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Limited influence of gain and loss of symbionts on host plant selection in specialized pea aphid genotypes

Abstract : Recent advances in insect-microbe interactions show that microbial associates can modulate the behaviors of their hosts, such as defensive or food choice behaviors. For phytophagous insects, host plant choice is of utmost importance, because most of them are specialized on a few plant species, which represent not only their food source but often their habitat and reproduction site. Therefore, identifying how microbial symbionts could influence host plant selection provides valuable information on their potential role in the evolution of the diet breath of phytophagous insects. In this study, we investigated whether bacterial symbiont loss or acquisition modulate host plant selection in the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum Harris (Hemiptera: Aphididae). Several aphid lineages were considered, originating from three plant-specialized populations, each adapted to a different plant species. The symbiotic status of aphid lineages was experimentally manipulated to mimic natural events of symbiont loss and acquisition through horizontal transfer. Host plant selection was then tested by releasing aphids in a cage containing three plant species (1 host and 2 non-hosts) and determining the proportion of aphids on each plant. Our results show minor effects of the symbiotic status on aphid host plant choice, indicating that this trait is determined primarily by the aphid genome
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Submitted on : Friday, July 16, 2021 - 3:48:23 PM
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Corentin Sochard, Maïwenn Le Floch, Sylvia Anton, Yannick Outreman, Jean-Christophe Simon. Limited influence of gain and loss of symbionts on host plant selection in specialized pea aphid genotypes. Entomologia Generalis, 2021, 41 (1), pp.39-47. ⟨10.1127/entomologia/2020/1076⟩. ⟨hal-03288969⟩



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