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ANR funded project

Comprendre et prévoir les évolutions de notre environnement (DS0101)
Edition 2015


ODORSCAPE


Climate change effects on volatile plant compound emissions and their impact on insect olfaction

Climate change effects on volatile plant compound emissions and their impact on insect olfaction
Volatile organic compounds emitted by vegetation play major roles as infochemicals. Insects for instance extract the cues essential for their reproduction from their olfactory environment. Future odorscapes in agroecosystems and associated ecosystem services will depend on the sensitivity of plant volatile production to global change. Odorscape aims at: 1) evaluating the effects of global change components on emission of volatiles by plants; 2) analyzing the impacts on insect olfaction.

Changing olfactory environments
With the growing likelihood of a rapidly changing environment due to the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases, the composition of future odorscapes in agro-ecosystems will largely depend on the sensitivity of VPC production to single or combined component(s) of global climatic change. Yet, the impacts of such predicable profound changes in odorscapes on insect olfaction have not been properly evaluated. Our project aims at: 1) evaluating qualitatively and quantitatively the effects of major environmental change components on metabolic pathways and emission of VPCs by crop and companion plants in two ecosystems representative of dry and humid temperate agro-ecosystems; 2) analyzing the effects of the altered odorscapes on olfaction of herbivorous insects at gene, neural coding and behavior levels.

From plant metabolism to insect behavior
We will analyze the volatile emissions from plants associated in mini ecosystems typical for two different climatic conditions present in France: a dry temperate climate (DT) and a humid temperate climate (HT). Each mini ecosystem will consist of a cultivated plant (corn), a tree (poplar for HT or oak for DT) and a weed which will be grown in controlled conditions under CO2, O3, drought and temperature levels representative of global change. The effects of growing conditions on the main metabolic pathways involved in the production of VPCs will be analyzed. We expect that the volatile emissions from DT and HT under elevated global change factors will affect female choices for oviposition sites and male responses to sex pheromone. Thus, we will identify the natural emissions in two growing conditions, measure the response of insects and reconstitute behaviorally effective modified odorscapes HTO and DTO. The effects of HTO and DTO and their major components on olfactory coding within the antennae and the primary olfactory centres, the antennal lobes, will be investigated. The ability of insects to adapt their behavior to changes in their sensory environment will be evaluated by investigating behavioral plasticity. The effects of long-term exposure to reconstituted odorscapes on the expression of olfactory genes within the antennae will then be tested.

Results

Caracterisation of the VOC emission potential by maize cultivars and associated plants.
Measure of effets of a odor background (simple compound) on the sensory coding of pheromone signal by antennal and brain olfactory neurons.

Outlook

Our project will lead to a deeper understanding of the vulnerability to environmental changes of information exchanges inside agro-ecosystems, of the adaptive capacities of plants and insects to global changes and of their potential consequences for the functioning of agro-ecosystems. The expected results will contribute to a better predictability of the evolution of agro-ecosystems under anthropogenic influence and will also have an impact on applied aspects, taking into account that pheromones and plant odorants are used as alternative control measures for insecticides.

Scientific outputs and patents

Dupuy F., Rouyar A, Deisig N, Bourgeois T, Limousin D, Wicke M-A, Anton S & Renou M (2017) A background of a volatile plant compound alters neural and behavioral responses to the sex pheromone blend in a moth. Frontiers in physiology. doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2017.00079.

Daussy J, Buatois B, Degueldre D, Staudt M. 2017. Screening of volatile emissions of a wide range of maize (Zea mays L.) genotypes: intraspecific variability and response to simulated biotic stress. JEF : Functional Ecology Conference, La Grande Motte, March 28-31. Poster.

Partners

CEFE CNRS UMR 5175 Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive

CEREEP-Ecotron IleDeFrance Centre de Recherches en ecologie Expérimentale et Prédictive

iEES-Ecosens Institut d'Ecologie et des Sciences de l'Environnement

iEES-IPE Institut d'Ecologie et des Sciences de l'Environnement

ANR grant: 685 056 euros
Beginning and duration: novembre 2015 - 48 mois

Submission abstract

The terrestrial vegetation releases a large variety of volatile organic compounds that constitute complex olfactory environments (odorscapes). These volatile plant compounds (VPC) play major roles as infochemicals mediating the interactions between organisms. Insects for instance extract from their odorscapes cues essential for their reproduction. Mate or host-plant finding behaviors are largely based on the perception of specific odor signals by their sensory system. There is conclusive evidence that the specialized receptors that detect the behavior-relevant odorants are sensitive to odor background. With the growing likelihood of a rapidly changing environment due to the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases, the composition of future odorscapes in agro-ecosystems will largely depend on the sensitivity of VPC production to single or combined component(s) of global climatic change. Yet, the impacts of such predicable profound changes in odorscapes on insect olfaction have not been properly evaluated. Our project aims at: 1) evaluating qualitatively and quantitatively the effects of major environmental change components on metabolic pathways and emission of VPCs by crop and companion plants in two ecosystems representative of dry and humid temperate agro-ecosystems; 2) analyzing the effects of the altered odorscapes on olfaction of herbivorous insects at gene, neural coding and behavior levels.
We will analyze the volatile emissions from plants associated in mini ecosystems typical for two different climatic conditions present in France: a dry temperate climate (DT) and a humid temperate climate (HT). Each mini ecosystem will consist of a cultivated plant (corn), a tree (poplar for HT or oak for DT) and a weed which will be grown in controlled conditions under CO2, ozone, drought and temperature levels representative of global change. The effects of growing conditions on the main metabolic pathways involved in the production of VPCs will be analysed. We expect that the volatile emissions from DT and HT under elevated global change factors will affect female choices for oviposition sites and male responses to sex pheromone. Thus, we will identify the natural emissions in two growing conditions, measure the response of insects and design behaviourally effective modified odorscapes HTO and DTO. The effects of HTO and DTO and their major components on olfactory coding within the antennae and the primary olfactory centres, the antennal lobes, will be investigated. The ability of insects to adapt their behaviour to changes in their sensory environment will be evaluated by investigating behavioural plasticity. The effects of long-term exposure to reconstituted odorscapes on the expression of olfactory genes within the antennae will then be tested. Our project will lead to a deeper understanding of the vulnerability of information exchanges inside agro-ecosystems to environmental changes, of the adaptive capacities of plants and insects to global changes and of their potential consequences for the functioning of agro-ecosystems. The expected results will contribute to a better predictability of the evolution of agro-ecosystems under anthropogenic influence and will also have an impact on applied aspects, taking into account that pheromones and plant odorants are used as alternative control measures for insecticides.

 

ANR Programme: Comprendre et prévoir les évolutions de notre environnement (DS0101) 2015

Project ID: ANR-15-CE02-0010

Project coordinator:
Monsieur Michel Renou (Institut d'Ecologie et des Sciences de l'Environnement)

Project web site: https://www6.inra.fr/odorscape/

 

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The project coordinator is the author of this abstract and is therefore responsible for the content of the summary. The ANR disclaims all responsibility in connection with its content.