Daphne gnidium, a possible native host plant of the European grapevine moth Lobesia botrana, stimulates its oviposition. Is a host shift relevant?
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We tested the hypothesis that Daphne gnidium is an ancestral host plant of Lobesia botrana. To this end, we studied the oviposition response of this moth to various aerial organs of this plant. Our results show that females prefer to lay eggs on daphne berries rather than on grapes (cv. chasselas) and that polar surface extracts of daphne berries and leaves strongly stimulate oviposition in a dosedependant way, whereas flower extracts are weakly stimulant and branch extracts are inactive or deterrent for oviposition. Furthermore, a total extract of daphne berries stimulates oviposition in semi-natural conditions when applied onto fresh grapes. Oviposition stimulants from berries were isolated by HPLC coupled with a dual-choice oviposition bioassay. The ecological value of D. gnidium for L. botrana is discussed and the possible use of oviposition stimulants from daphne, contrasting with the oviposition signal of the cultivated host plant, is proposed in the perspective of developing behavioural manipulation methods such as stimulo-deterrent diversionary strategies compatible with IPM programs.
Keywords.Oviposition site selection Lobesia botrana host plant Daphne gnidium oviposition stimulants and deterrents Vitis vinifera choice assays HPLC
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