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InvaVol: Consequences of insect invasions for plant-insect interactions mediated by volatile organic compounds

English title InvaVol: Consequences of insect invasions for plant-insect interactions mediated by volatile organic compounds
Applicant Turlings Théodoor
Number 134413
Funding scheme Project funding (special)
Research institution Institut de Biologie Université de Neuchâtel
Institution of higher education University of Neuchatel - NE
Main discipline Ecology
Start/End 01.04.2011 - 31.07.2015
Approved amount 626'422.00
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All Disciplines (5)

Discipline
Ecology
Agricultural and Forestry Sciences
Zoology
Biochemistry
Botany

Keywords (7)

plant-herbivore interactions; plant volatiles; insect invasions; Brassica rapa; BVOCs; natural enemies; parasitoids

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary

Alien interference: disruption of volatile-mediated interactions between plants and parasitoids by invasive insect herbivores

Plant volatiles are of key importance for the foraging behavior of predators and parasitic wasps (parasitoids) in search of prey or hosts, and the specificity of these chemically-mediated interactions results from shared evolutionary history between the interacting species.  We propose that parasitoids can readily use plant-produced volatiles to distinguish between native hosts and non-hosts, but that invading insect herbivores may disrupt these finely-tuned interactions and negatively impact the foraging behavior of native parasitoids.  We test this hypothesis by using Brassica rapa (wild turnip) and its complex of native herbivores and parasitoids.  The effect of invasive herbivores on the foraging behavior of 4 native parasitoids will be evaluated in olfactometers by simultaneously testing parasitoid attraction to plants that are damaged by the parasitoid’s host herbivore, plants damaged by a native non-host, and plants damaged by an exotic non-host. The results will show to what extent invasive herbivores can impact chemical signaling between plants and natural enemies. Additional experiments will evaluate the relevance of these results in more natural settings and quantify the realized fitness impact of attraction to plants damaged by non-hosts on native parasitoids. The research is conducted in the context of a European-wide project that involves groups in four other countries, with the other groups studying the mechanisms of volatile emissions and evaluating the effects of invasive insects on herbivores and pollinators.  The data will be used in models to predict the overall population level consequences of the disruptive impact of invasive insects on chemically-mediated interactions between plants and insects. 


Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Powdery mildew suppresses herbivore-induced plant volatiles and interferes with parasitoid attraction in Brassica rapaA plant pathogen affects infochemical networks
Desurmont Gaylord A., Xu Hao, Turlings Ted C. J. (2016), Powdery mildew suppresses herbivore-induced plant volatiles and interferes with parasitoid attraction in Brassica rapaA plant pathogen affects infochemical networks, in Plant, Cell & Environment, 39(9), 1920-1927.
The Gastropod Menace: Slugs on Brassica Plants Affect Caterpillar Survival through Consumption and Interference with Parasitoid Attraction
Desurmont Gaylord A., Zemanova Miriam A., Turlings Ted C. J. (2016), The Gastropod Menace: Slugs on Brassica Plants Affect Caterpillar Survival through Consumption and Interference with Parasitoid Attraction, in Journal of Chemical Ecology, 42(3), 183-192.
Impact of exotic insect herbivores on native tritrophic interactions: a case study of the African cotton leafworm, Spodoptera littoralis and insects associated with the field mustard Brassica rapa
Chabaane Yosra, Laplanche Diane, Turlings Ted C. J., Desurmont Gaylord A. (2015), Impact of exotic insect herbivores on native tritrophic interactions: a case study of the African cotton leafworm, Spodoptera littoralis and insects associated with the field mustard Brassica rapa, in Journal of Ecology, 103(1), 109-117.
Alien interference: Disruption of infochemical networks by invasive insect herbivores.
Desurmont G. A., Harvey J., van Dam N. M., Cristescu S., Schiestl F. P., Cozzolino S., Anderson P., Larsson M. C., Kindlmann P., Danner H., Turlings T. C. J. (2014), Alien interference: Disruption of infochemical networks by invasive insect herbivores., in Plant, Cell & the Environment, 37(8), 1854-1865.
Alien plants versus alien herbivores: does it matter who is non-native in a novel trophic interaction?
Desurmont Gaylord A., Pearse Ian S. (2014), Alien plants versus alien herbivores: does it matter who is non-native in a novel trophic interaction?, in Current Opinion in Insect Science, 2, 20-25.
Herbivory and floral signalling: phenotypic plasticity and trade-offs between reproduction and indirect defence.
Schiestl F., Kirk H., Bigler L., Cozzolino S., Desurmont G. A. (2014), Herbivory and floral signalling: phenotypic plasticity and trade-offs between reproduction and indirect defence., in New Phytologist, 203(1), 257-266.
Floral volatiles interfere with plant attraction of parasitoids: ontogeny-dependent infochemicals dynamics in Brassica rapa
Desurmont Gaylord A., Laplanche Diane, Schiestl Florian P., Turlings Ted C. J., Floral volatiles interfere with plant attraction of parasitoids: ontogeny-dependent infochemicals dynamics in Brassica rapa, in BMC Ecology.

