Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Parasitic wasps protect offspring by avoiding the smelly feet of ladybirds

21.09.2006
Scientists at Rothamsted Research have identified how aphid parasitic wasps prevent their offspring being eaten by ladybirds. The tiny wasps implant their offspring parasitically into aphid pests, but should the aphid get eaten by a ladybird, the growing wasp would be consumed as well.

The researchers, supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), have found that to protect their offspring, adult wasps have evolved to avoid the smell of a short-lived blend of chemicals that ladybirds deposit with each footprint they make. The scientists have identified the particular cocktail of chemicals.

Both wasps and ladybirds are predators of aphids but they have evolved techniques to enable them avoid each other and maximise their own success. As aphids are significant pests for gardeners and farmers the natural mechanisms that have developed help these two predators to interact efficiently to help control aphid numbers.

The scientists at Rothamsted Research, Professor Wilf Powell and Dr Mike Birkett, together with visiting Japanese scientist Dr Yoshitaka Nakashima, have identified the chemicals involved and have also shown that the smell of different ladybird species repels different parasitic wasp species to various degrees. Dr Wilf Powell explained: ”We found that parasitic wasps attacking aphids living in a wooded area responded most strongly to the chemical footprints of woodland-dwelling ladybirds and similarly for those found more often in fields of crops. This suggests that these two aphid predators have evolved mutually beneficial avoidance techniques to maximise their own chances of success.

... more about:
»Ladybird »Rothamsted »aphid »offspring »parasitic

“A better understanding of the natural interactions between parasitic wasps, insect predators and their prey has the potential to help us to use them more effectively to control garden and agricultural pests and reduce the amount of pesticides we spray.”

The research is being displayed to the public for the first time at an open weekend at Rothamsted Research next weekend (30 September-1 October). The Rothamsted scientists worked in collaboration with a visiting researcher from the University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Obihoro, Japan who was supported by the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science. Some aspects of the work were also supported by the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Matt Goode | alfa
Further information:
http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/media/pressreleases/06_09_21_parasitic_wasps.html

Further reports about: Ladybird Rothamsted aphid offspring parasitic

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement
26.06.2017 | University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine

nachricht New insight into a central biological dogma on ion transport
26.06.2017 | Aarhus University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

26.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>