Moth takes advantage of defensive compounds in Physalis fruits
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology found that the specialist moth Heliothis subflexa benefits from secondary plant components by turning the original defensive function of these compounds into its own advantage. Withanolides, which are present in Physalis plants, usually act as immune suppressants and feeding deterrents in insects. Surprisingly, Heliothis subflexa uses these plant defenses as immune-system boosters. Moreover, withanolides protect the moth from harmful effects caused by pathogenic bacteria. The new study demonstrates a unique benefit to host-plant specialization. (Nature Communications, August 2016, doi: 10.1038/NCOMMS12530). (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)
Comments are closed.