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The study of plant secondary chemistry has been essential in understanding plant consumption by herbivores. There is growing evidence that secondary compounds also occur in floral rewards, including nectar and pollen. Many pollinators are generalist nectar and pollen foragers and thus are exposed to an array of secondary compounds in their diet. In this review we document secondary compounds in the nectar or pollen of poisonous rangeland plants of the Western United States, and the effects of these compounds on the behavior, performance, and survival of pollinators. Further, we discuss the biochemical, physiological, and behavioral mechanisms by which pollinators cope with secondary compound consumption, drawing parallels between pollinators and herbivores. Finally, we propose three avenues of future research on floral reward chemistry. Given that the majority of flowering plants require animals for pollination, understanding how floral reward chemistry affects pollinators has implications for plant reproduction in agricultural and rangeland habitats.
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Secondary Compounds in Floral Rewards of Toxic Rangeland Plants:
Impacts on Pollinators
Rebecca E. Irwin,*
Daniel Cook,
Leif L. Richardson,
Jessamyn S. Manson,
and Dale R. Gardner
Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755, United States
Poisonous Plant Research Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Logan, Utah 84321, United
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E9, Canada
ABSTRACT: The study of plant secondary chemistry has been essential in understanding plant consumption by herbivores.
There is growing evidence that secondary compounds also occur in oral rewards, including nectar and pollen. Many pollinators
are generalist nectar and pollen foragers and thus are exposed to an array of secondary compounds in their diet. This review
documents secondary compounds in the nectar or pollen of poisonous rangeland plants of the western United States and the
eects of these compounds on the behavior, performance, and survival of pollinators. Furthermore, the biochemical,
physiological, and behavioral mechanisms by which pollinators cope with secondary compound consumption are discussed,
drawing parallels between pollinators and herbivores. Finally, three avenues of future research on oral reward chemistry are
proposed. Given that the majority of owering plants require animals for pollination, understanding how oral reward chemistry
aects pollinators has implications for plant reproduction in agricultural and rangeland habitats.
KEYWORDS: alkaloid, nectar, pollen, pollinator, secondary metabolite
Rangeland plants contain secondary compounds that may
inuence the palatability and/or toxicity of the plant to cattle
and other herbivores. Plant secondary compounds are not
restricted to vegetative tissues but can also be found in plant
reproductive tissues and rewards, including nectar and
Thus, like grazing animals, pollinators are exposed
to a diverse array of secondary compounds when they collect
and consume oral rewards. Studies have documented the
identities and concentrations of secondary compounds in
nectar and pollen
as well as proposed and tested hypotheses
for the existence of these compounds in oral rewards
their costs and benets for plant tness via changes in
pollinator behavior.
Moreover, a growing number of studies
are focusing on the dietary eects of secondary compounds in
nectar and pollen on the performance of pollinators and the
biochemical, physiological, and behavioral mechanisms that
pollinators utilize when confronted with these compounds.
However, no study to our knowledge has reviewed the eects
of secondary compounds on pollinators and the mechanisms
involved. As rangeland plants can contain toxic secondary
compounds, there may be deleterious consequences to
livestock as well as benecial insects that forage on these plants.
Secondary compounds in nectar and pollen can have a range
of eects on pollinator preference and performance, from
negative to neutral to positive. Anecdotal reports of pollinators
suering toxic or lethal eects of secondary compounds are
however, few empirical studies have explicitly linked
pollinator mortality to secondary compounds in oral rewards.
More common are reports of pollinator deterrence due to
nectar secondary compounds, with evidence that compounds
from a number of chemical families elicit aversive responses in
bees, ants, and butteries.
For pollinators that do consume
secondary compounds, studies have documented deleterious
consequences such as reduced mobility,
ovary develop-
and survivorship.
It is important to note that the
negative eects of secondary compounds on pollinators are not
universal, and in some cases, consuming nectar secondary
compounds can have indirect benets for pollinators, as some
compounds found in nectar can reduce gut pathogen loads.
Moreover, low concentrations of nectar secondary compounds
can directly act as pollinator attractants in some cases,
increasing visitation rates
and even improving a pollinators
ability to remember oral cues.
The goal of this review is to highlight the identities and
concentrations of secondary compounds in the nectar and
pollen of toxic rangeland plants and their eects on pollinators.
In so doing, this review links the chemistry of plants to the diet,
performance, and survival of pollinators, organisms critical to
the reproductive success of many agricultural and rangeland
species. First, we review the occurrence of secondary
compounds in nectar and pollen using a case-study approach
of select rangeland plants of the western United States. We
focused on these plants because of their well-studied chemistry
and because they are known to be poisonous to livestock; yet,
many of these plants are reliant on pollinators for pollination,
and a growing number of studies are documenting the
chemistry of their oral rewards and subsequent eects on
pollinators. Within the context of each plant case study, we
Special Issue: Poisonous Plant Symposium, Inner Mongolia
Received: January 29, 2014
Revised: April 17, 2014
Accepted: April 26, 2014
Published: April 26, 2014
© 2014 American Chemical Society 7335 |J. Agric. Food Chem. 2014, 62, 73357344
explore how secondary compounds isolated from nectar and/or
pollen aect the behavior, reproduction, and/or survival of
pollinators. Second, because pollinators are often able to
survive the consumption of secondary compounds in nectar or
pollen, we review the biochemical, physiological, and behavioral
mechanisms by which pollinators cope with their consumption.
Given that bees are the dominant pollinators globally, we focus
most of our review on how bees cope with secondary
compound consumption and only touch on other types of
pollinators, such as Lepidoptera and birds. Finally, we propose
avenues for future research on the chemistry, biochemistry, and
ecology of secondary compounds in oral rewards from the
plants and the pollinators perspectives.
Several genera of poisonous plants are found in rangelands
throughout the world and the western United States. These
plants are typically visited by a suite of generalist pollinators or,
more rarely, by select specialists. Here we highlight eight genera
of plants (Figure 1), including their pollinators, secondary
compounds, and relevant literature describing the presence and
concentrations of these secondary compounds in oral rewards
as well as their eects on pollinators (Table 1). We focus on
alkaloid-containing plants as estimates suggest that 1025% of
angiosperm species contain alkaloids, and alkaloids are well-
known to mediate plantanimal interactions.
Zigadenus spp. (= syn. Amianthium,Anticlea,Sta-
nanthium, and Toxicoscordion;
Death Camas; Melan-
thiaceae). Reports show that several Zigadenus species,
including Zigadenus nuttallii and Zigadenus paniculatus, are
visited by a single bee, Andrena astragali, or a subset of the bee
community in the family Halictidae, whereas others such as
Zigadenus elegans are visited by ies.
Zigadenus spp.
contain a group of cevanine-type steroidal alkaloids (Table 1)
including esters of germine, protoverine, and zygadenine.
Zygacine, 1(Figure 2), an ester of zygadenine, is the major
alkaloid in Z. paniculatus and Zigadenus venenosus.
neurotoxic alkaloids bind open voltage-sensitive calcium
and are toxic to mice, sheep, and cattle.
have also been poisoned accidentally via consumption of death
camas bulbs.
Zygacine and related alkaloids can be detected
in all above-ground vegetative parts.
Moreover, preliminary
data suggest that zygacine can be detected in oral rewards,
including nectar and pollen of Z. paniculatus.
In an
experiment, adults of the generalist bee Osmia lignaria were
paralyzed and died soon after feeding on biologically relevant
doses of zygacine,
matching results suggesting toxicity of
nectar and pollen of Z. venenosus to honey bees (Apis
Larval progeny of O. lignaria also died when they
were fed provisions with zygacine.
