References of "Francis, Frédéric"
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See detailAssessing the foraging behavior of Agriotes sordidus wireworms in dual-choice olfactometers
Barsics, Fanny ULg; Fiers, Marie; Fauconnier, Marie-Laure ULg et al

in Communications in Agricultural and Applied Biological Sciences (in press)

The different steps of the foraging process of wireworms (Coleoptera: Elateridae) would be better understood if accurate and holistic information regarding the role of plant-produced chemicals ... [more ▼]

The different steps of the foraging process of wireworms (Coleoptera: Elateridae) would be better understood if accurate and holistic information regarding the role of plant-produced chemicals constituting their environment were available. Volatile organic compounds (VOC) play important roles in the interactions between plants and insects in many ecosystems, whether they take place aboveground or belowground. The roles of VOC are still relatively unknown for wireworms, and deserve attention. Here, we performed three experimentations with barley roots as baits. In the two first, we assessed the effect of chopped roots and fungus infected roots on the orientation of wireworms. In the third experiment, the larvae were confronted to both healthy and fungus infected roots. We discuss the results in terms of suitability of the olfactometers we designed for the investigation of olfaction in wireworms, and we provide suggestions to improve their use. [less ▲]

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See detailTuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) development on wild and cultivated plant species
Bawin, Thomas ULg; Dujeu, David ULg; Fagan, Maud ULg et al

Conference (2015, May 19)

The tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), is a widespread invasive species damaging economically important cultivated solanaceous crop plants, including tomatoes and potatoes. Little ... [more ▼]

The tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), is a widespread invasive species damaging economically important cultivated solanaceous crop plants, including tomatoes and potatoes. Little is known about the ability of this microlepidoptera to encounter and develop on alternative wild and agricultural plant species. These plants could provide refuges and have to be identified for more efficient integrated management strategies. In the present study, we assessed under laboratory conditions the ability of T. absoluta to develop on such plant species referred as potential hosts in the literature, including Solanaceae, Chenopodiaceae, Convolvulaceae, Fabaceae, and Malvaceae. For each plant species, fitness tests were performed in Petri dishes by isolating single individuals with excised leaf. We found that Solanum species allowed higher larval survivability and shorter development time (from egg to adult emergency) compared to the other plants. Non-solanaceous plants were not able to sustain T. absoluta larvae. Two choice behavioral assays performed in flying tunnels revealed that adult distribution and female oviposition did not differ between Solanum species, which were preferred to other tested solanaceous plants. These results appeared to be consistent with survival rates and development times. Because larval survivability depends on the female’s oviposition choice, the hypothesis that host plant choice is influenced by plant volatile organic compounds has to be tested. Volatile organic compounds released by solanaceous plants were trapped using a dynamic collection system, and analyzed by GC-MS. Solanum volatile profiles showed similarities, and were presenting quantitative and qualitative differences with the other tested solanaceous plants, providing some explanations in the observed behavioral discrimination. Further electrophysiological and behavioral assays are required to confirm the effect of specific chemicals on the choice of the oviposition site in T. absoluta. It can be concluded that Solanum species are the more suitable hosts for T. absoluta development. Other solanaceous plant species could be opportunistically colonized with little incidence but care should be taken in these results as genetic variability in insects and plants, as well as plant physiological state, might have an impact on the pest survivability. [less ▲]

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See detailEfficiency of pheromone-based formulations against phytophagous pests
Fassotte, Bérénice ULg; Vandereycken, Axel ULg; Chevalier Mendes Lopes, Thomas ULg et al

Conference (2015, May 19)

Innovative integrated pest management methods are needed to overcome market withdrawal of synthetic pesticides. Therefore, the identification of environment-friendly bio-products carrying direct or ... [more ▼]

Innovative integrated pest management methods are needed to overcome market withdrawal of synthetic pesticides. Therefore, the identification of environment-friendly bio-products carrying direct or indirect biocide activity is one promising alternative option. Our researches focus on the identification of appropriate formulations releasing volatile organic compounds that are attractant for natural enemies of insect pests. However, the elaboration of slow-release devices that ensure stable and controlled release of active volatile compounds is quite challenging. Here, we developed a formulation based on E-β-farnesene and (-)-β-caryophyllene, these two semiochemicals having strong attractive potential on aphid natural enemies including lady beetles and hoverflies. Both compounds were encapsulated together in alginate gel beads. The blend efficiency was first evaluated through laboratory assays, and then in wheat and broad bean fields, by considering the abundance and diversity of aphids and their natural enemies. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessment of the species richness of highly eusocial bees according with habitat in Gabon
Fabre Anguilet, Edgard ULg; Bengone Ndong, Toussaint; Nguyen, Bach Kim ULg et al

