Research Publication Title

The Effects of Spodoptera Exigua Herbivory on Soybean Plant Chemistry

Major

Biology

Faculty Mentor(s)

Caralyn B. Zehnder

Keywords

caterpillar, soybeans, trypsin, chitinase

Abstract

Many plants have induced responses to herbivory whereby the plants turn on defensive chemicals to deter herbivores. Both trypsin inhibitors and chitinase can be induced by herbivores. Trypsin inhibitors can stunt development and deter insect feeding. Chitinase exhibits hydrolytic activity towards the structural component of insects called chitin, and it can delay insect development. The purpose of this experiment was to examine the effect of caterpillar herbivory on defensive chemical induction in soybeans. For this experiment, 15 soybeans plants were exposed to beat armyworm, Spodoptera exigua, herbivory and 15 plants were used as the control group. Caterpillars were placed directly on the plant and left to feed for 72 hours. Then two leaves per plant were removed and chitinase and trypsin inhibitor concentrations were measured. It was hypothesized that there will be a significant difference in the production of trypsin and chitinase between the caterpillar treatment and the control group.

Start Date

10-4-2015 12:15 PM

End Date

10-4-2015 1:00 PM

Location

HSB 3rd Floor Student Commons

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Apr 10th, 12:15 PM Apr 10th, 1:00 PM

The Effects of Spodoptera Exigua Herbivory on Soybean Plant Chemistry

HSB 3rd Floor Student Commons

Many plants have induced responses to herbivory whereby the plants turn on defensive chemicals to deter herbivores. Both trypsin inhibitors and chitinase can be induced by herbivores. Trypsin inhibitors can stunt development and deter insect feeding. Chitinase exhibits hydrolytic activity towards the structural component of insects called chitin, and it can delay insect development. The purpose of this experiment was to examine the effect of caterpillar herbivory on defensive chemical induction in soybeans. For this experiment, 15 soybeans plants were exposed to beat armyworm, Spodoptera exigua, herbivory and 15 plants were used as the control group. Caterpillars were placed directly on the plant and left to feed for 72 hours. Then two leaves per plant were removed and chitinase and trypsin inhibitor concentrations were measured. It was hypothesized that there will be a significant difference in the production of trypsin and chitinase between the caterpillar treatment and the control group.