HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Plants tell caterpillars when it's safe to forage

The world is filled with cues that could influence the daily feeding patterns of an organism. Many plants, for example, respond to foraging damage by releasing specialized chemical signals - volatile organic compounds that evaporate in the air - that attract the forager's natural enemies. This strategy is obviously no use against a cow, but proves effective when the offender is a caterpillar and the summoned predator is a wasp. Just how much control such biotic factors exert over a forager's daily routine has remained an open question. But in a new study in the open access journal PLoS Biology, Kaori Shiojiri, Rika Ozawa, and Junji Takabayashi show that plant signals can indeed regulate herbivore behavior.

When the larvae of beet armyworms (Spodoptera exigua) feed on corn, the plant releases volatile compounds that act as a magnet for parasitic wasps (Cotesia marginiventris), which deposit their eggs in the larvae. Production of volatile chemicals increases during the day (when wasps are active) and decreases at night, suggesting that variations in production might affect the daily activity patterns of foraging larvae, with low production sending the signal that the coast is clear. To test this hypothesis, Shiojiri et al. exposed larvae of a corn-munching nocturnal caterpillar, Mythimna separata, to volatile compounds from corn and varied the light and dark conditions for both corn and insect. Corn infested with M. separata releases volatiles that attract parasitic wasps (C. kariyai).

The researchers separated the effects of photoperiod from that of host plant volatiles to tease out their relative contributions to caterpillar behavior. First, they tested the effects of light. If larvae are diurnal, they should hide in "shelters" fashioned out of filter paper attached to the plastic cups they were kept in. When larvae were fed an artificial diet, however, different light conditions produced no changes in their hiding
'"/>

Contact: Paul Ocampo
press@plos.org
415-624-1224
Public Library of Science
15-May-2006


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Plants recognize their siblings, biologists discover
2. Plants that produce more vitamin C may result from UCLA-Dartmouth discovery
3. Plants tag insect herbivores with an alarm
4. Plants with male and bisexual flowers on the same plant are better mothers
5. Plants do not emit methane
6. Plants management of nutrient suggests environmental remedies
7. Plants point the way to coping with climate change
8. Plants, plasmids and possibilities -- Methods permit functional gene studies in plants
9. Plants give up answers in the war on bacteria
10. Plants role in global warming re-examined in ORNL Science paper
11. Hold your breath; Plants may absorb less carbon dioxide than we thought

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/4/2017)... YORK , April 4, 2017   EyeLock ... today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark ... patent broadly covers the linking of an iris image ... same transaction) and represents the company,s 45 th ... latest patent is very timely given the multi-modal biometric ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... 30, 2017  On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com will ... hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in ... focus on developing health and wellness apps that provide ... the Genome is the first hackathon for personal ... largest companies in the genomics, tech and health industries ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... 2017 Trends, opportunities and forecast in this ... technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, facial recognition, hand geometry, ... end use industry (government and law enforcement, commercial and ... and others), and by region ( North America ... Asia Pacific , and the Rest of the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/20/2017)... Station, TX (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Services, LLC (IPS), a leading global provider of engineering, architecture, project controls, ... provider of prefabricated cleanrooms, today announced the unveiling of the iCON™ brand ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... RoviSys, a leading independent provider ... opening of an office in Taipei, Taiwan. This new location allows RoviSys to ... new relationships in the region. Located in the Neihu area of Taipei, the ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... The new and improved Oakton® pocket testers, ... even stand upright with a new cap design that is versatile, functional and leakproof. ... who need to test water quality. , The Oakton pocket testers have many user-friendly ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... September 19, ... ... York State Department of Financial Services (NYS DFS) cybersecurity regulations have ... banking, finance and insurance organizations operating in the state (“Covered Entities”) to ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: