Suitability of Arabidopsis thaliana as a model for host plant-Plutella xylostella-Cotesia plutellae interactions

Barker, J.E., Poppy, G.M. and Payne, C.C. (2007) Suitability of Arabidopsis thaliana as a model for host plant-Plutella xylostella-Cotesia plutellae interactions. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 122, (1), 17-26. (doi:10.1111/j.1570-7458.2006.00459.x).


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Successful pest management is often hindered by the inherent complexity of the interactions of a pest with its environment. The use of genetically characterized model plants can allow investigation of chosen aspects of these interactions by limiting the number of variables during experimentation. However, it is important to study the generic nature of these model systems if the data generated are to be assessed in a wider context, for instance, with those systems of commercial significance. This study assesses the suitability of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. (Brassicaceae) as a model host plant to investigate plant-herbivore-natural enemy interactions, with Plutella xylostella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), the diamondback moth, and Cotesia plutellae (Kurdjumov) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), a parasitoid of P. xylostella. The growth and development of P. xylostella and C. plutellae on an A. thaliana host plant (Columbia type) were compared to that on Brassica rapa var. pekinensis (L.) (Brassicaceae), a host crop that is widely cultivated and also commonly used as a laboratory host for P. xylostella rearing. The second part of the study investigated the potential effect of the different A. thaliana background lines, Columbia and Landsberg (used in wider scientific studies), on growth and development of P. xylostella and C. plutellae. Plutella xylostella life history parameters were found generally to be similar between the host plants investigated. However, C. plutellae were more affected by the differences in host plant. Fewer adult parasitoids resulted from development on A. thaliana compared to B. rapa, and those that did emerge were significantly smaller. Adult male C. plutellae developing on Columbia were also significantly smaller than those on Landsberg A. thaliana.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1111/j.1570-7458.2006.00459.x
ISSNs: 0013-8703 (print)
Keywords: tritrophic, herbivore, parasitoid, natural enemy, fitness, columbia, landsberg, ecotype, background, hymenoptera, braconidae, lepidoptera, plutellidae
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QK Botany
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Biological Sciences
ePrint ID: 56342
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
1 January 2007Published
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2008
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:36

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