Journal of Chemical Ecology (2018) 44, 29-39

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Diego B. Silva, Vanda H.P. Bueno, Joop J.A. Van Loon, Maria Fernanda G.V. Peñaflor, José Maurício S. Bento and Joop C. Van Lenteren (2018)
Attraction of three mirid predators to tomato infested by both the tomato leaf mining moth Tuta absoluta and the whitefly Bemisia tabaci
Journal of Chemical Ecology 44 (1), 29-39
Abstract: Plants emit volatile compounds in response to insect herbivory, which may play multiple roles as defensive compounds and mediators of interactions with other plants, microorganisms and animals. Herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) may act as indirect plant defenses by attracting natural enemies of the attacking herbivore. We report here the first evidence of the attraction of three Neotropical mirid predators (Macrolophus basicornis, Engytatus varians and Campyloneuropsis infumatus) toward plants emitting volatiles induced upon feeding by two tomato pests, the leaf miner Tuta absoluta and the phloem feeder Bemisia tabaci, in olfactometer bioassays. Subsequently, we compared the composition of volatile blends emitted by insect-infested tomato plants by collecting headspace samples and analyzing them with GC-FID and GC-MS. Egg deposition by T. absoluta did not make tomato plants more attractive to the mirid predators than uninfested tomato plants. Macrolophus basicornis is attracted to tomato plants infested with either T. absoluta larvae or by a mixture of B. tabaci eggs, nymphs and adults. Engytatus varians and C. infumatus responded to volatile blends released by tomato plants infested with T. absoluta larvae over uninfested plants. Also, multiple herbivory by T. absoluta and B. tabaci did not increase the attraction of the mirids compared to infestation with T. absoluta alone. Terpenoids represented the most important class of compounds in the volatile blends and there were significant differences between the volatile blends emitted by tomato plants in response to attack by T. absoluta, B. tabaci, or by both insects. We, therefore, conclude that all three mirids use tomato plant volatiles to find T. absoluta larvae. Multiple herbivory did neither increase, nor decrease attraction of C. infumatus, E. varians and M. basicornis. By breeding for higher rates of emission of selected terpenes, increased attractiveness of tomato plants to natural enemies may improve the effectiveness of biological control.
(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): Vanda Helena Paes Bueno, Joop C. van Lenteren, Joop J.A. van Loon, Maria Fernanda Gomes Villalba Penaflor

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
biocontrol - natural enemies
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
environment/habitat manipulation


Pest and/or beneficial records:

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


Tuta absoluta Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)
Engytatus varians (predator) Tuta absoluta Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)
Macrolophus basicornis (predator) Tuta absoluta Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)
Campyloneuropsis infumatus (predator) Tuta absoluta Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)