Submitted to: American Society of Plant Biologists Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 20, 2005
Publication Date: July 16, 2005
Citation: Johnson, E.T., Berhow, M.A., Dowd, P.F. 2005. Anthocyanins present in colored petunia corollas inhibit corn earworm development [abstract]. American Society of Plant Biologists Annual Meeting. Abstract No. 323. Technical Abstract: The anthocyanins are secondary metabolites principally utilized to attract pollinators. Previous studies in our laboratory found that some purified anthocyanin agylcones added to insect diets can significantly reduce the weight of larvae. In this study, we tested the ability of colored corolla segments, which contain high levels of anthocyanins, from three different commercial petunia varieties to inhibit corn earworm insect development. Each petunia flower variety exhibited similar variegated purple (containing malvidin and petunidin-type anthocyanins) and white sectors on the corolla limbs. We found that insect larvae ate significantly less material from colored petunia corolla segments than material from white corolla segments. In addition, larvae feeding on the colored corolla segments weighed significantly less after two days than larvae feeding on white corolla segments. The weight reduction of larvae feeding on corolla segments was significantly negatively correlated with levels of anthocyanins in most of the petunia varieties tested. These data indicate that malvidin and petunidin-type anthocyanin glycosides may be effective plant resistance molecules.