Plant resistance does not compromise parasitoid-based biocontrol of a strawberry pest
Plant nutritional quality can influence interactions between herbivores and their parasitoids. While most previous work has focused on a limited set of secondary plant metabolites, the tri-trophic effects of overall phenotypic resistance have been understudied. Furthermore, the joint effects of secondary and primary metabolites on parasitoids are almost unexplored. In this study, we compared the performance and survival of the parasitoid species Asecodes parviclava Thompson on wild woodland
... wberry (Fragaria vesca L.) genotypes showing variation in resistance against the parasitoid's host, the strawberry leaf beetle (Galerucella tenella L.). Additionally, we related the metabolic profiles of these plant genotypes to the tritrophic outcomes in order to identify primary and secondary metabolites involved in regulating plant potential to facilitate parasitism. We found that parasitoid performance was strongly affected by plant genotype, but those differences in plant resistance to the herbivore were not reflected in parasitoid survival. These findings could be explained in particular by a significant link between parasitoid survival and foliar carbohydrate levels, which appeared to be the most important compounds for parasitism success. The fact that plant quality strongly affects parasitism should be further explored and utilized in plant breeding programs for a synergistic application in sustainable pest management.