An herbivore-induced plant volatile reduces parasitoid attraction by changing the smell of caterpillars

Ye, Meng; Veyrat, Nathalie; Xu, Hao; Hu, Lingfei; Turlings, Ted C. J.; Erb, Matthias (2018). An herbivore-induced plant volatile reduces parasitoid attraction by changing the smell of caterpillars. Science Advances, 4(5), eaar476. American Association for the Advancement of Science 10.1126/sciadv.aar4767

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Herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) can mediate tritrophic interactions by attracting natural enemies of insect herbivores such as predators and parasitoids. Whether HIPVs can also mediate tritrophic interactions by influencing the attractiveness of the herbivores themselves remains unknown. We explored this question by studying the role of indole, a common HIPV in the plant kingdom. We found that herbivory-induced indole increases the recruitment of the solitary endoparasitoid Microplitis rufiventris to maize plants that are induced by Spodoptera littoralis caterpillars. Surprisingly, however, indole reduces parasitoid recruitment when the caterpillars themselves are present on the plants. Further experiments revealed that indole exposure renders S. littoralis caterpillars unattractive to M. rufiventris, leading to an overall reduction in attractiveness of plant-herbivore complexes. Furthermore, indole increases S. littoralis resistance and decreases M. rufiventris parasitization success. S. littoralis caterpillars are repelled by indole in the absence of M. rufiventris but specifically stop avoiding the volatile in the presence of the parasitoid. Our study shows how an HIPV can undermine tritrophic interactions by reducing the suitability and attractiveness of caterpillars to parasitoids.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Biotic Interactions
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Ye, Meng; Hu, Lingfei and Erb, Matthias

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

2375-2548

Publisher:

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

24 May 2018 11:27

Last Modified:

24 May 2018 11:27

Publisher DOI:

10.1126/sciadv.aar4767

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.116604

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/116604

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