Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 919–932 | Cite as

Systemic induction of feeding deterrents in cotton plants by feeding ofSpodoptera SPP. Larvae

  • Hans T. Alborn
  • Ursula S. R. Röse
  • Heather J. McAuslane


Cotton,Gossypium hirsutum L., has been shown to exhibit systemic induced resistance to arthropods under certain conditions. We conducted experiments to determine the effects of previous feeding ofSpodoptera exigua Hübner andSpodoptera littoralis (Boisd.) larvae on feeding behavior, growth, and survival of larvae subsequently feeding on cotton. In one feeding choice test,S. exigua larvae preferred young leaves from undamaged control plants to undamaged young leaves from a previously damaged plant. Feeding deterrence was noticeable after only 6 hr of initial feeding damage by larvae, and there was almost complete deterrence after 30 and 54 hr of continuous feeding. In a second feeding choice test,S. littoralis larvae fed more on mature leaves from undamaged control plants than on undamaged mature leaves from previously damaged plants. In no-choice tests, third instars ofS. littoralis fed undamaged young leaves from damaged plants did not gain weight and died by the seventh day, whereas larvae fed young leaves from undamaged control plants gained weight and pupated within 11 days. Sixth instars ofS. littoralis fed either old damaged leaves, old undamaged leaves, or young undamaged leaves all from previously damaged plants gained weight slowly and took more than 12 days to pupate, whereas larvae fed young leaves from undamaged plants gained weight rapidly and pupated within five days of the beginning of the experiment.

Key Words

Gossypium hirsutum cotton Spodoptera littoralis Spodoptera exigua feeding deterrent plant defense plant-insect interactions systemic induction 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans T. Alborn
    • 1
  • Ursula S. R. Röse
    • 1
  • Heather J. McAuslane
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemical EcologyGöteborg UniversityGöteborgSweden

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