experimental approach of the GF, show that H. zea larvae self-select a p:c ratio of 1.6:1. This p:c ratio strongly matches that of its close relative, Heliothis virescens, and is more consistent with self-selected p:c ratios reported for other lepidopterans. Having accurate protein and carbohydrate regulation information for an insect herbivore pest such as H. zea is valuable for two reasons. First, it can be used to better understand feeding patterns in the field, which might lead to enhanced management. Second, it will allow researchers to develop rearing diets that more accurately reflect larval nutritional needs, which has important implications for resistance bioassays and other measures of physiological stress. PMID:26141409

  6. Differential Responses of Herbivores and Herbivory to Management in Temperate European Beech

    PubMed Central

    Gossner, Martin M.; Pašalić, Esther; Lange, Markus; Lange, Patricia; Boch, Steffen; Hessenmöller, Dominik; Müller, Jörg; Socher, Stephanie A.; Fischer, Markus; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef; Weisser, Wolfgang W.

    2014-01-01

    Forest management not only affects biodiversity but also might alter ecosystem processes mediated by the organisms, i.e. herbivory the removal of plant biomass by plant-eating insects and other arthropod groups. Aiming at revealing general relationships between forest management and herbivory we investigated aboveground arthropod herbivory in 105 plots dominated by European beech in three different regions in Germany in the sun-exposed canopy of mature beech trees and on beech saplings in the understorey. We separately assessed damage by different guilds of herbivores, i.e. chewing, sucking and scraping herbivores, gall-forming insects and mites, and leaf-mining insects. We asked whether herbivory differs among different forest management regimes (unmanaged, uneven-aged managed, even-aged managed) and among age-classes within even-aged forests. We further tested for consistency of relationships between regions, strata and herbivore guilds. On average, almost 80% of beech leaves showed herbivory damage, and about 6% of leaf area was consumed. Chewing damage was most common, whereas leaf sucking and scraping damage were very rare. Damage was generally greater in the canopy than in the understorey, in particular for chewing and scraping damage, and the occurrence of mines. There was little difference in herbivory among differently managed forests and the effects of management on damage differed among regions, strata and damage types. Covariates such as wood volume, tree density and plant diversity weakly influenced herbivory, and effects differed between herbivory types. We conclude that despite of the relatively low number of species attacking beech; arthropod herbivory on beech is generally high. We further conclude that responses of herbivory to forest management are multifaceted and environmental factors such as forest structure variables affecting in particular microclimatic conditions are more likely to explain the variability in herbivory among beech forest

  7. Herbivores and nutrients control grassland plant diversity via light limitation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Human alterations to nutrient cycles and herbivore communities are dramatically altering global biodiversity. Theory predicts these changes to be strongly counteractive: nutrient addition drives plant species loss through intensified competition for light, whereas herbivores prevent competitive excl...

  8. Vein-cutting behavior: insect counterploy to the latex defense of plants.

    PubMed

    Dussourd, D E; Eisner, T

    1987-08-21

    Many mandibulate insects that feed on milkweeds, or other latex-producing plants, cut leaf veins before feeding distal to the cuts. Vein cutting blocks latex flow to intended feeding sites and can be viewed as an insect counteradaptation to the plant's defensive secretion. Experimental vein severance renders milkweed leaves edible to generalist herbivores that do not show vein-cutting behaviors and ordinarily ignore milkweeds in nature. PMID:3616620

  9. Responses of community-level plant-insect interactions to climate warming in a meadow steppe.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Hui; Zou, Xuehui; Wang, Deli; Wan, Shiqiang; Wang, Ling; Guo, Jixun

    2015-01-01

    Climate warming may disrupt trophic interactions, consequently influencing ecosystem functioning. Most studies have concentrated on the temperature-effects on plant-insect interactions at individual and population levels, with a particular emphasis on changes in phenology and distribution. Nevertheless, the available evidence from the community level is limited. A 3-year field manipulative experiment was performed to test potential responses of plant and insect communities, and plant-insect interactions, to elevated temperature in a meadow steppe. Warming increased the biomass of plant community and forbs, and decreased grass biomass, indicating a shift from grass-dominant to grass-forb mixed plant community. Reduced abundance of the insect community under warming, particularly the herbivorous insects, was attributed to lower abundance of Euchorthippus unicolor and a Cicadellidae species resulting from lower food availability and higher defensive herbivory. Lower herbivore abundance caused lower predator species richness because of reduced prey resources and contributed to an overall decrease in insect species richness. Interestingly, warming enhanced the positive relationship between insect and plant species richness, implying that the strength of the plant-insect interactions was altered by warming. Our results suggest that alterations to plant-insect interactions at a community level under climate warming in grasslands may be more important and complex than previously thought. PMID:26686758

  10. Responses of community-level plant-insect interactions to climate warming in a meadow steppe

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Hui; Zou, Xuehui; Wang, Deli; Wan, Shiqiang; Wang, Ling; Guo, Jixun

    2015-01-01

    Climate warming may disrupt trophic interactions, consequently influencing ecosystem functioning. Most studies have concentrated on the temperature-effects on plant-insect interactions at individual and population levels, with a particular emphasis on changes in phenology and distribution. Nevertheless, the available evidence from the community level is limited. A 3-year field manipulative experiment was performed to test potential responses of plant and insect communities, and plant-insect interactions, to elevated temperature in a meadow steppe. Warming increased the biomass of plant community and forbs, and decreased grass biomass, indicating a shift from grass-dominant to grass-forb mixed plant community. Reduced abundance of the insect community under warming, particularly the herbivorous insects, was attributed to lower abundance of Euchorthippus unicolor and a Cicadellidae species resulting from lower food availability and higher defensive herbivory. Lower herbivore abundance caused lower predator species richness because of reduced prey resources and contributed to an overall decrease in insect species richness. Interestingly, warming enhanced the positive relationship between insect and plant species richness, implying that the strength of the plant-insect interactions was altered by warming. Our results suggest that alterations to plant-insect interactions at a community level under climate warming in grasslands may be more important and complex than previously thought. PMID:26686758

  11. Plants on red alert: do insects pay attention?

    PubMed

    Schaefer, H Martin; Rolshausen, Gregor

    2006-01-01

    Two recent hypotheses have proposed that non-green plant colouration evolved as a defence against herbivores, either as protective colouration promoting handicap signals indicating plant fitness or by undermining their crypsis. The handicap hypothesis posits a co-evolutionary process between plants and herbivores, whereas the anti-crypsis hypothesis suggests that an arms race between insects and plants is the evolutionary mechanism. Both explanations assume that insects are the evolutionary origin causing plants' colouration. Here, we propose a different hypothesis, termed the "Defence Indication hypothesis". This idea focuses on the multiple protective functions of anthocyanins and carotenoids as pigments, and suggests that plant colouration evolved primarily in response to various stressors. Because pigments and defensive compounds share a common biosynthesis, the production of pigments also provides elevated defensive strengths against herbivores, a process termed priming. In effect, the Defence Indication hypothesis predicts that pleiotropic effects of the pigments and, more generally, plants' shared defence responses, explain why insects might react to plant colouration. PMID:16369938

  12. Allergies to Insect Venom

    MedlinePlus

    ... The smell of food attracts these insects.  Use insect repellents and keep insecticide available. Treatment tips:  Venom immunotherapy (allergy shots to insect venom(s) is highly effective in preventing subsequent sting ...

  13. Molecular interactions between the specialist herbivore Manduca sexta (lepidoptera, sphingidae) and its natural host Nicotiana attenuata. VI. Microarray analysis reveals that most herbivore-specific transcriptional changes are mediated by fatty acid-amino acid conjugates.

    PubMed

    Halitschke, Rayko; Gase, Klaus; Hui, Dequan; Schmidt, Dominik D; Baldwin, Ian T

    2003-04-01

    Evidence is accumulating that insect-specific plant responses are mediated by constituents in the oral secretions and regurgitants (R) of herbivores, however the relative importance of the different potentially active constituents remains unclear. Fatty acid-amino acid conjugates (FACs) are found in the R of many insect herbivores and have been shown to be necessary and sufficient to elicit a set of herbivore-specific responses when the native tobacco plant Nicotiana attenuata is attacked by the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta. Attack by this specialist herbivore results in a large transcriptional reorganization in N. attenuata, and 161 genes have been cloned from previous cDNA differential display-polymerase chain reaction and subtractive hybridization with magnetic beads analysis. cDNAs of these genes, in addition to those of 73 new R-responsive genes identified by cDNA-amplified fragment-length polymorphism display of R-elicited plants, were spotted on polyepoxide coated glass slides to create microarrays highly enriched in Manduca spp.- and R-induced genes. With these microarrays, we compare transcriptional responses in N. attenuata treated with R from the two most damaging lepidopteran herbivores of this plant in nature, M. sexta and Manduca quinquemaculata, which have very similar FAC compositions in their R, and with the two most abundant FACs in Manduca spp. R. More than 68% of the genes up- and down-regulated by M. sexta R were similarly regulated by M. quinquemaculata R. A majority of genes up-regulated (64%) and down-regulated (49%) by M. sexta R were similarly regulated by treatment with the two FACs. In contrast, few genes showed similar transcriptional changes after H(2)O(2)- and R-treatment. These results demonstrate that the two most abundant FACs in Manduca spp. R can account for the majority of Manduca spp.-induced alterations of the wound response of N. attenuata. PMID:12692348

  14. Altering Plant Secondary Metabolism to Achieve Broad Spectrum Insect Control and Reduce Mycotoxins

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mycotoxins are toxic or carcinogenic compounds produced by fungi, including Aspergillus and Fusarium molds that colonize seeds of maize, cotton, peanuts, or tree nuts. Insect herbivores of plant tissue often enhance mold infection. Transgenic maize expressing the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin ...

