, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 1247-1261

Induction and Systemic Release of Herbivore-Induced Plant Volatiles Mediating In-Flight Orientation of Aphidius ervi

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Abstract

In-flight orientation of the braconid Aphidius ervi in response to volatiles released from broad bean plants infested by the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, was studied in a no-choice wind-tunnel bioassay. The role of aphid infestation level and duration, systemic production of volatiles by “insect-free” parts of the plant, and the specificity of aphid-induced volatiles on the flight behavior of the foraging female parasitoids were investigated. The upper insect-free part of a three-leaved broad bean plant, which was basally infested by a population of 40 A. pisum, released synomones detectable by A. ervi females after at least 48–72 hr of infestation, resulting in both significant increases in oriented flights and landings on the source compared with uninfested control plants. This suggests that volatiles involved in host-location by A. ervi are systemically released by broad bean plants either in response to circulation of aphid saliva, circulation of saliva-induced bioactive elicitors, or circulation of the synomones themselves. Air entrainment extracts of volatiles collected from a broad bean plant infested by the nonhost Aphis fabae or an uninfested broad bean plant elicited few oriented flights and landing responses by female parasitoids. These extracts were significantly less attractive than extracts collected from a broad bean plant infested by the host A. pisum, indicating the specificity of synomones elicited by different aphid species on the same plant species.