- Innate responses of the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis to a herbivore-induced plant volatile
- Experimental and Applied Acarology
- Volume | Issue number
- 54 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
The responses of the predatory mite P. persimilis to herbivore-induced plant volatiles are at least partly genetically determined. Thus, there is potential for the evolution of this behaviour by natural selection. We tested whether distinct predator genotypes with contrasting responses to a specific herbivore-induced plant volatile, i.e. methyl salicylate (MeSa), could be found in a base population collected in the field (Sicily). To this end, we imposed purifying selection on individuals within iso-female lines of P. persimilis such that the lines were propagated only via the individual that showed either a preference or avoidance of MeSa. The responses of the lines were characterized as the mean proportion of individuals choosing MeSa when given a choice between MeSa and clean air. Significant variation in predator responses was detected among iso-female lines, thus confirming the presence of a genetic component for this behaviour. Nevertheless, we did not find a significant difference in the response to MeSa between the lines that were selected to avoid MeSa and the lines selected to prefer MeSa. Instead, in the course of selection the lines selected to avoid MeSa shifted their mean response towards a preference for MeSa. An inverse, albeit weaker, shift was detected for the lines selected to prefer MeSa. We discuss the factors that may have caused the apparent lack of a response to selection within isofemale
line in this study and propose experimental approaches that address them.
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