Physiological Costs for Cabbage Aphids Sequestering Glucosinolates
Studies have shown that cabbage aphids (Brevicoryne brassicae) that eat black mustard (Brassica nigra) can sequester toxic compounds to ward off their predators. This summer, I am building on these studies by examining the eco-physiological costs to aphids of processing and sequestering these toxins. The concentrations of the toxins will be analyzed to determine the difference in chemical load for aphids that eat broccoli (Brassica oleracea) versus mustard. My main goal is to study the physiological costs of this chemical load by examining differences in development and reproduction of aphids on the two food sources. The results of these experiments will be important in discovering methods to study and control agricultural aphid populations in a sustainable manner.
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- Major: Integrative Biology
- Mentor: Claire Kremen, Environmental Sciences and Policy Management