The authors suggest that
the presence of zygacine in nectar and pollen may explain the
absence of generalist pollinators visiting this plant and that A.
astragali and pollinating ies may have adaptations to cope with
consumption of zygacine.
Veratrum spp. (Corn Lily; Melanthiaceae). The domi-
nant oral visitors of Veratrum spp., such as Veratrum album,
are ants, ies, and beetles.
In V. album there was also a single
record of a bee belonging to the Halictidae visiting the
Veratrum spp. contain a series of steroid alkaloids
termed azasteroids (Table 1), such as cyclopamine, 2(Figure
2), of which there are dierent groups, including veratranine,
jervanine, and cevanine; the cevanine types are similar to those
found in Zigadenus spp.
These alkaloids are found in roots as
well as vegetative parts and, like zygacine, are also neurotoxins
that bind open voltage-sensitive calcium channels.
ing alkaloids from V. album suppresses larval growth in house
ies (Musca vicina), an eect that dwindles as larvae mature and
has been reported in a number of nonpollinating insect
suggesting negative post-ingestive consequences for
Figure 1. Floral images of select genera of poisonous plants found in
rangelands throughout the world and the western United States: (A)
Zigadenus elegans (= syn. Anticlea elegans); (B) Veratrum californicum
(= syn V. tenuipetalum); (C) Delphinium barbeyi; (D) Aconitum
columbianum; (E) Nicotiana attenuata; (F) Lupinus prunophilus (= syn.
L. polyphyllus); (G) Senecio serra. Photographs provided courtesy and
copyright of Al Schneider (
Table 1. Ecology and Secondary Chemistry of Select Poisonous Plants of the Western United States and Impacts on Floral
plant genus secondary chemistry primary pollinators eects on oral visitors
Zigadenus cevanine-type steroidal alkaloids ies, specialized bee Andrena astragali, some bees
in the Halictidae zygacine causes mortality in Osmia lignaria
Veratrum azasteroid-type steroidal
alkaloids ants, ies, beetles, rarely bees induces mortality in house ies and honey bees
Delphinium lycoctonine-type C19
norditerpene alkaloids bees (especially bumble bees), hummingbirds dose-dependent deterrence and reductions in bee activity
Aconitum aconitine-type C19 diterpene
alkaloids bees (especially bumble bees), hummingbirds detected at trace concentrations in bumble bee tissues but
eects on bees unknown
Nicotiana piperidine and pyridine alkaloids bees, hawkmoths, hummingbirds dose-dependent deterrence and reductions in bee health and
Lupinus piperidine and quinolizidine
alkaloids solitary and social bees sparteine has both deterrent and toxic eects on honey bees
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry Review |J. Agric. Food Chem. 2014, 62, 733573447336
pollinator development. Moreover, alkaloids of V. album are
sequestered by the specialist sawyRhadinoceraea nodicornis,
reducing predation by ants, spiders, and bush crickets.
However, no studies to our knowledge have documented the
identities and concentrations of alkaloids in Veratrum spp. oral
rewards, although reports exist of Veratrum californicum toxicity
to honey bees foraging in the eld.
The structural similarity
between some of the Veratrum spp. alkaloids and those found
in Zigadenus spp. leads to speculation of the possibility that
these compounds may deter generalist bee pollinators from
visiting these plants, as has also been speculated in Zigadenus
spp. This hypothesis warrants further investigation.
Delphinium spp. (Larkspur; Ranunculaceae). The
dominant oral visitors of Delphinium spp. are generalists,
including a variety of bees, especially bumble bees, as well as
The nectar of Delphinium owers is
recessed within a nectar spur, so only bees and hummingbirds
with a long proboscis or bill can reach the nectar rewards.
Delphinium spp. contain a series of C19 norditerpene alkaloids
mainly of the lycoctonine type (Table 1); several of these
alkaloids are usually found in any given species. These
lycoctonine C19 norditerpene alkaloids are divided in two
structural classes, the N-(methylsuccinimido)anth-
ranoyllycoctonine (MSAL) type, 3(Figure 2), and the 7,8-
methylenedioxylycoctonine (MDL) type, the former being
more toxic and the latter less toxic.
These alkaloids bind to
acetylcholine receptors and are toxic to mammals and
Consumption of these plants causes signicant
cattle losses on an annual basis throughout the western United
Delphinium barbeyi and Delphinium nuttallianum
contain alkaloids in vegetative and oral parts as well as the
oral rewards, including nectar and pollen.
Alkaloid concen-
trations dier between oral rewards, vegetative, and oral parts
(Figure 3), with alkaloid concentrations in the nectar being at
least 450 times less than any vegetative or oral part in both
species. Alkaloid concentrations in Delphinium pollen are likely
to be intermediate to concentrations in pollen loads and
anthers as anthers contain other tissues that may overestimate
actual pollen concentrations, whereas pollen loads contain
nectar that may underestimate pollen concentrations.
alkaloid prole observed in oral rewards is qualitatively similar
to the prole found in vegetative parts in both species. Bees fed
sugar water supplemented with Delphinium alkaloids exhibited
Figure 2. Chemical structures of zygacine, 1, a steroidal alkaloid from
Zigadenus spp.; cyclopamine, 2, a steroidal alkaloid from Veratrum
spp.; methyllycaconitine, 3, a norditerpene alkaloid from Delphinium
spp.; aconitine, 4, a diterpene alkaloid from Aconitum spp.; nicotine, 5,
a pyridine alkaloid from Nicotiana spp.; lupanine, 6, a quinolizidine
alkaloid from Lupinus spp.; and senecionine, 7, a pyrrolizidine alkaloid
from Senecio spp.
Figure 3. Total alkaloid amounts in dierent plant parts of (A)
Delphinium barbeyi and (B) Delphinium nuttallianum. Bars are means +
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry Review |J. Agric. Food Chem. 2014, 62, 733573447337
reduced activity, but only at concentrations at least 50 times
higher than those detected in oral nectar.
D. barbeyi owers
supplemented with alkaloids had fewer visits by bee pollinators,
and bees spent less time per visit, but the eect was
concentration dependent.
Whereas D. barbeyi nectar alkaloid
concentrations within the natural range had no eect on bee
behavior, alkaloid concentrations higher than reported in nature
strongly deterred pollinators, suggesting an adaptive benetto
low nectar alkaloid concentrations to encourage pollination.
Aconitum spp. (Monkshood; Ranunculaceae). Aconitum
spp. are typically visited by generalist pollinators, including
bumble bees and hummingbirds, and in rare instances by
The owers of Aconitum spp. are characterized
by one of their petaloid sepals forming a hood that holds two
nectar spurs on stalks; thus, like Delphinium spp., nectar is only
accessible to visitors with a long proboscis. Aconitum spp.
contain a series of C19 diterpene alkaloids mainly of the
aconitine type, 4(Table 1; Figure 2). Aconitine-type alkaloids
are neurotoxic and cardiotoxic to insects and mammals,
including livestock; however, there are few livestock morbidity
reports from consumption of Aconitum as it is seldom eaten in
sucient quantity to cause mortality.
Gosselin et al.
reported alkaloid concentrations in dierent plant parts as
well as oral rewards in Aconitum septentrionale. Alkaloid
concentrations in pollen were similar to leaf and ower
concentrations, whereas concentrations in nectar were
signicantly lower. Lappaconitine was the dominant alkaloid
in all plant parts investigated including the oral rewards,
although some dierences were observed in the rank order of
abundance of other alkaloids between other tissues and oral
rewards. A. septentrionale pollen contains alkaloids in concen-
trations above the LD50 concentrations for most alkaloids
tested by Detzel and Wink
on honey bees, suggesting the
potential for post-consumptive eects on pollinator perform-
ance. However, eects of A. septentrionale alkaloids on bumble
bee pollinator larval survival and performance remain unknown.
