L-Canavanine, a Dietary Nitrogen Source for the Seed Predator Caryedes brasiliensis (Bruchidae)

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Science  23 Jul 1982:
Vol. 217, Issue 4557, pp. 353-355
DOI: 10.1126/science.217.4557.353


Larvae of the bruchid beetle Caryedes brasiliensis (Bruchidae) develop entirely within the seed of the neotropical legume Dioclea megacarpa. The seed contains an appreciable concentration of L-canavanine, a potent antimetabolite and structural analog of L-arginine. This bruchid beetle uses the nitrogen stored in this toxic allelochemical as an effective dietary nitrogen source for amino acid biosynthesis.