Print version ISSN 0100-6762
MARINHO, Jeanne Scardini et al. Proteinase inhibitors of novel and native host plants and their action in midgut of Thyrinteina leucoceraea caterpillars. Rev. Árvore [online]. 2008, vol.32, n.6, pp. 1125-1132. ISSN 0100-6762. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-67622008000600018.
Insects may cause considerable losses to plants, but some insects inhabit plants without causing any damages. For example, Thyrinteina leucoceraea, found in the guava plants, and a native Myrtaceae family host, does not cause any serious damage. However, Eucalyptus ssp., novel hosts (also Myrtaceae) in Brazil and introduced from Australia, suffer attacks by T. leucoceraea, which became a severe pest of this plant. Plants can defend themselves against herbivores using proteinase inhibitors which reduce insect development and lead them to death. Thus, based on studies on the development of T. leucoceraea caterpillars on these two hosts and plant defense, this work aimed to verify the production of proteinase inhibitors by guava and eucalyptus plants upon T. leucoceraea attack, and to observe the biochemical response of the midgut of the caterpillars to these inhibitors. Eucalyptus plants produced more proteinase inhibitors than guava plants. The good development of T. leucoceraea in eucalyptus plants despite the high concentration of proteinase inhibitors may be due to an increase of enzyme activity in the caterpillars' midgut. Our data suggest that T. leucoceraea developed an adaptation to the proteinase inhhibitor produced by eucalyptus plants, by increasing serine-proteinase and cys-proteinase activities.
Keywords : Thyrinteina leucoceraea; eucalyptus plants; guava plants; adaptation.