Impact of glucosinolate structure on the performance of the crucifer pest <em>Phaedon cochleariae</em> (F.)


  • M. M. Uddin
  • C. Ulrichs
  • J. G. Tokuhisa
  • I. Mewis


Glucosinolates (GS) are sulfur-rich secondary metabolites found in the Brassicaceae and other related families of the order Brassicales. GS consist of structurally-related compounds with different side chains. To explore the possibility that various side chain confer divergent biological activities to individual GS, we have investigated the performance of the specialist pest beetle, Phaedon cochleariae (F.) on Arabidopsis thaliana L. mutants and Columbia wild-type (WT) which differ in the main group of GS. Plant lines of A. thaliana altered for the expression of MAM3, because of the introduction of an overexpression construct of MAM3 (mam3+) or containing double knockouts of CYP79B2 and CYP79B3 (cyp79B2-/cyp79B3-) were used for the study in comparison to the WT.
A. thaliana genotypes differed in their GS profiles. The highest GS content was present in the WT followed by mam3+ and cyp79B2-/ cyp79B3-. A modified aliphatic GS content was detected for the mam3+ as compared to the WT lines. Furthermore, indolyl GS were completely absent in cyp79B2-/cyp79B3-. The percentage weight increase of larvae raised on each of the three plant genotypes was significant different. Larval performance was poorest on plants of cyp79B2-/cyp79B3- and best on WT, but there was no significant difference found in percentage weight increase on mam3+ and WT. There was no correlation between the weight increase of the larvae on genotypes and induced levels of aliphatic, indolyl, and total GS. However, the poor performance of beetle larvae on cyp79B2-/ cyp79B3-compared to WT and mam3+ might be explained by comparable high aliphatic GS levels of this mutant, a different induction of secondary metabolites, and the absence of indolyl GS. Basic knowledge about the relationship of GS structures and their insect pests may help in further resistance breeding of crucifer crops.