Plant-Insect Interaction: The Saga of Molecular Coevolution

  • Sanyami S. Zunjarrao
  • Meenakshi B. Tellis
  • Sanjana N. Joshi
  • Rakesh S. JoshiEmail author
Living reference work entry
Part of the Reference Series in Phytochemistry book series (RSP)


Plant-insect interaction is a prime and evolutionarily successful association that offers an excellent platform to understand coevolution. These interactions have spurred speciation and are vital players of ecological dominance. The emergence of mutualistic relationship leads to the inception of molecular coevolution and diversification of plants and insects. Here, we have cataloged the various molecular factors that drive the establishment and progression of plant-insect interactions. An imbalance in the mutualistic relationship initiated the molecular arms race between plants and insects that resulted in a plethora of defense molecules in both counterparts. We have discussed the molecular events involved in the interaction, plant defense mechanism, and strategies employed by insects to combat plant defense. Furthermore, we have also focused on the coevolution of these molecules and their implications on plant-insect dialogue. We believe that this chapter will provide detailed molecular insights involved in the plant-insect interaction.


Plant-insect interactions Coevolution Diversification 



Carbon monoxide


Damage-associated molecular patterns


Fatty acid amino acid conjugates


Green leaf volatiles


Glucose oxidase


Gustatory neurons


Gustatory receptors






Hydrogen peroxide


Herbivore-associated molecular patterns


Herbivore-inducible plant volatiles


Jasmonic acid


Microbe-associated molecular patterns


Million years ago


12-oxophytodienoic acid


Olfactory neurons


Olfactory receptors


P450 monooxygenase


Pathogen-associated molecular patterns


Plant recognition receptors


Salicylic acid


UDP glucosyl-transferase


Volatile compounds



The work is supported by the research grant from the Department of Science and Technology – Science and Engineering Research Board (DST-SERB), Government of India under ECR/2015/000502 grant and University with Potential of Excellence (UPE Phase II), Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune 411007, Maharashtra, India. Authors acknowledge Shounak Jagdale for editorial assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sanyami S. Zunjarrao
    • 1
  • Meenakshi B. Tellis
    • 1
  • Sanjana N. Joshi
    • 1
  • Rakesh S. Joshi
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Bioinformatics and BiotechnologySavitribai Phule Pune UniversityPuneIndia

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