Poster (2015, May 18)

Bees are among the most e ective pollinators. These insects include honeybee and stin- gless bee. In Africa, habitat loss is the main threat to these insects. This loss of habitat is largely due to ... [more ▼]

Bees are among the most e ective pollinators. These insects include honeybee and stin- gless bee. In Africa, habitat loss is the main threat to these insects. This loss of habitat is largely due to various human activities. An evaluation of the richness of social bees in three locaties in Gabon (Central Africa) was conducted from October 2013 to March 2014: Kougouleu who underwent deforestation and implantation of food crops, forest area Mas- sengalini in bu er zone of protected area of Lope and Lekokodiba in logging concession of Preccious Woods Gabon. For this, a collection was conducted using yellow traps lled with a mixture of water and honey and using a hand vacuum in 20 sites in each area. The number of species was compared to that estimated there are about thirty years. Eleven species of social bees (Apis mellifera adansonii and ten stingless bee species) were collected, of which 5 to Kougouleu, 8 to Massengalini and 11 to L ekokodiba. Honeybee has been collected in all localities. Forest localities are distinguished from Kougouleu by higher species diversity. This di erence is highly signi cant (Kruskal-Wallis 2 = 45.362, df = 2 and p-value<0.001). A decrease of approximately 50% of the number of stingless bee species in 30 years was found to Kougouleu, while the number of social bee species varies little in forest localities. Our study shows that the loss of forest habitat causes a decline in the species richness of social bees and stingless bees are more sensitive to this loss as the honeybee. [less ▲]

Peer Reviewed
See detailWhat makes the invasive Harmonia axyridis so successful? Six years of research in Gembloux provide additional answers
Fassotte, Bérénice ULg; Durieux, Delphine ULg; Vandereycken, Axel ULg et al

Conference (2015, May 14)

Following the introduction of the invasive species Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) in Europe, many research works were conducted on its ecological, economic and social impacts. Recently, our team has been ... [more ▼]

Following the introduction of the invasive species Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) in Europe, many research works were conducted on its ecological, economic and social impacts. Recently, our team has been involved in the characterization of the behavioral traits making this lady beetle species so successful. The main conclusions of two PhD works will be shortly presented: (1) Through a six-year inventory performed in Belgian agroecosystems, we have demonstrated that H. axyridis has become well established and was among the most abundant aphidophagous predatory species, causing a severe depression of biodiversity, even if communities of aphid predators are still quite diversified. (2) The social issues associated with the establishment of overwintering aggregations in human constructions were also carefully investigated. We have demonstrated the importance of social interactions on the establishment and cohesion of the aggregates. Finally, we have demonstrated that the deposition of a set of saturated and non-saturated hydrocarbons on the surfaces where the lady beetles were settling on, allowed their conspecifics to follow their markings and join the group. [less ▲]

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See detailFirst evidence of a volatile sex pheromone in Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)
Fassotte, Bérénice ULg; Fischer, Christophe ULg; Durieux, Delphine ULg et al

Conference (2015, May 13)

To date, volatile sex pheromones have not been identified in the Coccinellidae family; yet, various studies have suggested that such semiochemicals exist. Here, we collected volatile chemicals released by ... [more ▼]

To date, volatile sex pheromones have not been identified in the Coccinellidae family; yet, various studies have suggested that such semiochemicals exist. Here, we collected volatile chemicals released by virgin females of the multicolored Asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas), which were either allowed or not allowed to feed on aphids. Virgin females in the presence of aphids, exhibited “calling behavior”, which is commonly associated with the emission of a sex pheromone in several Coleoptera species. These calling females were found to release a blend of volatile compounds that is involved in the remote attraction (i.e., from a distance) of males. Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) analyses revealed that (–)-β-caryophyllene was the major constituent of the volatile blend (ranging from 80 to 86%), with four other chemical components also being present; β-elemene, methyl-eugenol, α-humulene, and α-bulnesene. In a second set of experiments, the emission of the five constituents identified from the blend was quantified daily over a 9-day period after exposure to aphids. We found that the quantity of all five chemicals significantly increased across the experimental period. Finally, we evaluated the activity of a synthetic blend of these chemicals by performing bioassays which demonstrated the same attractive effect in males only. The results confirm that female H. axyridis produce a volatile sex pheromone. These findings have potential in the development of more specific and efficient biological pest-control management methods aimed at manipulating the behavior of this invasive lady beetle. [less ▲]

