Arbuscular mycorrhiza enhances preference of ovipositing predatory mites for direct prey-related cues

Author(s)
Daniela Hoffmann, Horst Vierheilig, Peter Schausberger
Abstract

Most terrestrial plants are associated with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi but research on the effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis on aboveground plant-associated organisms is scarcely expanded to tri-trophic systems. The arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Glomus mosseae Nicol. & Gerd. enhances fitness of the two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae Koch and its natural enemy, the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis Athias-Henriot, via changes in host plant and prey quality, respectively. In the present study, it is hypothesized that gravid P. persimilis are able to recognize arbuscular mycorrhiza-enhanced prey quality and behave accordingly. In two experiments, on leaf arenas and in cages, P. persimilis is given a choice between prey patches deriving from mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal bean plants (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) as feeding and oviposition sites. The use of cages allows the manipulation of distinct patch components acting as possible cues to guide predator foraging and oviposition behaviours, such as eggs produced and traces (webbing and faeces) left by the spider mite females. Both experiments show that P. persimilis preferentially resides close to prey fed on mycorrhizal plants. The cage experiment reveals that P. persimilis uses direct prey-related cues, mainly derived from eggs, to discern prey quality and preferentially oviposits close to prey from mycorrhizal plants. This is the first study to document that predators recognize arbuscular mycorrhiza-induced changes in herbivorous prey quality via direct prey-related cues.

Organisation(s)
External organisation(s)
Universität für Bodenkultur Wien, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)
Journal
Physiological Entomology
Volume
36
Pages
90-95
No. of pages
6
ISSN
0307-6962
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3032.2010.00751.x
Publication date
03-2011
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
106030 Plant ecology, 106022 Microbiology, 106047 Animal ecology
Keywords
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/arbuscular-mycorrhiza-enhances-preference-of-ovipositing-predatory-mites-for-direct-preyrelated-cues(024fe62d-f5f5-4eb2-8350-e766301dcb97).html