Additionally, Gosselin et al.
detected the alkaloid lappaconi-
tine in the tissues of the specialist bumble bee Bombus
consobrinus but not the generalist Bombus wurenii. Whether
this observation has any biological signicance or results in a
tness benet is not known.
Nicotiana spp. (Tobacco; Solanaceae). Nicotiana spp. are
visited by a suite of generalist pollinators, including bees,
hawkmoths, and hummingbirds. Nicotiana spp. contain several
piperidine and pyridine alkaloids (Table 1), including nicotine,
5(Figure 2), that can be toxic to insects and mammals.
Nicotine acts as a stimulant and binds as an agonist to nicotinic
acetylcholine receptors. Nicotine is synthesized in the root and
transported to all above-ground plant parts, including oral
with nicotine concentrations in leaves and
owers being greater than that in nectar. In general, species that
contain greater concentrations of nicotine in leaves have greater
amounts of nicotine in their nectar.
Nicotine can reduce the
amount of time spent per ower, as well as the amount of
nectar removed per visit, by hawkmoth and hummingbird
However, the deterrent eects of nicotine in
nectar can be dose-dependent
and dependent on nectar-
sugar concentration,
and even at the highest concentrations of
nicotine in articial nectar, there is not complete deterrence.
Moreover, Singaravelan et al.
found that nectar with low
nicotine concentrations is preferred by honey bees over nectar
that contains no nicotine, suggesting that low nicotine
concentrations may act as attractants or feeding cues. Nicotine
consumption also has dose-dependent eects on honey bee
health and survival.
Lupinus spp. (Lupine; Fabaceae). The pea-like owers of
Lupinus spp. have an upper banner petal and two lower petals
fused into a keel. Pollinators must be strong enough to push
down the keel to gain access to the pollen, and in some cases
nectar, with bees being the most common pollinators. Lupinus
spp. contain piperidine and quinolizidine alkaloids (Table 1),
such as lupanine, 6(Figure 2), that bind to nicotinic and
muscarinic acetylcholine receptors. These alkaloids are toxic to
livestock and are thought to provide protection against natural
enemies, including insects.
Detzel and Wink
alkaloids in the pollen of Lupinus polyphyllus, with pollen
alkaloid concentrations being 5 times less than that in owers
and 27 times less than that in leaves. Sparteine, identied in L.
polyphyllus pollen, has both deterrent and toxic eects on honey
bees in the laboratory.
Other Genera. There are several other toxic rangeland
plant genera of the western United States, including Senecio
spp. (Asteraceae) and Echium spp. (Boraginaceae). Senecio spp.
are visited by a suite of generalist pollinators; Echium spp. such
as Echium vulgare can be visited by generalist species of bumble
bees in their introduced range in North America but are also
the host plants of several oligolectic bees in their native range.
Senecio and Echium spp. both contain pyrrolizidine alka-
Pyrrolizidine alkaloids, such as senecionine, 7(Figure
2), are hepatotoxic to livestock and are thought to provide
protection to the plants against natural enemies, including
These alkaloids have been detected in the pollen and/
or owers (or orets) of dierent species within each genus.
Moreover, pyrrolizidine alkaloids have been detected in honey
from Echium
and Senecio;
whether these alkaloids in
honey come from pollen, nectar, or both reward sources
remains to be determined. 1,2-Unsaturated tertiary pyrrolizi-
dine alkaloids of Senecio vernalis were toxic to honey bees at a
concentration of 2% in the laboratory, and honey bees were
deterred by pyrrolizidine-N-oxides at concentrations >0.2%.
How common these eects are on the preference and
performance of other pollinators remains to be investigated.
Synthesis. Three general patterns emerge from examination
of the case studies. First, secondary compound concentrations
in nectar tend to be lower than in pollen or leaves. Second,
pollen secondary compound concentrations can, in some cases,
be equal to or even higher than those concentrations found in
leaves. Third, secondary compounds in oral rewards can act as
lters on the community of species visiting owers, sometimes
discouraging visitation by nonspecialist pollinators or nectar
robbers or thieves, which could increase the chance of pollen
transfer for plants. The ecological and evolutionary implications
of these patterns for both plants and pollinators remain to be
explored in most cases, and the biochemical and physiological
mechanisms behind secondary compounds in nectar are an
active area of research.
Given that pollinators are exposed to secondary compounds in
their diet and frequently survive after consuming these
compounds, pollinators, like herbivores, may have mechanisms
to cope with the consumption of secondary compounds.
Indeed, pollinators and herbivores likely use some of the same
biochemical, physiological, and behavioral mechanisms. We
focus our review primarily on how bee pollinators survive the
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry Review |J. Agric. Food Chem. 2014, 62, 733573447338
consumption of secondary compounds, but we note that the
frugivory literature
may also provide testable predictions for
how vertebrate pollinators cope with the consumption of not
only fruit but also nectar or pollen with secondary compounds.
Moreover, we broaden this portion of the review beyond
alkaloids to include other classes of secondary compounds that
can occur in oral rewards and how pollinators cope with their
consumption, including phenolics and terpenoids.
Biochemical and Physiological Mechanisms. There are
a variety of biochemical and physiological mechanisms that may
help bees survive the consumption of secondary compounds,
including detoxication, conjugation, target-site insensitivity,
sequestration, rapid excretion, and endosymbionts. Although
these mechanisms have been studied in greater depth in
herbivores, there is some evidence that bees and/or other
pollinators also use some of the same types of mechanisms,
with the most literature documenting detoxication.
Detoxication. A common way that animals cope with a
variety of potentially toxic compounds is through enzymatic
conversion to less toxic forms that can then be eliminated. One
of the most prominent superfamilies of enzymes is the
cytochrome P450 superfamily of monooxygenases that catalyze
the oxidation of organic substances. P450s are present in a wide
diversity of prokaryotic and eukaryotic taxa, including
pollinating bees. For bees, the diversity and activity of P450s
have been studied in the most depth in honey bees and to a
lesser extent in bumble bees. Honey and bumble bees contain
signicantly fewer P450 genes than other insect genomes, such
as ies;
for example, the honey bee genome contains only 46
P450 genes, almost half that contained in other insect
Why bee genomes are relatively depauperate in
detoxication genes relative to other insects remains an active
area of research, especially given the generalized foraging
strategy of most solitary and social bees. However, one relevant
hypothesis is that because nectar and sometimes pollen have
lower concentrations of secondary compounds than leaves,
natural selection for detoxication genes in bees may be weaker
than that in phytophagous insects,
the adults of which may
nectar-feed but larvae feed on leaf material.
Nonetheless, a number of P450s in bees have been
implicated in the metabolism of secondary compounds found
in nectar and pollen as well as xenobiotics, such as acaricides
used to control Varroa mites,
and the CYP6 family of P450s
has shown expansion relative to other insect genomes and may
be involved in the metabolism of phytochemicals found in
nectar, pollen, and honey.
For example, quercetin, a
avonoid found in honey and pollen, is metabolized by ve
enzymes in the CYP6AS and CYP9Q subfamilies of P450s.
In a similar vein, phytochemicals found in pollen and honey,
such as p-coumaric acid, result in the up-regulation of
detoxication genes.
p-Coumaric acid is ubiquitous in pollen
and nonltered honey and, although unlikely to be toxic to
bees, it may serve as a predictable cue for the up-regulation of
detoxication genes against a wide variety of secondary
compounds. Honey bees are also exposed to plant secondary
compounds when they gather resins from vegetation to
produce propolis, a sticky substance used in hive maintenance
and architecture.
