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Trichome-derived O-acyl sugars are a first meal for caterpillars that tags them for predation

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Weinhold,  Alexander
Department of Molecular Ecology, Prof. I. T. Baldwin, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;
IMPRS on Ecological Interactions, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;
Research Group Dr. E. Gaquerel, Metabolomics of N. attenuata’s ecological interactions, Department of Molecular Ecology, Prof. I. T. Baldwin, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;

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Baldwin,  Ian Thomas
Department of Molecular Ecology, Prof. I. T. Baldwin, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Weinhold, A., & Baldwin, I. T. (2011). Trichome-derived O-acyl sugars are a first meal for caterpillars that tags them for predation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(19), 7855-7859. doi:10.1073/pnas.1101306108.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0011-2E43-1
Abstract
Plant glandular trichomes exude secondary metabolites with defensive functions, but these epidermal protuberances are surprisingly the first meal of Lepidopteran herbivores on Nicotiana attenuata. O-acyl sugars, the most abundant metabolite of glandular trichomes, impart a distinct volatile profile to the body and frass of larvae that feed on them. The headspace composition of Manduca sexta larvae is dominated by the branched chain aliphatic acids hydrolyzed from ingested O-acyl sugars, which waxes and wanes rapidly with trichome ingestion. In native habitats a ground-hunting predator, the omnivorous ant Pogonomyrmex rugosus, but not the big-eyed bug Geocoris spp., use these volatile aliphatic acids to locate their prey.