Differential secondary metabolite accumulation and performance of Chlosyne lacinia fed with Tithonia diversifolia or Vernonia polyanthes

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Abstract

The larvae of Chlosyne lacinia use Asteraceae species as host plants almost exclusively. The aims of this study were to investigate whether secondary metabolites of Vernonia polyanthes and Tithonia diversifolia are metabolized, excreted intact and/or sequestered during the larval stage of C. lacinia and if they affect feeding behavior or performance. The HPLC-DAD-MS analyses of plants and C. lacinia extracts led to the identification of 25 compounds. Larvae fed with T. diversifolia developed until the 4th instar completing metamorphosis into the adult phase, while larvae fed with V. polyanthes developed only until the 2nd instar. In addition, the larvae in the 3rd and 4th instars fed with T. diversifolia accumulated secondary metabolites taken from these leaves. On the other hand, larvae in the 2nd instar showed an accumulation of apigenin-7-O-glycuronyl and hydroxylated 3-O-E-caffeoylquinic acid when fed with V. polyanthes. The latter compound was probably produced after oxidation of the 3-O-E-caffeoylquinic acid by the phase I metabolism of larvae. Therefore, C. lacinia may have developed tolerance to deterrent compounds produced by T. diversifolia, while some compounds present in V. polyanthes may have been the cause for deficient development and the death of larvae.

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Poleti Martucci, M. E., & Gobbo-Neto, L. (2016). Differential secondary metabolite accumulation and performance of Chlosyne lacinia fed with Tithonia diversifolia or Vernonia polyanthes. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, 68, 156–162. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bse.2016.07.009

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