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Fungal plant endosymbionts alter life history and reproductive success of aphid predators.


de Sassi, C; Müller, C B; Krauss, J (2006). Fungal plant endosymbionts alter life history and reproductive success of aphid predators. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 273(1591):1301-1306.

Abstract

Endosymbionts occur in most plant species and may affect interactions among herbivores and their predators through the production of toxic alkaloids. Here, we ask whether effects of mycotoxins produced by the symbiosis of the fungal endophyte Neotyphodium lolii and the grass Lolium perenne are transmitted to the aphidophagous ladybird Coccinella septempunctata when feeding on cereal aphids Rhopalosiphum padi on infected plants. The larval development of coccinellids was extended, while their survival was reduced when feeding exclusively on aphids from infected plants. Ladybirds developing on aphids from infected plants showed reduced fecundity and impaired reproductive performance. Body size and symmetries of ladybird adults were not affected by the endophytes. Consistently strong, negative effects of endophytes on the lifetime performance of ladybirds indicates that mycotoxins are transmitted along food chains, causing significant damage for top predators. Such cascading effects will influence the population dynamics of aphid predators in the long term and could feedback to the primary plant producers.

Endosymbionts occur in most plant species and may affect interactions among herbivores and their predators through the production of toxic alkaloids. Here, we ask whether effects of mycotoxins produced by the symbiosis of the fungal endophyte Neotyphodium lolii and the grass Lolium perenne are transmitted to the aphidophagous ladybird Coccinella septempunctata when feeding on cereal aphids Rhopalosiphum padi on infected plants. The larval development of coccinellids was extended, while their survival was reduced when feeding exclusively on aphids from infected plants. Ladybirds developing on aphids from infected plants showed reduced fecundity and impaired reproductive performance. Body size and symmetries of ladybird adults were not affected by the endophytes. Consistently strong, negative effects of endophytes on the lifetime performance of ladybirds indicates that mycotoxins are transmitted along food chains, causing significant damage for top predators. Such cascading effects will influence the population dynamics of aphid predators in the long term and could feedback to the primary plant producers.

Citations

37 citations in Web of Science®
25 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:endophytic fungi, fecundity, multi-trophic interactions, micro-organisms
Language:English
Date:22 May 2006
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:28
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:21
Publisher:Royal Society of London
ISSN:0962-8452
Publisher DOI:10.1098/rspb.2005.3442
PubMed ID:16720406

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