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Reproductive isolation and host plant specialization in European corn borer pheromone strains

Abstract : The present PhD study investigates the aspect of chemical ecology in the European corn borer (ECB, Ostrinia nubilalis Hübner, Lepidoptera: Crambidae): pherotypes reproductive isolation and host plant specialisation.All the experiences were designed to have ecologically relevant information about the chemical signals released or perceived by ECB moth during the reproduction period. Most of the work was conducted close to natural conditions and taking into account all the behavioural traits of ECB.First we investigated what can be the chemical landscape of maize field for host-seeking ECB moth. The whole volatile blends that make up the olfactory environment of maize field biotope was identified according to the ECB oviposition behaviour (Paper I). Secondly taking into account the diel periodicity of ECB behaviour we studied the diel changes of volatile profiles released from maize plant and from maize field (Paper II). Thirdly, we studied the process of host fidelity within the ECB host plants. The volatiles released from different host plants at the time of ECB oviposition flight were identified and the oviposition behaviour was studied in wind tunnel to evidence the host plant preferences of ovipositing females (Paper III). Fourthly, we address the question on assortative mating in ECB pherotypes and we investigated the chemical signals involved in the reproductive isolation in ECB pherotypes. We focused on the male pheromone produced by hairpencils and on courtship behaviour (Paper IV).
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  • HAL Id : tel-00980568, version 1
  • PRODINRA : 314395


Ene Sarapuu Leppik. Reproductive isolation and host plant specialization in European corn borer pheromone strains. Animal biology. Université Paris Sud - Paris XI, 2011. English. ⟨NNT : 2011PA11T066⟩. ⟨tel-00980568⟩



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