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Forskningsartikel2016Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

Domestication influences choice behavior and performance of a generalist herbivore

Hagenbucher, Steffen; Anderson, Peter; Chattington, Sophie; Birgersson, Göran


Domestication processes have changed wild ancestral plants to modern crop plants that are well adapted to agronomical practices and produce high yields. However, a major concern with domestication is an increased susceptibility to herbivores and pathogens. Such changes in plant resistance can, directly and indirectly, affect the host choice decisions of herbivorous insects. In this study we investigated how changes in resistance traits during the domestication of cotton, influenced the preference and performance of the generalist moth Spodoptera littoralis. We studied the development of larvae, as well as the choice behavior of larvae and ovipositing females, on a selected group of cotton accessions from three different species: Gossypium hirsutum; Gossypium herbaceum and Gossypium raimondii. Combining preference and performance data would allow us to explain host-plant choice using the preference performance hypotheses. Additionally, we analyzed the volatile profile of the different plants to detect differences that could have played a role in the host-choice of S. littoralis.We could show that domesticated G. hirsutum cotton plants are better host plants for the moth S. littoralis as they supported a better performance than wild plants. Furthermore, we found qualitative and quantitative differences in the volatile bouquet of the different Gossypium types. However, these differences were not clearly represented in the behavior of S. littoralis. As neither larvae nor ovipositing females consistently preferred better over inferior host plants with the exception of G. raimondii that was rejected over more domesticated ones. Gossypium raimondii also provided associational resistance to neighboring susceptible plants. Our findings indicate that domestication in cotton has effects on host plant choice in the generalist herbivore S. littoralis, but that there is no clear pattern of how preference and performance is affected. (C) 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.


Spodoptera littoralis; Cotton; Insect resistance; Volatiles; Preference-performance hypothesis; Gossypium raimondii

Publicerad i

Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics
2016, Volym: 23, sidor: 63-72