Host Preference and Performance of the Yellow Peach Moth (<i>Conogethes punctiferalis</i>) on Chestnut Cultivars


<div><p>Suitability of plant tissues as food for insects varies from plant to plant. In lepidopteran insects, fitness is largely dependent on the host-finding ability of the females. Existing studies have suggested that polyphagous lepidopterans preferentially select certain host plant species for oviposition. However, the mechanisms for host recognition and selection have not been fully elucidated. For the polyphagous yellow peach moth <i>Conogethes punctiferalis</i>, we explored the effect of chestnut cultivar on the performance and fitness and addressed the mechanisms of plant-volatile-mediated host recognition. By carrying out laboratory experiments and field investigation on four chestnut <i>Castanea mollissima</i> cultivars (Huaihuang, Huaijiu, Yanhong, and Shisheng), we found that <i>C</i>. <i>punctiferalis</i> females preferentially select Huaijiu for oviposition and infestation, and caterpillars fed on Huaijiu achieved slightly greater fitness than those fed on the other three chestnut cultivars, indicating that Huaijiu was a better suitable host for <i>C</i>. <i>punctiferalis</i>. Plant volatiles played important roles in host recognition by <i>C</i>. <i>punctiferalis</i>. All seven chestnut volatile compounds, <i>α</i>-pinene, camphene, <i>β</i>-thujene, <i>β</i>-pinene, eucalyptol, 3-carene, and nonanal, could trigger EAG responses in <i>C</i>. <i>punctiferalis</i>. The ubiquitous plant terpenoids, <i>α</i>-pinene, camphene and <i>β</i>-pinene, and their specific combination at concentrations and proportions similar to the emissions from the four chestnut cultivars, was sufficient to elicit host recognition behavior of female <i>C</i>. <i>punctiferalis</i>. Nonanal and a mixture containing nonanal, that mimicked the emission of <i>C</i>. <i>punctiferalis</i> infested chestnut fruits, caused avoidance response. The outcome demonstrates the effects of chestnut cultivars on the performance of <i>C</i>. <i>punctiferalis</i> and reveals the preference-performance relationship between <i>C</i>. <i>punctiferalis</i> adults and their offspring. The observed olfactory plasticity in the plant-volatile-mediated host recognition may be important for the forming of the relationship between yellow peach moth and chestnuts since it allows the polyphagous herbivores to adjust to variation in volatile emission from their host plants.</p></div

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oai:figshare.com:article/3928302Last time updated on 2/12/2018

This paper was published in FigShare.

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