Faculté des sciences

Combined use of herbivore-induced plant volatiles and sex pheromones for mate location in braconid parasitoids

Xu, Hao ; Desurmont, Gaylord ; Degen, Thomas ; Zhou, Guoxin ; Laplanche, Diane ; Henryk, Luka ; Turlings, Ted C.J

In: Plant, Cell and Environment, 2017, vol. 40, no. 3, p. 330-339

Herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) are important cues for female parasitic wasps to find hosts. Here, we investigated the possibility that HIPVs may also serve parasitoids as cues to locate mates. To test this, the odour preferences of four braconid wasps – the gregarious parasitoid Cotesia glomerata (L.) and the solitary parasitoids Cotesia marginiventris (Cresson),... Plus

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    Summary
    Herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) are important cues for female parasitic wasps to find hosts. Here, we investigated the possibility that HIPVs may also serve parasitoids as cues to locate mates. To test this, the odour preferences of four braconid wasps – the gregarious parasitoid Cotesia glomerata (L.) and the solitary parasitoids Cotesia marginiventris (Cresson), Microplitis rufiventris Kokujev and Microplitis mediator (Haliday) – were studied in olfactometers. Each species showed attraction to pheromones but in somewhat different ways.Males of the two Cotesia species were attracted to virgin females, whereas females of M. rufiventriswere attracted to virginmales. Male and female M.mediator exhibited attraction to both sexes. Importantly, female and male wasps of all four species were strongly attracted by HIPVs, independent of mating status. In most cases, male wasps were also attracted to intact plants. The wasps preferred the combination of HIPVs and pheromones over plant odours alone, except M.mediator, which appears to mainly use HIPVs for mate location. We discuss the ecological contexts in which the combined use of pheromones and HIPVs by parasitoids can be expected. To our knowledge, this is the first study to show that braconid parasitoids use HIPVs and pheromones in combination to locate mates.