Herbivory meets fungivory: insect herbivores feed on plant pathogenic fungi for their own benefit

Franziska Eberl, Maite Fernandez De Bobadilla, Almuth Hammerbacher, Michael Reichelt, Jonathan Gershenzon & Sybille Unsicker
Plants are regularly colonized by fungi and bacteria, but plant-inhabiting microbes are rarely considered in studies on plant-herbivore interactions. Here we show that young gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) caterpillars prefer to feed on black poplar (Populus nigra) foliage infected by the rust fungus Melampsora larici-populina instead of uninfected control foliage, and selectively consume fungal spores. This consumption, also observed in a related lepidopteran species, is stimulated by the sugar alcohol mannitol, found in much higher...
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6 downloads reported since publication in 2020.

These counts follow the COUNTER Code of Practice, meaning that Internet robots and repeats within a certain time frame are excluded.
What does this mean?