Caterpillars on a phytochemical landscape: The case of alfalfa and the Melissa blue butterfly

Ecology and Evolution
Matthew L ForisterZach Gompert


Modern metabolomic approaches that generate more comprehensive phytochemical profiles than were previously available are providing new opportunities for understanding plant-animal interactions. Specifically, we can characterize the phytochemical landscape by asking how a larger number of individual compounds affect herbivores and how compounds covary among plants. Here we use the recent colonization of alfalfa (Medicago sativa) by the Melissa blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa) to investigate the effects of indivdiual compounds and suites of covarying phytochemicals on caterpillar performance. We find that survival, development time, and adult weight are all associated with variation in nutrition and toxicity, including biomolecules associated with plant cell function as well as putative anti-herbivore action. The plant-insect interface is complex, with clusters of covarying compounds in many cases encompassing divergent effects on different aspects of caterpillar performance. Individual compounds with the strongest associations are largely specialized metabolites, including alkaloids, phenolic glycosides, and saponins. The saponins are represented in our data by more than 25 individual compounds with beneficial and detrimental ...Continue Reading


May 10, 2000·Trends in Ecology & Evolution·S Hättenschwiler, P M Vitousek
Jan 13, 2006·Therapeutic Drug Monitoring·Colin A SmithGary Siuzdak
Apr 1, 2008·Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution·James A Fordyce, Chris C Nice
Sep 4, 2008·Annual Review of Entomology·Spencer T Behmer
Sep 27, 2008·Phytochemical Analysis : PCA·J John BalsevichLeah K Deibert
Dec 31, 2008·BMC Bioinformatics·Peter Langfelder, Steve Horvath
Oct 9, 2009·Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry·Emily K Prince, Georg Pohnert
Sep 3, 2010·Journal of Chemical Ecology·Lora A RichardsCraig D Dodson
May 14, 2011·Molecular Ecology Resources·Mirka MacelJoost J B Keurentjes
Jul 1, 1995·Journal of Chemical Ecology·M R Berenbaum
Feb 11, 2015·Plant Physiology·E A Prabodha EkanayakaA Daniel Jones
Sep 21, 2016·Philosophical Transactions. Series A, Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences·Tiago F JorgeCarla António
Jan 1, 1983·Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution·M Berenbaum
Apr 5, 2018·Molecular Ecology·Samridhi ChaturvediZachariah Gompert
May 16, 2018·Nature Ecology & Evolution·Diego SalazarPaul V A Fine
Oct 28, 2019·Molecules : a Journal of Synthetic Chemistry and Natural Product Chemistry·Sheng WuLi Tian

❮ Previous
Next ❯


Nov 29, 2020·Science Advances·M L ForisterZ Gompert

❮ Previous
Next ❯

Related Concepts

Trending Feeds


Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.

Hereditary Sensory Autonomic Neuropathy

Hereditary Sensory Autonomic Neuropathies are a group of inherited neurodegenerative disorders characterized clinically by loss of sensation and autonomic dysfunction. Here is the latest research on these neuropathies.

Evolution of Pluripotency

Pluripotency refers to the ability of a cell to develop into three primary germ cell layers of the embryo. This feed focuses on the mechanisms that underlie the evolution of pluripotency. Here is the latest research.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disease characterized by unexplained disabling fatigue; the pathology of which is incompletely understood. Discover the latest research on chronic fatigue syndrome here.

Nuclear Pore Complex in ALS/FTD

Alterations in nucleocytoplasmic transport, controlled by the nuclear pore complex, may be involved in the pathomechanism underlying multiple neurodegenerative diseases including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Dementia. Here is the latest research on the nuclear pore complex in ALS and FTD.

Landau-Kleffner Syndrome

Landau Kleffner syndrome (LKS), also called infantile acquired aphasia, acquired epileptic aphasia, or aphasia with convulsive disorder, is a rare childhood neurological syndrome characterized by the sudden or gradual development of aphasia (the inability to understand or express language) and an abnormal electroencephalogram. Discover the latest research on LKS here.

STING Receptor Agonists

Stimulator of IFN genes (STING) are a group of transmembrane proteins that are involved in the induction of type I interferon that is important in the innate immune response. The stimulation of STING has been an active area of research in the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Here is the latest research on STING receptor agonists.


Microbicides are products that can be applied to vaginal or rectal mucosal surfaces with the goal of preventing, or at least significantly reducing, the transmission of sexually transmitted infections. Here is the latest research on microbicides.

Regulation of Vocal-Motor Plasticity

Dopaminergic projections to the basal ganglia and nucleus accumbens shape the learning and plasticity of motivated behaviors across species including the regulation of vocal-motor plasticity and performance in songbirds. Discover the latest research on the regulation of vocal-motor plasticity here.