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Systemic induction of terpenoid aldehydes in cotton pigment glands by feeding of larval Spodoptera exigua






Journal of chemical ecology 23(12): 2861-2879

Systemic induction of terpenoid aldehydes in cotton pigment glands by feeding of larval Spodoptera exigua

Pigment glands in cotton contain terpenoid aldehydes that are toxic and deterrent to feeding of several generalist lepidopteran insects. We hypothesized that previously observed systemically induced feeding deterrence may be associated with pigment glands. We conducted experiments to determine the dynamics and chemical nature of inducible feeding deterrents in leaves of cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L, to larvae of the beet army worm, Spodoptera exigua. Production and/or filling of pigment glands was influenced by physiological age of Deltapine 90 cotton plants. In undamaged plants, successively formed leaves contained more pigment glands, up to the seventh or eighth true-leaf developmental stage. Feeding choice tests conducted one or seven days after initial feeding damage revealed that third instars of S. exigua consumed more of the two youngest leaves from control cotton plants than from plants whose two oldest leaves had been fed on previously for 24 hr by S. exigua. The preference for leaves from control plants was significant one day after initial damage and highly significant seven days after damage. Consumption of mature foliage (leaf immediately above initially damaged leaves) from control plants and damaged plants did not differ. More pigment glands were counted on the youngest leaf of damaged plants than on the youngest leaf of control plants one day after initial damage. HPLC analysis revealed greater amounts of hemigossypolone, heliocides 1 and 2 (H1 and H2), and total terpenoid aldehydes per gland in young foliage of damaged plants than control plants one day after initial injury. By seven days after initial injury, greater quantities of hemigossypolone and all heliocides except H4 were detected in young foliage from damaged plants compared to control plants. Concentrations of H1 per gland in young leaves from damaged plants increased the most of all terpenoid aldehydes measured (3.4 x the amount found in leaves from control plants). Mature leaves from damaged plants did not contain more terpenoid aldehydes than mature leaves from control plants. We suggest that systemically induced feeding deterrence to S. exigua in young leaves of glanded cotton was due to increased amounts of terpenoid aldehydes in pigment glands.

Accession: 003292219

DOI: 10.1023/a:1022575313325

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