The endoparasitoid Cotesia kariyai (Ck) regulates the growth and metabolic efficiency of Pseudaletia separata larvae by venom and Ck polydnavirus

J Insect Physiol. 2001 Jun;47(6):573-584. doi: 10.1016/s0022-1910(00)00147-5.


It was previously demonstrated that parasitization by Cotesia kariyai caused a decrease in weight gain and food consumption in host larvae, resulting in a lower final weight for parasitized hosts. It is predicted that C. kariyai regulates the physiological condition of the host to obtain maximum food under restricted nutritional conditions. Approximate digestibility (AD) was higher following parasitization but the efficiency of conversion of digested food (ECD) of the parasitized hosts was lower. This suggests that resources available to the parasitoid larvae are enhanced in the parasitized hosts. We evaluated the physiological changes caused by injection of calyx fluid (polydnavirus) plus venom (C+V) in nonparasitized hosts. Injection of C+V into the nonparasitized hosts duplicated the effects of parasitism, namely it increased the AD and decreased the ECD. Furthermore, C+V injections elevated trehalose concentrations in nonparasitized host 7 to 10 d after injection (2nd stadium of the parasitoid larva). Protein content also increased on days 9 and 10 after C+V injection. These results suggest that the nutrients that parasitoid larvae require for their growth increase in the hemolymph of the host during the 2nd stadium of the parasitoid larva.