Chemical Mediation of Host-Plant Specialization: The Papilionid Paradigm

May R. Berenbaum and Paul P. Feeny

in Specialization, Speciation, and Radiation

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780520251328
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520933828 | DOI:
Chemical Mediation of Host-Plant Specialization: The Papilionid Paradigm

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Understanding the physiological and behavioral mechanisms underlying host-plant specialization in holometabolous species, which undergo complete development with a pupal stage, presents a particular challenge in that the process of host-plant selection is generally carried out by the adult stage, whereas host-plant utilization is more the province of the larval stage. Thus, within a species, critical chemical, physical, or visual cues for host-plant identification may differ over the course of the life cycle. An organizing principle for the study of host-range evolution is the preference–performance hypothesis. According to this hypothesis, ovipositing females should maximize their fitness by selecting plants on which offspring survival will be high; in other words, over a range of potential host plants, adult female preference should be correlated with larval performance. This chapter examines the chemical mediation of host-plant specialization, focusing on the papilionid paradigm. It also discusses how lepidopterans prefer, how lepidopteran larvae perform, preference–performance relationships in Lepidoptera, chemical mediation of preference and performance in papilionids, the chemical cues kairomones and allomones, preference and performance genes, and the role of p450s in host-use evolution.

Keywords: host-plant specialization; evolution; preference; performance; papilionids; kairomones; allomones; genes; p450s; lepidopterans

Chapter.  13793 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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