Home About Browse Search

The effects of host plant species and larval density on immune function in the polyphagous moth Spodoptera littoralis

Karlsson Green, Kristina (2021). The effects of host plant species and larval density on immune function in the polyphagous moth Spodoptera littoralis. Ecology and Evolution. 11 , 10090-10097
[Research article]

[img] PDF


Immune functions are costly, and immune investment is usually dependent on the individual's condition and resource availability. For phytophagous insects, host plant quality has large effects on performance, for example growth and survival, and may also affect their immune function. Polyphagous insects often experience a large variation in quality among different host plant species, and their immune investment may thus vary depending on which host plant species they develop on. Larvae of the polyphagous moth Spodoptera littoralis have previously been found to exhibit density-dependent prophylaxis as they invest more in certain immune responses in high population densities. In addition, the immune response of S. littoralis has been shown to depend on nutrient quality in experiments with artificial diet. Here, I studied the effects of natural host plant diet and larval density on a number of immune responses to understand how host plant species affects immune investment in generalist insects, and whether the density-dependent prophylaxis could be mediated by host plant species. While host plant species in general did not mediate the density-dependent immune expression, particular host plant species was found to increase larval investment in certain functions of the immune system. Interestingly, these results indicate that different host plants may provide a polyphagous species with protection against different kinds of antagonisms. This insight may contribute to our understanding of the relationship between preference and performance in generalists, as well as having applied consequences for sustainable pest management.

Authors/Creators:Karlsson Green, Kristina
Title:The effects of host plant species and larval density on immune function in the polyphagous moth Spodoptera littoralis
Series Name/Journal:Ecology and Evolution
Year of publishing :2021
Page range:10090-10097
Number of Pages:8
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:crop protection, ecological immunology, host plant performance, Lepidoptera, nutritional immunology, phenotypic plasticity
Permanent URL:
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000673518900001
ID Code:25087
Faculty:LTV - Fakulteten för landskapsarkitektur, trädgårds- och växtproduktionsvetenskap
Department:(LTJ, LTV) > Department of Plant Protection Biology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:30 Aug 2021 06:26
Metadata Last Modified:30 Aug 2021 06:31

Repository Staff Only: item control page


Downloads per year (since September 2012)

View more statistics