The zoophytophagous predator Pilophorus clavatus (Hemiptera: Miridae) induces plant defences in citrus
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AuthorDahmane, Meriem; Urbaneja, Alberto; Ruiz-Rivero, Omar; Alonso-Valiente, Miquel; Pérez-Hedo, Meritxell
Cita bibliográficaDahmane, M., Urbaneja, A., Ruíz-Rivero, O., Alonso-Valiente, M. & Pérez-Hedo, M. (2022). The zoophytophagous predator Pilophorus clavatus (Hemiptera: Miridae) induces plant defences in citrus. Journal of Pest Science [published on-line, 14 September 2022].
The zoophytophagous mirid Pilophorus clavatus has been recently identified inhabiting citrus orchards in the Mediterranean region, where it feeds on several important citrus pests. In this work, we investigated whether the plant feeding by P. clavatus could induce defensive responses in citrus plants. Here, we show for the first time that the P. clavatus herbivory triggers the accumulation of the stress-related hormones salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA) in citrus plants. Moreover, the SA and JA pathways enhanced plant defence mechanisms as the expression of genes encoding enzymes from both biosynthetic and responsive pathways were upregulated in P. clavatus-punctured plants. We also investigated whether the induced defences could affect the plant host selection of Tetranychus urticae and the predatory mites Phytoseilus persimilis and Neouseiulus californicus. Neither T. urticae nor N. californicus preferred the odour source emitted by intact or P. clavatus-punctured plants in a Y-tube olfactometer assay. However, P. persimilis were significantly attracted to P. clavatus-induced plants. The performance of T. urticae was also compared when mites were released on control or previously P. clavatus-induced plants. Compared to the control, the infestation of T. urticae was significantly reduced up to 70% on those citrus plants previously activated by P. clavatus. Our results show for the first time that feeding of P. clavatus on citrus plants can have a dual beneficial effect due to its known predatory action and, at the same time, by inducing the plant’s immune system.