Domestic cat damage to plant leaves containing iridoids enhances chemical repellency to pests

Uenoyama, Reiko, Miyazaki, Tamako, Adachi, Masaatsu, Nishikawa, Toshio, Hurst, Jane L ORCID: 0000-0002-3728-9624 and Miyazaki, Masao
(2022) Domestic cat damage to plant leaves containing iridoids enhances chemical repellency to pests. ISCIENCE, 25 (7). 104455-.

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Catnip (<i>Nepeta cataria</i>) and silver vine (<i>Actinidia polygama</i>) produce iridoids with arthropod-repellent effects. Cats rub and roll against these plants, transferring iridoids to their fur that repels mosquitoes. Cats also lick and chew plant leaves during this response, although the benefit of this additional behavior has remained unknown. Here, we show that feline leaf damage substantially increases iridoid emission from both plants while also diversifying iridoids in silver vine. Cats show an equivalent duration of response to the complex cocktail of iridoids in damaged silver vine and to the much higher level of a single iridoid produced by damaged catnip. The more complex iridoid cocktail produced when silver vine is licked and chewed by cats increases mosquito repellency at low concentration. In conclusion, feline leaf damage contributes by releasing more mosquito-repellent iridoids. Feline olfactory and behavioral sensitivity is fine-tuned to plant-specific iridoid production for maximizing the mosquito repellency gained.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: biological science, ethology, zoology
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2022 10:42
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 20:36
DOI: 10.1016/j.isci.2022.104455
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