Foraging behaviour of an egg parasitoid exploiting plant volatiles induced by pentatomids: The role of adaxial and abaxial leaf surfaces

Francesca Frati*, Antonino Cusumano, Eric Conti, Stefano Colazza, Ezio Peri, Salvatore Guarino, Letizia Martorana, Roberto Romani, Gianandrea Salerno

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Several phases of herbivorous insect attack including feeding and oviposition are known to induce plant defenses. Plants emit volatiles induced by herbivores to recruit insect parasitoids as an indirect defense strategy. So far, volatiles induced by herbivore walking and their putative role in the foraging behavior of egg parasitoids have not been investigated. In this paper we studied the response of the egg parasitoid Trissolcus basalis toward volatiles emitted by Vicia faba plants as consequence of the walking activity of the host Nezara viridula. Olfactometer bioassays were carried out to evaluate wasp responses to plants in which the abaxial or the adaxial surfaces were subjected to walking or/and oviposition. Results showed that host female walking on the abaxial but not on the adaxial surface caused a repellence effect in T. basalis 24 h after plant treatment. The emission of active volatiles also occurred when the leaf was turned upside-down, indicating a specificity of stress localization. This specificity was supported by the results, which showed that oviposition combined with feeding elicit the induction of plant volatiles, attracting the parasitoid, when the attack occurred on the abaxial surface. Analyses of plant volatile blends showed significant differences between the treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3326
Number of pages17
JournalPeerJ
Volume2017
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Chemical ecology
  • Leaf surface
  • Nezara viridula
  • Oviposition
  • Trissolcus basalis
  • Walking activity
  • 017-4020

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    Frati, F., Cusumano, A., Conti, E., Colazza, S., Peri, E., Guarino, S., Martorana, L., Romani, R., & Salerno, G. (2017). Foraging behaviour of an egg parasitoid exploiting plant volatiles induced by pentatomids: The role of adaxial and abaxial leaf surfaces. PeerJ, 2017(5), [e3326]. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.3326