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Open AccessArticle

Identification and Expression Profiling of Peripheral Olfactory Genes in the Parasitoid Wasp Aphidius ervi (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) Reared on Different Aphid Hosts

1
Instituto de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad de Talca, campus Talca 3460000, Chile
2
Centre for Molecular and Functional Ecology in Agroecosystems, Universidad de Talca, campus Talca 3460000, Chile
3
Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Universidad de Talca, campus Talca 3460000, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2019, 10(11), 397; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10110397
Received: 16 September 2019 / Revised: 1 November 2019 / Accepted: 2 November 2019 / Published: 8 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Parasites: A Focus on Wasps and Nematodes)
Generalist parasitoids of aphids, such as the wasp Aphidius ervi, display significant differences in terms of host preference and host acceptance, depending on the host on which they developed (natal host), which is preferred over a non-natal host, a trait known as host fidelity. This trait allows females to quickly find hosts in heterogeneous environments, a process mediated by chemosensory/olfactory mechanisms, as parasitoids rely on olfaction and chemical cues during host selection. Thus, it is expected that proteins participating in chemosensory recognition, such as odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) and odorant receptors (ORs) would play a key role in host preference. In this study, we addressed the effect of parasitoid reciprocal host switching between two aphid hosts (Sitobion avenae and Acyrthosiphon pisum) on the expression patterns of chemosensory genes in the wasp A. ervi. First, by using a transcriptomic approach based on RNAseq of A. ervi females reared on S. avenae and A. pisum, we were able to annotate a total of 91 transcripts related to chemoperception. We also performed an in-silico expression analysis and found three OBPs and five ORs displaying different expression levels. Then, by using qRT-PCR amplification, we found significant differences in the expression levels of these eight genes when the parasitoids were reciprocally transplanted from S. avenae onto A. pisum and vice versa. This suggests that the expression levels of genes coding for odorant receptors and odorant-binding proteins would be regulated by the specific plant–aphid host complex where the parasitoids develop (maternal previous experience) and that chemosensory genes coding for olfactory mechanisms would play a crucial role on host preference and host acceptance, ultimately leading to the establishment of host fidelity in A. ervi parasitoids. View Full-Text
Keywords: host fidelity; peripheral olfactory genes; olfaction; parasitoid wasps; inbreeding; biological control host fidelity; peripheral olfactory genes; olfaction; parasitoid wasps; inbreeding; biological control
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ballesteros, G.I.; Sepúlveda, D.A.; Figueroa, C.C. Identification and Expression Profiling of Peripheral Olfactory Genes in the Parasitoid Wasp Aphidius ervi (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) Reared on Different Aphid Hosts. Insects 2019, 10, 397.

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