Cockchafer Larvae Smell Host Root Scents in Soil

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WEISSTEINER, Sonja, Wolf HUETTEROTH, Martin KOLLMANN, Bernhard WEISSBECKER, Roberto ROMANI, Joachim SCHACHTNER, Stefan SCHÜTZ, 2012. Cockchafer Larvae Smell Host Root Scents in Soil. In: PLoS ONE. 7(10), e45827. eISSN 1932-6203. Available under: doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0045827

@article{Weissteiner2012Cockc-28903, title={Cockchafer Larvae Smell Host Root Scents in Soil}, year={2012}, doi={10.1371/journal.pone.0045827}, number={10}, volume={7}, journal={PLoS ONE}, author={Weissteiner, Sonja and Huetteroth, Wolf and Kollmann, Martin and Weißbecker, Bernhard and Romani, Roberto and Schachtner, Joachim and Schütz, Stefan}, note={Article Number: e45827} }

Schütz, Stefan In many insect species olfaction is a key sensory modality. However, examination of the chemical ecology of insects has focussed up to now on insects living above ground. Evidence for behavioral responses to chemical cues in the soil other than CO<sub>2</sub> is scarce and the role played by olfaction in the process of finding host roots below ground is not yet understood. The question of whether soil-dwelling beetle larvae can smell their host plant roots has been under debate, but proof is as yet lacking that olfactory perception of volatile compounds released by damaged host plants, as is known for insects living above ground, occurs. Here we show that soil-dwelling larvae of Melolontha hippocastani are well equipped for olfactory perception and respond electrophysiologically and behaviorally to volatiles released by damaged host-plant roots. An olfactory apparatus consisting of pore plates at the antennae and about 70 glomeruli as primary olfactory processing units indicates a highly developed olfactory system. Damage induced host plant volatiles released by oak roots such as eucalyptol and anisol are detected by larval antennae down to 5 ppbv in soil air and elicit directed movement of the larvae in natural soil towards the odor source. Our results demonstrate that plant-root volatiles are likely to be perceived by the larval olfactory system and to guide soil-dwelling white grubs through the dark below ground to their host plants. Thus, to find below-ground host plants cockchafer larvae employ mechanisms that are similar to those employed by the adult beetles flying above ground, despite strikingly different physicochemical conditions in the soil. Schachtner, Joachim Huetteroth, Wolf Weissteiner, Sonja Weißbecker, Bernhard Weissteiner, Sonja 2014-09-05T12:26:15Z 2012 Weißbecker, Bernhard Kollmann, Martin terms-of-use 2014-09-05T12:26:15Z Kollmann, Martin Schütz, Stefan Romani, Roberto Schachtner, Joachim PLoS one ; 7 (2012), 10. - e45827 Cockchafer Larvae Smell Host Root Scents in Soil Romani, Roberto eng Huetteroth, Wolf

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