Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 41, Issue 9, pp 801–807 | Cite as

Parasitic Wasps Aphidius ervi are More Attracted to a Blend of Host-Induced Plant Volatiles than to the Independent Compounds

  • Hiroyuki Takemoto
  • Junji TakabayashiEmail author


Arthropodal natural enemies respond to volatiles from plants infested by their prey/host herbivores (herbivore-induced plant volatiles; HIPVs). However, the relative importance of HIPV blends vs. each compound in the blend in attracting natural enemies is not fully understood. In this study, we investigated the response of a parasitic wasp, Aphidius ervi, to HIPVs that were specific or nonspecific to infestations by its host aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum. To select such compounds, we compared the volatiles emitted from broad bean plants infested by either A. pisum (host) or by Aphis craccivora (nonhost), and selected the host-specific HIPVs β-myrcene, n-octanal, and α-phellandrene, and host-nonspecific HIPVs (E)-β-ocimene, γ-terpinene, and linalool as test compounds. For each compound, we used a range that covered the amounts emitted from infested broad bean plants for bioassays. Female wasps preferred n-octanal and (E)-β-ocimene at 10-ng and 30-ng doses over clean air. Interestingly, the wasps preferred α-phellandrene at 0.1-ng and 30-ng doses, but not at 1-ng and 10-ng doses. The wasps repelled linalool over clean air at 1-ng and 0.1-ng doses. We then mixed the equivalent amounts of the six compounds to test the effect of the blend. The wasps responded to a blend of six HIPV components at all concentrations tested (0.001 ng each to 5 ng each). These results suggested that the blend provided more useful information for female wasps than the individual compounds. The possible use of the single component and the blend for the biological control of A. ervi is discussed.


Acyrthosiphon pisum Aphis craccivora Broad bean plants Attraction Y-tube olfactometer Biological control 



We thank Y. Nakashima for providing insect colonies and G. Arimura for supplying (E)-β-ocimene. This research was supported in part by the Global Center of Excellence Program “Formation of a Strategic Base for Biodiversity and Evolutionary Research: from Genome to Ecosystem” of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan, by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from MEXT (No. 19101009, 26292030, 26660281). HT thanks the Research Institute of Green Science and Technology, Shizuoka University, for providing research facilities including GC-MS used in preliminary experiments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Ecological ResearchKyoto UniversityShigaJapan
  2. 2.Research Institute of Green Science and TechnologyShizuoka UniversityShizuokaJapan

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