Jan 1, 1990

Toxins in chrysomelid beetles Possible evolutionary sequence from de novo synthesis to derivation from food-plant chemicals

Journal of Chemical Ecology
Jacques PasteelsM Rowell-Rahier


In the Chrysomelinae, it appears that de novo synthesis of chemicals for defense is the primitive state, and the sequestration of plant chemicals for defense the derived state. The derived state evolved through both the morphological and biochemical preadaptiveness of the homologous defensive glands. In the adults, we discuss one unique case of sequestration in exocrine defensive glands of host-plant pyrrolizidine alkaloids byOreina cacaliae. However, hypericin is not sequestered either in the glands or elsewhere in the body ofChrysolina spp. feeding onHypericum, which contradicts an earlier claim. In the larvae, we examine in more detail how the phenolglucoside salicin can be used as the precursor of the salicylaldehyde present in the defensive secretion ofPhratora vitellinae andChrysomela spp. with minimal changes in the biochemical mechanisms involved in the biosynthesis of iridoid monoterpenes in related species.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Biochemical Mechanism
Dicom Derivation
Order Coleoptera
Process of Secretion

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