Advanced search
Start date

Biotransformation of secondary metabolites by Lepidoptera

Grant number: 15/11986-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2015
Effective date (End): July 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Organic Chemistry
Cooperation agreement: NSF - Dimensions of Biodiversity and BIOTA
Principal researcher:Massuo Jorge Kato
Grantee:Giancarlo Di Sessa
Home Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:14/50316-7 - Dimensions US-Biota São Paulo: Chemically mediated multi-trophic interaction diversity across tropical gradients, AP.BTA.TEM


Most named species are involved in chemically mediated plant-insect-parasitoid interactions that have profound effects on diversity, community structure, primary productivity, and ecosystem services. We will examine relationships between metabolomic, genomic, taxonomic, and interaction diversity of trophic interactions by quantifying and comparing these dimensions of biodiversity along a latitudinal gradient and elevational gradients in Brazil and Argentina. Our focus will be on Piper (Piperaceae) and associated herbivores and natural enemies of those herbivores. This plant genus is characterized by extremely high phytochemical and taxonomic diversity, as are the associated arthropods. The proposed work will add unique sites, data, and hypothesis tests to the largest standardized latitudinal gradient database for plant-insect-parasitoid food webs, and thus provide an opportunity to examine the influence of functional aspects of food webs (e.g., connectance and specialization) on regional taxonomic diversity. Uniform application of quantitative sampling along elevational gradients, newly developed metabolomics methods, population genomics tools, and a large scale experiment will make possible tests of novel hypotheses about relationships between plant chemistry, specialization, climate, and different dimensions of diversity and will represent the first such among-site food web comparisons. (AU)