IUFRO WP 7.03.16 – Seminar Series on Behavioral and Chemical Ecology of Forest Insects

The seminar series is now done and all the talks are available for you to watch on Youtube.

In light of the current pandemic, many scientific meetings have been cancelled. One of the most significant benefits of these meetings is our engagement with our science and colleagues. Recently the IUFRO Working Party 7.03.16 was launched and we announce a five talk webinar series to promote both the new Working Party and the importance of the behavioral and chemical ecology of forest insects, while providing a platform for these research communities to engage and network. The webinar series is co-hosted by the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute, University of Pretoria, the Institute for Forest Entomology, Forest Pathology and Forest Protection, BOKU, the Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay and the Canadian Forest Service.  This webinar series has five talks covering a wide range of topics related to behavioral and chemical ecology of forest insects.  These virtual seminars are open to all registered participants.

Please fill in the registration form on the left menu of this page if you are interested in attending any of the seminars (please see the list of seminars, speakers and dates in the drop down menu on the left).  After registration you will be contacted by email with a link to attend the seminars. If you wish to contribute to future webinars series please contact the coordinators of this Working Party (Drs. Jeremy Allison, Sigrid Netherer and Andres Gonzalez).

Registration information

Please fill in the registration form below if you are interested in attending any of the seminars in this series. After registration you will receive a confirmation email with a link to attend the seminars. Please also check your junk mail folder. If you do not receive a confirmation email, please notify Quentin Guignard at quentin.guignard@fabi.up.ac.za.

 

Registration Form

Biographical information


Seminar Series Program (all times are UTC, Coordinated Universal Time)

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE SEMINAR START TIME IS 13:30 UTC, THIS IS 9:30 AM EST, 6:30 AM PST AND 15:30 CEST.

 

September 17 - Insect olfaction in the forest

Bill Hansson, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Germany

13:30 - 13:40 Introduction by seminar leader

13:40 - 14:05 Functional characterization of two bark beetle (Ips typographus) pheromone receptors and prediction of their ligand binding sites. Martin N. Andersson, Lund University, Sweden

14:05 - 14:30 Olfactory genomics as a tool to expedite pheromone identification in longhorned beetles. Robert Mitchell, University of Wisconsin, USA

14:30 - 15:00 Open discussion

 

October 1 - Ecology of bark and ambrosia beetle fungus symbioses

Peter H.W. Biedermann, University of Freiburg, Germany

13:30 - 13:50 Evolutionary ecology of insect-fungus mutualisms. Peter H.W. Biedermann

13:50 - 14:10 Mycangia are essential to the ambrosia beetle-fungus symbioses. Chase Mayers, School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University, New York, USA

14:10 - 14:30 Ips typographus and its fungal symbionts on native and non-native hosts. Sifat Munim Tanin, University of Freiburg, Germany

14:30 - 15:00 Open discussion

 

October 15 – Predator-prey and host-parasitoid interactions

Manuela Branco, University of Lisbon, Forest Research Center, Portugal

13:30 - 13:40 Introduction by seminar leader

13:40 - 14:05 Specializing on the few or embracing the many - contrasting issues for bark beetle predators. Jean-Claude Grégoire, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

14:05 - 14:30 Infochemical detour: parasitoids tracking host by proxy. Sofia Branco, University of Lisbon, Forest Research Center, Portugal

14:30 – 15:00 Open discussion

 

October 29 - Chemically mediated plant-herbivore-microbe interactions in forests. Almuth Hammerbacher, University of Pretoria, South Africa

13:30 - 13:40 Introduction by seminar leader

13:40 - 14:05 Host tree terpenes mediate interactions between the European spruce bark beetle, Ips typographus and its fungal symbionts. Dineshkumar Kandasamy, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Germany

14:05 - 14:30 Tripartite interactions in poplar trees: herbivores feed on plant-pathogenic fungi for their own benefit. Franziska Eberl, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Germany

14:30 – 15:00 Open discussion

 

November 12 - Behavioral and chemical ecology of Sirex noctilio

Bernard Slippers, FABI - University of Pretoria, South Africa

13:30 - 13:40 Introduction by seminar leader

13:40 - 14:05 Body size, behaviour and sensory ecology of Sirex noctilio populations in Patagonia. Juan C. Corley. Institute of Forest and Agricultural Research, INTA-CONICET, Argentina

