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Host-plant mediated interactions between two aphid species

Brunissen, L., Cherqui, A., Pelletier, Y., Vincent, C., Giordanengo, P. (2009). Host-plant mediated interactions between two aphid species, 132(1), 30-38.


Herbivory induces numerous defence reactions in plants, which can in turn alter the plant quality for insects. The potato aphid, Macrosiphum euphorbiae (Thomas), and the green peach aphid, Myzus persicae (Sulzer) (both Hemiptera: Aphididae), are two important sympatric potato pests in northern France. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of a previous infestation of a potato plant, Solanum tuberosum L. (Solanaceae), by M. persicae or M. euphorbiae on the host attractiveness, feeding behaviour, and biological performance of M. euphorbiae subsequently colonising the plant. The preference of aphids was studied with a dual-choice olfactometer and their feeding behaviour was monitored using the electrical penetration graph technique. Their biological performance was assessed by an in planta bioassay. Non-infested plants were significantly more attractive to M. euphorbiae than plants pre-infested by conspecific individuals. Aphids showed a strong reduction in the time spent ingesting phloem sap when feeding on pre-infested plants. The biological performance of M. euphorbiae was not affected by previous conspecific infestation. Conversely, M. euphorbiae feeding behaviour was not affected on plants previously infested by M. persicae but aphids were more attracted to and had a faster population build-up on those plants. Our results show that plant response and its effect on M. euphorbiae differed depending on the aphid species previously feeding on the potato plant. This variability in plant response could lead to competition or facilitation between aphids temporally and spatially separated, and promote dispersal under field conditions. © 2009 The Netherlands Entomological Society.

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