  15. The Enigmatic Universe of the Herbivore Gut.

    PubMed

    Glass, N Louise

    2016-07-01

    The herbivore gut is a fascinating ecosystem exquisitely adapted to plant biomass degradation. Within this ecosystem, anaerobic fungi invade biomass and secrete hydrolytic enzymes. In a recent study, Solomon et al. characterized three anaerobic fungi by transcriptomics, proteomics, and functional analyses to identify novel components essential for plant biomass deconstruction. PMID:27257096

  16. Warming strengthens an herbivore-plant interaction.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Mary I

    2009-02-01

    Temperature has strong, predictable effects on metabolism. Through this mechanism, environmental temperature affects individuals and populations of poikilotherms by determining rates of resource use, growth, reproduction, and mortality. Predictable variation in metabolic processes such as growth and reproduction could affect the strength of species interactions, but the community-level consequences of metabolic temperature dependence are virtually unexplored. I experimentally tested the hypothesis that plant-herbivore interaction strength increases with temperature using a common species of marine macroalga (Sargassum filipendula) and the grazing amphipod Ampithoe longimana. Increasing temperature increased per capita interaction strength in two independent experiments and reversed a positive effect of temperature on plant growth. Temperature did not alter palatability of plant tissue to herbivores or average herbivore feeding rate. A predictable effect of temperature on herbivore-plant interaction strength could provide key information toward understanding local food web responses to changing temperatures at different spatial and temporal scales. Efforts to extend the effects of physiological mechanisms to larger scale patterns, including projections of the ecological effects of climate change, must be expanded to include the effects of changing conditions on trophic interactions. PMID:19323223

  17. Analysis of persistent changes to γ-aminobutyric acid receptor gene expression in Plutella xylostella subjected to sublethal amounts of spinosad.

    PubMed

    Yin, X-H; Wu, Q-J; Zhang, Y-J; Long, Y-H; Wu, X-M; Li, R-Y; Wang, M; Tian, X-L; Jiao, X-G

    2016-01-01

    A multi-generational approach was used to investigate the persistent effects of a sub-lethal dose of spinosad in Plutella xylostella. The susceptibility of various sub-populations of P. xylostella to spinosad and the effects of the insecticide on the gene expression of γ-aminobutyric acid receptor (GABAR) were determined. The results of a leaf dip bioassay showed that the sensitivity of P. xylostella to spinosad decreased across generations. The sub-strains had been previously selected based on a determined LC25 of spinosad. Considering that GABA-gated chloride channels are the primary targets of spinosad, the cDNA of P. xylostella was used to clone GABARα by using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The mature peptide cDNA was 1477-bp long and contained a 1449-bp open reading frame encoding a protein of 483 amino acids. The resulting amino acid sequence was used to generate a neighbor-joining dendrogram, and homology search was conducted using NCBI BLAST. The protein had high similarity with the known GABAR sequence from P. xylostella. Subsequent semi-quantitative RT-PCR and real-time PCR analyses indicated that the GABAR transcript levels in the spinosad-resistant strain (RR, 145.82-fold) and in Sub1 strain (selected with LC25 spinosad for one generation) were the highest, followed by those in the spinosad-susceptible strain, the Sub10 strain (selected for ten generations), and the Sub5 strain (selected for five generations). This multi-generational study found significant correlations between spinosad susceptibility and GABAR gene expression, providing insights into the long-term effects of sub-lethal insecticide exposure and its potential to lead to the development of insecticide-resistant insect populations. PMID:27525859

  18. Insect transgenesis and the sterile insect technique

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The establishment of broadly applicable insect transgenesis systems will enable the analyses of gene function in diverse insect species. This will greatly increase our understanding of diverse aspects of biology so far not functionally addressable. Moreover, insect transgenesis will provide novel st...

  19. What Makes an Insect an Insect?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    NatureScope, 1985

    1985-01-01

    Provides background information on characteristics common to all insects, activities, and student materials (ready-to-copy games, puzzles, coloring pages, worksheets, and/or mazes) which describe: how insects are classified; how they are different from other animals; and the main insect characteristics. Activities include recommended age levels,…

  20. Specificity of extrafloral nectar induction by herbivores differs among native and invasive populations of tallow tree

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yi; Carrillo, Juli; Siemann, Evan; Wheeler, Gregory S.; Zhu, Lin; Gu, Xue; Ding, Jianqing

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Invasive plants can be released from specialist herbivores and encounter novel generalists in their introduced ranges, leading to variation in defence among native and invasive populations. However, few studies have examined how constitutive and induced indirect defences change during plant invasion, especially during the juvenile stage. Methods Constitutive extrafloral nectar (EFN) production of native and invasive populations of juvenile tallow tree (Triadica sebifera) were compared, and leaf clipping, and damage by a native specialist (Noctuid) and two native generalist caterpillars (Noctuid and Limacodid) were used to examine inducible EFN production. Key results Plants from introduced populations had more leaves producing constitutive EFN than did native populations, but the content of soluble solids of EFN did not differ. Herbivores induced EFN production more than simulated herbivory. The specialist (Noctuid) induced more EFN than either generalist for native populations. The content of soluble solids in EFN was higher (2·1 times), with the specialist vs. the generalists causing the stronger response for native populations, but the specialist response was always comparable with the generalist responses for invasive populations. Conclusions These results suggest that constitutive and induced indirect defences are retained in juvenile plants of invasive populations even during plant establishment, perhaps due to generalist herbivory in the introduced range. However, responses specific to a specialist herbivore may be reduced in the introduced range where specialists are absent. This decreased defence may benefit specialist insects that are introduced for classical biological control of invasive plants. PMID:23761685

  1. Costs and benefits of plant allelochemicals in herbivore diet in a multi enemy world.

    PubMed

    Reudler, J H; Lindstedt, C; Pakkanen, H; Lehtinen, I; Mappes, J

    2015-12-01

    Sequestration of plant defensive chemicals by herbivorous insects is a way of defending themselves against their natural enemies. Such herbivores have repeatedly evolved bright colours to advertise their unpalatability to predators, i.e. they are aposematic. This often comes with a cost. In this study, we examined the costs and benefits of sequestration of iridoid glycosides (IGs) by the generalist aposematic herbivore, the wood tiger moth, Parasemia plantaginis. We also asked whether the defence against one enemy (a predator) is also effective against another (a parasitoid). We found that the larvae excrete most of the IGs and only small amounts are found in the larvae. Nevertheless, the amounts present in the larvae are sufficient to deter ant predators and also play a role in defence against parasitoids. However, excreting and handling these defensive plant compounds is costly, leading to longer development time and lower pupal mass. Interestingly, the warning signal efficiency and the amount of IGs in the larvae of P. plantaginis are negatively correlated; larvae with less efficient warning signals contain higher levels of chemical defence compounds. Our results may imply that there is a trade-off between production and maintenance of coloration and chemical defence. Although feeding on a diet containing IGs can have life-history costs, it offers multiple benefits in the defence against predators and parasitoids. PMID:26296333

  2. Evaluation of the evolution of increased competitive ability (EICA) hypothesis: loss of defense against generalist but not specialist herbivores.

