Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 14, Issue 10, pp 1941–1950 | Cite as

Bioassays of segregating plants

A strategy for studying chemical defenses
  • S. L. Sinden
  • L. L. Sanford
  • W. W. Cantelo
  • K. L. Deahl


Solanum chacoense is a wild potato species resistant to the Colorado potato beetle,Leptinotarsa decemlineata. Most genotypes ofS. chacoense synthesize the glycoalkaloids solanine (sol) and chaconine (chac) and are hosts of the beetle. A few rare genotypes have a gene(s) for acetylation of carbon-23 of the steroid aglycone of sol and chac. Laboratory bioassays and replicated field tests of clones differing in the presence or absence of the acetyl moiety showed that acetylation of sol and chac markedly affects the response of both adults and larvae to the foliage. Adult feeding deterrency conferred by acetylated forms of sol and chac (leptines) in leaf-disk preference tests was consistent with the degree of antixenosis measured in the field. Development of larvae on foliage of clones with leptines was also inhibited. The studies support the validity of using laboratory bioassays of plants segregating for levels of a suspected defense compound to determine the role the compound has in defending the plant from attack by an insect predator in the field.

Key words

Glycoalkaloids insect resistance Colorado potato beetle leptines solanine chaconine Leptinotarsa decemlineata Solanum chacoense Solanum tuberosum 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. L. Sinden
    • 1
  • L. L. Sanford
    • 1
  • W. W. Cantelo
    • 1
  • K. L. Deahl
    • 1
  1. 1.U.S. Department of AgricultureVegetable Laboratory, Agriculture Research ServiceBeltsville

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