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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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          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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              The global distribution of diet breadth in insect herbivores.

              Understanding variation in resource specialization is important for progress on issues that include coevolution, community assembly, ecosystem processes, and the latitudinal gradient of species richness. Herbivorous insects are useful models for studying resource specialization, and the interaction between plants and herbivorous insects is one of the most common and consequential ecological associations on the planet. However, uncertainty persists regarding fundamental features of herbivore diet breadth, including its relationship to latitude and plant species richness. Here, we use a global dataset to investigate host range for over 7,500 insect herbivore species covering a wide taxonomic breadth and interacting with more than 2,000 species of plants in 165 families. We ask whether relatively specialized and generalized herbivores represent a dichotomy rather than a continuum from few to many host families and species attacked and whether diet breadth changes with increasing plant species richness toward the tropics. Across geographic regions and taxonomic subsets of the data, we find that the distribution of diet breadth is fit well by a discrete, truncated Pareto power law characterized by the predominance of specialized herbivores and a long, thin tail of more generalized species. Both the taxonomic and phylogenetic distributions of diet breadth shift globally with latitude, consistent with a higher frequency of specialized insects in tropical regions. We also find that more diverse lineages of plants support assemblages of relatively more specialized herbivores and that the global distribution of plant diversity contributes to but does not fully explain the latitudinal gradient in insect herbivore specialization.

                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@ 123456ice.mpg.de )

                Academic editor: M. Schmitt

                Author information
                33724 urn:lsid:arphahub.com:pub:74441237-c3cd-5c39-af5e-52b462abfa7e urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:A85D775A-0EFE-4F32-9948-B4779767D362
                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.

                : 11 February 2019
                : 30 April 2019
                Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology
                Review Article
                Biodiversity & Conservation
                Ecology & Environmental sciences
                Evolutionary biology

                Animal science & Zoology
                alticini ,chemical plant defence,detoxification,glucosinolates,plant-insect interaction,secondary plant metabolites,sequestration


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