Adaptive phenotypic plasticity of gypsy moth digestive enzymes
Perić Mataruga, Vesna
Article (Published version)
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The adaptiveness of plasticity of digestive enzyme responses to allelochemical stress was tested on 32 full-sib families of gypsy moth larvae from an oak forest population (the Quercus population) and 26 families from a locust-tree forest (the Robinia population), reared either on control diet, or on tannin-supplemented diet. Using the duration of larval development as an indirect measure of fitness, phenotypic selection analyses revealed that lower specific activities of total proteases and trypsin, and higher specific activity of leucine aminopeptidase were adaptive for both populations in the control environment. Plasticity was only shown to be costly for total proteases and trypsin activity in Quercus larvae. In a stressful environment, the most apparent adaptive response was a significant increase in lipase activity. There was no plasticity cost for lipase activity. The two populations differed in the direction of selection acting on alpha-glucosidase activity, which favoured decreased activity in Quercus larvae and increased activity in Robinia larvae in the control environment. alpha-glucosidase activity in Quercus larvae is characterized by cost of homeostasis, while cost of plasticity was shown for Robinia larvae. The results obtained on the plasticity of digestive enzyme activity indicate how this generalist species copes with variation in plant allelochemicals.