Partial aphid resistance in lettuce negatively affects parasitoids.

Lanteigne, M.-E., Brodeur, J., Jenni, S., and Boivin, G. (2015). "Partial aphid resistance in lettuce negatively affects parasitoids.", Environmental Entomology, 43(5), pp. 1240-1246. doi : 10.1603/EN14080  Access to full text


This study investigated the effects of partial plant resistance on the lettuce aphid Nasonovia ribisnigri (Mosley) (Hemiptera: Aphididae), a major pest of cultivated lettuce (Lactuca sativa/i} L.), and one of its parasitoids, Aphidius ervi Haliday (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). Aphids were reared on susceptible (L. sativa variety Estival; S) or partially resistant (Lactuca serriola L. PI 491093; PR) lettuce, and next parasitized by A. ervi females. Fitness proxies were measured for both aphids and parasitoids. Developmental time to adult stage took longer for alate and apterous aphids (an average of 3.5 and 1.5 additional days, respectively) on PR than on S lettuce, and fecundity of alate aphids reared on PR lettuce was reduced by 37.8% relative to those reared on S lettuce. Size (tibia length) and weight of aphids reared on PR lettuce were lower than for aphids reared on S lettuce from the third and second instar onward, respectively. Parasitism of aphids reared on PR plants resulted in lower parasitoid offspring emergence (-49.9%), lower adult female (-30.3%) and male (-27.5%) weight, smaller adult female (-17.5%) and male (-11.9%) size, and lower female fecundity (37.8% fewer eggs) than when parasitoids developed from aphids reared on S plants. Our results demonstrate that partial aphid resistance in lettuce negatively affects both the second and third trophic levels. Host plant resistance in cultivated lettuce may therefore create an ecological sink for aphid parasitoids.

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