14:05 - 14:30 Reproductive biology of Sirex noctilio: Filling the gaps in chemical, visual and behavioural ecology. Quentin Guignard and Josephine Quefflelec – FABI, South Africa

14:30 - 15:00 Open discussion

Speakers - Titles - Abstracts

Seminars for September 17, 2020

Introduction and opening seminar

Speaker: Dr. Bill Hansson, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Jena, Germany

 

Abstract: All insects, with few exceptions, depend heavily on olfactory input to survive and reproduce. In this mini symposium we will put the spotlight on a couple of examples, where forest insects and their sense of smell are being investigated. In my short introduction I will provide a brief background to the insect sense of smell in general, mainly based on our present research on fruit flies and moths, and then proceed with a quick look at some of my own scarce projects on forest insects.

 

Biography: BSc and PhD in Ecology at Lund University 1979-1988. Postdoc at the University of Arizona 1989-1990. Career in Lund until Full Professor 2001. Recruited as Professor, Head of Department and Vice Dean at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Alnarp in 2001. Called to a Max Planck Directorship at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena in 2006. Served as Vice President of the Max Planck Society 2014-2020. Full CV.

 

 

Title: Functional characterization of two bark beetle (Ips typographus) pheromone receptors and prediction of their ligand binding sites

Speaker: Dr. Martin N. Andersson, Department of Biology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

 

Abstract: Improved management of the destructive Eurasian spruce bark beetle Ips typographus (‘Ityp’) is urgently needed, and one avenue forward could be to target the odorant receptors (ORs), which are used by the beetles to find mates and host trees. We characterized the function of two ItypORs, showing selective responses to the  pheromone compounds (S)-(-)-ipsenol and (R)-(-)-ipsdienol, respectively. We also predicted the ligand binding sites of these ORs, and the importance of two residues in pheromone binding was experimentally supported. Apart from reporting the first bark beetle ORs with determined functions, our findings may represent an important step towards improved control of bark beetles. For instance, these ORs can now be screened for better agonists or antagonists, or employed in biosensors for detection of bark beetle infestations.

 

Biography: PhD from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in 2011. Since 2017 Associate Professor at Lund University, Sweden, with main research interests including olfaction in bark and ambrosia beetles with special emphasis on the evolution and function of odorant receptors. Since 2019 also Principal Investigator in the Max Planck Centre next-Generation Insect Chemical Ecology (nGICE).

 

 

Title: Olfactory genomics as a tool to expedite pheromone identification in longhorned beetles

Speaker: Dr. Robert Mitchell, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, USA 

 

Abstract: The family of longhorned beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) includes many wood-boring pests of international significance for which attractive pheromones can be a useful tool in monitoring and control. Members of the family produce several pheromone structures that are conserved across genera, tribes, and subfamilies, resulting in many clusters of species that are attracted to identical pheromone components. Each pheromone is detected by a corresponding chemoreceptor expressed in the antennae, but it remains unclear if the chemoreceptor genes have remained as conserved as the pheromones. In this talk, I will discuss recent progress on the pheromone biology of longhorned beetles, their chemoreceptors, and the possibility of using conserved chemoreceptor sequences to infer the pheromone chemistry of unstudied species.

 

Biography: Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh studying the chemical ecology of insects, especially the order Coleoptera. Recent laboratory research has emphasized olfactory biology of the Cerambycidae and the evolution of chemoreceptors across beetle families.

 

 

Seminars for October 1, 2020

Title: Evolutionary ecology of insect-fungus mutualisms

Speaker: Dr. Peter H.W. Biedermann, Chair of Forest Entomology and Protection, University of Freiburg, Germany

 

Abstract: Insect-fungus mutualisms are highly diverse and particularly common in plant-colonizing insects. Here I extract some information from a comprehensive review on insect-fungus mutualisms and give an overview of the ones that are relevant to forestry. Services exchanged in insect–fungus mutualisms include nutrition, protection, and dispersal. Insects disperse fungi and can provide fungal growth substrates and protection. Obligate dependency has (a) resulted in the evolution of morphological adaptations in insects and fungi, (b) driven the evolution of social behaviors in some groups of insects, and (c) led to the loss of sexuality in some fungal mutualists..