A set of propolis-derived phenolic
compounds, such as pinocembrin and pinobanksin, are present
in most honeys, where they are considered minor contami-
These compounds have also been shown to up-regulate
P450 detoxication genes.
Along with P450s, other enzyme systems may also play a role
in metabolic detoxication, including the carboxylesterases
(COEs). COEs catalyze the hydrolysis of esters into amino
acids and alcohol. For example, albeit to a lesser extent than
P450s, COEs may also be responsible for the detoxication of
insecticides derived from pyrethrins naturally
occurring in Tanacetum spp. daisies. Like the P450s, there are
only about half as many COE protein-coding genes compared
to other insect genomes.
Additionally, the expression and
thus activity of the various detoxication genes may vary as a
function of bee sex and/or exposure at a particular life history
Conjugation. Conjugation, another form of detoxication,
involves the production of a compound that binds to the
secondary compound, which is thus rendered harmless and
For example, the superfamily of glutathione S-
transferases (GSTs) can catalyze the conjugation of exogeneous
toxins, including pyrethroids (originally derived from plants)
and other xenobiotics.
Treatment with the pyrethroid
umethrin increased GST activity in larvae, pupae, and nurse
honey bees.
However, in another study exploring honey bee
tolerance to pyrethroids, Johnson et al.
found that GSTs did
not contribute signicantly to honey bee pyrethroid tolerance.
To our knowledge, the role of conjugation as a countermeasure
for secondary compound consumption is not well explored in
bees and warrants further research.
Target-Site Insensitivity. Target-site insensitivity occurs
when there is a change at a neuroreceptor site for a particular
secondary compound that subsequently inhibits or excludes
binding, or when there is a change in the number of receptors
for a particular compound, and is a primary mechanism by
which herbivores can become resistant to pesticides.
Although the role of target-site insensitivity to secondary
compounds is relatively unexplored in bees, it may play a role in
other types of pollinators consuming secondary compounds.
For example, target-site insensitivity to milkweed (Asclepias
spp.) cardenolides occurs in a number of herbivores, including
the monarch buttery(Danus plexippus; Lepidoptera) and four
other insect orders (Heteroptera, Orthoptera, Coleoptera, and
Because D. plexippus adults can also act as
pollinators of milkweed and milkweed nectar can contain
toxic cardenolides,
it is plausible that target-site insensitivity
may also play a role in allowing adults to cope with the
consumption of secondary compounds. We should note,
however, that target-site insensitivity is not universal in
herbivores that feed on cardenolides; for example, arctiid
moths feeding on cardenolides may use the perineurium
surrounding the nervous tissue as a barrier, preventing
cardenolides from reaching the Na+/K+-ATPase in the central
nerve cord.
Nonetheless, adults sometimes nectar feed on the
same host plants as their folivorous larvae. These cases may
provide insights into the biochemical and physiological
mechanisms that adult pollinators use to cope with these
Sequestration. Some foliar herbivores concentrate and
retain secondary compounds from their diets, a phenomenon
known as sequestration.
As most pollinators consume plant
material, it is possible that they too sequester secondary
metabolites, but this has been studied for only a few pollination
systems. Several species of male ithomiine butteries
(Nymphalidae: Danainae) avidly seek and consume oral
nectars containing pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which they seques-
These alkaloids deter predators,
serve as pheromone
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry Review |J. Agric. Food Chem. 2014, 62, 733573447339
precursors, and operate in a sexual selection mating system.
In another example, Southeast Asian Bulbophyllum orchids
attract their fruit y (Tephritidae) pollinators with phenyl-
propanoid secretions including zingerone and methyleugenol;
male ies sequester these compounds, converting them to sex
It is possible that bees might also sequester secondary
compounds, because their diet consists almost entirely of nectar
and pollen that often contain those compounds, and other
herbivorous Hymenoptera such as sawies commonly sequester
compounds such as iridoid glycosides and glucosinolates.
the only study to our knowledge that has investigated
sequestration by bees, Gosselin et al.
reported trace amounts
of six alkaloids in the tissues of a bumble bee species foraging
on Aconitum septentrionale, including the aconitine-type alkaloid
lappaconitine, the major alkaloid in pollen and nectar; however,
there was no evidence that bees concentrated the alkaloids.
Sequestration is most often found in insects with specialized
diets, and given that 20% of bees specialize in their pollen
collections, the possibility of sequestration of secondary
compounds by bees is a research avenue that deserves further
Rapid Excretion. Rapid excretion of secondary compounds
either with or without detoxication may serve as another
mechanism by which pollinators cope with the consumption of
these compounds. One striking example is the reduced gut
retention time following consumption of secondary compounds
involving Palestine sunbirds (Nectarinia osea) feeding on the
nectar of tree tobacco (Nicotiana glauca). The nectar of N.
glauca contains the pyridine alkaloids anabasine and nicotine.
Gut transit time of a sugar solution containing either of the
pyridine alkaloids was signicantly lower when compared to
that of birds fed a sugar solution without the alkaloids.
authors suggest that consuming pyridine alkaloids may induce a
laxative eect, as is observed in mammals that consume plant
material containing pyridine alkaloids, which results in
accelerated gut transit time due to increased tone and activity
of the intestinal smooth muscles.
A laxative eect of
secondary compounds may be common in other plant-
pollinator systems as well but remains to be tested widely.
Endosymbionts. Many species of invertebrates harbor
endosymbiotic microbes in their guts, which may play a role
in the detoxication of secondary compounds.
Bees interact
with specic suites of horizontally transmitted bacteria
mediate immune responses to gut pathogens
and may play a
role in digestion of plant foods.
Some phytophagous beetles
interact with endosymbiotic gut fungi that assimilate carbon
from their hostsdiets, sometimes detoxifying alkaloids and
other potentially toxic compounds to do so.
Although a
detoxifying eect has not been demonstrated for endosymbiotic
fungi of pollinators such as bees, the possibility is worth
exploring given that bees harbor a diversity of gut fungi.
Behavioral Mechanisms. Behavioral mechanisms may also
help pollinators cope with secondary compounds. Here we
highlight three strategies: avoidance, diet mixing, and storage.
Avoidance. Biochemical and physiological mechanisms to
cope with secondary compounds usually occur or are induced
following compound ingestion. In contrast, behavioral mech-
anisms such as avoidance (or deterrence) can prevent
pollinators from consuming or collecting nectar or pollen
with secondary compounds prior to tasting their food (i.e., via
olfactory or visual cues) as well as reduce feeding once a
foraging choice has been made (i.e., via reduced per-ower visit
length or the number of owers visited per plant). For example,
the darkly colored nectar of the South African aloe Aloe
vryheidensis may serve as a warning to some oral visitors of the
bitter-tasting phenolic nectar, albeit other visitors might nd
such coloration attractive.
In comparison, high concen-
trations of nectar alkaloids in Gelsemium sempervirens have no
eect on whether or not a plant is visited, but do aect oral
visitor behavior once pollinators have tasted the nectar,
reducing the proportion of owers visited per plant and the
time spent per ower.
Secondary compounds in oral rewards may not only aect
adult foragers but also their ospring when bees collect nectar
and pollen to provision to their larvae. Just as adult
phytophagous insects can avoid exposing their larvae to toxic
plants by not ovipositing on them,
adult bees could similarly
limit larval exposure to secondary compounds by reduced
nectar and pollen gathering from sources with oral secondary
compounds. In Lepidoptera, the link between oviposition
preference and ospring performance can be genetically
The degree to which such preferenceperform-
ance matches occur and are genetically determined in bees is
less explored. One strong dierence, however, between
phytophagous insects and bees is that, in some cases, adult
phytophagous insects are unable to determine which plants are
suitable for their larval ospring,
but larvae can move
between plant species if poor oviposition choices are made.
