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In 1998 the eucalyptus weevil, Gonipterus scutellatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), a major defoliator of the genus Eucalyptus, which causes growth and economic losses, was detected in Chile. This has caused concern because more than 525,000 ha are planted with species of eucalypt. To understand the protein responses of development stages of G. scutellatus fed on the three species of eucalypt trees most important in the country, electrophoretic profiles were obtained and characterized on polyacrylamide gels under denaturizing conditions, and marker proteins were sought through gel densitometry. Proteins became more numerous with insect development. Protein bands were concentrated between 20 and 120 kDa, with the exception of eggs, which presented lower values. The appearance of distinct bands of proteins in the extracts from larvae and adults of G. scutellatus fed on different species of eucalypts reflected changes in their metabolism. These results are useful for integrated pest management, as the identification of marker proteins is possibly associated with metabolic patterns related to the consumption of host plants. Changes in insect diet may affect the marker proteins, indicating a differential ability of G. scutellatus to use host plants.

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