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Effect of Drosophila suzukii on Blueberry VOCs: Chemical Cues for a Pupal Parasitoid, Trichopria anastrephae

Abstract

Biocontrol agents such as parasitic wasps use long-range volatiles and host-associated cues from lower trophic levels to find their hosts. However, this chemical landscape may be altered by the invasion of exotic insect species. The spotted-wing drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae), is a highly polyphagous fruit pest native to eastern Asia and recently arrived in South America. Our study aimed to characterize the effect of SWD attack on the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of blueberries, a common host fruit, and to correlate these odor changes with the olfactory-mediated behavioral response of resident populations of Trichopria anastrephae parasitoids, here reported for the first time in Uruguay. Using fruit VOC chemical characterization followed by multivariate analyses of the odor blends of blueberries attacked by SWD, we showed that the development of SWD immature stages inside the fruit generates a different odor profile to that from control fruits (physically damaged and free of damage). These differences can be explained by the diversity, frequency, and amounts of fruit VOCs. The behavioral response of T. anastrephae in Y-tube bioassays showed that female wasps were significantly attracted to volatiles from SWD-attacked blueberries when tested against both clean air and undamaged blueberries. Therefore, T. anastrephae females can use chemical cues from SWD-infested fruits, which may lead to a successful location of their insect host. Since resident parasitoids are able to locate this novel potential host, biological control programs using local populations may be plausible as a strategy for control of SWD.

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Data is available from the corresponding authors on request.

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Code is available from the corresponding authors on request.

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Code is available from the corresponding authors on request.

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Acknowledgements

This paper is dedicated to the memory of Professor Wittko Francke, for his generous contribution to the growth of chemical ecology in Latin America. This project was funded by Grants from Agencia Nacional de Investigación e Innovación: FMV-1-2019-1-156089 and PD_NAC_2018_1_150632 (fellowship to GD). We thank Dr. Beatriz Goñi for kind help and advice in field collections, Daniela Mato for assistance in VOC collections, and Finca La Micaela for access to their organic farm.

Funding

This project was funded by grants from Agencia Nacional de Investigación e Innovación (ANII): FMV-1-2019-1-156089 and PD_NAC_2018_1_150632 (fellowship to GD).

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Contributions

AG and GD conceived and designed research; GD, AG, and FT collected the data; AG identified the chemical compounds; FT led the parasitoid experiments; GD and AG led the analysis and writing of the manuscript. All authors contributed to the drafts and approved the manuscript.

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Correspondence to G. J. de la Vega or A. González.

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All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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de la Vega, G.J., Triñanes, F. & González, A. Effect of Drosophila suzukii on Blueberry VOCs: Chemical Cues for a Pupal Parasitoid, Trichopria anastrephae. J Chem Ecol 47, 1014–1024 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10886-021-01294-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10886-021-01294-7

Keywords

  • Spotted wing drosophila
  • Local parasitoids
  • VOC blends, biocontrol agents