Journal of Chemical Ecology (2020) 46, 344-360

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Elvira S. De Lange, Diane Laplanche, Huijuan Guo, Wei Xu, Michèle Vlimant, Matthias Erb, Jurriaan Ton and Ted C.J. Turlings (2020)
Spodoptera frugiperda caterpillars suppress herbivore-induced volatile emissions in maize
Journal of Chemical Ecology 46 (3), 344-360
Abstract: The vast spectrum of inducible plant defenses can have direct negative effects on herbivores, or indirect effects, for instance in the form of herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) that attract natural enemies. Various arthropods have evolved ways to suppress plant defenses. To test whether this is the case for caterpillar-induced HIPVs, we compared the volatile induction by Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), which is particularly well adapted to feed on maize (Zea mays), with the induction by three more generalist noctuid larvae. We tested the hypothesis that S. frugiperda suppresses HIPV emissions in maize, and thereby reduces attractiveness to natural enemies. HIPV emissions triggered by S. frugiperda when feeding on maize were indeed found to be significantly weaker than by Spodoptera littoralis, Spodoptera exigua, and Helicoverpa armigera. The suppression seems specific for maize, as we found no evidence for this when S. frugiperda caterpillars fed on cotton (Gossypium herbaceum). Artificially damaged maize plants treated with larval regurgitant revealed that HIPV suppression may be related to factors in the caterpillars' oral secretions. We also found evidence that differential physical damage that the caterpillars inflict on maize leaves may play a role. The suppressed induction of HIPVs had no apparent consequences for the attraction of a common parasitoid of S. frugiperda, Cotesia marginiventris (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). Nevertheless, the ability to manipulate the defenses of its main host plant may have contributed to the success of S. frugiperda as a major pest of maize, especially in Africa and Asia, which it has recently invaded.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
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Database assignments for author(s): Jurriaan Ton, Ted C.J. Turlings

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
resistance/tolerance/defence of host
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
general biology - morphology - evolution


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.
Helicoverpa armigera Maize/corn (Zea mays)
Spodoptera exigua Maize/corn (Zea mays)
Spodoptera frugiperda Maize/corn (Zea mays)
Cotesia marginiventris (parasitoid) Spodoptera frugiperda Maize/corn (Zea mays)