Paola Andrea Rubiano Buitrago

   Research Group Predators and Toxic Prey
 Phone:+49 (0)3641 57 1804Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology
 Fax:-Hans-Knöll-Straße 8
  emailD-07745 Jena

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Journey of cardenolides through plant, prey and predator:
Asclepias genus is a producer of cardenolides (AKA cardiac glycosides, CG), a group of compounds that inhibit the Na+/K+-ATPase function. Because of their bioactivity, they are responsible of poisoning livestock and used as treatment of congestive heart failure.
Insects adapted to Asclepias (Milkweed) can overcome the toxic effects of cardenolides.Some resistant insects sequester plant-derived compounds for their own defense against predators.
Arthropod generalist predators (AGP), eat chemical defended insects, without being affected as other organisms. The Mantidae family (praying mantis) is an example of AGP, and their mechanism to avoid intoxication after consumption of toxic prey is an ongoing field of research.
My project aims to contribute to the chemical characterization of the ecological phenomena where insects sequester plant toxins and arthropod generalist predators (AGP) are able to circumvent that chemical defense in those insects (prey). This is an opportunity to understand the path of the cardenolides through these organisms, starting with the original producer (Asclepias), an insect that sequester the compounds (Lygaeidae or Nymphalidae) and a generalist predator (Mantidae).
last updated on 2019-11-29