 

Biography: Peter Biedermann is born in Austria. After studying in Graz, Vienna (A) and Bern (CH) he graduated with a Ph.D. on the social behavior of ambrosia beetles at the University Bern in 2012. After several postdocs at the USDA, UW Madison, Wageningen University and the Max-Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, he established his own Emmy Noether Research Group at the University of Würzburg in 2017. Since April this year, he is a full professor for Forest Entomology and Protection at the University of Freiburg, Germany.

 

 

Title: Mycangia are essential to the ambrosia beetle-fungus symbioses

Speaker: Dr. Chase Mayers, School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University, New York, USA

 

Abstract: Ambrosia beetles bore tunnels into the sapwood of trees within which they inoculate and cultivate lush gardens of ambrosia fungi. These special ambrosia fungi are not found free living, yet each generation of ambrosia beetles typically fly to new trees and farm the very same fungal cultivar they were raised on. For more than 60 years, special pocket-like organs called mycangia (or mycetangia) have been appreciated as facilitating this cultivar persistence. However, mycangia are far from simple transport pockets. They are active organs that support fungal domestication and co-adaptation thanks to a “mycangium cycle” that imposes genetic bottlenecks and competitively excludes non-adapted fungi. Mycangia preserve fungal cultivars over background commensals, influence cultivar choice and persistence, may influence sociality, and facilitate convergent solutions to problems shared by other farming animals including humans. This talk serves to summarize an upcoming book chapter review of mycangia, and covers the present knowledge of ambrosia beetle mycangia as well as explaining why they are so essential to the many varied ambrosia beetle-fungus symbioses.

 

Biography: Chase Mayers was born in Louisiana, USA. After studying at Louisiana State University, he completed a Ph.D. in Microbiology at Iowa State University in 2018. His thesis work concerned the evolution of ambrosia fungi in the Ceratocystidaceae and their relationships with their beetle hosts. After a postdoctoral project on Rapid Ohia Death Ceratocystis mitogenomics, he received an NSF postdoctoral fellowship to work on the evolution of the endosymbiotic bacteria of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Currently he is finishing up the latter project, and serving as a Teaching Support Specialist, in the School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell University.

 

 

Title: Ips typographus and its fungal symbionts on native and non-native hosts

Speaker: Mr. Sifat Munim Tanin, Chair of Forest Entomology and Protection, University of Freiburg, Germany

 

Abstract: Ips typographus, one of the most damaging bark beetles in Europe, has never established in North America. The reason could be the lack of suitable host trees and fungi available in the new environment. Here we exposed this species to two different North American hosts (white and black spruce) and fungi associated with the North American spruce bark beetle Dendroctonus rufipennis. Ips typographus can colonize North American hosts and does not rely on its native fungi. It can detect and is attracted by various ophiostomatoid fungi.

 

Biography: Sifat Munim Tanin is born in Bangladesh. He has completed his Master's degree in Ecology from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in 2020. Now he is working on developing his Ph.D. proposal on the fungal symbionts of bark beetles under the supervision of Peter Biedermann at the University of Freiburg, Germany.

 

 

Seminars for October 15, 2020

Title: You can run but you can´t hide: The sense of smell on predator-prey and host-parasitoid interactions

Speaker: Dr. Manuela Branco, Forest Research Center, School of Agriculture, University of Lisbon, Portugal

 

Abstract: The most important tool in the arsenal of insect predators and parasitoids to locate their prey is their sense of smell. This sense allows the detection of prey at both long and short distances regardless if they are visible or concealed, such as in bark crevices or inside tree trunk. Different volatile compounds may be used by predators and parasitoids, such as plant habitat volatile organic compounds, herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPV), prey pheromones as well as other prey odours.  The perception of these compounds shapes the evolutionary ecology of the predator/prey and host/parasitoid relationships. From a practical point of view we may use this knowledge for detection, monitoring or improving biological control.

 

Biography: M Branco graduated in forestry and obtained a PhD in Applied Biology. She teaches in the University of Lisbon. Her research cover aspects of the ecology of forest insects, population ecology and forest protection with emphasis on biological control.

