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Consequences of stress induced by heat on fitness of Delphacodes kuscheli and its yeast‐like endosymbionts

de la Fuente, Daniela, Maciá, Arnaldo, Cano, María Eugenia, Toledo, Andrea Vanesa, Brentassi, María Eugenia
Journal of applied entomology 2019 v.143 no.5 pp. 566-573
Delphacodes, Mal de Rio Cuarto virus, adults, body length, corn, crop production, endosymbionts, fecundity, heat, heat stress, heat treatment, insects, instars, longevity, morphs, nymphs, viruses, Argentina
The planthopper Delphacodes kuscheli is the main vector of Mal de Río Cuarto virus in Argentina, disease that severely affects maize production. In this study, we investigated the effects of heat stress on fitness traits and on the number of its obligate yeast‐like symbionts (YLS). The exposition of newly‐hatched nymphs to 35°C for 3 days, a well‐known procedure used to reduce the number of YLS in planthoppers, was applied. To compare different fitness components between control and heat‐treated insects, we estimated nymphal instars development time, nymphal survival, adult body length, longevity, fecundity and fertility. Also, correlates of fitness, as proportion of sexes and wing forms of the emerging adults, were evaluated. In heat‐treated group, the nymphal developmental time increased due to an increase in the fifth instar duration, and the nymphal survival, body length of adults and fecundity were reduced when compared to control. There was a significant association between treatments (control and heat‐treated insects) and wing morphs. The heat treatment successfully reduced the number of YLS in third instar nymphs of D. kuscheli. Our results revealed the negative effect of heat stress on development, survival and reproduction of D. kuscheli and on the load of its YLS endosymbionts suggesting that YLS could play a crucial role in the development and reproduction of these planthoppers.