Identification and application of bacterial volatiles to attract a generalist aphid parasitoid from laboratory to greenhouse assays

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Goelen, T., Vuts, J., Sobhy, I., Wackers, F., Caulfield, J. C., Birkett, M. A., Rediers, H., Jacquemyn, H. and Leivens, B. 2020. Identification and application of bacterial volatiles to attract a generalist aphid parasitoid from laboratory to greenhouse assays. Pest Management Science. https://doi.org/10.1002/ps.6102

AuthorsGoelen, T., Vuts, J., Sobhy, I., Wackers, F., Caulfield, J. C., Birkett, M. A., Rediers, H., Jacquemyn, H. and Leivens, B.
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Recent studies have shown that microorganisms emit volatile compounds that affect insect behaviour. However, it remains largely unclear whether microbes can be exploited as a source of attractants to improve biological control of insect pests. In this study, we used a combination of coupled gas chromatography electroantennography (GC-EAG) and Y-tube olfactometer bioassays to identify attractive compounds in the volatile extracts of three bacterial strains that are associated with the habitat of the generalist aphid parasitoid Aphidius colemani, and to create mixtures of synthetic compounds to find attractive blends for A. colemani. Subsequently, the most promising blend was evaluated in two-choice cage experiments under greenhouse conditions.

RESULTS: GC-EAG analysis revealed 20 compounds that were linked to behaviourally attractive bacterial strains. A mixture of two EAG-active compounds, styrene and benzaldehyde applied at a respective dose of 1 μg and 10 ng, was more attractive than the single compounds or the culture medium of the bacteria in Y-tube olfactometer bioassays. Application of this synthetic mixture under greenhouse conditions resulted in significant attraction of the parasitoids, and outperformed application of the bacterial culture medium.

CONCLUSION: Compounds isolated from bacterial blends were capable of attracting parasitoids both in laboratory and greenhouse assays, indicating that microbial culture are an effective source of insect attractants. This opens new opportunities to attract and retain natural enemies of pest species and to enhance biological pest control.

KeywordsAphidius colemani ; Bacillus; Electroantennogram; Multitrophic interactions; Natural enemy; VOCs
Year of Publication2020
JournalPest Management Science
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1002/ps.6102
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online25 Sep 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted12 Sep 2020
PublisherWiley
ISSN1526-498X

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