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Dynamics of a host-parasitoid interaction clarified by modelling and DNA sequencing.

08:00 EDT 23rd March 2020 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Dynamics of a host-parasitoid interaction clarified by modelling and DNA sequencing."

It has been hypothesised that the 2-year oscillations in abundance of Xestia moths are mediated by interactions with 1-year Ophion parasitoid wasps. We tested this hypothesis by modelling a 35-year time series of Xestia and Ophion from Northern Finland. Additionally, we used DNA barcoding to ascertain the species diversity of Ophion and targeted amplicon sequencing of their gut contents to confirm their larval hosts. Modelling of the time-series data strongly supported the hypothesised host-parasitoid dynamics and that periodic occurrence of Xestia moths is mediated by Ophion. DNA barcodes revealed that Ophion included five species rather than just one while targeted amplicon sequencing verified that Ophion does parasitise Xestia. At least one Ophion species employs 1-year Syngrapha interrogationis as an alternate host, but it did not detectably affect Xestia-Ophion dynamics. We also demonstrate the previously unrecognised complexity of this system due to cryptic parasitoid diversity.

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Name: Ecology letters
ISSN: 1461-0248
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