In contrast, bee larvae typically cannot use movement as a
behavior to avoid feeding on unsuitable provisions, including
those that may have secondary compounds, and thus are forced
to eat provisions that may be distasteful and/or toxic.
Diet Mixing. Like many mammalian herbivores, most bees
are dietary generalists and are thus exposed to a great diversity
of plant secondary compounds. Mixing the products of many
plants could dilute the negative eects of any one compound,
thereby allowing generalists to exploit a food base that includes
nectar and pollen containing secondary compounds.
Research with solitary bees (Osmia spp.: Megachilidae)
demonstrates that foragers will incur greater energetic costs
than necessary to assemble pollen loads from a variety of plant
species, rather than a single species near the nest,
and that
bees may develop normally on pollen mixtures that contain up
to 50% of a toxic pollen that is lethal when consumed alone.
This increased energy expenditure to collect pollen from a
variety of plant species may be a mechanism to prevent larval
toxicity and/or to balance nutrient acquisition, although such
hypotheses warrant further investigation.
Storage. There is evidence that pollinators can avoid
negative consequences of secondary compound consumption
through social behaviors such as honey production and storage.
Honey is the product of enzymatic conversion and dehydration
of oral nectar by honey bees and related Apidae.
oxidase, a product of the hypopharyngeal gland of nurse honey
bees, may deactivate (or suppress induction of) alkaloids
lower the secondary compound content of plant nectar within
the hive.
Moreover, honey bees maintain a nest homeo-
stasis that is high in temperature and low in CO2relative to the
environment, which promotes the modication and/or
degradation of phenolic compounds.
However, toxic honeys
have long been known
and may also contain unadulterated
secondary compounds such as the grayanotoxins of Rhododen-
dron (Ericaceae).
Although there are reports of nectars that
are toxic to bees
and some honey is toxic to humans, we do
not know whether such toxic honeysare toxic to the bees that
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry Review |J. Agric. Food Chem. 2014, 62, 733573447340
produce them. Future research should examine the role of
apparently toxic honey in the ecology of social bees.
Exciting challenges remain in the study of secondary
compounds in oral rewards. Throughout this review we
have highlighted a diversity of topics warranting further
investigation. Here we highlight three areas that we believe
are particularly promising for future research.
Chemistry and Biochemistry of Secondary Com-
pounds in Floral Rewards. Plant secondary compounds
have been quintessential in the study of plantherbivore
interactions, and there is growing recognition that these
compounds occur in oral rewards.
A historical survey of
plants suggests the commonality of secondary compounds in
with 55% of plants surveyed containing nonprotein
amino acids in their nectar, 36% containing phenolics, and 9%
containing alkaloids. However, few studies have identied and
measured actual concentrations of secondary compounds in
nectar and/or pollen rewards and how they relate to secondary
compound expression in a whole-plant context.
Measuring secondary compounds in oral rewards within a
whole-plant context provides an ideal opportunity to test
predictions about compound expression related to optimal
defense theory.
A variety of analytical tools are now
available to measure both within-species and among-species
variation in oral reward chemistry, including large-scale,
nontargeted metabolomics approaches.
There is a dearth of information not only on the identities
and concentrations of secondary compounds in oral rewards
but also of the origin of these reward components. Especially
within the context of nectar, where nectar secondary
compounds are produced and how they are added to the
nectar remain mysteries in most cases. Studies that measure
nectar secondary compounds within a whole-plant context
should also consider measuring their identities and concen-
trations in the phloem sap. Doing so may help to identify those
compounds that are manufactured by the nectary itself versus
those that come from the phloem sap and thus may be a
pleiotropic consequence of plant defense against herbivores.
Physiological and molecular research into the secretion
mechanisms of secondary compounds may also help to identify
compounds that serve an adaptive function.
Costs and Benets of Secondary Compound Con-
sumption for Pollinators. Studies that have focused on the
costs and benets of secondary compounds in oral rewards
have in many cases been phytocentric, measuring their eect on
plant tness via changes in pollinator behavior.
However, as
consumers of nectar and pollen, pollinators such as bees are
exposed to a diverse array of secondary compounds in their
diet. Thus, there is nearly unlimited opportunity to assess how
secondary compounds in a pollinators diet aect performance
and tness and to assess the mechanisms involved. Since the
1800s, there has been recognition that honeys can become
contaminated with oral products from nectar and pollen that
are harmful to human health, and so it is logical to extend these
eects to natural consumers of nectar and pollen. The handful
of studies conducted thus far show variable eects of secondary
compounds on pollinator performance, even when the same
compound is explored. For example, the nectar alkaloid
gelsemine reduced oocyte width in subordinate but not
dominant bumble bees of Bombus impatiens,
whereas the
same nectar alkaloid had no eect on larval survival or weight of
the solitary bee Osmia lignaria.
Future research should
consider that secondary compounds in oral rewards may have
not only costs for pollinator preference, performance, and
tness but also potentially benets and that the relative costs
versus benets may be dependent on the identify and
concentration of secondary compound consumed. Moreover,
more mechanistic studies are needed from a diversity of
approaches, including molecular, biochemical, physiological,
and behavioral, that explore how pollinators cope with and
benet from secondary compound consumption and the
potential consequences for interactions with other factors,
including xenobiotics and parasites. Given widespread concerns
over pollinator declines, a mechanistic exploration into how
pollinators survive secondary compound consumption may
provide insights into how pollinators handle chemical exposure
in rangeland and agricultural habitats.
Role of Secondary Compounds in Pollen. Whereas the
costs and benets of nectar secondary compounds are
becoming more widely explored,
research on secondary
compounds in pollen has lagged behind. One challenge with
the study of pollen is its dual role, both as a gamete for plants
and as a reward for pollen-harvesting bees. Nonetheless,
research to date suggests that pollen secondary compound
concentrations can sometimes mirror or even be higher than
those in owers or leaves, albeit sometimes less chemically
Whether pollen secondary compounds are
simply a pleiotropic consequence of plant defense and
development or whether they serve an adaptive function
remains to be tested in most cases. Studies that explore pollen
secondary compounds using a comparative phylogenetic
approach and that incorporate research both from the plants
and the oral visitors perspective will provide important
scientic insights.
Corresponding Author
*(R.E.I.) Phone: (603) 646-3688. Fax: (603) 646-1347. E-mail:
L.L.R. was funded by a grant from the National Science
Foundation during the writing of this review (DEB-1256817).
Any opinions, ndings, and conclusions or recommendations
expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not
necessarily reect the views of the National Science
The authors declare no competing nancial interest.
We thank J. Andicoechea, Z. Gezon, R. Molyneux, G. Pardee,
R. Schaeer, C. Urbanowicz, and two anonymous reviewers for
comments on the manuscript and J. Cane for permission to cite
unpublished data.
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... A seemingly paradoxical relationship has long been acknowledged between pollinators, plants, and herbivores (Manson et al. 2009;Irwin et al. 2014;Jacobsen and Raguso 2018). When plants are attacked by insect herbivores, it is advantageous to simultaneously deter future herbivory while still attracting beneficial insects such as pollinators. ...
... When plants are attacked by insect herbivores, it is advantageous to simultaneously deter future herbivory while still attracting beneficial insects such as pollinators. However, the means to deter herbivorese.g., secondary compounds or plant growth changesmay either reduce (Irwin et al. 2014) or increase (Adler 2000) interactions with pollinators. Therefore, plants face the potential tradeoff of balancing costs (herbivory) with benefits (pollination). ...
... Previous summaries and original research have described the indirect effects of insect herbivores on plant reproduction and fitness (Moreira et al. 2019) and pollinators (Irwin et al. 2014;Jacobsen and Raguso 2018). We used these articles to develop a framework of indirect effects by categorizing the types of mechanisms presented within each article. ...
