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Molecular strategies of host specificity of Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) infesting powdered wheat

Amita Sahay a*, S. K. Srivastavab & M. Prasada
aDept. of Zoology, Ranchi University Ranchi (Jharkhand)
bDept. of Zoology, Patna University, Patna, Bihar
Received 10th November, 2009; Revised 21st February, 2010

Abstract : molecular trophism being one of the cardinal axiom of survival strategies of the pests for the host specificity is a remarkable phenomenon in host pest relationship. The selective preference of nutritional biomolecule consumed by any individual either free living, pest or parasitic has created a new dimension of nutritional molecular research called nutraceuical trophism (Vincent Labeyrie; 1984)
The present communication is an attempt to explore the molecular strategies of host specifity of a Coleopteran stored grain pest, Red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst)
Since the beetle is a sophisticated powdered wheat grain feeder such as Suji & Maida, comparative biochemical pool of these two selected host varieties has been investigated by TLC (Bobbit & Mikes, 1985). As many as 7 spots of amino acids like – Lysine, Leucine, Isoleucine, Phenylalanine, Tyrosine, Threonine & Valine as well as 3 spots of simple sugars like Glucose, Galactose, Fructose have been isolated in the Maida host. Similarly 5 spots of aminoacids like Lysine, Leucine, Isoleucine, Phenylalanine & Tyrosine & only two spots of sugars like Galactose & Fructose were isolated from the suji host on comparative TLC plates.
The degree of population growth of beetle was found to be  quantitatively greater in Maida host compared to that of suji which establish a preferential host specificity of beetle on both molecular and statistical basis. The findings are analogous to that of role of legume allelochemics & L-Arginine amino acid in the host specificity of bruchids (Rosenthal, 1986).


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