    PubMed

    Hull-Sanders, Helen M; Clare, Robert; Johnson, Robert H; Meyer, Gretchen A

    2007-04-01

    The evolution of increased competitive ability (EICA) hypothesis predicts that invasive plant species may escape their specialized natural enemies in their introduced range and subsequently evolve with a decrease in investment in anti-herbivore chemical defenses relative to native conspecifics. We compared the chemical profile of 10 populations of US native and 20 populations of European invasive Solidago gigantea. To test for differences in inducibility between native and invasive populations, we measured secondary chemistry in both damaged and undamaged plants. We also performed bioassays with three specialist and two generalist insect herbivores from four different feeding guilds. There was no evidence that invasive populations had reduced concentrations of sesquiterpenes, diterpenes, or short-chain hydrocarbons (SCH), although significant variation among populations was detected. Sesquiterpene and diterpene concentrations were not influenced by damage to the host plant, whereas SCH concentrations were decreased by damage for both native and invasive plants. Performance of the three specialist insects was not affected by the continental origin of the host plant. However, larval mass of the generalist caterpillar Spodoptera exigua was 37% lower on native plants compared to invasive plants. The other generalist insect, a xylem-tapping spittlebug that occurs on both continents, performed equally well on native and invasive plants. These results offer partial support for the defense predictions of the EICA hypothesis: the better growth of Spodoptera caterpillars on European plants shows that some defenses have been lost in the introduced range, even though our measures of secondary chemistry did not detect differences between continents. Our results show significant variation in chemical defenses and herbivore performance across populations on both continents and emphasize the need for analysis across a broad spatial scale and the use of multiple herbivores. PMID

  3. Is the Performance of a Specialist Herbivore Affected by Female Choices and the Adaptability of the Offspring?

    PubMed Central

    Galdino, Tarcísio Visintin da Silva; Picanço, Marcelo Coutinho; Ferreira, Dalton Oliveira; Silva, Geverson Aelton Resende; de Souza, Thadeu Carlos; Silva, Gerson Adriano

    2015-01-01

    The performance of herbivorous insects is related to the locations of defenses and nutrients found in the different plant organs on which they feed. In this context, the females of herbivorous insect species select certain parts of the plant where their offspring can develop well. In addition, their offspring can adapt to plant defenses. A system where these ecological relationships can be studied occurs in the specialist herbivore, Tuta absoluta, on tomato plants. In our experiments we evaluated: (i) the performance of the herbivore T. absoluta in relation to the tomato plant parts on which their offspring had fed, (ii) the spatial distribution of the insect stages on the plant canopy and (iii) the larval resistance to starvation and their walking speed at different instar stages. We found that the T. absoluta females preferred to lay their eggs in the tomato plant parts where their offspring had greater chances of success. We verified that the T. absoluta females laid their eggs on both sides of the leaves to better exploit resources. We also observed that the older larvae (3rd and 4th instars) moved to the most nutritious parts of the plant, thus increasing their performance. The T. absoluta females and offspring (larvae) were capable of identifying plant sites where their chances of better performance were higher. Additionally, their offspring (larvae) spread across the plant to better exploit the available plant nutrients. These behavioral strategies of T. absoluta facilitate improvement in their performance after acquiring better resources, which help reduce their mortality by preventing the stimulation of plant defense compounds and the action of natural enemies. PMID:26600074

  4. Measuring Asymmetry in Insect-Plant Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cruz, Cláudia P. T.; de Almeida, Adriana M.; Corso, Gilberto

    2011-03-01

    In this work we focus on interaction networks between insects and plants and in the characterization of insect plant asymmetry, an important issue in coevolution and evolutionary biology. We analyze in particular the asymmetry in the interaction matrix of animals (herbivorous insects) and plants (food resource for the insects). Instead of driving our attention to the interaction matrix itself we derive two networks associated to the bipartite network: the animal network, D1, and the plant network, D2. These networks are constructed according to the following recipe: two animal species are linked once if they interact with the same plant. In a similar way, in the plant network, two plants are linked if they interact with the same animal. To explore the asymmetry between D2 and D1 we test for a set of 23 networks from the ecologic literature networks: the difference in size, ΔL, clustering coefficient difference, ΔC, and mean connectivity difference, Δ. We used a nonparametric statistical test to check the differences in ΔL, ΔC and Δ. Our results indicate that ΔL and Δ show a significative asymmetry.

  5. Reciprocal diversification in a complex plant-herbivore-parasitoid food web

    PubMed Central

    Nyman, Tommi; Bokma, Folmer; Kopelke, Jens-Peter

    2007-01-01

    Background Plants, plant-feeding insects, and insect parasitoids form some of the most complex and species-rich food webs. According to the classic escape-and-radiate (EAR) hypothesis, these hyperdiverse communities result from coevolutionary arms races consisting of successive cycles of enemy escape, radiation, and colonization by new enemy lineages. It has also been suggested that "enemy-free space" provided by novel host plants could promote host shifts by herbivores, and that parasitoids could similarly drive diversification of gall form in insects that induce galls on plants. Because these central coevolutionary hypotheses have never been tested in a phylogenetic framework, we combined phylogenetic information on willow-galling sawflies with data on their host plants, gall types, and enemy communities. Results We found that evolutionary shifts in host plant use and habitat have led to dramatic prunings of parasitoid communities, and that changes in gall phenotype can provide "enemy-free morphospace" for millions of years even in the absence of host plant shifts. Some parasites have nevertheless managed to colonize recently-evolved gall types, and this has apparently led to adaptive speciation in several enemy groups. However, having fewer enemies does not in itself increase speciation probabilities in individual sawfly lineages, partly because the high diversity of the enemy community facilitates compensatory attack by remaining parasite taxa. Conclusion Taken together, our results indicate that niche-dependent parasitism is a major force promoting ecological divergence in herbivorous insects, and that prey divergence can cause speciation in parasite lineages. However, the results also show that the EAR hypothesis is too simplistic for species-rich food webs: instead, diversification seems to be spurred by a continuous stepwise process, in which ecological and phenotypic shifts in prey lineages are followed by a lagged evolutionary response by some of the

  6. Insect-induced effects on plants and possible effectors used by galling and leaf-mining insects to manipulate their host-plant.

    PubMed

    Giron, David; Huguet, Elisabeth; Stone, Graham N; Body, Mélanie

    2016-01-01

    Gall-inducing insects are iconic examples in the manipulation and reprogramming of plant development, inducing spectacular morphological and physiological changes of host-plant tissues within which the insect feeds and grows. Despite decades of research, effectors involved in gall induction and basic mechanisms of gall formation remain unknown. Recent research suggests that some aspects of the plant manipulation shown by gall-inducers may be shared with other insect herbivorous life histories. Here, we illustrate similarities and contrasts by reviewing current knowledge of metabolic and morphological effects induced on plants by gall-inducing and leaf-mining insects, and ask whether leaf-miners can also be considered to be plant reprogrammers. We review key plant functions targeted by various plant reprogrammers, including plant-manipulating insects and nematodes, and functionally characterize insect herbivore-derived effectors to provide a broader understanding of possible mechanisms used in host-plant manipulation. Consequences of plant reprogramming in terms of ecology, coevolution and diversification of plant-manipulating insects are also discussed. PMID:26723843

  7. Insect-resistant transgenic plants in a multi-trophic context.

    PubMed

    Groot, Astrid T; Dicke, Marcel

    2002-08-01

    So far, genetic engineering of plants in the context of insect pest control has involved insertion of genes that code for toxins, and may be characterized as the incorporation of biopesticides into classical plant breeding. In the context of pesticide usage in pest control, natural enemies of herbivores have received increasing attention, because carnivorous arthropods are an important component of insect pest control. However, in plant breeding programmes, natural enemies of herbivores have largely been ignored, although there are many examples that show that plant breeding affects the effectiveness of biological control. Negative influences of modified plant characteristics on carnivorous arthropods may induce population growth of new, even more harmful pest species that had no pest status prior to the pesticide treatment. Sustainable pest management will only be possible when negative effects on non-target, beneficial arthropods are minimized. In this review, we summarize the effects of insect-resistant crops and insect-resistant transgenic crops, especially Bt crops, from a food web perspective. As food web components, we distinguish target herbivores, non-target herbivores, pollinators, parasitoids and predators. Below-ground organisms such as Collembola, nematodes and earthworms should also be included in risk assessment studies, but have received little attention. The toxins produced in Bt plants retain their toxicity when bound to the soil, so accumulation of these toxins is likely to occur. Earthworms ingest the bound toxins but are not affected by them. However, earthworms may function as intermediaries through which the toxins are passed on to other trophic levels. In studies where effects of insect-resistant (Bt) plants on natural enemies were considered, positive, negative and no effects have been found. So far, most studies have concentrated on natural enemies of target herbivores. However, Bt toxins are structurally rearranged when they bind to

  8. Book Review: Insect Virology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Viruses that infect insects have long been of interest both as a means for controlling insect pest populations in an environmentally safe manner, and also as significant threats to beneficial insects of great value, such as honey bees and silkworms. Insect viruses also have been of intrinsic intere...