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Annual Meeting of the International Society of Chemical Ecology (ISCE) Talk given at a conference The true cost of exotic perfumes: impact of invasive herbivores on native infochemical networks (invited talk Gaylord Desurmont) 29.06.2015 Stockholm, Sweden Desurmont Gaylord;
Société Entomologique Neuchâteloise (SEN) Seminar series (Museum of Natural History) Individual talk Impact des insectes invasifs sur l'écologie chimique des relations plantes-insectes (invited talk Gaylord Desurmont) 21.01.2015 Neuchâtel, Switzerland Desurmont Gaylord;
Joint 2014 Annual Meeting British Ecological Society and Société Française d’Ecologie Talk given at a conference Impact of exotic insect herbivores on chemically mediated plant-parasitoid interactions (talk Gaylord Desurmont) 15.12.2014 Lille, France Desurmont Gaylord;
National meeting of the Entomological Society of America (ESA) Talk given at a conference Impact of exotic herbivores on native tritrophic interactions: A case study of the African cotton leafworm, Spodoptera littoralis (talk Gaylord Desurmont) 16.11.2014 Portland, OR, United States of America Desurmont Gaylord;
EuroVOL final meeting (satellite meeting of the SIP 15) Talk given at a conference Alien interference : disruption of infochemical networks by invasive insect herbivores (invited talk Gaylord Desurmont) 22.08.2014 Neuchâtel, Switzerland Desurmont Gaylord;
15th International Symposium on Insect-Plant Relationships (SIP 15) Poster The interplay between pollinator attraction and indirect defense: the impact of Brassica rapa floral volatiles on herbivore-induced volatiles and attractiveness to natural enemies (Poster Gaylord Desurmont) 17.08.2014 Neuchâtel, Switzerland Turlings Théodoor; Desurmont Gaylord;
Gordon Conference on Plant Volatiles Poster Impact of volatiles induced by exotic insect herbivores on the attraction of natural enemies: a test of the specificity and robustness of infochemicals 26.01.2014 Ventura CA, United States of America Gouinguené Sandrine; Desurmont Gaylord; Turlings Théodoor;
EuroVol midterm meeting "Plant Volatiles: from Ecology to Exploitation" Talk given at a conference The dazzling effect of exotic perfumes: impact of invasive herbivores on the foraging behavior of native parasitoids (Talk Gaylord Desurmont) 03.04.2013 Florence, Italy Turlings Théodoor; Desurmont Gaylord;
EuroVol midterm meeting "Plant Volatiles: from Ecology to Exploitation" Talk given at a conference InvaVol: investigating the impact of invasive insects on native infochemical networks (Talk Ted Turlings) 03.04.2013 Florence, Italy Turlings Théodoor;
EuroVOL mid-term meeting Talk given at a conference InvaVol: investigating the impact of invasive insects on native infochemicalnetworks 01.04.2013 Florence, Italy Desurmont Gaylord; Gouinguené Sandrine; Turlings Théodoor;
EuroVOL mid-term meeting Talk given at a conference The dazzling effect of exotic perfumes : Impact of invasive herbivores on the foraging behavior of native parasitoids 01.04.2013 Florence, Italy Turlings Théodoor; Gouinguené Sandrine; Desurmont Gaylord;
Gordon conference on plant-herbivores interactions Poster Alien interference: effects of exotic herbivores on volatile-mediated interactions between plants and parasitoids (Poster Gaylord Desurmont) 26.02.2013 Ventura, CA, United States of America Turlings Théodoor; Desurmont Gaylord;
Biology13 conference, University of Basel Poster Impact of native and exotic non-­host herbivores on chemically mediated plant-parasitoid interaction (Poster Gaylord Desurmont) 07.02.2013 Basel, Switzerland Desurmont Gaylord; Turlings Théodoor;
Final Meeting of the NCCR Plant Survival, Uinversity of Neuchâtel Poster Impact of non-­host herbivores on a plant-­parasitoid interaction: a test of the robustness of infochemicals (Poster Gaylord Desurmont) 23.01.2013 Neuchâtel, Switzerland Desurmont Gaylord;
International Congress of Entomology Talk given at a conference Impact of invasive insect herbivores on the foraging behaviour of native parasitoids via changes in induced plant volatiles: a comparative study (Talk Ted Turlings) 19.08.2012 Daegu, Korean Republic (South Korea) Turlings Théodoor; Desurmont Gaylord;
Ecology and Evolutionary department seminar, Leiden University Individual talk Consequences of insect invasions for insect-plant interactions mediated by plant volatiles (Talk Gaylord Desurmont) 01.04.2012 Leiden, Netherlands Desurmont Gaylord;
Gordon Conference on Plant Volatiles Poster Alien interference: disruption of volatile-mediated interactions between plants and parasitoids by invasive insect herbivores (Poster Gaylord Desurmont). 29.01.2012 Ventura, CA,, United States of America Turlings Théodoor; Desurmont Gaylord;