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See detailA fungal biofilm reactor based on metal structured packing improves the quality of a Gla::GFP fusion protein produced by Aspergillus oryzae
Zune, Quentin ULg; Delepierre, Anissa ULg; Gofflot, Sebastien et al

in Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology (2015)

Fungal biofilm is known to promote the excretion of secondary metabolites in accordance with solid-state related physiological mechanisms. This work is based on the comparative analysis of classical ... [more ▼]

Fungal biofilm is known to promote the excretion of secondary metabolites in accordance with solid-state related physiological mechanisms. This work is based on the comparative analysis of classical submerged fermentation with a fungal biofilm reactor for the production of a Gla::GFP fusion protein by Aspergillus oryzae. The biofilm reactor comprises a metal structured packing allowing the attachment of the fungal biomass. Since the production of the target protein is under the control of the promoter glaB, specifically induced in solid-state fermentation, the biofilm mode of culture is expected to enhance the global productivity. Although production of the target protein was enhanced by using the biofilm mode of culture, we also found that fusion protein production is also significant when the submerged mode of culture is used. This result is related to high shear stress leading to biomass autolysis and leakage of intracellular fusion protein into the extracellular medium. Moreover, 2D-gel electrophoresis highlights the preservation of fusion protein integrity produced in biofilm conditions. Two fungal biofilm reactor designs were then investigated further, i.e. with full immersion of the packing or with medium recirculation on the packing, and the scale-up potentialities were evaluated. In this context, it has been shown that full immersion of the metal packing in the liquid medium during cultivation allows for a uniform colonization of the packing by the fungal biomass and leads to a better quality of the fusion protein. [less ▲]

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See detailAssociations of Wheat with Pea Can Reduce Aphid Infestations
Chevalier Mendes Lopes, Thomas ULg; Bodson, Bernard ULg; Francis, Frédéric ULg

in Neotropical Entomology (2015)

Increasing plant diversity within crops can be beneficial for pest control. In this field study, the effects of two wheat and pea associations (mixed cropping and strip cropping) on aphid populations were ... [more ▼]

Increasing plant diversity within crops can be beneficial for pest control. In this field study, the effects of two wheat and pea associations (mixed cropping and strip cropping) on aphid populations were compared with pure stands of both crops by observations on tillers and plants. Pea was more susceptible to infestations than wheat. As expected, the density of aphid colonies was significantly higher in pure stands during the main occurrence periods, compared with associations. Additionally, flying beneficials, such as not only aphidophagous adult ladybirds but also parasitoid, hoverfly and lacewing species that feed on aphids at the larval stage, were monitored using yellow pan traps. At specific times of the sampling season, ladybirds and hoverflies were significantly more abundant in the pure stand of pea and wheat, respectively, compared with associations. Few parasitoids and lacewings were trapped. This study showed that increasing plant diversity within crops by associating cultivated species can reduce aphid infestations, since host plants are more difficult to locate. However, additional methods are needed to attract more efficiently adult beneficials into wheat and pea associations. [less ▲]

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See detailFood Compounds from Meadow Grasshoppers
Paul, Aman ULg; Frederich, Michel ULg; Uyttenbroeck, Roel ULg et al

Poster (2015, March 15)

Eating insects as food, particularly grasshopper is practiced in many cultures throughout the world. Meadow grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus) is commonly found in Europe and some part of Asia. It is ... [more ▼]

Eating insects as food, particularly grasshopper is practiced in many cultures throughout the world. Meadow grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus) is commonly found in Europe and some part of Asia. It is already known that grasshoppers of Chorthippus species are consumed as food in countries such as Thailand. With the aim of evaluating the nutritional potential of this insect species the proximate nutritional composition of grasshoppers caught from the local fields was realized. Besides this, the fatty acid profile of extracted lipids, amino acid profile and mineral composition of the insect was also revealed. Results suggest that meadow grasshopper is an excellent source of protein and essential amino acids. Lipids extracted from the grasshopper have an interesting fatty acid composition. Also the grasshopper contains some minerals that are important for body. With such protein content, amino acid profile, fatty acid profile of the lipids and mineral content this grasshopper species could present an interesting alternate to conventional protein sources. [less ▲]