  9. Insect-ual Pursuits.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mallow, David

    1991-01-01

    Explains how insects can be used to stimulate student writing. Describes how students can create their own systems to classify and differentiate insects. Discusses insect morphology and includes three detailed diagrams. The author provides an extension activity where students hypothesize about the niche of an insect based on its anatomy. (PR)

  10. Climate warming affects biological invasions by shifting interactions of plants and herbivores.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xinmin; Siemann, Evan; Shao, Xu; Wei, Hui; Ding, Jianqing

    2013-08-01

    Plants and herbivorous insects can each be dramatically affected by temperature. Climate warming may impact plant invasion success directly but also indirectly through changes in their natural enemies. To date, however, there are no tests of how climate warming shifts the interactions among invasive plants and their natural enemies to affect invasion success. Field surveys covering the full latitudinal range of invasive Alternanthera philoxeroides in China showed that a beetle introduced for biocontrol was rare or absent at higher latitudes. In contrast, plant cover and mass increased with latitude. In a 2-year field experiment near the northern limit of beetle distribution, we found the beetle sustained populations across years under elevated temperature, dramatically decreasing A. philoxeroides growth, but it failed to overwinter in ambient temperature. Together, these results suggest that warming will allow the natural enemy to expand its range, potentially benefiting biocontrol in regions that are currently too cold for the natural enemy. However, the invader may also expand its range further north in response to warming. In such cases where plants tolerate cold better than their natural enemies, the geographical gap between plant and herbivorous insect ranges may not disappear but will shift to higher latitudes, leading to a new zone of enemy release. Therefore, warming will not only affect plant invasions directly but also drive either enemy release or increase that will result in contrasting effects on invasive plants. The findings are also critical for future management of invasive species under climate change. PMID:23640751

  11. Drought stress affects plant metabolites and herbivore preference but not host location by its parasitoids.

    PubMed

    Weldegergis, Berhane T; Zhu, Feng; Poelman, Erik H; Dicke, Marcel

    2015-03-01

    One of the main abiotic stresses that strongly affects plant survival and the primary cause of crop loss around the world is drought. Drought stress leads to sequential morphological, physiological, biochemical and molecular changes that can have severe effects on plant growth, development and productivity. As a consequence of these changes, the interaction between plants and insects can be altered. Using cultivated Brassica oleracea plants, the parasitoid Microplitis mediator and its herbivorous host Mamestra brassicae, we studied the effect of drought stress on (1) the emission of plant volatile organic compounds (VOCs), (2) plant hormone titres, (3) preference and performance of the herbivore, and (4) preference of the parasitoid. Higher levels of jasmonic acid (JA) and abscisic acid (ABA) were recorded in response to herbivory, but no significant differences were observed for salicylic acid (SA) and indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). Drought significantly impacted SA level and showed a significant interactive effect with herbivory for IAA levels. A total of 55 VOCs were recorded and the difference among the treatments was influenced largely by herbivory, where the emission rate of fatty acid-derived volatiles, nitriles and (E)-4,8-dimethylnona-1,3,7-triene [(E)-DMNT] was enhanced. Mamestra brassicae moths preferred to lay eggs on drought-stressed over control plants; their offspring performed similarly on plants of both treatments. VOCs due to drought did not affect the choice of M. mediator parasitoids. Overall, our study reveals an influence of drought on plant chemistry and insect-plant interactions. PMID:25370387

  12. Ozone impedes the ability of a herbivore to find its host

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuentes, Jose D.; Roulston, T.'ai H.; Zenker, John

    2013-03-01

    Plant-emitted hydrocarbons mediate several key interactions between plants and insects. They enhance the ability of pollinators and herbivores to locate suitable host plants, and parasitoids to locate herbivores. While plant volatiles provide strong chemical signals, these signals are potentially degraded by exposure to pollutants such as ozone, which has increased in the troposphere and is projected to continue to increase over the coming decades. Despite the potential broad ecological significance of reduced plant signaling effectiveness, few studies have examined behavioral responses of insects to their hosts in polluted environments. Here, we use a laboratory study to test the effect of ozone concentration gradients on the ability of the striped cucumber beetle (Acalymma vittatum) to locate flowers of its host plant, Cucurbita foetidissima. Y-tube experiments showed that ozone mixing ratios below 80 parts per billion (ppb) resulted in beetles moving toward their host plant, but levels above 80 ppb resulted in beetles moving randomly with respect to host location. There was no evidence that beetles avoided polluted air directly. The results show that ozone pollution has great potential to perniciously alter key interactions between plants and animals.

  13. Specificity of herbivore-induced hormonal signaling and defensive traits in five closely related milkweeds (Asclepias spp.).

    PubMed

    Agrawal, Anurag A; Hastings, Amy P; Patrick, Eamonn T; Knight, Anna C

    2014-07-01

    Despite the recognition that phytohormonal signaling mediates induced responses to herbivory, we still have little understanding of how such signaling varies among closely related species and may generate herbivore-specific induced responses. We studied closely related milkweeds (Asclepias) to link: 1) plant damage by two specialist chewing herbivores (milkweed leaf beetles Labidomera clivicolis and monarch caterpillars Danaus plexippus); 2) production of the phytohormones jasmonic acid (JA), salicylic acid (SA), and abscisic acid (ABA); 3) induction of defensive cardenolides and latex; and 4) impacts on Danaus caterpillars. We first show that A. syriaca exhibits induced resistance following monarch herbivory (i.e., reduced monarch growth on previously damaged plants), while the defensively dissimilar A. tuberosa does not. We next worked with a broader group of five Asclepias, including these two species, that are highly divergent in defensive traits yet from the same clade. Three of the five species showed herbivore-induced changes in cardenolides, while induced latex was found in four species. Among the phytohormones, JA and ABA showed specific responses (although they generally increased) to insect species and among the plant species. In contrast, SA responses were consistent among plant and herbivore species, showing a decline following herbivore attack. Jasmonic acid showed a positive quantitative relationship only with latex, and this was strongest in plants damaged by D. plexippus. Although phytohormones showed qualitative tradeoffs (i.e., treatments that enhanced JA reduced SA), the few significant individual plant-level correlations among hormones were positive, and these were strongest between JA and ABA in monarch damaged plants. We conclude that: 1) latex exudation is positively associated with endogenous JA levels, even among low-latex species; 2) correlations among milkweed hormones are generally positive, although herbivore damage induces a

  14. Plant Vascular Architecture Determines the Pattern of Herbivore-Induced Systemic Responses in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    Ferrieri, Abigail P.; Appel, Heidi M.; Schultz, Jack C.

    2015-01-01

    patterns of systemic induction, which is likely to be ecologically important to insect herbivores and plant pathogens. PMID:25879926

  15. Plant vascular architecture determines the pattern of herbivore-induced systemic responses in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Ferrieri, Abigail P; Appel, Heidi M; Schultz, Jack C

    2015-01-01

    patterns of systemic induction, which is likely to be ecologically important to insect herbivores and plant pathogens. PMID:25879926

  16. Cascading effects of early-season herbivory on late-season herbivores and their parasitoids.

    PubMed

    Hernandez-Cumplido, Johnattran; Glauser, Gaetan; Benrey, Betty

    2016-05-01

    There is an increasing awareness that herbivory by one insect species induces changes in a plant that affect the performance of other herbivore species that feed on the same plant. However, previous studies of interspecies interactions mediated by plant defense responses have rarely taken into account different insect guilds or the third trophic level. Using a combination of field and laboratory experiments, we examined how early-season herbivory in lima bean plants (Phaseolus lunatus) by the leaf-chewing herbivore Cerotoma ruficornis and the bean pod weevil Apion godmani affects the abundance and performance of the seed beetle Zabrotes subfasciatus and that of its parasitoid Stenocorse bruchivora, which occurs on the plants at the end of the growing season. In addition, we determined the consequences of early-season herbivore-induced defenses on plant performance. We hypothesized that early-season induction would affect plant reproduction and, hence, would alter the suitability of seeds for late-season seed-eating beetles, and that this would in turn alter the vulnerability of these seed beetles to parasitoids. We found strong support for these hypotheses. In the field, early-season herbivory negatively affected plant reproduction and seeds of these plants suffered lower levels of infestation by seed-eating beetles, which in turn suffered less parasitism. Laboratory assays with field-collected seeds confirmed that the performance of beetles and parasitoids was lower on seeds from plants that had been subjected to early-season herbivory. Further analyses revealed that seeds produced by control plants were larger, heavier, and had a higher concentration of cyanogenic glycosides and total protein content than seeds from plants subjected to herbivory. Our results provide insight into how direct and indirect interactions between and within different trophic levels affect the dynamics and structure of complex communities. PMID:27349104

  17. Rapid incorporation of glucosinolates as a strategy used by a herbivore to prevent activation by myrosinases.

    PubMed

    Abdalsamee, Mohamed K; Giampà, Marco; Niehaus, Karsten; Müller, Caroline

    2014-09-01

    Various plants have a binary defence system that consists of a substrate and a glucosidase, which is activated upon tissue disruption thereby forming reactive hydrolysis products. Insects feeding on such plants have to overcome this binary defence system or prevent the activation. In this study, we investigated the strategy used by a herbivore to deal with such binary defence. We studied, how the larvae of the sawfly Athalia rosae (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae) circumvent the activation of glucosinolates by myrosinase enzymes, which are found in their Brassicaceae host plants. Myrosinase activities were low in the front part of the larval gut but activities increased over the gut passage. In contrast, the glucosinolates were only highly concentrated in the first gut part and were rapidly incorporated into the haemolymph before the food reached the second half of the gut. Thus, the uptake and concentration of glucosinolates, i.e., sequestration, must occur in the front part of the gut. Using Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization-Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MALDI-MSI), we could demonstrate that the incorporated glucosinolate sinalbin circulates in the haemolymph where it accumulates around the Malpighian tubules. This study highlights the pivotal role of the gut of an adapted herbivore as a regulatory functional organ to cope with plant toxins. MALDI-MSI turned out as a highly useful technique to visualise glucosinolates in a herbivore, which has to deal with plants exhibiting a binary defence system, and may be applied to follow the fate of plant metabolites in other insect species in the future. PMID:25017143

  18. Contrasting effects of ethylene biosynthesis on induced plant resistance against a chewing and a piercing-sucking herbivore in rice.