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Globally, large herbivores (e.g., cattle, elk) graze over 2.6 billion hectares of land. These lands can also be used to conserve pollinators that rely on similar resources, specifically diverse plant communities. Pollinator conservation will benefit from management in lands that are used for livestock grazing and wildlife conservation. However, maximizing ecosystem services provided in these areas is often nuanced and difficult. To improve our ability to support multiple ecosystem services in grazing lands, we reviewed published literature to investigate the mechanisms of indirect effects of large herbivores on pollinators via their resources (food plants, nesting sites). We used a framework from previous research on indirect effects of insect herbivores to explore and interpret how plant responses mediate large herbivore effects on pollinators through three mechanistic categories: resource abundance and availability, plant appearance, and plant chemistry. Using the broader conceptual model, we conducted a targeted literature review that found ~ 95% of studies investigating pollinators and large herbivores focused on resource abundance and availability. Consequently, more research is necessary to understand how large herbivores impact pollinators through multiple mechanisms. Future research could also test responses with both large herbivores and insect herbivores to determine their combined ecological consequences. This research will provide insights for managing large herbivores and pollinators simultaneously, while connecting concepts of pollinator ecology and grazing ecology. Filling research gaps on the mechanisms of indirect effects of large herbivores on pollinators will ultimately improve management of multiple ecosystem services and our ability to conserve declining pollinator species.
... The xenobiotic adaptation in arthropods evolves through multiple mechanisms ( Figure 1) [13,14], including reduced penetration through the cuticle, behavioral avoidance [15,16], microbiome-mediated detoxification [17][18][19][20], enhanced metabolic detoxification [21][22][23][24][25], enhanced sequestration or excretion [13,19,26,27], and target site insensitivity [28][29][30][31][32]. Among them, enhanced metabolic detoxification and target site insensitivity are the most common mechanisms [5,[33][34][35]. ...
... The xenobiotic adaptation in arthropods evolves through multiple mechanisms ( Figure 1) [13,14], including reduced penetration through the cuticle, behavioral avoidance [15,16], microbiome-mediated detoxification [17][18][19][20], enhanced metabolic detoxification [21][22][23][24][25], enhanced sequestration or excretion [13,19,26,27], and target site insensitivity [28][29][30][31][32]. Among them, enhanced metabolic detoxification and target site insensitivity are the most common mechanisms [5,[33][34][35]. ...
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As a superfamily of multifunctional enzymes that is mainly associated with xenobiotic adaptation, glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) facilitate insects' survival under chemical stresses in their environment. GSTs confer xenobiotic adaptation through direct metabolism or sequestration of xenobiotics, and/or indirectly by providing protection against oxidative stress induced by xenobiotic exposure. In this article, a comprehensive overview of current understanding on the versatile functions of insect GSTs in detoxifying chemical compounds is presented. The diverse structures of different classes of insect GSTs, specifically the spatial localization and composition of their amino acid residues constituted in their active sites are also summarized. Recent availability of whole genome sequences of numerous insect species, accompanied by RNA interference, X-ray crystallography, enzyme kinetics and site-directed mutagenesis techniques have significantly enhanced our understanding of functional and structural diversity of insect GSTs.
... As generalist pollinators, honey bees have the potential to be exposed to a broad diversity of phytochemicals. Exposure occurs when they collect floral rewards such as nectar and pollen or when they encounter antimicrobial plant resins [8,9]. In agroecosystems, honey bees are reduced glutathione (GSH) to electrophilic substrates or toxic chemical compounds previously processed in the phase I detoxification process carried out by P450s and/or COEs [64,65,73]. ...
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The European honey bee, Apis mellifera , serves as the principle managed pollinator species globally. In recent decades, honey bee populations have been facing serious health threats from combined biotic and abiotic stressors, including diseases, limited nutrition, and agrochemical exposure. Understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying xenobiotic adaptation of A. mellifera is critical, considering its extensive exposure to phytochemicals and agrochemicals present in flowers, propolis, hives, and the environment. In this study, we conducted a comprehensive structural and functional characterization of AmGSTD1, a delta class glutathione S-transferase (GST) enzyme, to unravel its roles in agrochemical detoxification and antioxidative stress responses. Significantly, we determined the 3D structure of a honey bee GST using protein crystallography for the first time, providing new insights into its molecular structure. Our investigations revealed that AmGSTD1 efficiently metabolizes model substrates, including 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (CDNB), p-nitrophenyl acetate (PNA), phenylethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC), propyl isothiocyanate (PITC), and the oxidation byproduct 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE). Moreover, we discovered that AmGSTD1 exhibits binding affinity with the fluorophore 8-Anilinonaphthalene-1-sulfonic acid (ANS), which can be inhibited with various herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and their metabolites. These findings highlight the potential contribution of AmGSTD1 in safeguarding honey bee health against various agrochemicals and their metabolites, while also mitigating oxidative stress resulting from exposure to these substances.
... The first hypothesis proposes that bees specialize on plants whose pollen is avoided by other bees. According to what we will call the "pollen quality hypothesis," pollen-specialist bees developed adaptations to feed on plants with low-quality pollen-pollen that possesses secondary compounds or other deterrents (Irwin et al., 2014;Rivest & Forrest, 2020;Stevenson, 2020) or that is low in protein content-and is thus avoided by other bee species (Brochu et al., 2020;Cane et al., 2020;McAulay et al., 2020;Müller & Kuhlmann, 2008;Praz et al., 2008;Trunz et al., 2020;Vanderplanck et al., 2020). This strategy could evolve to allow the bee to use an unexploited resource (Danforth et al., 2019), because low-quality and/ or defended pollen protects the bee and its offspring from brood parasites or fungal pathogens (Bernays & Graham, 1988;Giacomini et al., 2018;LoCascio et al., 2019;Spear et al., 2016;Wynns, 2012) or because a coevolutionary arms race occurred between the bee and its host plant during their evolutionary history (Danforth et al., 2019;Wcislo & Cane, 1996). ...
Specialist insect herbivores make up a substantial fraction of Earth's biodiversity; however, they exploit a minority of plant lineages. For instance, in the eastern U.S.A. and Canada, ~25% of bee species are pollen specialists, but they are hosted by a small fraction of the native, animal-pollinated angiosperms in the region: only 6% of plant genera and 3% of families support pollen-specialist bees. It is unclear why some plant lineages host specialist bees while others do not. We know that at least some specialist bees use plant taxa that are avoided by generalists, suggesting that specialist bees favor plants with low-quality pollen, potentially as a strategy to escape competition or obtain protection from natural enemies. There is also evidence that specialist bees prefer superabundant host plants. Here we investigate whether pollen quality and plant abundance predict patterns of host use by specialist bees in eastern North America. Through field observations, we find that plants hosting specialist bees are frequent sources of pollen for generalists, suggesting that their pollen is not generally avoided by bees due to poor pollen quality. In addition, our analysis of a large citizen-science dataset shows that regional abundance strongly predicts which plant genera in the eastern U.S.A. host pollen-specialist bees. Our results show that bees specialize on regionally abundant - but not necessarily low-quality - plant lineages. These plant lineages may provide more opportunities for the evolution of specialists and lower likelihood of specialist extinction. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... In general, secondary metabolic compounds provide protection for the plant, as they act against both predators (e.g., herbivorous insects) and pathogenic microorganisms. In addition, those metabolites can play important roles in regulating plant growth, in nitrogen storage, and in attracting pollinators, among others (waller & Nowacki 1978, Irwin et al. 2014. ...
