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Perception of contact chemicals by parasitic wasps


Research objectives and content
The project will study the chemoreception of (apolar) arrestants (host related cues) and feeding stimulatory chemicals by | parasitic wasps (parasitoids) and the variation in the response to those compounds at the periphera/sensory level due to learning/experience.The project is expected to yield the first information on taste perception by parasitoids and on the chemoreception of apolar | compounds by insects in general. Two closely related wasps, Cotesia glomerata and C. rubecula (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), will be used as model organisms Their host location behaviour is well understood and they differ strongly in their host and host-stage specifity and in their | ability for associative learning. Results of this project will help to understand the link between sensory physiology and behaviour, and the relationship | between associative learning and changes in the electrophysiological response of chemoreceptors in the two Cotesia species.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
The applicant will be given the opportunity to learn new methodologies involved in measuring the electrophysiological response of parasitoids to contact chemicals. This is a new field of research which is of great interest as it allows us to understand the physiological processes behind the behaviour of parasitoids which has been studied in great detail. In addition, the project will link two research groups at the host institution which so far had little collaboration.
Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)
The project does not have active involvement with the industry. However, there are links between both host research groups with European industries in the field of semiochemistry and suppliers of biological control agents (see detailed proposal information).


Landbouwuniversiteit Wageningen
6709 PD Wageningen