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Biology, physiology and gene expression of grasshopper Oedaleus asiaticus exposed to diet stress from plant secondary compounds

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Xunbing Huang, Jingchuan Ma, Xinghu Qin, Xiongbing Tu, Guangchun Cao, Guangjun Wang, Xiangqun Nong, Zehua Zhang

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Abstract

We studied the role of plant primary and secondary metabolites in mediating plant-insect interactions by conducting a no-choice single-plant species field experiment to compare the suitability, enzyme activities, and gene expression of Oedaleus asiaticus grasshoppers feeding on four host and non-host plants with different chemical traits. O. asiaticus growth showed a positive relationship to food nutrition content and a negative relationship to secondary compounds content. Grasshopper amylase, chymotrypsin, and lipase activities were positively related to food starch, crude protein, and lipid content, respectively. Activity of cytochrome P450s, glutathione-S-transferase, and carboxylesterase were positively related to levels of secondary plant compounds. Gene expression of UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 2C1, cytochrome P450 6K1 were also positively related to secondary compounds content in the diet. Grasshoppers feeding on Artemisia frigida, a species with low nutrient content and a high level of secondary compounds, had reduced growth and digestive enzyme activity. They also had higher detoxification enzyme activity and gene expression compared to grasshoppers feeding on the grasses Cleistogenes squarrosa, Leymus chinensis, or Stipa krylovii. These results illustrated Oedaleus asiaticus adaptive responses to diet stress resulting from toxic chemicals, and support the hypothesis that nutritious food benefits insect growth, but plant secondary compounds are detrimental for insect growth.

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Original languageEnglish
Article number8655
Number of pages9
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - 17 Aug 2017

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