Entomopathogenic nematodes increase predation success by inducing specific cadaver volatiles that attract healthy herbivores

Zhang, Xi; Machado, Ricardo A. R.; Van Doan, Cong; Arce, Carla C. M.; Hu, Lingfei; Robert, Christelle A. M. (13 October 2018). Entomopathogenic nematodes increase predation success by inducing specific cadaver volatiles that attract healthy herbivores (Unpublished) (bioRxiv 442483). Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory 10.1101/442483

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Herbivore natural enemies, including predators, parasitoids and parasites, protect plants by regulating herbivore populations. Some parasites can increase their transmission efficiency by manipulating host behavior. Whether natural enemies can manipulate herbivore behavior to increase top-down control, however, is unknown. Here, we investigate if and how the entomopathogenic nematode Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, an important biocontrol agent, modulates the behavior of the western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera, a major maize pest, and how these behavioral changes affect the capacity of the nematode to control the rootworm. We found that healthy rootworm larvae are attracted to nematode-infected cadavers shortly before the emergence of the next generation of nematodes. Nematode-infected rootworms release distinct volatile bouquets, including butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), which attracts rootworms to infected cadavers. In a soil setting, BHT attracts rootworms and reduces nematode resistance, resulting in increased infection rates and rootworm mortality as well as increased nematode reproductive success. Five out of seven tested insect species were found to be attracted to nematode-infected conspecifics, suggesting that attraction of healthy hosts to nematode-infected cadavers is widespread. This study reveals a new facet of the biology of entomopathogenic nematodes that increases their capacity to control a major root pest by increasing the probability of host encounters.

Item Type:

Working Paper

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:

Zhang, Xi; Ruiz Machado, Ricardo Alberto; Doan, Van Cong; Marques Arce, Carla Cristina; Hu, Lingfei and Robert, Christelle Aurélie Maud

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

Series:

bioRxiv

Publisher:

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

19 Nov 2018 15:23

Last Modified:

19 Nov 2018 15:23

Publisher DOI:

10.1101/442483

Additional Information:

unpublished preprint

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.121142

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/121142

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