Journal of Applied Entomology (2015) 139, 654-659

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A.A. Fernández Ajó, A.S. Martínez, J.M. Villacide and J.C. Corley (2015)
Behavioural response of the woodwasp Sirex noctilio to volatile emissions of its fungal symbiont
Journal of Applied Entomology 139 (9), 654-659
Abstract: The wood-boring wasp, Sirex noctilio, is a global invasive pest that infects and kills pine trees by inoculating spores of a symbiotic fungus (Amylostereum areolatum) at oviposition. Wasp larvae depend on fungal growth to feed, while the fungus relies on female wasps to initially condition the pine tree by inoculating a phytotoxic venom and for dispersal. Wasp larvae use the fungus as an external gut for the digestion of lignocellulosic compounds resulting in a strong correlation between fungal growth inside the wood and wasp fitness. This study explores the hypothesis that female wasps will use fungal volatiles as a synomone in the process of locating suitable oviposition areas (i.e. trees). Using a Y-tube olfactometer, adult female wasp behaviour was assessed towards fungal and pine tree volatiles (i.e. positive control). Our results are the first to demonstrate attraction of female S. noctilio towards volatiles of their fungal symbiont. Furthermore, the positive response towards these volatiles seems to be stronger than the response to a known attractant (i.e. pine volatiles). These results could be an important contribution to improving baits for monitoring and control purposes. Further work is needed, mainly oriented towards the identification of the volatiles that trigger the observed attraction response and their possible synergistic effects with tree volatiles.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): José M. Villacide, Juan Carlos Corley

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
general biology - morphology - evolution

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Sirex noctilio
Amylostereum areolatum