Host shift induces changes in mate choice of the seed predator Acanthoscelides obtectus via altered chemical signalling

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Vuts, J., Woodcock, C. M., Koenig, L., Powers, S. J., Pickett, J. A., Szentesi, A. and Birkett, M. A. 2018. Host shift induces changes in mate choice of the seed predator Acanthoscelides obtectus via altered chemical signalling. PLOS ONE. 13 (11), p. e0206144.

AuthorsVuts, J., Woodcock, C. M., Koenig, L., Powers, S. J., Pickett, J. A., Szentesi, A. and Birkett, M. A.
Abstract

The mechanisms of host shift in phytophagous insects are poorly understood. Among the many proposed processes involved, sexual selection via semiochemicals has recently been suggested. This hypothesizes that sexual communication using pheromones is modified as a result of development on a new host, and such plant-induced phenotypic divergence in mate recognition cues can lead to reproductive isolation between host lines. We tested this hypothesis on Acanthoscelides obtectus, an oligophagous bruchid of Phaseolus vulgaris beans worldwide, which also develops in acceptable non-hosts, such as chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.). Male sex pheromone blends of the bean, chickpea and chickpea/bean host lines during artificially induced host shifts showed different composition. Bean-reared females did not distinguish between blends, whereas chickpea and chickpea/bean females preferred the chickpea male pheromone. However, electrophysiological (EAG) responses to male odour of antennae of the three female host lines were similar, all preferring bean-reared males. Egg-laying choice tests revealed a uniform preference for bean seeds across female host lines, even after multiple generations, whereas larvae did not distinguish between bean and chickpea seeds. We conclude that the development of divergent chemical signalling systems during host shifts does not facilitate the evolution of host races in A. obtectus, because oviposition preferences remain unaffected.

KeywordsPhenotypic plasticity; Pheromone; Host plant shift; Host race; Evolution; Herbivore
Year of Publication2018
JournalPLOS ONE
Journal citation13 (11), p. e0206144
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0206144
PubMed ID30427867
PubMed Central IDPMC6235263
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderRoyal Society
Funder project or codeStudies on the chemical ecology of the dry bean weevil for practical application
BBSRC Strategic Programme in Smart Crop Protection
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online14 Nov 2018
Publication process dates
Accepted08 Oct 2018
PublisherPublic Library of Science (PLOS)
Copyright licenseCC BY
ISSN1932-6203

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