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Current Research (PhD Thesis):

Some insects employ plant derived secondary metabolites for their own defense against predators. In case of larvae of the Chrysomelina, a subtribe of the leaf beetle genus Chrysomelidae, the utilized secondary metabolites consists of glucosides. These compounds are water soluble and therefore subject to protein mediated transport processes. Once the initial uptake by the larvae´s intestine took place, which seems to be unspecific, the haemolyph is cleared of glucosides by transport to either the defensive glands or to the malpighian tubules, depending on specific needs to create a characteristic defensive secrete. Although the involved transport proteins are of major interest as they are vital for adaption of herbivoric insects to host plants, neither identification nor characterization of these proteins have been reported to date. A better understanding of membrane transfer could lead to discover parallels to other sequestering insects and factors that influence co-evolution of insects and plants.
last updated on 2012-09-27