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The pupal parasitoid trichopria drosophilae is attracted to the same yeast volatiles as its adult host

Durovic, Gordana, Van Neerbos, Francine A. C., Bossaert, Sofie, Herrera-Malaver, Beatriz, Steensels, Jan, Arnó, Judit, Wäckers, Felix, Sobhy, Islam S., Verstrepen, Kevin J., Jacquemyn, Hans and Lievens, Bart 2021. The pupal parasitoid trichopria drosophilae is attracted to the same yeast volatiles as its adult host. Journal of Chemical Ecology 47 (8-9) , 788–798. 10.1007/s10886-021-01295-6

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There is increasing evidence that microorganisms, particularly fungi and bacteria, emit volatile compounds that mediate the foraging behaviour of insects and therefore have the potential to affect key ecological relationships. However, to what extent microbial volatiles affect the olfactory response of insects across different trophic levels remains unclear. Adult parasitoids use a variety of chemical stimuli to locate potential hosts, including those emitted by the host’s habitat, the host itself, and microorganisms associated with the host. Given the great capacity of parasitoids to utilize and learn odours to increase foraging success, parasitoids of eggs, larvae, or pupae may respond to the same volatiles the adult stage of their hosts use when locating their resources, but compelling evidence is still scarce. In this study, using Saccharomyces cerevisiae we show that Trichopria drosophilae, a pupal parasitoid of Drosophila species, is attracted to the same yeast volatiles as their hosts in the adult stage, i.e. acetate esters. Parasitoids significantly preferred the odour of S. cerevisiae over the blank medium in a Y-tube olfactometer. Deletion of the yeast ATF1 gene, encoding a key acetate ester synthase, decreased attraction of T. drosophilae, while the addition of synthetic acetate esters to the fermentation medium restored parasitoid attraction. Bioassays with individual compounds revealed that the esters alone were not as attractive as the volatile blend of S. cerevisiae, suggesting that other volatile compounds also contribute to the attraction of T. drosophilae. Altogether, our results indicate that pupal parasitoids respond to the same volatiles as the adult stage of their hosts, which may aid them in locating oviposition sites.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 0098-0331
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 December 2021
Date of Acceptance: 22 June 2021
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2023 21:13

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