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Host shift induces changes in mate choice of the seed predator Acanthoscelides obtectus via altered chemical signalling

Renou, Michel, Vuts, József, Woodcock, Christine M., König, Lisa, Powers, Stephen J., Pickett, John A. ORCID:, Szentesi, Árpád and Birkett, Michael A. 2018. Host shift induces changes in mate choice of the seed predator Acanthoscelides obtectus via altered chemical signalling. PLoS ONE 13 (11) , e0206144. 10.1371/journal.pone.0206144

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The mechanisms of host shift in phytophagous insects are poorly understood. Among the many proposed processes involved, sexual selection via semiochemicals has recently been suggested. This hypothesizes that sexual communication using pheromones is modified as a result of development on a new host, and such plant-induced phenotypic divergence in mate recognition cues can lead to reproductive isolation between host lines. We tested this hypothesis on Acanthoscelides obtectus, an oligophagous bruchid of Phaseolus vulgaris beans worldwide, which also develops in acceptable non-hosts, such as chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.). Male sex pheromone blends of the bean, chickpea and chickpea/bean host lines during artificially induced host shifts showed different composition. Bean-reared females did not distinguish between blends, whereas chickpea and chickpea/bean females preferred the chickpea male pheromone. However, electrophysiological (EAG) responses to male odour of antennae of the three female host lines were similar, all preferring bean-reared males. Egg-laying choice tests revealed a uniform preference for bean seeds across female host lines, even after multiple generations, whereas larvae did not distinguish between bean and chickpea seeds. We conclude that the development of divergent chemical signalling systems during host shifts does not facilitate the evolution of host races in A. obtectus, because oviposition preferences remain unaffected

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Chemistry
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 December 2018
Date of Acceptance: 8 October 2018
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 10:38

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