Side effects of Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki on the hymenopterous parasitic wasp Trichogramma chilonis
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Most of the detrimental effects of using conventional insecticides to control crop pests are now well identified and are nowadays major arguments for replacing such compounds by the use of biological control agents. In this respect, the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki and Trichogramma (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) parasitic wasp species are both effective against lepidopterous pests and can actually be used concomitantly. In this work, we studied the potential side effects of B. thuringiensis var. kurstaki on Trichogramma chilonis females. We first evidenced an acute toxicity of B. thuringiensis on T. chilonis. Then, after ingestion of B. thuringiensis at sublethal doses, we focused on life history traits of T. chilonis such as longevity, reproductive success and the time spent on host eggs patches. The reproductive success of T. chilonis was not modified by B. thuringiensis while a significant effect was observed on longevity and the time spent on host eggs patches. The physiological and ecological meanings of the results obtained are discussed.
KeywordsBacillus thuringiensis Trichogramma chilonis Life history traits Interaction Biological control Bioinsecticide
We are grateful to Alexandra Brun-Barale for her help in the preparation of the spores of 4D22.
The authors thank the Département « Santé des Plantes et Environnement, INRA » for supporting this work with the grant « Effet de biopesticides sur les stratégies reproductives optimales des insectes parasitoïdes ». MA is a member of the network « Ecotoxicologues de l’INRA, ECOTOX ».
We also want to thank the reviewers for helping us in improving the manuscript.
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