Behavioral and electrophysiological responses of larvae of the polyphagous moth species Helicoverpa armigera to two plant-derived allelochemicals were studied, both in larvae that had been reared on a diet devoid of these compounds and in larvae previously exposed to these compounds. In dual-choice cotton leaf disk and pepper fruit disk arena assays, caterpillars reared on a normal artificial diet were strongly deterred by strychnine and strophanthin- K. However, caterpillars reared on an artificial diet containing strychnine were insensitive to strychnine and strophanthin-K. Similarly, caterpillars reared on an artificial diet containing strophanthin-K were also desensitized to both deterrent chemicals. Electrophysiological tests revealed that the deterrent-sensitive neurons in taste sensilla on the maxillae of caterpillars reared on each deterrent- containing diet displayed reduced sensitivity to the two chemicals compared with the caterpillars reared on normal diets. We conclude that the experience-dependent behavioral plasticity was partly based on the reduced sensitivity of taste receptor neurons and that the desensitization of taste receptor neurons contributed to the crosshabituation to the two chemicals.
|Journal||Journal of Comparative Physiology A-Sensory Neural and Behavioral Physiology|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|
- pieris-rapae larvae
- bitter taste stimuli
- feeding deterrents
- sensitivity changes