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Davilla pygmaea, a new species endemic to the Brazilian Savanna, is described, illustrated and its systematic position is discussed here. The new species is closely related to D. elliptica and D. grandiflora, from which it differs by characters such as a decumbent habit, the shape of its leaf blades, the inflorescence architecture, the size and numbers of flowers, the size of the internal and external sepals during flowering and fruiting, the androecium with 126-131 stamens, and the presence and type of trichomes on vegetative organs. Anatomical characters such as the number of vascular bundles in the petiole and midrib, shape of the midrib in cross section, the margins of the leaf blades, the presence and arrangement of the fibers associated with small-caliber vascular bundles, and the presence of a fiber sheath extension in studied species also differentiate them. Histochemical tests demonstrated that alkaloids, acidic lipids, and phenolic compounds present in the leaf tissues of the new species and D. grandiflora, its closest congener, may have potential medicinal properties. In addition, the new species has its distribution mapped, its flowering and fruiting seasons delimited, and would likely be considered Critically Endangered (CR), as we have found only two populations. A key to identify Davilla species known to Goiás State, Brazil, is provided.
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Background Plants often use floral displays to attract mutualists and prevent antagonist attacks. Chemical displays detectable from a distance include attractive or repellent floral volatile organic compounds (FVOCs). Locally, visitors perceive contact chemicals including nutrients but also deterrent or toxic constituents of pollen and nectar. FVOC and pollen chemical composition may vary intra- and interspecifically. For certain pollinator and florivore species, responses towards these compounds are studied in specific plant systems; yet we lack a synthesis of general patterns comparing these two groups and insights into potential correlations between FVOC and pollen chemodiversity. Scope We reviewed how FVOCs and non-volatile floral chemical displays, i.e., pollen nutrients and toxins, vary in composition and affect the detection and behaviour of insect visitors. Moreover, we used meta-analyses to evaluate the detection of and responses towards FVOCs by pollinators vs. florivores within the same plant genera. We also tested whether the chemodiversity of FVOCs, pollen nutrients and toxins are correlated and hence mutually informative. Key Results According to available data, florivores could detect more FVOCs than pollinators. Frequently tested FVOCs were often reported as pollinator-attractive and florivore-repellent. Among FVOCs tested on both visitor groups, there were a higher number of attractive than repellent compounds. FVOC and pollen toxin richness correlated negatively, indicating trade-offs, while a marginal positive correlation between pollen protein amount and toxin richness was observed. Conclusions Plants face critical trade-offs, as floral chemicals mediate similar information to both mutualists and antagonists, particularly through attractive, and fewer repellent, FVOCs. Furthermore, florivores may detect more FVOCs, whose richness is correlated to reward chemical richness. FVOC chemodiversity is potentially informative of reward traits. To better understand the ecological processes shaping floral chemical displays, more research is needed on floral antagonists of diverse plant species, and on the role of floral chemodiversity towards visitor responses.
Grayanotoxin I (GTX I) is a major toxin in leaves of Rhododendron species, where it provides a defence against insect and vertebrate herbivores. Surprisingly, it is also present in R. ponticum nectar, and this can hold important implications for plant-pollinator mutualisms. However, knowledge of GTX I distributions across the genus Rhododendron and in different plant materials is currently limited, despite the important ecological function of this toxin. Here we characterise GTX I expression in the leaves, petals, and nectar of seven Rhododendron species. Our results indicated interspecific variation in GTX I concentration across all species. GTX I concentrations were consistently higher in leaves compared to petals and nectar. Our findings provide preliminary evidence for phenotypic correlation between GTX I concentrations in defensive tissues (leaves and petals) and floral rewards (nectar), suggesting that Rhododendron species may commonly experience functional trade-offs between herbivore defence and pollinator attraction.
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Many plants produce chemical defense compounds as protection against antagonistic herbivores. However, how beneficial insects such as pollinators deal with the presence of these potentially toxic chemicals in nectar and pollen is poorly understood. Here, we characterize a conserved mechanism of plant secondary metabolite detoxification in the Hymenoptera, an order that contains numerous highly beneficial insects. Using phylogenetic and functional approaches, we show that the CYP336 family of cytochrome P450 enzymes detoxifies alkaloids, a group of potent natural insecticides, in honeybees and other hymenopteran species that diverged over 281 million years. We linked this function to an aspartic acid residue within the main access channel of CYP336 enzymes that is highly conserved within this P450 family. Together, these results provide detailed insights into the evolution of P450s as a key component of detoxification systems in hymenopteran species and reveal the molecular basis of adaptations arising from interactions between plants and beneficial insects.
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Kuşlar doğada ve evlerimizde olası zehirli maddelere maruz kalarak zehirlenirler. Kuşlarda bitkisel zehirler, siyanotoksinler, zootoksinler, bakteriyel toksinler ve mikotoksinler zehirlenme oluşturur. Çoğu yetiştirici olası zehirli maddeler hakkında bilgi sahibi değildir. Teşhisi klinik olarak zordur. Teşhis anamnez ve klinik belirtilere bağlıdır ve klinik olarak spesifik toksisite testleri yapılamamaktadır. Bu derlemede vahşi kuşlar, evcil ve kafes kuşları, kümes hayvanlarında zehirlenmeye sebep olan bitkisel zehirler ve bazı toksinlerin meydana getirdiği zehirlenmeler ve sağaltımları hakkında bilgi verilecektir.
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While foraging for nectar and pollen, bees are exposed to a myriad of xenobiotics, including plant metabolites, which may exert a wide range of effects on their health. Although the bee genome encodes enzymes that help in the metabolism of xenobiotics, it has lower detoxification gene diversity than the genomes of other insects. Therefore, bees may rely on other components that shape their physiology, such as the microbiota, to degrade potentially toxic molecules. In this study, we show that amygdalin, a cyanogenic glycoside found in honey bee-pollinated almond trees, can be metabolized by both bees and members of the gut microbiota. In microbiota-deprived bees, amygdalin is degraded into prunasin, leading to prunasin accumulation in the midgut and hindgut. In microbiota-colonized bees, on the other hand, amygdalin is degraded even further, and prunasin does not accumulate in the gut, suggesting that the microbiota contribute to the full degradation of amygdalin into hydrogen cyanide. In vitro experiments demonstrated that amygdalin degradation by bee gut bacteria is strain-specific and not characteristic of a particular genus or species. We found strains of Bifidobacterium, Bombilactobacillus and Gilliamella that can degrade amygdalin. The degradation mechanism appears to vary since only some strains produce prunasin as an intermediate. Finally, we investigated the basis of degradation in Bifidobacterium wkB204, a strain that fully degrades amygdalin. We found overexpression and secretion of several carbohydrate-degrading enzymes, including one in glycoside hydrolase family 3 (GH3). We expressed this GH3 in Escherichia coli and detected prunasin as a byproduct when cell lysates were cultured with amygdalin, supporting its contribution to amygdalin degradation. These findings demonstrate that both host and microbiota can act together to metabolize dietary plant metabolites.
Pollen loads ere examined and pollen species identified bout 70 females of the unfortunately named Andrena astragali Viereck and Cockerell Specimen were collected over 60 years and were from four states (CA, ID. UT, WY) At all sites. in all bears, Andrena astragali is an oligolege of the putatively toxic death camas (Zigadenus. Liliaceae) species of locoweed (Astragalus Leguminosae) are visited occasionally, probably for nectar.
