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Open AccessArticle

Preference of Diamondback Moth Larvae for Novel and Original Host Plant after Host Range Expansion

1
Department of Entomology, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Hans-Knöll-Str. 8, Jena 07745, Germany
2
Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystems Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, Science Park 904, Amsterdam 1098 XH, The Netherlands 
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2014, 5(4), 793-804; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects5040793
Received: 29 April 2014 / Revised: 9 September 2014 / Accepted: 17 October 2014 / Published: 27 October 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect-Plant Interactions)
Utilization of a novel plant host by herbivorous insects requires coordination of numerous physiological and behavioral adaptations in both larvae and adults. The recent host range expansion of the crucifer-specialist diamondback moth (DBM), Plutella xylostella L. (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), to the sugar pea crop in Kenya provides an opportunity to study this process in action. Previous studies have shown that larval ability to grow and complete development on sugar pea is genetically based, but that females of the pea-adapted strain do not prefer to oviposit on pea. Here we examine larval preference for the novel host plant. Larvae of the newly evolved pea-adapted host strain were offered the choice of the novel host plant sugar pea and the original host cabbage. These larvae significantly preferred pea, while in contrast, all larvae of a cabbage-adapted DBM strain preferred cabbage. However, pea-adapted larvae, which were reared on cabbage, also preferred cabbage. Thus both genetic differences and previous exposure affect larval host choice, while adult choice for the novel host has not yet evolved. View Full-Text
Keywords: larval preference; feeding behavior; experience; host strain; Plutella xylostella larval preference; feeding behavior; experience; host strain; Plutella xylostella
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Henniges-Janssen, K.; Heckel, D.G.; Groot, A.T. Preference of Diamondback Moth Larvae for Novel and Original Host Plant after Host Range Expansion. Insects 2014, 5, 793-804.

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