Nov 13, 1998

Chemical phenotype matching between a plant and its insect herbivore

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
May R Berenbaum, Arthur R Zangerl


Two potential outcomes of a coevolutionary interaction are an escalating arms race and stable cycling. The general expectation has been that arms races predominate in cases of polygenic inheritance of resistance traits and permanent cycling predominates in cases in which resistance is controlled by major genes. In the interaction between Depressaria pastinacella, the parsnip webworm, and Pastinaca sativa, the wild parsnip, traits for plant resistance to insect herbivory (production of defensive furanocoumarins) as well as traits for herbivore "virulence" (ability to metabolize furanocoumarins) are characterized by continuous heritable variation. Furanocoumarin production in plants and rates of metabolism in insects were compared among four midwestern populations; these traits then were classified into four clusters describing multitrait phenotypes occurring in all or most of the populations. When the frequency of plant phenotypes belonging to each of the clusters is compared with the frequency of the insect phenotypes in each of the clusters across populations, a remarkable degree of frequency matching is revealed in three of the populations. That frequencies of phenotypes vary among populations is consistent with the fact that...Continue Reading

  • References3
  • Citations103


  • References3
  • Citations103

Mentioned in this Paper

Metabolic Process, Cellular
Polygenic Inheritance
Angelica archangelica
Spatial Distribution
Depressaria pastinacella
Metabolic Pathway
Pastinaca sativa

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