Jump to main content
Jump to site search
Book cover

The Chemistry of Plants and Insects: Plants, Bugs, and Molecules Author: Margareta Séquin

About this book

Have you ever wondered how plants attract certain insects, or how insects communicate with each other? This book explains the natural chemical compounds that determine the fascinating interactions between plants and insects providing a gentle and absorbing introduction to organic chemistry that is highly relevant to everyday life and to the natural world.

Specific organic compounds and intriguing chemistry determine whether insects are keen on feeding on plants or avoid certain plants altogether. Some insects have learned to use plant compounds as their own defences, and some plants use digestive processes to use insects as nutritional supplements. Plant-insect interactions are vital for our food supply, for pollination of orchards or detrimentally in insect infestations of crops, as well as in applications like silk production.

By the author of the popular book, The Chemistry of Plants: Perfumes, Pigments, and Poisons, this book benefits from Margareta Séquin’s vast experience leading field trips and seminars to botanical gardens and nature reserves, and teaching chemistry to beginners.

Organic chemistry is often seen as a challenging, sometimes abstract field. This book makes chemistry exciting and accessible for readers interested in a deeper understanding of the natural world. The book is organized according to the increasing complexity of compounds introduced, and so it also serves as a useful teaching aid for undergraduate chemistry or biology courses, and as a supplementary text for students in plant sciences, ecology, and entomology, and in horticultural programs.

Book content

  • The Chemistry of Plants and Insects
  • Plants Attracting Insects
  • Plants That Eat Insects
  • Plants' Defence Against Insects
  • Insects and Their Chemistry
  • Insects Feeding on Plants
  • Plant Galls: Protection and Food for the Young
  • Insects That Use Plant Defenses for Their Own Protection
  • Insects That Provide Protection for Plants
  • Human Uses
  • Plant-Insect Interactions and the Human Role

Buy paperback £27.99 *
* Exclusive of taxes
This book contains 186 pages.

Publication details

Print publication date
28 Apr 2017
Copyright year
Print ISBN
ePub eISBN

Author information

Margareta Séquin has a PhD in organic chemistry, with emphasis on natural products, from the University of Basel, Switzerland. After postdoctoral work at Princeton University she has taught organic chemistry, natural products chemistry, and chemistry for non-majors at San Francisco State University for more than twenty years. She leads field seminars at botanical gardens and in nature preserves. As a plant enthusiast with great interest in the insect world as well she has been a docent at the Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Berkeley, California, for the last twenty years. Extensive travelling allows her to observe and photograph many natural habitats. Margareta Séquin is the author of the book “The Chemistry of Plants: Perfumes, Pigments, and Poisons”, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2012.