Insect-Plant Interaction

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Introduction Insect-plant interaction is a highly complex ecologic relationship. This relationship can be understood as dialectic between the insects that seek out and utilize plants for food, shelter, and/or egg-laying sites, and the plants that provide those resources. The interactions can be beneficial to both the plant and the insect, as illustrated by pollination. During pollination, an insect moving within a flower to obtain nectar may transfer pollen either within that flower or among other flowers on that plant. Other relationships between insects and plants can be detrimental to the plant but beneficial to the insect (e.g., herbivory, or feeding upon the plant). Plant-feeding insect species are numerous, constituting more than one-quarter of all macroscopic organisms. Although most plant parts are fed upon by insect herbivores, the majority of insect herbivores are specific in terms of the plant species and the plant part on which they will feed. Some examples of significant insect herbivores worldwide on cultivated crops include: aphids on cereal crops, diamondback moth larvae (immatures) on members of the cabbage family, and larvae of the moth genus Heliothis on a broad range of plants, including cotton. In addition to the direct effects of herbivory, insects can be damaging to plants by acting as vectors (carriers) of pathological microorganisms, transmitting the organisms when the insects feed on the plants. However, no relationship better captures the
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