Unravelling the complexity of plant-insect interactions: the hidden role played by herbivore-associated-organisms

    Project: EU research project

    Project Details


    This Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellowship will allow a talented young researcher to pursue multidisciplinary research with an outstanding and internationally recognised group investigating plant-insect interactions. The Fellow will gain skills in a range of cutting-edge techniques for studying plant defences against herbivore attack whereas the Host group will benefit from the Fellows’ expertise in methods of behavioural assays not currently utilized in the group. The Fellow and the Host will address together the complexity of plant-insect interactions using a very innovative approach based on the hidden role played by Herbivore-Associated-Organisms (HAOs). In fact, insect herbivores often consist of a community themselves including bacteria, fungi, parasitic worms, parasitic wasps and viruses which may play an important role in the expression of the herbivore’s phenotype and consequently on interactions of the herbivore with its food plant. However, up to date, most of the studies investigating plant defences have considered insect herbivores as individual organisms, thus neglecting the role of HAOs. The Fellow and the Host propose to experimentally manipulate the HAO composition to evaluate the effects on induced plant defences from plant gene expression to wider community consequences. This project is expected to advance the state-of-the-art of plant-insect interactions putting Europe research in the forefront of the research topic. This fellowships is also ideal for reaching the researcher’s scientific and professional maturity, to build up long lasting collaborations and finally to establish his own group afterwards.
    Effective start/end date4/01/163/01/18

    Research Output

    Hyperparasitoids exploit herbivore-induced plant volatiles during host location to assess host quality and non-host identity

    Cusumano, A., Harvey, J. A., Dicke, M. & Poelman, E. H., Mar 2019, In : Oecologia. 189, 3, p. 699-709

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Open Access
  • 2 Citations (Scopus)

    Parasitic wasp-associated symbiont affects plant-mediated species interactions between herbivores

    Cusumano, A., Zhu, F., Volkoff, A. N., Verbaarschot, P., Bloem, J., Vogel, H., Dicke, M. & Poelman, E. H., 1 Jul 2018, In : Ecology Letters. 21, 7, p. 957-967

    Research output: Contribution to journalLetterAcademicpeer-review

    Open Access
  • 12 Citations (Scopus)

    Symbiotic polydnavirus and venom reveal parasitoid to its hyperparasitoids

    Zhu, F., Cusumano, A., Bloem, J., Weldegergis, B. T., Villela, A., Fatouros, N. E., van Loon, J. J. A., Dicke, M., Harvey, J. A., Vogel, H. & Poelman, E. H., 15 May 2018, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 115, 20, p. 5205-5210

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Open Access
  • 14 Citations (Scopus)