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Responses of parasitoids to volatiles induced by Chilo partellus oviposition on teosinte, a wild ancestor of maize

Mutyambai, Daniel M., Bruce, Toby J. A., Midega, Charles A. O., Woodcock, Christine M., Caulfield, John C., Van Den Berg, Johnnie, Pickett, John ORCID: and Khan, Zeyaur R. 2015. Responses of parasitoids to volatiles induced by Chilo partellus oviposition on teosinte, a wild ancestor of maize. Journal of Chemical Ecology 41 (4) , pp. 323-329. 10.1007/s10886-015-0570-1

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Maize, a genetically diverse crop, is the domesticated descendent of its wild ancestor, teosinte. Recently, we have shown that certain maize landraces possess a valuable indirect defense trait not present in commercial hybrids. Plants of these landraces release herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) that attract both egg [Trichogramma bournieri Pintureau & Babault (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae)and larval [Cotesia sesamiae Cameron (Hymenoptera:Braconidae)] parasitoids in response to stemborer egg deposition. In this study, we tested whether this trait also exists in the germplasm of wild Zea species. Headspace samples were collected from plants exposed to egg deposition by Chilo partellus Swinhoe (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) moths and unexposed control plants. Four-arm olfactometer bioassays with parasitic wasps, T. bournieri and C. sesamiae, indicated that both egg and larval parasitoids preferred HIPVs from plants with eggs in four of the five teosinte species sampled. Headspace samples from oviposited plants released higher amounts of EAG-active compounds such as (E)-4,8-dimethyl- 1,3,7-nonatriene. In oviposition choice bioassays, plants without eggs were significantly preferred for subsequent oviposition by moths compared to plants with prior oviposition. These results suggest that this induced indirect defence trait is not limited to landraces but occurs in wild Zea species and appears to be an ancestral trait. Hence, these species possess a valuable trait that could be introgressed into domesticated maize lines to provide indirect defense mechanisms against stemborers.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Chemistry
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 0098-0331
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 November 2017
Date of Acceptance: 23 February 2015
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 09:52

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