Influence of ontogenetic and migration stage on feeding behavior of Cacopsylla picta on 'Candidatus Phytoplasma mali' infected and non-infected apple plants
The summer apple psyllid Cacopsylla picta (Foerster) is the vector of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma mali', the causal agent of apple proliferation disease (AP). During its phloem-feeding activities it transmits this biotrophic bacterium from infected to healthy apple trees (Malus domestica Borkh.) causing high economic losses. During its life cycle, C.picta performs two host switches: In summer, the new adult generation (emigrants) hatch on apples before they emigrate to their overwintering host conifers. The following spring, the overwintered adult generation (remigrants) remigrate into apple orchards for mating and oviposition. The preimaginal stages (nymphs) develop on apple. It is known that phytopathogen-induced changes in plant physiology can affect insect-plant-interactions. In 12hour recordings of electrical penetration graphs (EPG) it was assessed whether 'Ca. P. mali' infection of the plant affected probing and feeding behavior of the vector C.picta. Its life stage and the infection status of the host plant (and the interaction between these factors) significantly affected the first occurrence, duration and frequency of probing and feeding phases. On 'Ca. P. mali' infected plants, the phloem salivation phase occurred later than on non-infected plants. Even though all life stages fed both on phloem and xylem, significant differences were found in the frequency and duration of phloem and xylem ingestion phases. Nymphs spent the shortest time non-probing, earlier started the first leaf penetration and longer ingested xylem compared with adults. Further, phloem phases differed between migratory stages; remigrants had higher numbers of phloem ingestion events and spent longer ingesting phloem than emigrants. For emigrants, however, phloem contact was very rarely observed during our recordings. The impact of our findings for understanding the multitrophic interactions between host plant, pathogen and behavior of vector insects are discussed with regard to the epidemiology of AP and pest control strategies of the vector.
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