    PubMed

    Lu, Jing; Li, Jiancai; Ju, Hongping; Liu, Xiaoli; Erb, Matthias; Wang, Xia; Lou, Yonggen

    2014-11-01

    Ethylene is a stress hormone with contrasting effects on herbivore resistance. However, it remains unknown whether these differences are plant- or herbivore-specific. We cloned a rice 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) synthase gene, OsACS2, whose transcripts were rapidly up-regulated in response to mechanical wounding and infestation by two important pests: the striped stem borer (SSB) Chilo suppressalis and the brown planthopper (BPH) Nilaparvata lugens. Antisense expression of OsACS2 (as-acs) reduced elicited ethylene emission, SSB-elicited trypsin protease inhibitor (TrypPI) activity, SSB-induced volatile release, and SSB resistance. Exogenous application of ACC restored TrypPI activity and SSB resistance. In contrast to SSB, BPH infestation increased volatile emission in as-acs lines. Accordingly, BPH preferred to feed and oviposit on wild-type (WT) plants--an effect that could be attributed to two repellent volatiles, 2-heptanone and 2-heptanol, that were emitted in higher amounts by as-acs plants. BPH honeydew excretion was reduced and natural enemy attraction was enhanced in as-acs lines, resulting in higher overall resistance to BPH. These results demonstrate that ethylene signaling has contrasting, herbivore-specific effects on rice defense responses and resistance against a chewing and a piercing-sucking insect, and may mediate resistance trade-offs between herbivores of different feeding guilds in rice. PMID:25064847

  19. Towards Biological Control of Kudzu Through an Improved Understanding of Insect-Kudzu Interactions

    SciTech Connect

    Orr, D.; Barber, G.; DeBarr, G.; Thornton, M.

    2001-08-03

    The authors evaluated various approaches to the biological control of kudzu and exotic weed that infests the SRS. A large number of native pollinators were found to be attracted to kudzu. The viability of seed was found to be low, between 2% and 11%. This is the result of native Hemiptera. The results suggest that seed feeding insects should not be targeted for importation. Both kudzu and soybeans had the same level of abundance and diversity of herbivore insects and the same levels of defoliation. No vine or root damaging species were found. Efforts should be targeted to the latter insects to control kudzu.

  20. Silencing OsHI-LOX makes rice more susceptible to chewing herbivores, but enhances resistance to a phloem feeder.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Guoxin; Qi, Jinfeng; Ren, Nan; Cheng, Jiaan; Erb, Matthias; Mao, Bizeng; Lou, Yonggen

    2009-11-01

    The jasmonic acid (JA) pathway plays a central role in plant defense responses against insects. Some phloem-feeding insects also induce the salicylic acid (SA) pathway, thereby suppressing the plant's JA response. These phenomena have been well studied in dicotyledonous plants, but little is known about them in monocotyledons. We cloned a chloroplast-localized type 2 13-lipoxygenase gene of rice, OsHI-LOX, whose transcripts were up-regulated in response to feeding by the rice striped stem borer (SSB) Chilo suppressalis and the rice brown planthopper (BPH) Niaparvata lugens, as well as by mechanical wounding and treatment with JA. Antisense expression of OsHI-LOX (as-lox) reduced SSB- or BPH-induced JA and trypsin protease inhibitor (TrypPI) levels, improved the larval performance of SBB as well as that of the rice leaf folder (LF) Cnaphalocrocis medinalis, and increased the damage caused by SSB and LF larvae. In contrast, BPH, a phloem-feeding herbivore, showed a preference for settling and ovipositing on WT plants, on which they consumed more and survived better than on as-lox plants. The enhanced resistance of as-lox plants to BPH infestation correlated with higher levels of BPH-induced H(2)O(2) and SA, as well as with increased hypersensitive response-like cell death. These results imply that OsHI-LOX is involved in herbivore-induced JA biosynthesis, and plays contrasting roles in controlling rice resistance to chewing and phloem-feeding herbivores. The observation that suppression of JA activity results in increased resistance to an insect indicates that revision of the generalized plant defense models in monocotyledons is required, and may help develop novel strategies to protect rice against insect pests. PMID:19656341

  1. Molecular interactions between the specialist herbivore Manduca sexta (Lepidoptera, Sphingidae) and its natural host Nicotiana attenuata. III. Fatty acid-amino acid conjugates in herbivore oral secretions are necessary and sufficient for herbivore-specific plant responses.

    PubMed

    Halitschke, R; Schittko, U; Pohnert, G; Boland, W; Baldwin, I T

    2001-02-01

    Feeding by the tobacco specialist Manduca sexta (Lepidoptera, Sphingidae) and application of larval oral secretions and regurgitant (R) to mechanical wounds are known to elicit: (a) a systemic release of mono- and sesquiterpenes, (b) a jasmonate burst, and (c) R-specific changes in transcript accumulation of putatively growth- and defense-related mRNAs in Nicotiana attenuata Torr. ex Wats. We identified several fatty acid-amino acid conjugates (FACs) in the R of M. sexta and the closely related species Manduca quinquemaculata which, when synthesized and applied to mechanical wounds at concentrations comparable with those found in R, elicited all three R-specific responses. Ion-exchange treatment of R, which removed all detectable FACs and free fatty acids (FAs), also removed all detectable activity. The biological activity of ion-exchanged R could be completely restored by the addition of synthetic FACs at R-equivalent concentrations, whereas the addition of FAs did not restore the biological activity of R. We conclude that the biological activity of R is not related to the supply of FAs to the octadecanoid cascade for endogenous jasmonate biosynthesis, but that FACs elicit the herbivore-specific responses by another mechanism and that the insect-produced modification of plant-derived FAs is necessary for the plant's recognition of this specialized herbivore. PMID:11161028

  2. Influence of time delay and nonlinear diffusion on herbivore outbreak

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Gui-Quan; Chakraborty, Amit; Liu, Quan-Xing; Jin, Zhen; Anderson, Kurt E.; Li, Bai-Lian

    2014-05-01

    Herbivore outbreaks, a major form of natural disturbance in many ecosystems, often have devastating impacts on their food plants. Understanding those factors permitting herbivore outbreaks to occur is a long-standing issue in conventional studies of plant-herbivore interactions. These studies are largely concerned with the relative importance of intrinsic biological factors and extrinsic environmental variations in determining the degree of herbivore outbreaks. In this paper, we illustrated that how the time delay associated with plant defense responses to herbivore attacks and the spatial diffusion of herbivore jointly promote outbreaks of herbivore population. Using a reaction-diffusion model, we showed that there exists a threshold of time delay in plant-herbivore interactions; when time delay is below the threshold value, there is no herbivore outbreak. However, when time delay is above the threshold value, periodic outbreak of herbivore emerges. Furthermore, the results confirm that during the outbreak period, plants display much lower density than its normal level but higher in the inter-outbreak periods. Our results are supported by empirical findings.

  3. Reglucosylation of the benzoxazinoid DIMBOA with inversion of stereochemical configuration is a detoxification strategy in lepidopteran herbivores.

