Journal of Chemical Ecology (2002) 28, 145-160

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M. Panzuto, Y. Mauffette and P.J. Albert (2002)
Developmental, gustatory, and behavioral responses of leafroller larvae, Choristoneura rosaceana, to tannic acid and glucose
Journal of Chemical Ecology 28 (1), 145-160
Abstract: Soluble sugars are essential nutrients generally perceived as phagostimulants to most insects studied. However, tannins are known as digestibility reducers, hence deleterious to caterpillar development, and as deterrents as well. Previous work demonstrated that larvae of the polyphagous oblique-banded leafroller, Choristoneura rosaceana, performed better when reared on a control + 0.5% tannic acid diet than on the standard control diet and that larvae reared on a control + 5% glucose diet had slower development and reduced survival. This study was designed to elucidate the behavioral and neurophysiological components of the larval responses to tannic acid and glucose. C. rosaceana larvae were reared individually from the first to the sixth instar on one of four different artificial diets: (1) control; (2) control + 5% glucose; (3) control + 0.5% tannic acid; (4) control + 5% glucose + 0.5% tannic acid. After 14 days, larvae reared on the control + 5% glucose diet had not developed past the fourth instar, whereas a considerable proportion of larvae reared on the control + 0.5% tannic acid diet had already attained the pupal stage. Insects reared on the control or the control + 5% glucose + 0.5% tannic acid diet had intermediate development, with most larvae in the fifth instar. In addition, once the mid-sixth instar was reached, the feeding preferences to 25 and 300 mM glucose, 25 mM tannic acid, and 25 mM glucose + 25 mM tannic acid over water were assessed in two-choice tests. Feeding affected preference. Control-reared insects preferred feeding on treatments containing glucose and were not deterred by tannic acid. However, larvae that had been exposed to tannic acid during their development were deterred by tannic acid and their glucose discrimination was impaired. The sensitivity to glucose was also examined from neurophysiological recordings by stimulating the sugar-sensitive cell (cell 1) on the lateral styloconic sensillum of the maxillary galea with increasing concentrations of glucose (1, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, 300, and 500 mM). We also determined whether tannic acid was phagostimulatory, since insects develop relatively quickly on a diet containing this compound, by testing 1 mM tannic acid, 1 mM tannic acid + 300 mM glucose, and 300 mM glucose on the lateral styloconic sensilla. The traces indicated that 1 mM tannic acid was not detected by any of the four chemosensory cells in these sensilla. The combination of tannic acid and glucose produced no spikes from the sugar-sensitive cell, whereas a prominent spike activity resulted with 300 mM glucose. We concluded that, although C. rosaceana larvae develop faster on a tannic acid diet, this compound is not a phagostimulant. The converse is true for glucose; i.e., it stimulates the sugar-sensitive cell in the lateral styloconica in a concentration-dependent fashion. Previous dietary experience changes the sensory and behavioral responses of C. rosaceana to glucose. Our findings imply that not all compounds that are phagostimulatory are necessarily beneficial to an insect's fitness. Therefore, developmental studies should be interpreted in conjunction with behavioral and physiological data.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website


Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
general biology - morphology - evolution
rearing/culturing/mass production


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.


Choristoneura rosaceana