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Open AccessArticle

Origanum vulgare Terpenoids Induce Oxidative Stress and Reduce the Feeding Activity of Spodoptera littoralis

Department Life Sciences and Systems Biology, University of Turin, Via G. Quarello 15/a, 10135 Turin, Italy
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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(9), 2805; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19092805
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 12 September 2018 / Accepted: 15 September 2018 / Published: 18 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Insect Interactions 2018)
Terpenoids are toxic compounds produced by plants as a defense strategy against insect herbivores. We tested the effect of Origanum vulgare terpenoids on the generalist herbivore Spodoptera littoralis and the response of the plant to herbivory. Terpenoids were analyzed by GC-FID and GC-MS and quantitative gene expression (qPCR) was evaluated on selected plant genes involved in both terpene biosynthesis. The insect detoxification response to terpenes was evaluated by monitoring antioxidant enzymes activity and expression of insect genes involved in terpene detoxification. O. vulgare terpenoid biosynthesis and gene expression was modulated by S. littoralis feeding. The herbivore-induced increased level of terpenoids (particularly carvacrol and p-cymene) interacted with the herbivore by decreasing larval survival and growth rate. The assimilation by S. littoralis of more than 50% of ingested terpenes correlated with the possible toxic effects of O. vulgare terpenoids. In choice test experiments, carvacrol and γ-terpinene mediated the larval feeding preferences, wherease the prolonged feeding on O. vulgare terpenoids (particularly on γ-terpinene) exerted relevant antinutritional effects on larvae. S. littoralis was found to react to O. vulgare terpenoids by increasing its antioxidant enzymes activities and gene expression, although this was not sufficient to sustain the toxicity of O. vulgare terpenoids. View Full-Text
Keywords: Origanum vulgare; Spodoptera littoralis; terpenoid biosynthesis; larval survival; antioxidant enzyme activity and gene expression; toxicity Origanum vulgare; Spodoptera littoralis; terpenoid biosynthesis; larval survival; antioxidant enzyme activity and gene expression; toxicity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Agliassa, C.; Maffei, M.E. Origanum vulgare Terpenoids Induce Oxidative Stress and Reduce the Feeding Activity of Spodoptera littoralis. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 2805.

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