https://kronforstlab.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Herbivory-Square.jpg 300 300 Academic Web Pages /wp-content/themes/awp-enfold/blank.png Academic Web Pages2020-08-10 17:01:572023-01-18 13:08:20Herbivory
Some of our newest work focuses on the interactions between butterflies and their larval host plants. We have mapped the genetic basis of herbivory in butterflies and plants and compared patterns of gene expression in larvae and their hosts, across the time course of their interaction and across species. We are now in the process of functionally validating the plant and insects genes implicated in herbivory as well as studying their evolution. We are also interested in understanding how future climate change might alter the dynamics of these co-evolved interactions – will plants ‘escape’ herbivores via elevated growth rates or enhanced protection, or will herbivores demolish host plants due to reduced plant defenses or enhanced insect detoxification abilities, or will these systems maintain equilibrium? Furthermore, how are these organismal and ecological changes actually mediated at a molecular level?
Nallu, S., J. Hill, K. Don, C. Sahagun, W. Zhang, C. Meslin, E. Snell-Rood, N. Clark, N. Morehouse, J. Bergelson, C. Wheat and M. R. Kronforst. 2018. The molecular genetic basis of herbivory between butterflies and their host plants. Nature Ecology & Evolution 2: 1418-1427. Research Highlight Behind The Paper