Plant responses to butterfly oviposition partly explain preference-performance relationships on different brassicaceous species [article]

Eddie Griese, Ana Pineda, Foteini G. Pashalidou, Eleonora Pizarro Iradi, Monika Hilker, Marcel Dicke, Nina E. Fatouros
2019 bioRxiv   pre-print
According to the preference-performance hypothesis (PPH), also known as mother-knows-best hypothesis, herbivorous insects prefer those plants for oviposition, which yield the best offspring performance. Yet, most studies testing the PPH neglect the possibility that plant responses to insect eggs may affect both egg survival and larval performance. Here, we tested the PPH by studying responses of seven Brassicaceae plant species to oviposition by two cabbage white species. When including the egg
more » ... n including the egg phase, our study supports the mother-knows-best hypothesis: larvae of Pieris rapae (solitary) or P. brassicae (gregarious) gained most weight on those plant species which had received most eggs (B. nigra or B. montana, respectively). However, our experiments did not reveal any relationship between oviposition preference and egg survival. Brassicaceous species are known to respond to these butterfly eggs with a hypersensitive response (HR)-like necrosis, which can lower egg survival. Pieris eggs frequently induced necrosis in five of the tested plant species. Survival of clustered P. brassicae eggs was unaffected by HR-like in four of the five species. Therefore, our experiments did not reveal any relationship between P. brassicae egg survival and oviposition preference. Females of P. rapae preferred oviposition on plant species which most frequently showed HR-like necrosis. Remarkably, although egg survival was lower on HR-like plants, larval biomass was higher compared to plants without a necrosis. We conclude that egg survival does not seem to be a deciding factor for oviposition choices. However, egg-mediated plant responses might be important to explain the PPH of the two Pieris species.
doi:10.1101/706044 fatcat:t2zz2ps6f5dq3c3cptvo5plfmu