Asked 23rd Nov, 2012

Can anybody explain the reason of why a polyphagous insect feeds on a defined set of host plants (belonging to different families) and avoid others?

I'm new to the field of research and highly interested in working with bio-chemical aspects of insect-plant interactions.

All Answers (3)

8th Feb, 2013
Amar Jyoti Duarah
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi
I've long been waiting for your kind suggestions.
13th Feb, 2013
Jurgen Ziesmann
Azusa Pacific University
The top of the head answer is that acceptable plants have a set of chemicals in common that makes them attractive or - more likely - that the not acceptable plants have chemicals in them that lead to avoidance. If these chemicals show up in different families but not in all members of these families - you would get the described effect. I would suggest you read the book Host-plant selection by phytophagous insects by Bernays and Chapman. It is from 1994 but it should give you all the basics.
1 Recommendation
14th Feb, 2013
Amar Jyoti Duarah
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi
Thank you very much for your suggestion Jurgen.

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