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See detail10. Perspectives - 1. La Lutte contre les pucerons grâce aux odeurs: développement d'une formulation phéromonale
Fassotte, Bérénice ULg; Vandereycken, Axel ULg; Chevalier Mendes Lopes, Thomas ULg et al

in Watillon, Bernard; Bodson, Bernard (Eds.) Livre Blanc Céréales (2015, February 25)

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See detailWildflower strips for crop protection: What do we know ? What should we know ?
Hatt, Séverin ULg; Uyttenbroeck, Roel ULg; Bodson, Bernard ULg et al

Poster (2015, January 30)

Wildflower strips (WFS) are known to support the conservation of a large diversity of insects and thus natural enemies (i.e. predators and parasitoids) that can control pests. However, the conclusions of ... [more ▼]

Wildflower strips (WFS) are known to support the conservation of a large diversity of insects and thus natural enemies (i.e. predators and parasitoids) that can control pests. However, the conclusions of studies looking at the efficiency of WFS to control pests are not unanimous. Indeed, the enhancement of pest control seems to depend on (1) the ability of flowers to attract the natural enemies at the right moment and (2) the capacity of natural enemies to migrate into the adjacent crops to attack pests. Therefore, constituting appropriate flower mixes may be an essential lever to enhance the efficiency of pest control. In this context, using functional diversity is promising. To our knowledge, few studies have tested the impact of the functional diversity of a flower mix on insect abundance and diversity and the control of pests. Through this contribution, the insect diversity and abundance found to be associated with the different kinds of WFS and management applied will be discussed, as well as the further research needed. [less ▲]

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See detailDes insectes au menu: apports protéiques et nutriments particuliers?
Caparros Megido, Rudy ULg; Alabi, Taofic ULg; Haubruge, Eric ULg et al

in 56èmes Journées Nationales de Diététique et de Nutrition (2015)

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See detailOptimization of a cheap and residential small-scale production of edible crickets with local by-products as an alternative protein-rich human food source in Ratanakiri Province (Cambodia)
Caparros Megido, Rudy ULg; Alabi, Taofic ULg; Nieus, Clément et al

in Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture (2015)

Background - Health status of the indigenous people of the Ratanakiri Province, Cambodia, is significantly lower compared to the rest of the nation. The domestication and mass production of insects may ... [more ▼]

Background - Health status of the indigenous people of the Ratanakiri Province, Cambodia, is significantly lower compared to the rest of the nation. The domestication and mass production of insects may represent a sustainable, cost effective and high quality alternative source of protein to traditional livestock. This study aimed to optimise a cheap and residential cricket breeding system based on unused wild resources. The cricket development, Teleogryllus testaceus (Walker), under seven diets composed of taro aerial parts, young cassava leaves, young cashew leaves and brown rice flour (with or without banana slices), versus a traditionally used broiler feed diet was studied. Results - Cricket mortality was low in all diets, except the two cashew-based diets. Total biomass was significantly higher under the broiler feed, in addition to the two diets containing a combination of cassava leaf powder and brown rice. Yet, crickets fed with the taro diet had the highest percentage of protein. Concerning the breeding system cost, units using cassava leaves were the cheapest ones. Conclusion – Diets based of cassava leaves seems to be the most promising ones. Nevertheless, to produce crickets with a high body mass and a high protein level, a new experiment must be realised in which the cassava leaf maturity will be adapted to fit with the cricket growth stage. Moreover, to reduce the cost of the breeding units, handmade local products should be used instead of purchased components. [less ▲]

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See detailClimate Change and Tritrophic Interactions: Will Modifications to Greenhouse Gas Emissions Increase the Vulnerability of Herbivorous Insects to Natural Enemies?
Boullis, Antoine ULg; Francis, Frédéric ULg; Verheggen, François ULg

in Environmental Entomology (2015)

Insects are highly dependent on odor cues released into the environment to locate conspecifics or food sources. This mechanism is particularly important for insect predators that rely on kairomones ... [more ▼]

