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Metabolite mobilization in the stem galls of Parthenium hysterophorus induced by Epiblema strenuana inferred from the signatures of isotopic carbon and nitrogen and concentrations of total non-structural carbohydrates

Raman, A. and Madhavan, S. and Florentine, S.K. and Dhileepan, K. (2006) Metabolite mobilization in the stem galls of Parthenium hysterophorus induced by Epiblema strenuana inferred from the signatures of isotopic carbon and nitrogen and concentrations of total non-structural carbohydrates. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 119 (2). pp. 101-107.

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1570-7458.2006.00403.x

Publisher URL: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/home

Abstract

Parthenium hysterophorus L. (Asteraceae) is a weed of national significance in Australia. Among the several arthropod agents introduced into Australia to control populations of P. hysterophorus biologically, Epiblema strenuana Walker (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) is the most widespread and abundant agent. By intercepting the normal transport mechanisms of P. hysterophorus, the larvae of E. strenuana drain nutrients, other metabolic products, and energy, and place the host plant under intense metabolic stress. In this study, determinations of total non-structural carbohydrates (TNC) levels and carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios of fixed products in different parts of the plant tissue, including the gall, have been made to establish the function of gall as a sink for the nutrients.

Values of δ13C and δ15N in galls were significantly different than those in proximal and distal stems, whereas the TNC levels were insignificant, when measured in the total population of P. hysterophorus, regardless of plant age. However, carbon, nitrogen, and TNC signatures presented significant results, when assayed in different developmental stages of P. hysterophorus. Carbon isotope ratios in galls were consistently more negative than those from the compared plant organs. Nitrogen isotope ratios in galls, on the contrary, were either similar to or less negative than the compared plant organs, especially within a single host-plant stage population (i.e., either rosette, preflowering, or flowering stage). TNC levels varied within compared plant populations. The stem distal to the gall functioned more efficiently as a nodal channel than the stem proximal to the gall, especially in the translocation of nitrogenous nutrients. Our findings indicate that the gall induced by E. strenuana functions as a sink for the assayed nutrients, although some variations have been observed in the patterns of nutrient mobilization. By creating a sink for the nutrients in the gall, E. strenuana is able to place the overall plant metabolism under stress, and this ability indicates E. strenuana has the necessary potential for use as a biological-control agent.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:© The Authors © The Netherlands Entomological Society.
Keywords:Assay; Asteraceae; biological control; carbon and nitrogen stable-isotopic measurements; gall induction; invasive weed; Lepidoptera; source-sink relationships; tortricidae.
Subjects:Science > Science (General)
Science > Zoology > Invertebrates > Insects
Science > Invasive Species > Plants > Biological control
Deposited On:16 Nov 2009 06:09
Last Modified:18 Apr 2011 04:08

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