Electrophysiological and behavioural responses of Aphidius ervi (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) to tomato plant volatiles
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- Sasso, R., Iodice, L., Woodcock, C.M. et al. Chemoecology (2009) 19: 195. doi:10.1007/s00049-009-0023-9
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Flight responses of the aphid parasitoid Aphidius ervi to tomato volatiles have recently demonstrated that different plant stresses can lead to increases in attractiveness for this parasitoid. For example, infestation of tomato plants by the aphid Macrosiphum euphorbiae results in the overexpression of defensive genes, as well as the release of volatile compounds that attract aphid parasitoids. Here, we determine which of the induced compounds elicit a significant electrophysiological response from parasitoid antennae. Compounds shown to be detected at the antennal level were then tested at a range of doses in a wind tunnel assay. A significant electroantennogram response was demonstrated for three compounds, (8S,9R)-(E)-caryophyllene, methyl salicylate, and (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol, over four concentrations. These compounds proved to be significantly attractive in the wind tunnel at a rate not always proportionally dependent upon the dose. The practical implications of these findings are discussed in the framework of sustainable control for pest aphids in agriculture.