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Effects of far-red light on the behaviour and reproduction of the zoophytophagous predator Macrolophus pygmaeus and its interaction with a whitefly herbivore
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  • Davy Meijer,
  • Syb Hopkoper,
  • Berhane Weldegergis,
  • Wendy van ’t Westende,
  • Joop J.A. van Loon,
  • Marcel Dicke
Davy Meijer
Wageningen University & Research Laboratorium voor Entomologie

Corresponding Author:davy.meijer@wur.nl

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Syb Hopkoper
Wageningen University & Research Laboratorium voor Entomologie
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Berhane Weldegergis
Wageningen University & Research Laboratorium voor Entomologie
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Wendy van ’t Westende
Wageningen University & Research Laboratorium voor Plantenveredeling
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Joop J.A. van Loon
Wageningen University & Research Laboratorium voor Entomologie
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Marcel Dicke
Wageningen University & Research Laboratorium voor Entomologie
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Abstract

Plants can detect neighbouring plants through a reduction in the ratio between red and far-red light (R:FR). This provides a signal of plant-plant competition and induces rapid plant growth while inhibiting defence against biotic stress, two interlinked responses designated as the shade avoidance syndrome (SAS). Consequently, the SAS can influence plant-herbivore interactions that could cascade to higher trophic levels. However, little is known on how the expression of the SAS can influence tritrophic interactions. We investigated whether changes in R:FR affect the emission of herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs), and whether these changes influence the attraction of the zoophytophagous predator Macrolophus pygmaeus. We also studied how the expression of the SAS and subsequent inhibition of plant defences affects the reproduction of M. pygmaeus in both the presence and absence of the greenhouse whitefly ( Trialeurodes vaporariorum) as arthropod prey. The results show that changes in R:FR have little effect on HIPV emissions and predator attraction. However, a reduction in R:FR leads to increased reproduction of both the predator and the whiteflies. We conclude that shade avoidance responses can increase the population development of M. pygmaeus directly by reducing plant defences, and indirectly by supporting higher herbivore densities.
19 Jan 2023Submitted to Plant, Cell & Environment
20 Jan 2023Assigned to Editor
20 Jan 2023Submission Checks Completed
21 Jan 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
23 Jan 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned