Symposium: Insect Behavioral Ecology--'90: Defense of Plants Through Regulation of Insect Feeding Behavior

James A. Klocke, Isao Kubo


Feeding deterrents, or antifeedants, are chemicals that can protect plants from insect herbivory through regulation of insect feeding. The sensitivity of a given species of an insect herbivore is dependent upon the quantity and chemical structure of the feeding deterrent. Feeding deterrency can be caused by an effect of the chemical on chemoreception and/or on the centers that regulate feeding and metabolism. Feeding deterrents primarily affect the feeding behavior of insects, but often they are also toxic if fed upon. Examples of feeding deterrents that play an important role in the multichemical defense of plants from insects are azadirachtin isolated from Azadirachta indica (Meliaceae) and rhodojaponin III isolated from Rhododendron molle (Ericaceae). These two terpenoidal plant products, so effective in nature, are currently being tested for use in commercial insect control.

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