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Effects of soybean resistance on variability in life history traits of the higher trophic level parasitoid Meteorus pulchricornis (Hymenoptera: Braconidae)

  • X. Li (a1), B. Li (a1), G. Xing (a2) and L. Meng (a1)


To extrapolate the influence of plant cultivars varying in resistance levels to hosts on parasitoid life history traits, we estimated variation in parasitoid developmental and reproductive performances as a function of resistance in soybean cultivars, which were randomly chosen from a line of resistant genotypes. Our study showed that the parasitoid Meteorus pulchricornis varied widely in offspring survival and lifetime fecundity, but varied slightly in development time and adult body size, in response to the soybean cultivars that varied in resistance to the host Spodoptera litura. Furthermore, the variability in survival and lifetime fecundity was different between attacking the 2nd and the 4th instar host larvae, varying more in survival but less in lifetime fecundity when attacking the 4th than 2nd instar larvae. Our study provides further evidence supporting that plant resistance to herbivorous hosts have variable effects on different life history traits of higher trophic level parasitoids.


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