    PubMed

    Wouters, Felipe C; Reichelt, Michael; Glauser, Gaétan; Bauer, Eugen; Erb, Matthias; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Vassão, Daniel G

    2014-10-13

    Benzoxazinoids are chemical defenses against herbivores and are produced by many members of the grass family. These compounds are stored as stable glucosides in plant cells and require the activity of glucosidases to release the corresponding toxic aglucones. In maize leaves, the most abundant benzoxazinoid is (2R)-DIMBOA-Glc, which is converted into the toxic DIMBOA upon herbivory. The ways in which three Spodoptera species metabolize this toxin were investigated. (2S)-DIMBOA-Glc, an epimer of the initial plant compound, was observed in the insect frass, and the associated glucosyltransferase activity was detected in the insect gut tissue. The epimeric glucoside produced by the insect was found to be no longer reactive towards plant glucosidases and thus cannot be converted into a toxin. Stereoselective reglucosylation thus represents a detoxification strategy in Spodoptera species that might help to explain their success as agricultural pests on benzoxazinoid-containing crops. PMID:25196135

  4. Influence of native flowering plant strips on natural enemies and herbivores in adjacent blueberry fields.

    PubMed

    Walton, Nathaniel J; Isaacs, Rufus

    2011-06-01

    Conservation plantings of native wildflowers were established adjacent to highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) fields to test the hypothesis that provision of resources for natural enemies increases their abundance in adjacent crop fields without increasing the abundance of pest insects. For two growing seasons, natural enemies and herbivorous insects were sampled in fields with flowering borders and in control fields where growers maintained standard mown grass perimeters. Insects were categorized according to their trophic level and their potential pest status, and their abundance was compared between years and between treatments. Syrphid flies (Diptera: Syrphidae) were significantly more abundant in fields with conservation strips, as were plant bugs (Hemiptera: Miridae), thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), and hoppers (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha). Aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae), thrips, fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae), and pirate bugs (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) decreased significantly in abundance from 2007 to 2008. Beneficial insect abundance in crop fields increased in the latter half of the season in both years and this increase was more pronounced in fields adjacent to conservation plantings. We discuss the implications of these findings for pest management and conservation of biodiversity in farmland. PMID:22251649

  5. Condensed tannins increase nitrogen recovery by trees following insect defoliation.

    PubMed

    Madritch, Michael D; Lindroth, Richard L

    2015-10-01

    While the importance of plant secondary metabolites to belowground functioning is gaining recognition, the perception remains that secondary metabolites are produced for herbivore defense, whereas their belowground impacts are ecological by-products, or 'afterlife' effects. However, plants invest a significant amount of resources into production of secondary metabolites that have minimal effects on herbivore resistance (e.g. condensed tannins and insect herbivores). We show that genetically mediated variation in condensed tannin concentration is correlated with plant nitrogen recovery following a severe defoliation event. We used single-tree mesocosms labeled with (15) N to track nitrogen through both the frass and litter cycling pathways. High concentrations of leaf tannins in Populus tremuloides were correlated with (15) N recovery from frass within the same growing season and in the following growing season. Likewise, leaf tannin concentrations were also correlated with (15) N recovery from the litter of defoliated trees in the growing season following the defoliation event. Conversely, tannins were not well correlated with nitrogen uptake under conditions of nominal herbivory. Our results suggest that tannins may confer benefits in response to herbivore pressure through conserved belowground nitrogen cycling, rather than via defensive properties. Consequently, tannins may be considered as chemical mediators of tolerance rather than resistance. PMID:25952793

  6. Effects of time delay and space on herbivore dynamics: linking inducible defenses of plants to herbivore outbreak

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Gui-Quan; Wang, Su-Lan; Ren, Qian; Jin, Zhen; Wu, Yong-Ping

    2015-06-01

    Empirical results indicate that inducible defenses of plants have effects on herbivore populations. However, little is known about how inducible defenses of plants have influences on herbivore outbreak when space effect is considered. To reveal the relationship between inducible defenses and herbivore outbreak, we present a mathematical model to describe the interaction of them. It was found that time delay plays dual effects in the persistence of herbivore populations: (i) large value of time delay may be associated with small density of herbivore populations, and thus causes the populations to run a higher risk of extinction; (ii) moderate value of time delay is beneficial for maintaining herbivore density in a determined range which may promote the persistence of herbivore populations. Additionally, we revealed that interaction of time delay and space promotes the growth of average density of herbivore populations during their outbreak period which implied that time delay may drive the resilience of herbivore populations. Our findings highlight the close relationship between inducible defenses of plants and herbivore outbreak.

  7. Can inducible resistance in plants cause herbivore aggregations? Spatial patterns in an inducible plant/herbivore model.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Kurt E; Inouye, Brian D; Underwood, Nora

    2015-10-01

    Many theories regarding the evolution of inducible resistance in plants have an implicit spatial component, but most relevant population dynamic studies ignore spatial dynamics. We examined a spatially explicit model of plant inducible resistance and herbivore population dynamics to explore how realistic features of resistance and herbivore responses influence spatial patterning. Both transient and persistent spatial patterns developed in all models examined, where patterns manifested as wave-like aggregations of herbivores and variation in induction levels. Patterns arose when herbivores moved away from highly induced plants, there was a lag between damage and deployment of induced resistance, and the relationship between herbivore density and strength of the induction response had a sigmoid shape. These mechanisms influenced pattern formation regardless of the assumed functional relationship between resistance and herbivore recruitment and mortality. However, in models where induction affected herbivore mortality, large-scale herbivore population cycles driven by the mortality response often co-occurred with smaller scale spatial patterns driven by herbivore movement. When the mortality effect dominated, however, spatial pattern formation was completely replaced by spatially synchronized herbivore population cycles. Our results present a new type of ecological pattern formation driven by induced trait variation, consumer behavior, and time delays that has broad implications for the community and evolutionary ecology of plant defenses. PMID:26649396

  8. Effects of time delay and space on herbivore dynamics: linking inducible defenses of plants to herbivore outbreak.

    PubMed

    Sun, Gui-Quan; Wang, Su-Lan; Ren, Qian; Jin, Zhen; Wu, Yong-Ping

    2015-01-01

    Empirical results indicate that inducible defenses of plants have effects on herbivore populations. However, little is known about how inducible defenses of plants have influences on herbivore outbreak when space effect is considered. To reveal the relationship between inducible defenses and herbivore outbreak, we present a mathematical model to describe the interaction of them. It was found that time delay plays dual effects in the persistence of herbivore populations: (i) large value of time delay may be associated with small density of herbivore populations, and thus causes the populations to run a higher risk of extinction; (ii) moderate value of time delay is beneficial for maintaining herbivore density in a determined range which may promote the persistence of herbivore populations. Additionally, we revealed that interaction of time delay and space promotes the growth of average density of herbivore populations during their outbreak period which implied that time delay may drive the resilience of herbivore populations. Our findings highlight the close relationship between inducible defenses of plants and herbivore outbreak. PMID:26084812

  9. Insect herbivory, plant defense, and early Cenozoic climate change.

    PubMed

    Wilf, P; Labandeira, C C; Johnson, K R; Coley, P D; Cutter, A D

    2001-05-22

    Insect damage on fossil leaves from the Central Rocky Mountains, United States, documents the response of herbivores to changing regional climates and vegetation during the late Paleocene (humid, warm temperate to subtropical, predominantly deciduous), early Eocene (humid subtropical, mixed deciduous and evergreen), and middle Eocene (seasonally dry, subtropical, mixed deciduous and thick-leaved evergreen). During all three time periods, greater herbivory occurred on taxa considered to have short rather than long leaf life spans, consistent with studies in living forests that demonstrate the insect resistance of long-lived, thick leaves. Variance in herbivory frequency and diversity was highest during the middle Eocene, indicating the increased representation of two distinct herbivory syndromes: one for taxa with deciduous, palatable foliage, and the other for hosts with evergreen, thick-textured, small leaves characterized by elevated insect resistance. Leaf galling, which is negatively correlated with moisture today, apparently increased during the middle Eocene, whereas leaf mining decreased. PMID:11353840

  10. Optimal control and cold war dynamics between plant and herbivore.

    PubMed

    Low, Candace; Ellner, Stephen P; Holden, Matthew H

    2013-08-01

    Herbivores eat the leaves that a plant needs for photosynthesis. However, the degree of antagonism between plant and herbivore may depend critically on the timing of their interactions and the intrinsic value of a leaf. We present a model that investigates whether and when the timing of plant defense and herbivore feeding activity can be optimized by evolution so that their interactions can move from antagonistic to neutral. We assume that temporal changes in environmental conditions will affect intrinsic leaf value, measured as potential carbon gain. Using optimal-control theory, we model herbivore evolution, first in response to fixed plant strategies and then under coevolutionary dynamics in which the plant also evolves in response to the herbivore. In the latter case, we solve for the evolutionarily stable strategies of plant defense induction and herbivore hatching rate under different ecological conditions. Our results suggest that the optimal strategies for both plant and herbivore are to avoid direct conflict. As long as the plant has the capability for moderately lethal defense, the herbivore will modify its hatching rate to avoid plant defenses, and the plant will never have to use them. Insights from this model offer a possible solution to the paradox of sublethal defenses and provide a mechanism for stable plant-herbivore interactions without the need for natural enemy control. PMID:23852361

  11. The public world of insect vibrational communication.

    PubMed

    Cocroft, Reginald B

    2011-05-01

    Food webs involving plants, herbivorous insects and their predators account for 75% of terrestrial biodiversity (Price 2002). Within the abundant arthropod community on plants, myriad ecological and social interactions depend on the perception and production of plant-borne mechanical vibrations (Hill 2008). Study of ecological relationships has shown, for example, that termites monitor the vibrations produced by competing colonies in the same tree trunk (Evans et al. 2009), that stink bugs and spiders attend to the incidental vibrations produced by insects feeding or walking on plants (Pfannenstiel et al. 1995, Barth 1998) and that caterpillars can distinguish among the foraging-related vibrations produced by their invertebrate predators (Castellanos & Barbosa 2006). Study of social interactions has revealed that many insects and spiders have evolved the ability to generate intricate patterns of substrate vibration, allowing them to communicate with potential mates or members of their social group (Cokl & Virant-Doberlet 2003; Hill 2008). Surprisingly, research on the role of substrate vibrations in social and ecological interactions has for the most part proceeded independently, in spite of evidence from other communication modalities – acoustic, visual, chemical and electrical – that predators attend to the signals of their prey (Zuk & Kolluru 1998; Stoddard 1999). The study by Virant-Doberlet et al. (2011) in this issue of Molecular Ecology now helps bring these two areas of vibration research together, showing that the foraging behaviour of a spider is influenced by the vibrational mating signals of its leafhopper prey. PMID:21692234

  12. Insect Bites and Stings

    MedlinePlus

    Most insect bites are harmless, though they sometimes cause discomfort. Bee, wasp, and hornet stings and fire ant bites usually hurt. Mosquito and flea bites usually itch. Insects can also spread diseases. In the United States, ...

