Herbivores have developed a series of mechanisms to deal with plant secondary metabolites. In order to understand plant-herbivore interactions, it is therefore essential to understand both the plant and the herbivore. We study how herbivores adapt to plant defense metabolites on a chemical and behavioral level. This work is carried out using the western corn rootworm Diabrotica virgifera as a model species.

External project leader: Dr. Christelle A.M. Robert


Key publications

  1. Robert C.A.M, Zhang X., Machado R.A.R., Schirmer S., Lori M., Mateo P., Erb M., Gershenzon J. (2017). Sequestration and activation of plant toxins protect the western corn rootworm from enemies at multiple trophic levels. eLife, 6:e29307.

  2. Robert C.A.M., Veyrat N., Glauser G., Marti G., Doyen G.R., Villard N., Gaillard M.D.P., Köllner T.G., Giron D., Body M., Babst B.A., Ferrieri R.A., Turlings T.C.J. and Erb M. (2012). A specialist root herbivore exploits defensive metabolites to locate nutritious tissues. Ecology Letters, 15(1), 55-64.