 

 

Title: Specialising on the few or embracing the many - contrasting issues for bark beetle predators

Speaker: Dr. Jean-Claude Grégoire, Université libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium

 

Abstract: This talk will focus on the ecological and behavioural challenges facing two bark beetle predators with contrasted differences, the specialist Rhizophagus grandis (Coleoptera: Monotomidae), which attacks only one bark-beetle species, Dendroctonus micans (Kug.), and the generalist Thanasimus formicarius (Coleoptera: Cleridae), which is a bark-beetle generalist attacking a very large number of species on conifers or broadleaves.

 

Biography: JC Grégoire graduated in forestry and obtained a PhD in entomology. He studies basic and applied aspects of the ecology of forest insects (chemical ecology, predator-prey and parasitoid-host relationships, relationships to the host trees, reproductive strategies, dispersal) and works also in risk assessments for plant health.

 

 

Title: The infochemical detour, tracking host by proxy

Speaker: Dr. Sofia Branco, Centro de Estudos Florestais, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal

 

Abstract: Egg parasitoids are faced with a major detectability problem because the host stage they depend on is usually inconspicuous and lack long-range cues that might be exploited by their enemies. Here we review how they overcome this difficulty by resorting to cues from other stages of their host species, in a process known as the infochemical detour. Results of studies conducted with Anaphes nitens (Hymenoptera, Mymaridae) are briefly discussed.

 

Biography: PhD in Environmental Sciences, B.Sc. in Environmental Biology (FCUL, UL) and M.Sc. in Medical Parasitology (IHMT, UNL). Currently working on the project "HOMED- HOlistic Management of Emerging forest pests and Diseases". During the PhD conducted research on the chemical ecology of the eucalyptus weevil, Gonipterus platensis, and its egg parasitoid, Anaphes nitens.

 

 

Seminars for October 29, 2020

Title: Chemically mediated plant-herbivore-microbe interactions in forests

Speaker: Dr. Almuth Hammerbacher, Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), University of Pretoria, South Africa  

Abstract: Chemical interactions between plants and herbivores microbes are often studied as bipartite systems focusing on the effect of one interacting partner on the host plant. However, perennial plants, such as forest trees, interact with many microbes and herbivores during their life times and are often attacked simultaneously by insects and microbes of different life styles. In this seminar, we will consider two examples, where two organisms from different kingdoms simultaneously interact with a tree species to produce surprising outcomes.

Biography: Almuth Hammerbacher is a researcher at the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute and a senior lecturer at the department of Zoology and Entomology at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. Her research focuses on the chemical communication of forest trees with insects and microbes.

 

Title: Monoterpenes mediate interactions between bark beetles and their fungal symbionts

Speaker: Dr. Dineshkumar Kandasamy, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Germany 

Abstract: Bark beetle outbreaks have decimated millions of hectares of conifer forests worldwide. Conifers have a formidable chemical defense against invading insects and pathogens. However, bark beetles overcome the tree defenses by mass attacks and by introducing symbiotic fungi in the tree phloem. While the role of pheromones in coordinating the mass attacks has been well studied in the past decades, the role of chemical communication between beetles and their symbiotic fungi is poorly understood. In this seminar, I talk about how the blue-stain fungi introduced by the European spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus) modify the chemistry of the Norway spruce (Picea abies) bark and alter the preference of beetles during host choice and feeding.

Biography: Dineshkumar Kandasamy is a post-doctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for chemical ecology in Jena, Germany. His research focuses on chemical interactions between conifer trees, bark beetles and their fungal symbionts.

 

Title: Tripartite interactions in poplar trees: herbivores feed on plant-pathogenic fungi for their own benefit

Speaker: Dr. Franziska Eberl, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Germany 

Abstract: In their natural habitat trees are not only attacked by a multitude of herbivorous insects, but are also constantly colonized by fungi and bacteria. However, the influence of microbes on tree-herbivore interactions is still widely overlooked. We studied the tripartite relationship of black poplar, the poplar rust fungus and the gypsy moth, and found that gypsy moth caterpillars preferred rust-infected over uninfected leaves. In particular, young caterpillars selectively fed on fungal spores, which contained high amounts of the feeding attractant mannitol. Ultimately, gypsy moth caterpillars benefited from the fungal infection of their host trees, as they contained lower amounts of defense compounds and higher amounts of nutritious components compared to uninfected trees, resulting in a faster larval development for the herbivore.