Insects are highly dependent on odor cues released into the environment to locate conspecifics or food sources. This mechanism is particularly important for insect predators that rely on kairomones released by their prey to detect them. In the context of climate change and, more specifically, modifications in the gas composition of the atmosphere, chemical communication-mediating interactions between phytophagous insect pests, their host plants, and their natural enemies is likely to be impacted. Several reports have indicated that modifications to plants caused by elevated carbon dioxide and ozone concentrations might indirectly affect insect herbivores, with community-level modifications to this group potentially having an indirect influence on higher trophic levels. The vulnerability of agricultural insect pests toward their natural enemies under elevated greenhouse gases concentrations has been frequently reported, but conflicting results have been obtained. This literature review shows that the higher levels of carbon dioxide, as predicted for the coming century, do not enhance the abundance or efficiency of natural enemies to locate hosts or prey in most published studies. Increased ozone levels lead to modifications in herbivore-induced volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by damaged plants, which may impact the attractiveness of these herbivores to the third trophic level. Furthermore, other oxidative gases (such as SO2 and NO2) tend to reduce the abundance of natural enemies. The impact of changes in atmospheric gas emissions on plant–insect and insect–insect chemical communication has been under-documented, despite the significance of these mechanisms in tritrophic interactions. We conclude by suggesting some further prospects on this topic of research yet to be investigated. [less ▲]

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See detailAphid species and associated natural enemies in field crops: what about the invasive ladybird Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)?
Vandereycken, Axel ULg; Durieux, Delphine ULg; Joie, Emilie ULg et al

in Entomologie Faunistique = Faunistic Entomology (2015), 68

Following the introduction in the 80's of the invasive coccinellid species Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) in Europe, several studies have begun to focus on the interactions with other aphid predator species ... [more ▼]

Following the introduction in the 80's of the invasive coccinellid species Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) in Europe, several studies have begun to focus on the interactions with other aphid predator species. In this study, aphids and associated predators were sampled to determine their relative abundance in four agricultural crops (broad bean, corn, potato, and wheat) in Belgium during 2010 and 2011. The Moericke trap was used to quantify the mean number of aphids and aphid predators from May to September in both years. A total of 28 aphid species and 21 aphidophagous species were observed. In both years, H. axyridis was among the most abundant aphidophagous predators in all four crops, and was the second most abundant coccinellid species after Coccinella septempunctata L. The community of aphidophagous species was similar across all four inventoried crops. However, the highest population densities of this alien species were recorded in broad bean and potato crops, which also hosted the highest aphid population densities. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that the communities of aphid predators are highly diversified in the agroecosystems, despite the high occurrence of H. axyridis, an introduced predator that has become well established in this environment. [less ▲]

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See detailMyzus persicae feeding on water stressed Arabidopsis affects the emission profile of plant volatile organic compounds
Truong, Dieu-Hien; Delaplace, Pierre ULg; Brostaux, Yves ULg et al

in Journal of Environment and Ecology (2014), 5(2),

Emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by water-controlled or water-stressed Arabidopsis thaliana infested or not infested with Myzus persicae were evaluated by headspace solid phase ... [more ▼]

Emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by water-controlled or water-stressed Arabidopsis thaliana infested or not infested with Myzus persicae were evaluated by headspace solid phase microextraction (HS-SPME) coupled with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The infestations were maintained for 0–24 h, 24–48 h, and 48–72 h, and the emission profile for each time period was determined. Under these controlled conditions, the proportion of 4-methylpentyl isothiocyanate and dimethyl disulfide emitted by aphid-infested, water-stressed Arabidopsis was greater than that for aphid-infested water-controlled Arabidopsis over the 48–72 h sampling period. The proportion of terpene emitted by aphid-infested water-stressed plants also significantly increased compared with the other treatments over the three assayed sampling periods. In contrast, the proportion of 2-ethylhexanal (the only detected aldehyde) and ketones for the water-controlled plants generally remained high following aphid infestation. Taken together, these original data ascertain that abiotic factors can greatly interact to biotic stresses to alter the VOC emission profiles of plants. [less ▲]

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See detailFirst Evidence of a Volatile Sex Pheromone in Lady Beetles
Fassotte, Bérénice ULg; Fischer, Christophe ULg; Durieux, Delphine ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2014)

To date, volatile sex pheromones have not been identified in the Coccinellidae family; yet, various studies have suggested that such semiochemicals exist. Here, we collected volatile chemicals released by ... [more ▼]

