0302 The effect of a plant defence primer, β-aminobutyric acid, on the performance of hymenopterous parasitoids of aphids

Sunday, November 16, 2008: 1:59 PM
Room A8, First Floor (Reno-Sparks Convention Center)
Simon Hodge , Division of Biology, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
Glen Powell , Division of Biology, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
ß-aminobutyric acid (BABA) is a non-protein amino acid that primes plant defences against a range of micropathogens. We have recently demonstrated that application of BABA to plant roots can also inhibit sap-feeding insects such as aphids. Using a model system involving beans (Vicia faba), pea aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum) and the hymenopterous aphid parasitoid Aphidius ervi we are currently examining the consequences of this chemically-induced herbivore suppression on the performance of higher trophic levels. Female parasitoids show no avoidance of aphids reared on BABA treated plants and choice-tests using Y-tube olfactometers indicate that BABA does not deter females from responding positively to volatiles released from aphid-infested beans. However, parasitized aphids developing on BABA-treated plants have reduced A. ervi emergence rate and produce smaller wasps. Whether this BABA-induced inhibition of A. ervi is caused by decreased host size, plant-sourced xenobiotics or direct suppression by BABA present in the aphid is being investigated.

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.37363