Chinese Bulletin of Botany ›› 2021, Vol. 56 ›› Issue (5): 559-572.DOI: 10.11983/CBB21078

• EXPERIMENTAL COMMUNICATIONS • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Enhanced Attraction of Mymarids (Stethynium empoascae) by Volatiles from Tea Flowers

Dan Mu1, Zehua Qi1, Qin Li1,2, Kexin Liang1, Shaogui Hua1, Xingyu Zhu1, Mengjie Jiao1, Yuchun Rao2,*(), Tingzhe Sun1,*()   

  1. 1The Province Key Laboratory of the Biodiversity Study and Ecology Conservation in Southwest Anhui, School of Life Scien¬ces, Anqing Normal University, Anqing 246133, China
    2School of Chemistry and Life Sciences, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua 321004, China
  • Received:2021-05-08 Accepted:2021-08-09 Online:2021-09-01 Published:2021-08-31
  • Contact: Yuchun Rao,Tingzhe Sun

Abstract: The tea plant (Camellia sinensis) is an important economic crop in China. Tea green leafhopper (Empoasca onukii) is the most damaging pest of tea plants and mymarid (Stethynium empoascae) has been classified as its egg parasitoid. However, the mechanism underlying the olfactory attraction of mymarids by tea flowers is still elusive. By factorial design, we showed that tea flowers could attract mymarids which are natural enemies of leafhopper and accelerated the parasitic behavior of mymarid. Tea flower specifically decreased the search time of parasitic behavior of mymarid with tea shoots infested by leafhoppers. However, the boosting effect of tea flower was lost in healthy tea shoots. Compared with health tea shoots, the types and relative contents of volatiles were dramatically increased in infested tea shoots using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). We classified the volatile expression patterns of healthy tea shoots, infested tea shoots and tea flowers using partial least squares discrimination analysis (PLS-DA). Based on variable importance for the projection (VIP), and identified 17 tea flower volatiles which could potentially discriminate the patterns of volatiles in the three tissues. Olfactometer bioassay showed that α-phellandrene, cis-linaloloxide, trans-linaloloxide, benzaldehyde and acetophenone significantly attract mymarids. Our work has preliminarily demonstrated the defense mechanism mediated by tea flowers and provides novel clues for biological control of tea green leafhopper management.

Key words: tea green leafhopper, mymarid, tea plant, flower volatile, partial least squares discrimination analysis (PLS-DA), gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), biological control