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PLoS One. 2013 Apr 17;8(4):e61745. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061745. Print 2013.

Overwintering strategy and mechanisms of cold tolerance in the codling moth (Cydia pomonella).

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1
Institute of Entomology, Biology Centre of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, České Budějovice, Czech Republic.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The codling moth (Cydia pomonella) is a major insect pest of apples worldwide. Fully grown last instar larvae overwinter in diapause state. Their overwintering strategies and physiological principles of cold tolerance have been insufficiently studied. No elaborate analysis of overwintering physiology is available for European populations.

PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

We observed that codling moth larvae of a Central European population prefer to overwinter in the microhabitat of litter layer near the base of trees. Reliance on extensive supercooling, or freeze-avoidance, appears as their major strategy for survival of the winter cold. The supercooling point decreases from approximately -15.3 °C during summer to -26.3 °C during winter. Seasonal extension of supercooling capacity is assisted by partial dehydration, increasing osmolality of body fluids, and the accumulation of a complex mixture of winter specific metabolites. Glycogen and glutamine reserves are depleted, while fructose, alanine and some other sugars, polyols and free amino acids are accumulated during winter. The concentrations of trehalose and proline remain high and relatively constant throughout the season, and may contribute to the stabilization of proteins and membranes at subzero temperatures. In addition to supercooling, overwintering larvae acquire considerable capacity to survive at subzero temperatures, down to -15 °C, even in partially frozen state.

CONCLUSION:

Our detailed laboratory analysis of cold tolerance, and whole-winter survival assays in semi-natural conditions, suggest that the average winter cold does not represent a major threat for codling moth populations. More than 83% of larvae survived over winter in the field and pupated in spring irrespective of the overwintering microhabitat (cold-exposed tree trunk or temperature-buffered litter layer).

PMID:
23613923
PMCID:
PMC3629207
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0061745
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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