To date, volatile sex pheromones have not been identified in the Coccinellidae family; yet, various studies have suggested that such semiochemicals exist. Here, we collected volatile chemicals released by virgin females of the multicolored Asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas), which were either allowed or not allowed to feed on aphids. Virgin females in the presence of aphids, exhibited “calling behavior”, which is commonly associated with the emission of a sex pheromone in several Coleoptera species. These calling females were found to release a blend of volatile compounds that is involved in the remote attraction (i.e., from a distance) of males. Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) analyses revealed that (–)-β-caryophyllene was the major constituent of the volatile blend (ranging from 80 to 86%), with four other chemical components also being present; β-elemene, methyl-eugenol, α-humulene, and α-bulnesene. In a second set of experiments, the emission of the five constituents identified from the blend was quantified daily over a 9-day period after exposure to aphids. We found that the quantity of all five chemicals significantly increased across the experimental period. Finally, we evaluated the activity of a synthetic blend of these chemicals by performing bioassays which demonstrated the same attractive effect in males only. The results confirm that female H. axyridis produce a volatile sex pheromone. These findings have potential in the development of more specific and efficient biological pest-control management methods aimed at manipulating the behavior of this invasive lady beetle. [less ▲]

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See detailEffets de deux associations culturales à base de blé sur les populations de pucerons (Homoptera: Aphididae) et d’auxiliaires aphidiphages: étude préliminaire menée en Chine
Chevalier Mendes Lopes, Thomas ULg; Bosquée, Emilie ULg; Honba, David et al

in Entomologie Faunistique = Faunistic Entomology (2014), 67

Crop associations have several advantages when plant species and crop production methods, including harvesting, are well selected. This preliminary study was conducted in the Shandong province (China) to ... [more ▼]

Crop associations have several advantages when plant species and crop production methods, including harvesting, are well selected. This preliminary study was conducted in the Shandong province (China) to better characterize the effect of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)/oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) and wheat/pea (Pisum sativum L.) associations on the aphid and aphidophagous beneficial populations. Aphids observed on wheat tillers were significantly more abundant in the pure stand of wheat during the two weeks prior to their population peak, compared with crop associations. Considering the aphidophagous beneficials, significantly more ladybirds were observed in the associations, compared with the pure stand during their abundance peak. Yellow pan traps were also used to assess the diversity and abundance of adult beneficial species. The parasitoid species Aphidius gifuensis (Ashmead) was prevalent. Among predators, Propylea japonica (Thunberg) and Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) were the most abundant species. This study contributes to better understand the potential of crop associations with wheat as a sustainable method to control aphid populations in this region of China. [less ▲]

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See detailTuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) ability to localize and develop on wild and cultivated solanaceous plant species
Bawin, Thomas ULg; Dujeu, David ULg; Fagan, Maud ULg et al

Conference (2014, December 13)

The tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), is a widespread invasive species damaging economically important cultivated solanaceous crop plants, including tomatoes and potatoes. Little ... [more ▼]

The tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), is a widespread invasive species damaging economically important cultivated solanaceous crop plants, including tomatoes and potatoes. Little is known about the ability of this microlepidoptera to encounter and develop on alternative wild and agricultural plant species. These plants could provide refuges and have to be identified for more efficient integrated management strategies. In the present study, we assessed the ability of T. absoluta to develop on wild (Solanum nigrum, Atropa belladonna, Datura stramonium) and cultivated (Solanum tuberosum) solanaceous plant species under laboratory conditions. Fitness tests were performed in Petri dishes by isolating single individuals with excised leaf from one of the host plants. We found that Solanum species allowed higher larval survivability and shorter development time (from egg to adult emergency) compared to the other plants. Two choice behavioral assays performed in flying tunnels (S. tuberosum versus another plant) revealed that adult distribution and female oviposition did not differ between Solanum species, which were preferred to the other tested plants. These results appeared to be consistent with survival rates and development times. Because larval survivability depends on the female’s oviposition choice, the hypothesis that host plant choice is influenced by plant volatile organic compounds has to be tested. It can be concluded that Solanum species remain the more suitable hosts for T. absoluta development among the tested plants. Other plant species could be opportunistically colonized with little incidence but care should be taken in these results as genetic variability in insects and plants, as well as plant physiological state, might have an impact on the pest survivabilty. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 79 (24 ULg)