What can psyllids tell us that other bugs can't?
A non-model model organism for studying plant-insect interactions
Terrestrial Invertebrates, Dept.of Life Sciences, NHM
Wednesday 28 of November 11:00
Sir Neil Chalmers seminar room, Darwin Centre LG16 (below Attenborough studio)
Psyllids exhibit the greatest degree of host specificity amongst the sternorrhynchan plant-feeders, and they are the only members of this group to have retained a complex vibrational communication system [sound and light show includes backup band]. But can psyllids reveal things that studying other bugs can't? I will present examples of how systematic analyses of psyllid lineages can provide remarkable insights into host mediated diversification. From modest beginnings of “who eats what where?”, we can build up a picture of how these observed plant-insect interactions came to be. Combining these observations with molecular systematics and genomics approaches will help us interpret the past and look into the future to make predictions of “who will eat what where?” – the psyllid version of “eats shoots and leaves”.
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