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‘Bottom-up’ effects in a tritrophic plant–aphid–parasitoid system: Why being the perfect host can have its disadvantages

  • M. Mehrparvar (a1), A. Rajaei (a1), M. Rokni (a1), A. Balog (a2) and H.D. Loxdale (a3)...


In this study the host plant genotype effect on cabbage aphid, Brevicoryne brassicae (L.)(Hemiptera: Aphididae) preference and performance, the effect of aphid genotype on parasitoids performance, as well as the indirect effects of plant genotypes on aphid parasitoid performance, were tested using different population samples of the aphid and its primary endoparasitoid wasp, Diaeretiella rapae (M'Intosh) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). Experiments were run as fully-factorial randomized block design in a greenhouse. Accordingly, host plant cultivar had significant effects on the total number of aphids and aphid-load whilst the fitness of the aphid genotypes were also influenced by plant cultivar. The effect of parasitism on cabbage aphids was significantly different between plant cultivars. Overall, the results revealed that cabbage aphid is under different selective pressures arising from both higher (parasitoid) and lower (host plant cultivar) trophic levels. The host plant cultivar had a significant effect on both aphid fitness and parasitism rate on particular aphid genotypes. This indicates that host-plant-adapted aphid species can create much context-dependency in the nature and strength of ‘fitness benefits parasitism’, which may in turn alter the costs and benefits of host specialization.


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‘Bottom-up’ effects in a tritrophic plant–aphid–parasitoid system: Why being the perfect host can have its disadvantages

  • M. Mehrparvar (a1), A. Rajaei (a1), M. Rokni (a1), A. Balog (a2) and H.D. Loxdale (a3)...


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