Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 1–19

Survival and Development of Tobacco Hornworm Larvae on Tobacco Plants Grown Under Elevated Levels of Ozone


  • D. Michael Jackson
    • ARS, US Vegetable LaboratoryUSDA
  • T. W. Rufty
    • Department of Crop ScienceNorth Carolina State University
  • A. S. Heagle
    • USDA, ARS, Air Quality Research Unit, Department of Plant PathologyNorth Carolina State University
  • R. F. Severson
    • USDA
  • R. V. W. Eckel
    • RVWE Consulting

DOI: 10.1023/A:1005440025509

Cite this article as:
Jackson, D.M., Rufty, T.W., Heagle, A.S. et al. J Chem Ecol (2000) 26: 1. doi:10.1023/A:1005440025509


Tobacco plants, Nicotiana tabacum were grown under different levels of ozone (O3) in open-top chambers. Ozone concentrations were established by charcoal filtration, which reduced O3 to approximately one-half ambient, or by the addition of O3 to unfiltered air to increase concentrations to approximately 1.4 or 1.7 times ambient O3. Survival of tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta, larvae was increased when second instars were fed tobacco leaves grown in chambers with elevated levels of O3. Second instars also gained significantly more weight when they were fed for one week on plants exposed to elevated levels of O3 than when they were fed plants grown in charcoal-filtered air. Ozone-treated tobacco plants had higher levels of total nitrogen (primarily reduced nitrogen) and soluble carbohydrates (sugars), and lower levels of leaf-surface components, starch, nicotine, and rutin. Increased survival and growth response of hornworm larvae to elevated O3 levels in these experiments suggests that similar responses could occur in the southeastern US tobacco production areas where O3 levels can be high enough to injure tobacco plants.

Insectatobacco hornwormManduca sextatobaccoNicotiana tabacumozoneweather fleckLepidopteraSphingidae

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© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000