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Chrysodeixis chalcites (Esper) is a serious pest that causes devastating damages in infested areas to many fruits, vegetables, ornamental crops and weeds. In the current study, effects of three host plants including lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.); corn (Zea mays L.) and dill (Anethum graveolens L.) were determined on digestive enzyme activities and intermediary metabolism of C. chalcites larvae. The highest activities of α-amylase, glucosidases and specific proteases were observed in the larvae fed on dill. Our results showed that C. chalcites larvae had the highest TAG-lipase activity on corn in comparison with other host plants. Significant differences were found among enzymatic activities of acid (ACP) and alkaline phosphatases, aspartate aminotransferases and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in the haemolymph of C. chalcites larvae reared on lemon balm, corn and dill, respectively, although activity of alanine aminotransferase showed no statistically significant differences among different host plants. The enzymatic activity of ACP significantly decreased on dill in comparison with lemon balm and corn. The activity of LDH significantly increased on dill compared with other host plants. These results revealed that dill (A. graveolens) is the most appropriate host plant for larvae of C. chalcites as evidenced by the highest digestive enzyme activities and intermediary metabolism.
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