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The effects of ingested ecdysteroid agonists and an ecdysteroid antagonist on larval development of two polyphagous lepidopterans and


The effects of ingested ecdysteroid agonists and an ecdysteroid antagonist on larval development of two polyphagous lepidopterans and



Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 83(3): 263-276



ISSN/ISBN: 0013-8703

Larvae of two polyphagous lepidopteran species, Lacanobia oleracea (Tomato moth) and Acherontia atropos (Death's head hawkmoth), have been treated with representatives of three classes of compounds which are known to interact with the ligand binding site of insect steroid hormone receptors: a steroidal ecdysteroid (20-hydroxyecdysone; 20E; agonist), two non-steroidal dibenzoylhydrazines (RH5849 and RH5992; agonists) and the triterpenoid cucurbitacin B (cucB; antagonist). Both species are unaffected by dietary 20E at concentrations up to 400 ppm. L. oleracea metabolizes ingested (3H)20E to a mixture of C-22 fatty acyl esters, while A. atropos excretes (3H)20E unmetabolised. Both species are susceptible to the dibenzoylhydrazines when these are incorporated into the diet, with RH5992 proving lethal at 1 ppm and RH5849 proving lethal at 10 ppm. Thus, the metabolic/excretion mechanisms which are so effective against ingested 20E do not recognize the non-steroidal agonists. The two species showed varying degrees of tolerance to cucB; L. oleracea was unaffected by 400 ppm in the diet, while A. atropos showed effects at 400 ppm, but not at 40 ppm. Feeding cucB in conjunction with 20E or injecting cucB when the ecdysteroid titre was low or rising also had no effect in L. oleracea. It is suggested that tolerance to the two classes of natural products (ecdysteroids and cucurbitacins) is associated with the occurrence of these compounds in some of the host plants of these species; evidence is presented for the presence of phytoecdysteroids in the host plants.

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