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      Adaptation of flea beetles to Brassicaceae: host plant associations and geographic distribution of Psylliodes Latreille and Phyllotreta Chevrolat (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae)

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          The cosmopolitan flea beetle genera Phyllotreta and Psylliodes ( Galerucinae , Alticini ) are mainly associated with host plants in the family Brassicaceae and include economically important pests of crucifer crops. In this review, the host plant associations and geographical distributions of known species in these genera are summarised from the literature, and their proposed phylogenetic relationships to other Alticini analysed from published molecular phylogenetic studies of Galerucinae . Almost all Phyllotreta species are specialised on Brassicaceae and related plant families in the order Brassicales , whereas Psylliodes species are associated with host plants in approximately 24 different plant families, and 50% are specialised to feed on Brassicaceae . The current knowledge on how Phyllotreta and Psylliodes are adapted to the characteristic chemical defence in Brassicaceae is reviewed. Based on our findings we postulate that Phyllotreta and Psylliodes colonised Brassicaceae independently from each other.

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          Most cited references 95

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          Butterflies and Plants: A Study in Coevolution

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            Plant defense against herbivores: chemical aspects.

            Plants have evolved a plethora of different chemical defenses covering nearly all classes of (secondary) metabolites that represent a major barrier to herbivory: Some are constitutive; others are induced after attack. Many compounds act directly on the herbivore, whereas others act indirectly via the attraction of organisms from other trophic levels that, in turn, protect the plant. An enormous diversity of plant (bio)chemicals are toxic, repellent, or antinutritive for herbivores of all types. Examples include cyanogenic glycosides, glucosinolates, alkaloids, and terpenoids; others are macromolecules and comprise latex or proteinase inhibitors. Their modes of action include membrane disruption, inhibition of nutrient and ion transport, inhibition of signal transduction processes, inhibition of metabolism, or disruption of the hormonal control of physiological processes. Recognizing the herbivore challenge and precise timing of plant activities as well as the adaptive modulation of the plants' metabolism is important so that metabolites and energy may be efficiently allocated to defensive activities.
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              Molecular activities, biosynthesis and evolution of triterpenoid saponins.

              Saponins are bioactive compounds generally considered to be produced by plants to counteract pathogens and herbivores. Besides their role in plant defense, saponins are of growing interest for drug research as they are active constituents of several folk medicines and provide valuable pharmacological properties. Accordingly, much effort has been put into unraveling the modes of action of saponins, as well as in exploration of their potential for industrial processes and pharmacology. However, the exploitation of saponins for bioengineering crop plants with improved resistances against pests as well as circumvention of laborious and uneconomical extraction procedures for industrial production from plants is hampered by the lack of knowledge and availability of genes in saponin biosynthesis. Although the ability to produce saponins is rather widespread among plants, a complete synthetic pathway has not been elucidated in any single species. Current conceptions consider saponins to be derived from intermediates of the phytosterol pathway, and predominantly enzymes belonging to the multigene families of oxidosqualene cyclases (OSCs), cytochromes P450 (P450s) and family 1 UDP-glycosyltransferases (UGTs) are thought to be involved in their biosynthesis. Formation of unique structural features involves additional biosynthetical enzymes of diverse phylogenetic background. As an example of this, a serine carboxypeptidase-like acyltransferase (SCPL) was recently found to be involved in synthesis of triterpenoid saponins in oats. However, the total number of identified genes in saponin biosynthesis remains low as the complexity and diversity of these multigene families impede gene discovery based on sequence analysis and phylogeny. This review summarizes current knowledge of triterpenoid saponin biosynthesis in plants, molecular activities, evolutionary aspects and perspectives for further gene discovery. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                Pensoft Publishers
                17 June 2019
                : 856
                : 51-73
                [1 ] Research Group Sequestration and Detoxification in Insects, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Hans-Knöll-Str. 8, 07745 Jena, Germany Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology Jena Germany
                [2 ] Department of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences, University of L’Aquila, 67100 Coppito-L’Aquila, Italy University of L’Aquila Coppito-L’Aquila Italy
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Franziska Beran ( fberan@ )

                Academic editor: M. Schmitt

                Matilda W. Gikonyo, Maurizio Biondi, Franziska Beran

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology
                Review Article
                Biodiversity & Conservation
                Ecology & Environmental sciences
                Evolutionary biology


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