Jasmonic acid (JA) is a key molecule initiating plant defensive responses to herbivory. Our previous work has shown that this phytohormone is often present at high concentrations in eggs and neonates of lepidopteran species. In this work, we document the concentrations of JA found in various tissues of larval H. virescens fed on artificial diets with varying JA concentrations and on transgenic tobacco lines with different capabilities of producing JA. At high JA concentrations, excess jasmonate appeared to be voided in frass, but significant amounts were found in most larval tissues we analyzed as well as in regurgitant. At lower concentrations, caterpillars excreted less JA and appeared to accumulate relatively greater amounts of JA in their tissues. In both experiments, substantial amounts of JA were found in labial salivary glands, a notable result since JA is an important signaling molecule involved in the induction of plant defenses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics