Lookup NU author(s): Dr Colin Tosh
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Many studies have paid particular attention to the role of either secondary plant compounds or amino acids as determinants of host-plant range in phytophagous insects. Here we examine the relative importance of both of these classes of compound in host acceptance by generalist and specialist morphs of the black bean aphid, Aphis fabae, that are morphologically similar and genetically identical. Eleven secondary plant compounds and six amino acids with known biological activity in aphids are presented to insects within an artificial membrane system as single compounds, mixtures of same-class compounds and combined mixtures of the two classes of compound. It is found that 1) when specific single secondary compounds and amino acids are presented to generalist and specialist morphs of A. fabae, differential responses are exclusively consistent with plant-use strategy for amino acids but not for secondary compounds, 2) neither secondary compound nor amino acid mixtures give reproductive responses entirely consistent with plant range, but the response to secondary compounds is broadly consistent with plant range whereas the response to amino acids is not, 3) when secondary compounds and amino acid mixtures are combined, the response to secondary compounds generally dominates that to amino acids. Some scenarios of plant-range determination by secondary plant compounds and amino acids, suggested by results, are discussed.
Author(s): Tosh CR, Powell G, Holmes ND, Hardie J
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Journal of Insect Physiology
ISSN (print): 0022-1910
ISSN (electronic): 1879-1611
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