Crop domestication and its impact on naturally selected trophic interactions

Yolanda H. Chen*, Rieta Gols, Betty Benrey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

268 Citations (Scopus)


Crop domestication is the process of artificially selecting plants to increase their suitability to human requirements: taste, yield, storage, and cultivation practices. There is increasing evidence that crop domestication can profoundly alter interactions among plants, herbivores, and their natural enemies. Overall, little is known about how these interactions are affected by domestication in the geographical ranges where these crops originate, where they are sympatric with the ancestral plant and share the associated arthropod community. In general, domestication consistently has reduced chemical resistance against herbivorous insects, improving herbivore and natural enemy performance on crop plants. More studies are needed to understand how changes in morphology and resistance-related traits arising from domestication may interact with environmental variation to affect species interactions across multiple scales in agroecosystems and natural ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-58
JournalAnnual Review of Entomology
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Agroecosystem
  • Artificial selection
  • Insect herbivores
  • Natural enemies
  • Natural versus agricultural
  • Plant resistance


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