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Oviposition Preferences of Plutella xylostella are Influenced by the Type of Plant Induction and Glucosinolate Hydrolysis Profiles

Tyler Thompson, M. Gabriela Bidart
Journal of insect behavior 2017 v.30 no.5 pp. 507-518
Arabidopsis thaliana, Plutella xylostella, ecotypes, females, genetically modified plants, glucosinolates, hydrolysis, insect behavior, mechanical damage, oviposition, pests, thioglucosidase, volatile compounds
Effects of inducing plants by exposing them to insect herbivory, mechanical damage or damaged neighboring plants were evaluated on the oviposition preferences of Plutella xylostella. The role of plant genotypes differing in their glucosinolate hydrolysis profiles was also evaluated using a wild ecotype (Col-0) and a genetically modified line (tgg1tgg2) of Arabidopsis thaliana. While the Col-0 line has normal production of glucosinolate hydrolysis products, the double myrosinase knockout (tgg1tgg2) is defective in the production of these volatiles. Dual choice oviposition assays were performed using naïve P. xylostella females, and the two A. thaliana lines, which were exposed to the three types of induction treatments. Female oviposition preferences were significantly influenced by both the type of plant induction and the plant genotypes differing in their volatile profiles. Plutella xylostella females significantly preferred to oviposit on herbivore-damaged plants (versus undamaged controls) when Col-0 plants were used, but chose control plants over the double myrosinase knockout tgg1tgg2. However, plant genotype did not influence oviposition choices between plant-plant primed or mechanically damaged plants and paired undamaged controls. Given the prevalent use of genetically modified plants and the potential differences in their responses to different types of induction, these factors may be important to consider in the management of specialist pests such as the diamondback moth P. xylostella.