  13. Insects: An Interdisciplinary Unit

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leger, Heather

    2007-01-01

    The author talks about an interdisciplinary unit on insects, and presents activities that can help students practice communication skills (interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational) and learn about insects with hands-on activities.

  14. Respiration in Aquatic Insects.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MacFarland, John

    1985-01-01

    This article: (1) explains the respiratory patterns of several freshwater insects; (2) describes the differences and mechanisms of spiracular cutaneous, and gill respiration; and (3) discusses behavioral aspects of selected aquatic insects. (ML)

  15. Insects and Scorpions

    MedlinePlus

    ... gov . Workplace Safety and Health Topics Insects & Scorpions Bees, Wasps, and Hornets Fire Ants Scorpions Additional Resources ... to outdoor workers. Stinging or biting insects include bees, wasps, hornets, and fire ants. The health effects ...

  16. Ecophysiology and insect herbivory

    SciTech Connect

    Clancy, K.M.; Wagner, M.R.; Reich, P.B.

    1995-07-01

    The relationship of insect herbivory to conifer physiology is examined. Aspects of nutrient assimilation, nutrient distribution, water stress, and climatic change are correlated to defoliation by insects. Other factors examined include plant age, density, structure, soils, and plant genotype.

  17. Genetics of spinosad resistance in a multi-resistant field-selected population of Plutella xylostella.

    PubMed

    Sayyed, Ali H; Omar, Dzolkhifli; Wright, Denis J

    2004-08-01

    Resistance to the bacteria-derived insecticides spinosad (Conserve), abamectin (Vertimec), Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki (Btk) (Dipel), B thuringiensis var aizawai (Bta) (Xentari), B thuringiensis crystal endotoxins Cry1Ac and Cry1Ca, and to the synthetic insecticide fipronil was estimated in a freshly-collected field population (CH1 strain) of Plutella xylostella (L) from the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. Laboratory bioassays at G1 indicated significant levels of resistance to spinosad, abamectin, Cry1Ac, Btk, Cry1Ca, fipronil and Bta when compared with a laboratory insecticide-susceptible population. Logit regression analysis of F1 reciprocal crosses indicated that resistance to spinosad in the CH1 population was inherited as a co-dominant trait. At the highest dose of spinosad tested, resistance was close to completely recessive, while at the lowest dose it was incompletely dominant. A direct test of monogenic inheritance based on a back-cross of F1 progeny with CH1 suggested that resistance to spinosad was controlled by a single locus. PMID:15307676

  18. Microsatellites reveal a lack of structure in Australian populations of the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.).

    PubMed

    Endersby, N M; McKechnie, S W; Ridland, P M; Weeks, A R

    2006-01-01

    The diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, is renowned for developing resistance to insecticides and causing significant economic damage to Brassica vegetable crops throughout the world. Yet despite its economic importance, little is known about the population structure and movement patterns of this pest both at local and regional scales. In Australia, the movement patterns and insecticide resistance status of P. xylostella infesting canola, vegetables, forage brassicas and weeds have fundamental implications for the management of this pest. Here we use six polymorphic microsatellite loci to investigate population structure and gene flow in Australian populations of P. xylostella. Samples of P. xylostella from New Zealand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Kenya were also scored at these loci. We found no evidence of population structure within Australia, with most populations having low inbreeding coefficients and in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. In addition, a sample from the North Island of New Zealand was indistinguishable from the Australian samples. However, large genetic differences were found between the Australia/New Zealand samples and samples from Kenya, Malaysia and Indonesia. There was no relationship between genetic distance and geographic distance among Australian and New Zealand samples. Two of the loci were found to have null alleles, the frequency of which was increased in the populations outside the Australia/New Zealand region. We discuss these results with reference to insecticide resistance management strategies for P. xylostella in Australia. PMID:16367834

  19. Chemical composition and larvicidal activity of Zanthoxylum armatum against diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Vishal; Reddy, S G Eswara; Chauhan, Urvashi; Kumar, Neeraj; Singh, Bikram

    2016-01-01

    The diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Yponomeutidae) is the most serious pest of cruciferous crops grown in the world causing economic yield loss. Several synthetic insecticides have been used against P. xylostella but satisfactory control was not achieved due to development of resistance to insecticides. Therefore, the present study was carried out to screen different fractions of Zanthoxylum armatum for their insecticidal activities against second instar larvae of P. xylostella. Results indicate, all the fractions showed activity to P. xylostella. However, n-hexane fraction of Z. armatum showed maximum larvicidal activity with minimum LC50 value of 2988.6 ppm followed by ethanol (LC50 = 12779.7 ppm) and methanol fraction (LC50 = 12908.8 ppm) whereas chloroform fraction was least toxic (LC50 = 16750.6 ppm). The GC-MS analysis of n-hexane fraction of leaf extract showed maximum larvicidal activity, which may be due to two major compounds i.e. 2-undecanone (19.75%) and 2-tridecanone (11.76%). PMID:25920469

  20. Chemical composition and insecticidal activities of essential oils against diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Yponomeutidae).

    PubMed

    Reddy, S G Eswara; Kirti Dolma, Shudh; Koundal, Rajkesh; Singh, Bikram

    2016-08-01

    Five Himalayan plants namely, Acorus calamus, Cedrus deodara, Aegle marmelos, Tagetes minuta and Murraya koenigii were used for the extraction of essential oils through hydrodistillation and the major volatile constituents as identified by GC and GC-MS techniques were β-asarone (91.1%), β-himachalene (45.8%), limonene (59.5%), Z-ocimene (37.9%) and α-pinene (54.2%), respectively. Essential oils were tested for their insecticidal properties against larvae of diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Yponomeutidae). Results showed that A. calamus was most toxic (LC50 = 0.29 mg mL(-1)) to P. xylostella followed by C. deodara (LC50 = 1.08 mg mL(-1)) and M. koenigii (LC50 = 1.93 mg mL(-1)) via residual toxicity bioassay. Per cent feeding deterrence index and growth inhibition was significantly higher in A. calamus (42.20 and 68.55, respectively) followed by C. deodara (35.41 and 52.47). In repellent activity studies, C. deodara showed high repellence (64.76%) followed by A. calamus (55.05%). PMID:26264423

  1. Correlation between Pesticide Resistance and Enzyme Activity in the Diamondback Moth, Plutella xylostella

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Ya-Jun; Wang, Ze-Hua; Shi, Bao-Cai; Kang, Zong-Jiang; Zhu, Liang; Jin, Gui-Hua; Weig, Shu-Jun

    2013-01-01

    The diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), is one of the most important pests that has developed high pesticide resistance. The resistances of five Chinese populations of this moth, four resistant strains (from Beijing, Henan, Fujian, and Guangdong) and one susceptible strain, to five pesticides were determined, and the activities of carboxylesterase, glutathione S-transferase, and acetylcholine esterase were tested in all five populations. The correlations between pesticide resistance and enzyme activity were analyzed. The results showed that the resistance status to the five pesticides was different among the five populations. The resistance ratios of the Beijing and Henan populations to spinosad were 5.84 and 8.22, respectively, and those to beta-cypermethrin were 4.91 and 4.98, respectively. These ratios were higher than those for the Fujian and Guangdong populations. The Fujian population was more sensitive to abamectin and chlorpyrifos than the susceptible population (the resistance ratios were 0.14 and 0.91, respectively); in fact, the median lethal concentration for P. xylostella was significantly higher for chlorpyrifos than that for any of the other four pesticides. The carboxylesterase activity in P. xylostella showed positive correlations with the resistance to spinosad, beta-cypermethrin, chlorpyrifos, and abamectin, but no correlation was observed between the carboxylesterase activity and resistance to emamectin benzoate, between glutathione S-transferase activity and resistance to any of the five pesticides tested, or between acetylcholine esterase activity and any of the pesticides except for emamectin benzoate. PMID:24766444

  2. Haloacetate analogs of pheromones: effects on catabolism and electrophysiology in Plutella xylostella

    SciTech Connect

    Prestwich, G.D.; Streinz, L.

