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Genetic constraints and the phylogeny of insect-plant associations: responses of Ophraella communa (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) to host plants of its congeners



Genetic constraints and the phylogeny of insect-plant associations: responses of Ophraella communa (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) to host plants of its congeners



Evolution 47(3): 888-905



A study to determine whether patterns of genetic variation in phytophagous insect responses to potential host plants can reveal the phylogenetic history of host association. The subject of the study was the leaf beetle Ophraella communa, which feeds chiefly, and in eastern North America exclusively, on Ambrosia. Using mostly half-sib breeding designs, the beetles were screened for genetic variation in feeding responses to and larval survival on its own host and on 7 other plants. There was evidence of genetic variation in feeding responses to 5 of the 7 test plants, no evidence of variation in feeding response to 2 of the plants, and no variation in capacity for larval survival on 6 of the plants. The results offer support for the hypothesis that the evolution of host shifts has been constrained by limited genetic variation. .

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Accession: 002390519

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DOI: 10.2307/2410192



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