American Journal of Potato Research

, Volume 76, Issue 5, pp 305–312 | Cite as

Performance of Colorado potato beetle larvae,Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say), reared on synthetic diets supplemented withSolanum glycoalkaloids

  • Stanley P. Kowalski
  • John M. Domek
  • Kenneth L. Deahl
  • Lind L. Sanford


Glycoalkaloids are a class of secondary compounds (nitrogenous, steroidal glycosides), ubiquitously distributed throughout the Solanaceae. Numerous studies (in planta) have shown that certain glycoalkaloids, e.g., α-tomatine, solanocardenine, and leptine, have a negative impact on performance of the Colorado potato beetle,Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say). However, the presence of other secondary compounds, as well as the nutritional status of the plants used, are additional variables in such experiments. By rearing Colorado potato beetle, from egg to prepupal stage, on a synthetic diet supplemented with the glycoalkaloids α-tomatine, α-chaconine, α-solanine, leptine I and the steroidal aglycone solanidine, we have been able to further establish the effects (ex planta) of these compounds on the Colorado potato beetle. Leptine I displayed a dose-dependent negative activity against the Colorado potato beetle (as measured by larval weight gain and tune to molt), when assayed at 0.31, 0.62 and 1.23 mM concentrations; however, by the fourth stadium no effect was found. When Colorado potato beetle were fed a higher concentration of leptine I (2.4 mM), there was a sustained effect in all stadia. At 2.4 mM, leptine I displayed a greater negative impact on Colorado potato beetle growth and development than did α-tomatine. α-Chaconine at 2.4 mM did not impair Colorado potato beetle performance relative to Colorado potato beetle reared on control diets. α-Chaconine plus α-solanine, at concentrations commonly found inSolanum tuberosum L. foliage (0.6 and 0.3 mM respectively), did not impair Colorado potato beetle performance. The steroidal aglycone solanidine (2.4 mM) had a significant negative impact on Colorado potato beetle performance. Results are discussed in the context of host-plant resistance and insect-plant interactions.

Additional Key Words

α-tomatine α-chaconine α-solanine leptine I solanidine Solanum chacoense Solanum tuberosum host-plant resistance allelochemical(s) 


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Copyright information

© Springer 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanley P. Kowalski
    • 1
  • John M. Domek
    • 2
  • Kenneth L. Deahl
    • 1
  • Lind L. Sanford
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Plant Sciences Institute, Vegetable LaboratoryU.S. Department of AgricultureBARC-West Beltsville
  2. 2.Plant Sciences Institute, Insect Biocontrol LaboratoryU.S. Department of AgricultureBARC-West Beltsville
  3. 3.Vegetable LaboratoryPlant Sciences InstituteBARC-West Beltsville

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