    1988-03-01

    A series of mono, di-, and trihalogenated acetate analogs of Z11-16:Ac were prepared and examined for electrophysiological activity in antennae of males of the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella. In addition, two potential affinity labels, a diazoacetate (Dza) and a trifluoromethyl ketone (Tfp), were evaluated for EAG activity. The Z11-16:Ac showed the highest activity in EAG assays, followed by the fluorinated acetates, but other haloacetates were essentially inactive. The effects of these analogs on the hydrolysis of (/sup 3/H)Z11-16:Ac to (/sup 3/H)Z11-16:OH by antennal esterases was also examined. The three fluorinated acetates showed the greatest activity as inhibitors in competition assays, with rank order F/sub 2/Ac > F/sub 3/Ac > FAc > AC > Cl/sub 2/Ac > ClAc > Dza > Br/sub 2/Ac > BrAc > Tfp > I > Cl/sub 3/Ac > Br/sub 3/Ac > OH. The relative polarities of the haloacetates, as determined by TLC mobility, are in the order mono- > di- > trihalo, but F, Cl, Br, and I all confer similar polarities within a substitution group. Thus, the steric size appears to be the predominant parameter affecting the interactions of the haloacetate analogs with both receptor and catabolic proteins in P. xylostella males.

  3. Effect of chemical additives on Bacillus thuringiensis (Bacillales: Bacillaceae) against Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae).

    PubMed

    Zhang, L; Qiu, S; Huang, T; Huang, Z; Xu, L; Wu, C; Gelbic, I; Guan, X

    2013-06-01

    To examine the effect of chemical additives on Bacillus thuringiensis (Berliner) against Plutella xylostella (L.), inorganic salts, nitrogenous compounds, protein solubilizing agents, and organic acids were selected and tested. The chosen materials are low in cost and environmentally safe. Results show that many inorganic salts can increase the activity of B. thuringiensis in a range of 1.31- to 3.08-fold. These include calcium acetate, calcium chloride, calcium hydroxide, calcium sulfate, calcium carbonate, sodium carbonate, sodium acetate, potassium hydroxide, potassium carbonate, potassium acetate, magnesium chloride, magnesium sulfate, and zinc sulfate. Nitrogenous compounds, including peptone, sodium nitrate, and ammonium nitrate, can enhance the activity of B. thuringiensis 1.62-, 1.32-, and 1.37-fold, respectively. Among the protein solubilizing agents, EDTA, urea, mercaptoethanol and dipotassium hydrogen phosphate increased the activity of B. thuringiensis 1.62- to 2.34-fold. Among the organic acids, maleic and citric acids boosted the activity 1.45- and 1.55-fold, respectively. Meanwhile, sodium benzoate and resorcinol led to 1.74- and 1.44-fold activity gains, respectively. Use of appropriate additives could provide great benefit not only in reducing the costs for field applications of biological insecticides but also by boosting the efficacy of B. thuringiensis. PMID:23865169

  4. Chronic Sublethal Effects of Cantharidin on the Diamondback Moth Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae)

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Zhengyu; Zhang, Yalin

    2015-01-01

    The diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (Linnaeus) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), is a major pest of cruciferous vegetables worldwide. Cantharidin, a natural toxin isolated from blister beetles, has been reported to be toxic to P. xylostella. However, little is known on the chronic sublethal effects of cantharidin on this species. In this study, we assessed the changes of susceptibility, development, reproduction and other demographic parameters in both the selected P. xylostella strain (Sub, selected by LC25 cantharidin for consecutive 12 generations) and the revertant strain (SubR, derived from the Sub strain without being exposed to cantharidin for 12 generations). Results revealed that the two strains maintained a relatively high-level susceptibility to cantharidin. Severe adverse effects on the population dynamics and fitness in Sub strain were observed. In addition, repeated exposure of P. xylostella to sublethal concentration of cantharidin resulted in negative effects on adult performance and deformities in adults. Although morphologically normal for individuals, the SubR strain exhibited a disadvantage in population growth rate. Our results showed that sublethal concentration of cantharidin exhibited severe negative effects on population growth for longtime. These findings would be useful for assessing the potential effects and risk of cantharidin on P. xylostella and for developing effective integrated pest management. PMID:26035491

  5. Resistance Selection and Characterization of Chlorantraniliprole Resistance in Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae).

    PubMed

    Liu, Xia; Wang, Hong-Yan; Ning, Yu-Bo; Qiao, Kang; Wang, Kai-Yun

    2015-08-01

    The diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.), is considered one of the most damaging lepidopteran pests, and it has developed resistance to all conventional insecticide classes in the field. Chlorantraniliprole is the first commercial insecticide that belongs to the new chemical class of diamide insecticides. But, P. xylostella have already shown resistance to chlorantraniliprole in China. After 52 generations of selection with chlorantraniliprole, ∼48.17-fold resistance was observed. The resistant strain showed cross-resistance to flubendiamide (7.29-fold), abamectin (6.11-fold), and cyantraniliprole (3.31-fold). Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis showed that the expression of the ryanodine receptor gene was higher in the resistant strain than that in the susceptible strain. Enzyme assays indicated that cytochrome P450 activity in the resistant strain was 4.26 times higher compared with the susceptible strain, whereas no difference was seen for glutathione-S-transferase and esterase. Moreover, the toxicity of chlorantraniliprole in the resistant strain could be synergized by piperonyl butoxide, but not by diethyl maleate, and S,S,S-tributyl phosphorothioate. These results can serve as an important base for guiding the use of insecticide in field and delaying the development of pests that are resistant to the insecticides. PMID:26470343

  6. Lethal and Sublethal Effects of Cantharidin on Development and Reproduction of Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae).

    PubMed

    Huang, Zhengyu; Wang, Yao; Zhang, Yalin

    2015-06-01

    The diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), is a major pest of cruciferous vegetables throughout the world. Cantharidin, a natural toxin isolated from beetles in the families Meloidae and Oedemeridae, has been reported to be toxic to some pests, including the diamondback moth. However, the effects of cantharidin, especially its sublethal effects on development and reproduction of diamondback moth, are less known. In this study, we investigated the sublethal effects of cantharidin at LC2 (0.41 mg liter(-1)), LC10 (1.33 mg liter(-1)), LC25 (3.38 mg liter(-1)), and LC50 (9.53 mg liter(-1)) on development and reproduction parameters of two consecutive diamondback moth generations. The results indicated that cantharidin reduced population growth by decreasing its pupation rate, pupal weight, and adult emergence, and by delaying its development. Furthermore, the duration of the female preoviposition period increased, while the oviposition and postoviposition periods, fecundity, and survival rates of the offspring decreased. The peaks of age-specific fecundity in LC10, LC25, and LC50 treatment groups lagged behind the control group. The mean values of the net reproductive rate (R0), intrinsic rate of increase (r), and finite rate of increase (λ) were significantly lower than those of the control, and the mean generation time (T) was prolonged. The present study demonstrates that cantharidin exhibits significant adverse effects on the population dynamics of diamondback moth, leading to fitness disadvantages. PMID:26470229

  7. Atmospheric change alters foliar quality of host trees and performance of two outbreak insect species.

    PubMed

    Couture, John J; Meehan, Timothy D; Lindroth, Richard L

    2012-03-01

    This study examined the independent and interactive effects of elevated carbon dioxide (CO(2)) and ozone (O(3)) on the foliar quality of two deciduous trees species and the performance of two outbreak herbivore species. Trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) and paper birch (Betula papyrifera) were grown at the Aspen FACE research site in northern Wisconsin, USA, under four combinations of ambient and elevated CO(2) and O(3). We measured the effects of elevated CO(2) and O(3) on aspen and birch phytochemistry and on gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) and forest tent caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria) performance. Elevated CO(2) nominally affected foliar quality for both tree species. Elevated O(3) negatively affected aspen foliar quality, but only marginally influenced birch foliar quality. Elevated CO(2) slightly improved herbivore performance, while elevated O(3) decreased herbivore performance, and both responses were stronger on aspen than birch. Interestingly, elevated CO(2) largely offset decreased herbivore performance under elevated O(3). Nitrogen, lignin, and C:N were identified as having strong influences on herbivore performance when larvae were fed aspen, but no significant relationships were observed for insects fed birch. Our results support the notion that herbivore performance can be affected by atmospheric change through altered foliar quality, but how herbivores will respond will depend on interactions among CO(2), O(3), and tree species. An emergent finding from this study is that tree age and longevity of exposure to pollutants may influence the effects of elevated CO(2) and O(3) on plant-herbivore interactions, highlighting the need to continue long-term atmospheric change re