Olfactory Cues Used in Host Selection by Frankliniella occidentalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) in Relation to Host Suitability

Cao, Yu; Zhi, Junrui; Cong, Chunlei; Margolies, David
January 2014
Journal of Insect Behavior;Jan2014, Vol. 27 Issue 1, p41
Academic Journal
Olfactory responses of Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) to odors from six vegetable host plants-cabbage ( Brassica oleracea), lettuce ( Lactuca sativa), cucumber ( Cucumis sativus), eggplant ( Solanum melongena), celery ( Apium graveolens) and garlic ( Allium sativum) - were measured in choice tests in a Y-tube olfactometer, while host suitability of these same plants was assessed based on life table parameters-development time, survival rates, fertility, offspring sex ratio, female longevity, and an index of population change ( I) - measured on leaf disks. Olfactory response was measured on both undamaged and mechanically-damaged plants. Regardless of plant damaged, female F. occidentalis responded positively to the odors of cabbage, lettuce, cucumber, and eggplant, but showed negative responses to celery and garlic, when offered a choice of plant odor or clean air. When female thrips were offered choices between each possible pairing of undamaged plants, or pairings of mechanically-damaged plants, the order of preference was cabbage = lettuce = cucumber > eggplant > celery = garlic. Male thrips responded differently, males responded positively only to undamaged lettuce and eggplant compared to clean air, while among mechanically-damaged plants only cucumber elicited a positive response. Given a choice between all possible pairings of undamaged plants, male thrips preferred lettuce to celery, and eggplant to garlic, whereas among pairings of mechanically-damaged plants male thrips preferred lettuce to celery, and cucumber to eggplant. The order of suitability of the six host plants based on life table parameters for F. occidentalis was essentially the same as the order of preference by female thrips. These results indicate that host plant odor is an important cue for female F. occidentalis in recognizing hosts suitable for oviposition. Information on plant attraction and repellency may be useful in thrips pest management. In addition, the correspondence of preference and performance that we found suggests that evolution of local host adaptation and, perhaps, host specialization, is possible.


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