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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Newark, Delaware » Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #409574

Research Project: Biology, Ecology, Genetics, and Genomics of Introduced Species for Biological Control of Invasive and Other Insect Pests

Location: Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit

Title: Parasitoid-induced changes in metabolic rate and feeding activity of the emerald ash borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae): implications for biological control

Author
item DANG, YING-QIAO - Chinese Academy Of Forestry
item Duan, Jian
item Li, Andrew

Submitted to: Scientific Reports
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/5/2023
Publication Date: 12/19/2023
Citation: Dang, Y., Duan, J.J., Li, A.Y. 2023. Parasitoid-induced changes in metabolic rate and feeding activity of the emerald ash borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae): implications for biological control. Scientific Reports. 13: 22663. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-50147-8.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-50147-8

Interpretive Summary: The emerald ash borer (EAB) is a serious invasive pest of ash trees in North America. Tetrastichus planipennisi is a parasitic wasp, attacking large EAB larvae, which feed in the live phloem of ash trunks or branches, making serpentine-like galleries that are filled with larval frasses. In the present study, we first compared the metabolic rate of EAB larvae at different days after parasitoid attack (parasitism), and then measured feeding activity of the EAB larvae inside their feeding galleries. Our findings indicate that parasitoid attacks reduce feeding activity of EAB larvae and thus benefit protection of ash trees. In addition, the parasitic wasp has limited ability to optimize its offspring development and fitness through regulations of the host metabolism and feeding activity. Thus, the availability and abundance of suitable stages of EAB are critical for successful parasitoid progeny production and population growth in the field.

Technical Abstract: Parasitoid-host interactions form the foundation of biological control strategies against many agriculture and forest insect pests. The emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), is a serious invasive pest of ash (Fraxinus spp.) trees in North America. Tetrastichus planipennisi (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) is a gregarious, koinobiont endoparasitoid, attacking late (3rd to 4th) instars of EAB larvae, which feed in the live phloem of ash trunks or branches, making serpentine-like galleries filled with larval frass. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that T. planipennisi regulates the host metabolism and feeding activity to optimize its offspring development and fitness. We first compared the respiration rate of parasitized and unparasitized host larvae at different times after parasitism, and then measured feeding activity of both parasitized and unparasitized host larvae inside their feeding galleries. Although parasitized host larvae increased metabolic rate and feeding activity in the first few days of parasitism, T. planipennisi parasitism induced an overall reduction of the metabolic rate and decrease in feeding activity of parasitized host larvae over their development period. In addition, there was a negative relationship between feeding activity of parasitized hosts and brood sizes of the parasitoid progeny - i.e., the more parasitoid progeny was inside a host larva, the less feeding activity the larva had. These findings indicate that T. planipennisi has limited ability to optimize its offspring development and fitness through regulations of the host metabolism and feeding activity.