Biography: Franziska Eberl studied Biochemistry (B.Sc.) and Chemical Biology (M.Sc.) in Jena (Germany), and partly in Trondheim (Norway). During her Master thesis she already focused on the biotic interactions of black poplar, which she continued and intensified during her doctoral studies at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology. Since June 2020 Franziska is working as a scientific project coordinator and studies the effect of different artificial light sources on the phytochemistry of various plant species.

 

Seminars for November 12, 2020

Title: Behavioural and chemical ecology of Sirex noctilio

Speaker: Dr. Bernard Slippers, Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), University of Pretoria, South Africa 

 

Abstract: The woodwasp Sirex noctilio is holometabolous and does not feed as an adult. As a result they are expected to experience strong selection for mate and host location. The dominant modalities that most insects use to interact with their abiotic and biotic environment are olfaction and vision. This seminar will provide an overview of S. noctilio and provide context for the accompanying seminars that will focus on the behavioural, visual and chemical ecology of S. noctilio in the context of mate and host location, population dynamics and geographical spread.

 

Biography: Dr. Slippers is a Professor in Genetics and Director of the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute at the University of Pretoria. He was a founding member of the Global Young Academy, served as co-chair of this organization and was the founding Director of Future Africa. His research focuses on the molecular ecology and evolution of fungal communities, fungal pathogens and insect pests of trees as well as their symbioses and natural enemies.

 

 

Title: Body size, behaviour and sensory ecology of Sirex noctilio populations in Patagonia

Speaker: Dr. Juan C. Corley, Universidad Nacional del Comahue, Argentina 

 

Abstract: How insects interact with their environment, as well as their body size, strongly influences their ecological success. When given species arrive and establish in new areas, evolved life-history traits partly affect their invasion abilities and the impact they may have within the new range. I explore several of these attributes in the woodwasp Sirex noctilio (Hymenoptera: Siricidae) in Patagonia with the aim of helping us better understand population outbreaks and geographical spread of this invasive forest insect.

 

Biography: Dr. Corley is an Associate Professor of Behavioural and Population Ecology at the Universidad Nacional del Comahue in Bariloche, as well as a high-grade researcher in biology for CONICET, the National Science Council of Argentina. He also is founder and PI of the Insect Population Ecology Group at IFAB (Institute of Forest and Agricultural Research, INTA-CONICET) where he also serves as Vice-chairman.  Juan is the current Coordinator of the IUFRO Working Party on “Ecology and Management of Bark and Woodboring Insects” and soon-to-be Editor in Chief of Ecological Applications, as from 2021.  His research focuses on understanding behaviour, invasion and population ecology of forest insects and on how this basic biological knowledge can be used for sustainable pest management. Juan runs a blog where he discusses all thing ecological and related to the world of scientific publication.

 

 

Title: Reproductive biology of Sirex noctilio: Filling the gaps in chemical, visual and behavioural ecology

Speaker: Joséphine Queffelec and Quentin Guignard, Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), University of Pretoria, South Africa 

 

Abstract: Reproductive biology is critical to understand the invasion success of insects, and this field can make an important contribution to their management. The behavioural and chemical ecology linked to the reproductive biology of Sirex noctilio has received little attention until the last decade, and many aspects remain poorly understood. In this talk we explore these knowledge gaps with respect to visual and chemical ecology, as well as mate choice. In particular, we will discuss our work on a possible sex-aggregation pheromone, visual adaptation to low light conditions and the effect of age and size on mating success.

 

Biography:

Joséphine Queffelec is a PhD student from FABI. Her work focuses on the influence of reproductive biology on the invasion dynamics of Sirex noctilio. She studies mating behaviours, sex determination and reproductive parasites and their effects on population dynamics.

Quentin Guignard is a PhD student from FABI. He focuses on the chemical and visual ecology of Sirex noctilio. He investigated the biology of the male pheromone and described the mechanisms underlying colour vision in the woodwasp.