Does corn phenological stage alter the attractiveness of herbivore-induced plant volatiles to the predatory lacewing Chrysoperla externa (Hagen, 1861)?
Keywords:behavior, olfactory response, induced plant defenses, natural enemies, tritrophic interactions
Plant chemical defenses can affect herbivores directly or indirectly through the emission of herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) that recruit natural enemies. Corn seedlings have high concentrations of 2,4-dihydroxy-7-methoxy-1,4-benzoxazin-3-one (DIMBOA) that deter aphids, but as concentration decreases over the course of plant phenology, plants become less resistant. We investigated whether corn phenological stage influences the attractiveness of Rhopalosiphum maidis (Fitch, 1856) - infested corn seedling volatiles to the predatory lacewing Chrysoperla externa (Hagen, 1861). In olfactometer, lacewings preferentially oriented to volatiles from aphid-infested over those by uninfested corn seedlings at V6 or V7 stages, but did not discriminate between volatiles from uninfested and aphid-infested V5-stage seedlings. Greater numbers of aphids died in V5 corn seedlings relative to those in V6 and V7 seedlings. Our results indicate that the lack of discrimination of the predatory lacewing to HIPVs emitted by V5 corn seedlings is due to insufficient induction given that they were more resistant to R. maidis.
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© The author(s) - Published by Sociedade Entomológica do Brasil