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      The Evolution of Endophagy in Herbivorous Insects

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          Herbivorous feeding inside plant tissues, or endophagy, is a common lifestyle across Insecta, and occurs in insect taxa that bore, roll, tie, mine, gall, or otherwise modify plant tissues so that the tissues surround the insects while they are feeding. Some researchers have developed hypotheses to explain the adaptive significance of certain endophytic lifestyles (e.g., miners or gallers), but we are unaware of previous efforts to broadly characterize the adaptive significance of endophagy more generally. To fill this knowledge gap, we characterized the limited set of evolutionary selection pressures that could have encouraged phytophagous insects to feed inside plants, and then consider how these factors align with evidence for endophagy in the evolutionary history of orders of herbivorous insects. Reviewing the occurrence of endophytic taxa of various feeding guilds reveals that the pattern of evolution of endophagy varies strongly among insect orders, in some cases being an ancestral trait (e.g., Coleoptera and Lepidoptera) while being more derived in others (e.g., Diptera). Despite the large diversity of endophagous lifestyles and evolutionary trajectories that have led to endophagy in insects, our consideration of selection pressures leads us to hypothesize that nutritionally based factors may have had a stronger influence on evolution of endophagy than other factors, but that competition, water conservation, and natural enemies may have played significant roles in the development of endophagy.

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          Most cited references 152

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            The Phylogenetic Study of Adaptive Zones: Has Phytophagy Promoted Insect Diversification?

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              Interspecific Interactions in Phytophagous Insects: Competition Reexamined and Resurrected


                Author and article information

                Front Plant Sci
                Front Plant Sci
                Front. Plant Sci.
                Frontiers in Plant Science
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                02 November 2020
                : 11
                1Department of Entomology, The Pennsylvania State University , University Park, PA, United States
                2Institut de Recherche sur la Biologie de l’Insecte, UMR 7261, CNRS/Université de Tours , Parc Grandmont, Tours, France
                Author notes

                Edited by: Shinichiro Sawa, Kumamoto University, Japan

                Reviewed by: Seiji Takeda, Kyoto Prefectural University, Japan; Mayako Kutsukake, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan

                *Correspondence: John F. Tooker, tooker@ 123456psu.edu

                This article was submitted to Plant Pathogen Interactions, a section of the journal Frontiers in Plant Science

                Copyright © 2020 Tooker and Giron.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 5, Tables: 2, Equations: 0, References: 153, Pages: 21, Words: 0
                Plant Science


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