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Symbiosis

, Volume 75, Issue 1, pp 29–38 | Cite as

Nutritional symbionts of a putative vector, Xyleborus bispinatus, of the laurel wilt pathogen of avocado, Raffaelea lauricola

  • J. R. Saucedo
  • R. C. Ploetz
  • J. L. Konkol
  • M. Ángel
  • J. Mantilla
  • O. Menocal
  • D. Carrillo
Article

Abstract

Ambrosia beetles subsist on fungal symbionts that they carry to, and cultivate in, their natal galleries. These symbionts are usually saprobes, but some are phytopathogens. Very few ambrosial symbioses have been studied closely, and little is known about roles that phytopathogenic symbionts play in the life cycles of these beetles. One of the latter symbionts, Raffaelea lauricola, causes laurel wilt of avocado, Persea americana, but its original ambrosia beetle partner, Xyleborus glabratus, plays an uncertain role in this pathosystem. We examined the response of a putative, alternative vector of R. lauricola, Xyleborus bispinatus, to artificial diets of R. lauricola and other ambrosia fungi. Newly eclosed, unfertilized females of X. bispinatus were reared in no-choice assays on one of five different symbionts or no symbiont. Xyleborus bispinatus developed successfully on R. lauricola, R. arxii, R. subalba and R. subfusca, all of which had been previously recovered from field-collected females of X. bispinatus. However, no development was observed in the absence of a symbiont or on another symbiont, Ambrosiella roeperi, recovered from another ambrosia beetle, Xylosandrus crassiusculus. In the no-choice assays, mycangia of foundress females of X. bispinatus harbored significant colony-forming units of, and natal galleries that they produced were colonized with, the respective Raffaelea symbionts; with each of these fungi, reproduction, fecundity and survival of the beetle were positively impacted. However, no fungus was recovered from, and reproduction did not occur on, the A. roeperi and no symbiont diets. These results highlight the flexible nature of the ambrosial symbiosis, which for X. bispinatus includes a fungus with which it has no evolutionary history. Although the “primary” symbiont of the neotropical X. bispinatus is unclear, it is not the Asian R. lauricola.

Keywords

Nutritional symbiont Laurel wilt Avocado Raffaelea lauricola Xyleborus bispinatus 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank James Colee for advice on statistical analyses, and Randy Fernandez for producing Figs. 1 and 2. This work was supported, in part, by NIFA grant# 2015-51181-24257 and a scholarship to JRSC from the Mexican government (CONACYT).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. R. Saucedo
    • 1
  • R. C. Ploetz
    • 1
  • J. L. Konkol
    • 1
  • M. Ángel
    • 2
  • J. Mantilla
    • 1
  • O. Menocal
    • 1
  • D. Carrillo
    • 1
  1. 1.Tropical Research and Education CenterUniversity of FloridaHomesteadUSA
  2. 2.Facultad de Agrobiología Presidente Juárez-Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolas de HidalgoUruapanMexico

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