Journal of Pest Science

, Volume 88, Issue 2, pp 249–257 | Cite as

Changed host plant volatile emissions induced by chemical interaction between unattacked plants reduce aphid plant acceptance with intermorph variation

  • Iris Dahlin
  • Andja Vucetic
  • Velemir NinkovicEmail author
Original Paper


Olfactory orientation by aphids is guided by specific volatile blends released from their hosts. Host plants that co-exist with other plants may be less attractive for aphids due to volatile interactions between neighboring plants which can lead to changes in their volatile emissions. These changes in host plant volatile profiles induced by interactions between undamaged plants could be used to manage aphid populations in crops. When potato plants are exposed to volatiles from onion plants, the volatile profile of potato changes in relation to that of unexposed plants with consistently greater quantities of two terpenoids released. We examined the host plant searching behavior of aphids and showed that induced changes in plant volatile emissions affect aphid behavior. We assessed olfactory responses of winged and wingless aphids, Myzus persicae Sulzer (Hemiptera: Aphididae) to the changed volatile emissions. Both morphs were significantly less attracted to odors of potato plants that had been exposed to volatiles from onion than to odors of unexposed potato plants. Further, both morphs were significantly less attracted to synthetic blends mimicking volatiles emitted by onion-exposed potato plants than to blends mimicking non-exposed controls, and to single compounds emitted in greater quantities by exposed potato. Aphid morphs were repelled differently depending on the concentration of odor sources; winged aphids responded to higher doses than did wingless aphids. The aphid responses to changes in plant volatile profiles induced by neighboring plants may facilitate refinement of habitat manipulation strategies (e.g., intercropping) for integrated pest management to reduce aphid occurrence in crops.


Alatae Apterae Myzus persicae Olfactory response Plant interaction Volatile chemicals 



We gratefully acknowledge Jan Pettersson for useful discussions and valuable comments on the manuscript. We thank Elham Ahmed and Erika Qvarfordt (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology) for their help in the laboratory and Dimitrije Markovic for making the illustration figure. We thank two anonymous reviewers for their comments and encouragements. This work was supported by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (MISTRA) through the PlantComMistra program, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia (Project No. III 46008), and the Carl Trygger Foundation for Scientific Research.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Crop Production EcologySwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia

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