Differential electroantennogram response of females and males of two parasitoid species to host-related green leaf volatiles and inducible compounds

L Chen, H Y Fadamiro
Bulletin of Entomological Research 2007, 97 (5): 515-22
Parasitoids employ different types of host-related volatile signals for foraging and host-location. Host-related volatile signals can be plant-based, originate from the herbivore host or produced from an interaction between herbivores and their plant host. In order to investigate potential sex- and species-related differences in the antennal response of parasitoids to different host-related volatiles, we compared the electroantennogram (EAG) responses of both sexes of the specialist parasitoid, Microplitis croceipes (Cresson), and the generalist, Cotesia marginiventris (Cresson), to varying doses of selected plant-based host-related volatiles: two green leaf volatiles (cis-3-hexenol and hexanal) and three inducible compounds (cis-3-hexenyl acetate, linalool, and (E,E)-alpha-farnesene). Mating had no significant effect on EAG response. Females of both species showed significantly greater EAG responses than conspecific males to green leaf volatiles, which are released immediately after initiation of herbivore feeding damage. In contrast, males showed greater responses than conspecific females to inducible compounds released much later after initial damage. Cotesia marginiventris females and males showed greater EAG responses than counterpart M. croceipes to the tested compounds at various doses, suggesting that the generalist parasitoid shows greater antennal sensitivity than the specialist to the tested host-plant volatiles. These results are discussed in relation to the possible roles of green leaf volatiles and inducible compounds in the ecology of female and male parasitoids.

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