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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2015

Insect host plant selection in complex environments

Carrasco, David; Larsson, Mattias C.; Anderson, Peter


Selection of suitable host plants is essential for the development and survival of herbivorous insects. Here we address behavioural mechanisms and the role of olfactory cues governing host choice, and their adaptive significance in complicated ecological contexts, with a focus on polyphagous insects. We also consider how recent developments in the study of olfactory systems of insects can provide a functional description of physiological mechanisms behind host plant choice. This may apply from the broader evolutionary history and local adaptations of olfactory receptor genes, to the underlying neural mechanisms behind innate host preferences and experience-based plasticity in host plant choice.

Published in

Current Opinion in Insect Science
2015, Volume: 8, pages: 1-7