A comparative study on the functional response of Wolbachia-infected and uninfected forms of the parasitoid wasp Trichogramma brassicae

J Insect Sci. 2010;10:167. doi: 10.1673/031.010.14127.

Abstract

Trichogramma species (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) are haplo-diploid egg parasitoids that are frequently used as biological control agents against lepidopteran pests. These wasps display two reproductive modes, including arrhenotoky (bisexuality) and thelytoky (unisexuality). Thelytokous forms are often associated with the presence of endosymbiotic Wolbachia bacteria. The use of thelytokous wasps has long been considered as a way to enhance the efficacy of biological control. The present study investigates the potential of a thelytokous Wolbachia-infected and an arrhenotokous uninfected Trichogramma brassicae Bezdenko strain as inundative biocontrol agents by evaluating their functional response towards different egg densities of the factitious host, the Angoumois grain moth, Sitotroga cerealella (Olivier) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae). The results revealed a type II functional response for both strains in which parasitism efficiency decreases with host egg density because of an increasing host handling time. A model with an indicator variable was used to compare the parameters of Holling's disc equation in different data sets. It was demonstrated that the two strains did not differ in host attack rate. However, the Wolbachia-infected strain did have an increased host handling time when compared to the bisexual strain. Some applied aspects of the findings are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Host-Parasite Interactions / physiology
  • Iran
  • Logistic Models
  • Models, Biological
  • Moths / cytology
  • Moths / parasitology*
  • Ovum / cytology
  • Pest Control, Biological / methods*
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Species Specificity
  • Wasps / microbiology*
  • Wasps / physiology
  • Wolbachia*