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Impact of parasitoid-associated polydnaviruses on plant-mediated herbivore interactions


Insect herbivores interact via plant-mediated interactions in which one herbivore species induces changes in plant quality that affects the performance of a second phytophagous insect that shares the food plant. These interactions are often asymmetric due to specificity in induced plant responses to herbivore attack, amount of plant damage, elicitors in herbivore saliva and plant organ damaged by herbivores. Parasitoids and their symbiotic polydnaviruses alter herbivore physiology and behaviour and may influence how plants respond to parasitized herbivores. We argue that these phenomena affect plant-mediated interactions between herbivores. We identify that the extended phenotype of parasitoid polydnaviruses is an important knowledge gap in interaction networks of insect communities.