Self-organised

Title Date Place

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
122132 Costs and benefits of tritrophic signalling between plants and parasitoids 01.10.2008 Project funding (Div. I-III)
158563 The inconspicuous in a conspicuous world: visualizing hidden aspects of butterfly biology and ecology at the Papiliorama 01.04.2015 Agora
128909 NCCR Plant Survival: Plant Survival in Natural and Agricultural Ecosystems (phase III) 01.04.2009 National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCRs)
166632 Exploring the Chemical Ecology of Gastropod-Insect-Plant Interactions 01.06.2016 Project funding (Div. I-III)
162860 Agricultural practices and the cascading effects of apparent competition: A case study of trophic interactions on cultivated maize and wild lima bean plants. 01.10.2016 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

In the proposed project we join forces to determine how invading insects affect and disrupt the evolved communicative infochemical networks in native plant-insect communities. We will test our hypothesis with the use of two extremely polyphagous herbivores that have high potential to invade European natural and agro-ecosystems: the Egyptian cotton leafworm Spodoptera littoralis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and the banded cucumber beetle Diabrotica balteata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). The larvae of the former feed on the leaves and reproductive tissues of plants of at least 40 families, whereas the larvae of the latter are root feeders and have also been recorded on numerous different plant species, such as maize, beans, cotton and various cabbage species. These two major pests of crops in more tropical regions of the world have a high probability to be introduced into Europe as a result of human activity. The only current obstacle is the colder European climate, which does not yet allow them to survive the winters. This could rapidly change if the increase in average annual temperature continues.As plant model systems, we will largely focus on Brassica rapa and Silene latifolia. These plants are known to emit a range of different BVOCs, both from leaves and flowers. Among the BVOCs emitted by Brassica sp. flowers are the aromatics phenylacetaldehyde, 2-phenylethanol, benzaldehyde, a range of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes as well as isothiocyanate28. Silene is characterized by the aromatics veratrole, phenylacetaldehyde, as well as the lilac aldehydes (monoterpenes)29. Brassica plants emit over one hundred volatiles after damage by Pieris caterpillars. These included green leaf volatiles, alcohols, and esters, as well as glucosinolate breakdown products such as isothiocyanates and nitriles30,31. In preliminary experiments we have found also considerable increase in the quantity and quantity of the BVOCs emitted by S. latifolia after caterpillar attack.We will study how the larval stages of both herbivores affect the volatile emissions of the native plants and how possible changes in the emissions affect attraction of local parasitoids and pollinators. We will also specifically study the responses of natural enemies that may follow the invading herbivores into the new habitats in order to determine how readily these “followers” adapt to novel odor cues. For S. littoralis we will also study the role of VOCs in neuro-physiological and genetic aspects of the host selection process and, using European wild and cultivated plants, we will determine how readily they will adopt novel host plants. Finally, we aim to assess the ecological and evolutionary consequences of the changes in BVOCs and insect behavior in field studies. The results of our studies will be used to provide parameter values for dynamic models that predict the ecological impact of the interference of invading insects in the native infochemical networks. Hence, the project will optimally exploit the expertise of the consortium to eventually make predictions about the indirect effects of invading insects on native plant-insect interactions. With the studies we aim to answer the following questions:1)What BVOVs are emitted by native plants in response to herbivory by invading insects and how different are these emissions from those induced by native shoot and root herbivores?2)How do native parasitoids and pollinators respond to novel volatile emissions and do the emissions interfere with the successful location of respectively, suitable hosts and flowers?3)How readily can parasitoids and pollinators adapt their responses at the individual level (associative learning) and over evolutionary time (local adaptation)?4)What are the ecological and evolutionary consequences of these changes in the infochemical web for plant gene flow, and the multitrophic foodweb associated with plants?The results of our studies will be used to provide parameter values for dynamic models that predict the consequences of interference of invading insects in the native infochemical networks. Hence, the project will optimally exploit the expertise at hand to eventually make predictions about the indirect effects of invading insects on native plant-insect interactions.
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