An alternate route to insect pharmacophagy: The loose receptor hypothesis

Douglas W. Tallamy, Christopher Albert Mullin, James L. Frazier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The phagostimulatory response of some diabroticite cucumber beetles toward triterpene cucurbitacins is used as a model in support of an alternative hypothesis explaining the evolution of pharmacophagous feeding behavior in insects. Whereas the use of noxious compounds from nonhost sources for purposes other than nutrition or host-plant recognition (pharmacophagy) has historically been explained in terms of the ancestral host hypothesis, we suggest that the less than perfect specificity of the binding properties of some peripheral receptors provides an opportunity for novel compounds sharing the configuration and polarity of target molecules to elicit a feeding response by coincidence rather than adaptive design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1987-1997
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Volume25
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

Fingerprint

Cucurbitacins
cucurbitacins
Cucumis sativus
Triterpenes
binding properties
Beetles
Feeding Behavior
feeding behavior
triterpenoids
cucumbers
host plant
Insects
nutrition
beetle
host plants
insect
Coleoptera
insects
receptors
Nutrition

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry

Cite this

Tallamy, Douglas W. ; Mullin, Christopher Albert ; Frazier, James L. / An alternate route to insect pharmacophagy : The loose receptor hypothesis. In: Journal of Chemical Ecology. 1999 ; Vol. 25, No. 9. pp. 1987-1997.
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An alternate route to insect pharmacophagy : The loose receptor hypothesis. / Tallamy, Douglas W.; Mullin, Christopher Albert; Frazier, James L.

In: Journal of Chemical Ecology, Vol. 25, No. 9, 01.01.1999, p. 1987-1997.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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