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See detailAnt-aphid mutualism - A question of microorganisms?
Fischer, Christophe ULg; Patris, Geoffrey; Duriaux, Adrien ULg et al

Poster (2011, September)

It is now long known that some ant and aphid species can present a mutualistic relationship, ants using aphid honeydew as sugar source and in exchange providing the aphid colony cleaning and protection ... [more ▼]

It is now long known that some ant and aphid species can present a mutualistic relationship, ants using aphid honeydew as sugar source and in exchange providing the aphid colony cleaning and protection. From a behavioral point of view, this phenomenon has been well studied, but its chemistry and semiochemical mechanisms are still largely unknown. This study aims to identify semiochemicals involved in the establishment of this relation and their sources, using both chemical and behavioral methods. Bioassays revealed that the greatest part of ant attraction toward aphid colonies is due to honeydew volatile compounds; enabling ant scouts to find more quickly aphid colonies and distantly recognize myrmecophilous species. Many of those VOCs seeming to have microbial origins, the main honeydew microorganisms have been isolated and their roles in VOCs production and ant attraction have been investigated. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 67 (19 ULg)
Peer Reviewed
See detailAnt-aphid mutualism - How do ants locate aphid colonies?
Fischer, Christophe ULg; Sablon, Ludovic ULg; Duriaux, Adrien ULg et al

Poster (2011, June)

That some ant species show mutualistic relationships with some aphid species is well known since several decades. Ants protect aphids against natural enemies and as a reward collect the sugar-rich aphid ... [more ▼]

That some ant species show mutualistic relationships with some aphid species is well known since several decades. Ants protect aphids against natural enemies and as a reward collect the sugar-rich aphid excretion called honeydew. However, very little information is available on possible semiochemicals involved in these interactions. This study aims to identify semiochemicals involved in the establishment of this relation, using both chemical and behavioral approaches. Preliminary choice tests confirmed that ant scouts are able to detect aphid colonies at a distance using volatile organic compounds (VOC). Those VOC influencing ant’s orientation may originate from different sources: the attacked plant, the honeydew produced by the aphids and the aphids themselves. VOC emission profiles of each of those potential sources have been established using gas chromatography. Y-olfactometer assay revealed that honeydew volatile compounds are the key element in this distant attraction. Moreover, based on these VOCs, ant scouts are able to discriminate between the honeydew produced by a myrmecophilous and a non myrmecophilous aphid species. Thus, more than just a sugar source, honeydew is an attractant for ant scouts towards myrmecophilous aphids. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 90 (9 ULg)