Alkaloids, represent a group of interesting and complex chemical compounds, produced by the secondary metabolism of living organisms in different biotopes. They are relatively common chemicals in all kingdoms of living organisms in all environments. Two hundred years of scientific research has still not fully explained the connections between alkaloids and life. Alkaloids-Chemistry, Biological Significance, Applications and Ecological Role provides knowledge on structural typology, biosynthesis and metabolism in relation to recent research work on alkaloids. Considering an organic chemistry approach to alkaloids using biological and ecological explanation. Within the book several questions that persist in this field of research are approached as are some unresearched areas. The book provides beneficial text for an academic and professional audience and serves as a source of knowledge for anyone who is interested in the fascinating subject of alkaloids. Each chapter features an abstract. Appendices are included, as are a listing of alkaloids, plants containing alkaloids and some basic protocols of alkaloid analysis. z.ast; Presents the ecological role of alkaloids in nature and ecosystems z.ast; Interdisciplinary and reader friendly approach z.ast; Up-to-date knowledge.
By acting as a selective source of mortality in insect populations, insecticides, both natural and man-made, have wrought extraordinary changes in the genetic composition and physiology of insects. Among these changes are several fundamentally different resistance mechanisms. One of the less well understood forms of resistance is target site insensitivity (TSI), defined as the failure of a toxicant to bind to the target due to alteration in the structure or accessibility of that target site (Brooks 1976). Studies of TSI have been severely hampered by the fact that, in order to understand TSI as a resistance mechanism, it is necessary first to know what the target site and mode of action are. This is decidedly not the case for the majority of plant allelochemicals; it is, however, true for a few synthetic organic insecticides, and the phenomenon of target site insensitivity was first discovered in connection with chemical control programs that ceased working.
Honey bees, Apis mellifera L., often thought to be extremely susceptible to insecticides in general, exhibit considerable variation in tolerance to pyrethroid insecticides. Although some pyrethroids, such as cyfluthrin and lambda-cyhalothrin, are highly toxic to honey bees, the toxicity of tau-fluvalinate is low enough to warrant its use to control parasitic mites inside honey bee colonies. Metabolic insecticide resistance in other insects is mediated by three major groups of detoxifying enzymes: the cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450s), the carboxylesterases (COEs), and the glutathione S -transferases (GSTs). To test the role of metabolic detoxification in mediating the relatively low toxicity of tau-fluvalinate compared with more toxic pyrethroid insecticides, we examined the effects of piperonyl butoxide (PBO), S , S , S -tributylphosphorotrithioate (DEF), and diethyl maleate (DEM) on the toxicity of these pyrethroids. The toxicity of the three pyrethroids to bees was greatly synergized by the P450 inhibitor PBO and synergized at low levels by the carboxylesterase inhibitor DEF. Little synergism was observed with DEM. These results suggest that metabolic detoxification, especially that mediated by P450s, contributes significantly to honey bee tolerance of pyrethroid insecticides. The potent synergism between tau-fluvalinate and PBO suggests that P450s are especially important in the detoxification of this pyrethroid and explains the ability of honey bees to tolerate its presence.
In agreement with the IUPAC corrected tentative rules for steroid nomenclature, the veratrum alkaloids are classified in the jervanine, veratranine, cevanine, and solanidanine groups. Veralkamine and veralinine are regarded as derivatives of the rearranged steroid hydrocarbon cholestane. However, there are also alkaloids possessing a normal cholestane skeleton (the 22,26-epiminocholestane). The alkaloid veramine could be considered a derivative of rearranged tomatanine. It seems, however, reasonable to distinguish Buxus alkaloids according to the number of nitrogen atoms incorporated. In accordance with the nomenclature in this chapter, the alkaloids veratrobasine, jervine, 11-deoxojervine (identical with cyclopamine), veratramine, verarine and the glycoalkaloids veratrosine, pseudo-jervine, and cycloposine belong to the bases of jervanine and veratranine type. In an earlier study, the empirical formula of veratrobasine isolated from Veratrum album L. was revised and the structure, including the stereochemistry, determined by means of X-ray diffraction analysis. The determination of the structure of veratrobasine definitely settled the discrepancies in the structure of the related bases, the jervanine and veratranine subgroup and particularly of jervine. Suginome and associates have also photolyzed, under the conditions of the Barton reaction, the nitrite of (22S,25S)-N-acetyl-11-hydroxy-veratra-4,13-dienine-3,23-dione prepared from jervine. The structure shown in the chapter (α-hydroxycyclic nitrone) was assigned to the resulting rearranged product of this reaction on the basis of the mass, IR, UV, and proton magnetic resonance (PMR) spectroscopy, chemical evidence, and in consideration of the mode of its formation. The chapter discusses the properties of jervine, cyclopamine, verarine, veratramine, and cycloposine. A description of the subgroups cevanine, 22,26-epiminocholestane, veralozinine, other alkaloids veralkamine, veralinine, veramine, veracintine, tienmulilmine, alkaloids Q and Y, and alkamine X is provided in the chapter. The chapter details the structures and chemical and physicochemical properties of Buxus alkaloids. Acetate [1-14C] was incorporated into alkaloids of the solanidanine, jervanine, veratranine, and cevanine groups. Nonradioactive 11-deoxojervine inhibited the incorporation of acetate into jervine.
Discusses the behavioral, genetic, and ecological determinants of oviposition behavior as they influence preference for plants and plant parts in both butterflies and moths, focusing on how oviposition behavior contributes to the evolution of preference and specificity for plant species, individual plants within populations, and plant parts. The review pays almost exclusive attention to phytophagous lepidopterans; very little is known in a quantitative way about oviposition behavior in nonphytophagous species, and even less about larviposition in a few known cases of ovovivipary. -from Authors
Larvae of most neotropical ithomiine butterflies feed on plants containing solanaceous alkaloids. Adults visit flowers or rotting parts of plants containing pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Previous studies by Brown (1984, 1985) showed that extracts made from wild caught adult ithomiines inhibit feeding by Nephila clavipes, a large orb-weaving spider, while extracts from larval food plants do not. I found in feeding experiments with one ithomiine species, Episcada salvinia, that most wild caught adults are rejected by N. clavipes, but laboratory reared larvae, pupae, and freshly emerged adults fed sucrose solution are not. Moreover, some adult male and female E. salvinia were chemically protected and unpalatable to N. clavipes when fed a sucrose solution containing heliotrine, a pyrrolizidine alkaloid. Freshly emerged adults exposed to flowers of plants reported to produce pyrrolizidine alkaloids may also gain unpalatability to N. clavipes.
The population structure of the mycophagous beetle P. substriatus is characterized by many small local populations interconnected by migration over a small spatial scale (10×75 m2). Each local P. substriatus population has a relatively short expected persistence time, but persistence of the species occurs due to a balance between frequent local extinctions and recolonizations. This non-equilibrium population structure can have profound effects on how the genetic variation is structured between and within populations. Theoretical models have stated that the genetic differentiation among local populations will be enhanced relative to an island model at equilibrium if the number of colonizers is less than approximately twice the number of migrants among local populations. To study these effects, a set of 50 local P. substriatus populations were surveyed over a four year period to record any naturally occurring extinctions and recolonizations. The per population colonization and extinction rate were 0.237 and 0275, respectively. Mark-recapture techniques were used to estimate a number of demographic parameters: local population size (N=11.1), migration rate (=0.366), number of colonizers (k=4.0) and the probability of common origin of colonizers (φ=0.5). The theoretically predicted level of differentiation among local populations (measured as Wright’s FST) was 0.070. Genetic data obtained from an electrophoretic survey of 7 polymorphic loci gave an estimated degree of differentiation of 0.077. There was thus a good agreement between the empirical results and the theoretical predictions. Young populations (young=0.090) had significantly higher levels of differentiation than old, more established populations (old=0.059). The extinction-recolonization dynamics resulted in an overall increased in the genetic differentiation among local populations by c. 40%. The overall effective population size was also reduced by c. 35%. The results give clear evidence to how non-equilibrium processes shape the genetic structure of populations.