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Phylogenetic relatedness and host plant growth form influence gene expression of the polyphagous comma butterfly (Polygonia c-album).
Department of Entomology, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology.
Department of Entomology, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Animal Ecology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6379-7905
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Animal Ecology.
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2009 (English)In: BMC Genomics, ISSN 1471-2164, E-ISSN 1471-2164, Vol. 10, no 1, 506- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The mechanisms that shape the host plant range of herbivorous insect are to date not well understood but knowledge of these mechanisms and the selective forces that influence them can expand our understanding of the larger ecological interaction. Nevertheless, it is well established that chemical defenses of plants influence the host range of herbivorous insects. While host plant chemistry is influenced by phylogeny, also the growth forms of plants appear to influence the plant defense strategies as first postulated by Feeny (the "plant apparency" hypothesis). In the present study we aim to investigate the molecular basis of the diverse host plant range of the comma butterfly (Polygonia c-album) by testing differential gene expression in the caterpillars on three host plants that are either closely related or share the same growth form. RESULTS: In total 120 differentially expressed genes were identified in P. c-album after feeding on different host plants, 55 of them in the midgut and 65 in the restbody of the caterpillars. Expression patterns could be confirmed with an independent method for 14 of 27 tested genes. Pairwise similarities in upregulation in the midgut of the caterpillars were higher between plants that shared either growth form or were phylogenetically related. No known detoxifying enzymes were found to be differently regulated in the midgut after feeding on different host plants. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest a complex picture of gene expression in response to host plant feeding. While each plant requires a unique gene regulation in the caterpillar, both phylogenetic relatedness and host plant growth form appear to influence the expression profile of the polyphagous comma butterfly, in agreement with phylogenetic studies of host plant utilization in butterflies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 10, no 1, 506- p.
National Category
Zoology
Research subject
Animal Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-31352DOI: 10.1186/1471-2164-10-506ISI: 000271883700002PubMedID: 19878603OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-31352DiVA: diva2:276151
Available from: 2009-11-10 Created: 2009-11-10 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Life-history consequenses of host plant choice in the comma butterfly
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Life-history consequenses of host plant choice in the comma butterfly
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

There is much evidence that herbivory is a key innovation for the tremendous success of insect. In this thesis I have investigated different aspects of host plant utilization and phenotypic plasticity using the polyphagous comma butterfly, Polygonia c-album. Even though external conditions affect a phenotypic plastic response, the outcome is often influenced by a genetic background which may differ among populations. In Paper I we suspected the genetic background to seasonal polymorphism to be X-linked. However, results from interspecific hybridization between two populations suggested that diapause response is instead inherited in a mainly autosomally additive fashion, with a possible influence of sexual antagonism on males. In Paper II we showed that female oviposition preference is not a plastic response influenced by larval experience, but has a genetic background coupled to host plant suitability. Further, there is a strong individual correlation between larval host plant acceptance and female host plant specificity (Paper III). We believe this to be a larval feed-back genetically linked to female host specificity: offspring to ‘choosy’ specialist mothers benefit by remaining on the original host while offspring to less discriminating generalist mothers should risk inspecting the surroundings, thus compensating for potential poor female choice. In the larval mid-gut, genes are differentially expressed depending on host plant diet (Paper IV). Therefore, we expected to find fitness consequences of host plant switch. However, although growth rate was affected in a few treatments, larvae were generally surprisingly good at adjusting to new diets (Paper V). To conclude, host plant choice in both female and larval life stage is connected to performance. Combined with increased understanding about the plastic response to diet intake and seasonal polymorphism we have gained further insights into the processes of local adaptations and speciation in the Lepidoptera.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, 2012. 36 p.
Keyword
Nymphalidae, voltinism, larval performance, Hopkins’ Host Selection Principle, GeneFishing, real-time qPCR, Urtica dioica, Salix cinerea, Betula pubescens, Ulmus glabra, Ribes uva-crispa.
National Category
Zoology
Research subject
Animal Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-68076 (URN)978-91-7447-432-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-02-10, Magnélisalen, Kemiska övningslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 16 B, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
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Note
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Submitted Manuscript; Paper 5: ManuscriptAvailable from: 2012-01-19 Created: 2012-01-02 Last updated: 2014-10-28Bibliographically approved

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