Pest Management Science (2018) 74, 966-977

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Islam S. Sobhy, Toby J.A. Bruce and Ted C.J. Turlings (2018)
Priming of cowpea volatile emissions with defense inducers enhances the plant's attractiveness to parasitoids when attacked by caterpillars
Pest Management Science 74 (4), 966-977
The manipulation of herbivore-induced volatile organic compounds (HI-VOCs) via the application of the inducers benzo(1,2,3)thiadiazole-7-carbothioic acid S-methyl ester (BTH) and laminarin (β-1,3-glucan) is known to enhance the attractiveness of caterpillar-damaged cotton and maize plants to parasitoids. To test if this is also the case for legumes, we treated cowpea (Vigna unguiculata var. unguiculata) with these inducers and studied the effects on HI-VOC emissions and the attraction of three generalist endoparasitoids.
After the inducers had been applied and the plants subjected to either real or mimicked herbivory by Spodoptera littoralis caterpillars, females of the parasitoids Campoletis sonorensis and Microplitis rufiventris showed a strong preference for BTH-treated plants, whereas Cotesia females were strongly attracted to both BTH- and laminarin-treated plants with real or mimicked herbivory. Treated plants emitted more of certain HI-VOCs, but considerably less indole and linalool and less of several sesquiterpenes. Multivariate data analysis revealed that enhanced wasp attraction after treatment was correlated with high relative concentrations of nonanal, α-pinene, (E)-β-ocimene and (E)-4,8-dimethyl-1,3,7-nonatriene (DMNT), and with low relative concentrations of indole, (S)-linalool and (E)-β-farnesene. Inducer treatments had no significant effect on leaf consumption by the caterpillars.
Our findings confirm that treating cowpea plants with inducers can enhance their attractiveness to biological control agents.
(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): Ted C.J. Turlings

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
biocontrol - natural enemies
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
general biology - morphology - evolution

Pest and/or beneficial records:

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

Spodoptera littoralis Cowpea and relatives (Vigna)
Campoletis sonorensis (parasitoid) Spodoptera littoralis Cowpea and relatives (Vigna)
Microplitis rufiventris (parasitoid) Spodoptera littoralis Cowpea and relatives (Vigna)