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Meligethes aeneus pollen-feeding suppresses, and oviposition induces, Brassica napus volatiles: beetle attraction/repellence to lilac aldehydes and veratrole

Piesik, Dariusz, Delaney, Kevin J., Wenda-Piesik, Anna, Sendel, Sebastian, Tabaka, Piotr, Buszewski, Boguslaw
Chemoecology 2013 v.23 no.4 pp. 241
Brassica napus var. napus, Meligethes aeneus, aldehydes, beta-caryophyllene, buds, eggs, emissions, farnesene, herbivores, insect pests, insect pollination, linalool, oviposition, pollen, volatile organic compounds
Insect pollination and pollen feeding can reduce plant volatile emissions and future insect floral attraction, with oviposition having different effects. Meligethes aeneus F. (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae), is a pollen feeding pest beetle of oilseed rape, Brassica napus L. (Brassicaceae). We measured plant VOC emission over 72 h from two types of 24 h M. aeneus exposure to B. napus: pollen feeding vs. flower bud injury and oviposition. The most abundant constitutive volatile organic compounds (VOCs), lilac aldehydes A (LA A) & B (LA B) and veratrole (VER), had 30–40 % reductions from M. aeneus pollen-feeding exposure at 24 h and 50–90 % reductions by 72 h, with greater reductions after bud injury and oviposition. Linalool (LIN), a common herbivore induced plant volatile (HIPV), emission did not change at 24 h, but was induced six- to sevenfold 48 h after both exposure treatments. By 72 h, LIN had even greater (tenfold) induction after bud injury and oviposition, but no induction from pollen feeding. Three common HIPVs (β-caryophyllene, = βCAR (E)-β-farnesene = EβFAR, and (Z)-β-ocimene = ZβOCI) were progressively induced up to 2.5-fold 72 h after floral bud injury and oviposition. We assayed M. aeneus adult behavioral responses to LA A and B, and VER. Both M. aeneus sexes were attracted to higher concentrations than single plant constitutive emission for these VOCs, but avoided much higher doses. Progressive LA A and B, and VER, emission reductions might help plants (e.g., B. napus) to avoid future interactions with pollen-feeding pest herbivores (e.g., M. aeneus). After bud injury and oviposition, HIPV induction could help plants deter future oviposition and/or attract natural enemies to deposited eggs.