Comparative venomics of Psyttalia lounsburyi and P. concolor, two olive fruit fly parasitoids: a hypothetical role for a GH1 β-glucosidase


  • Mathe-Hubert Hugo
  • Colinet Dominique
  • Deleury Emeline
  • Belghazi Maya
  • Ravallec Marc
  • Poulain Julie
  • Dossat Carole
  • Poirié Marylène
  • Gatti Jean-Luc


Venom composition of parasitoid wasps attracts increasing interest - notably molecules ensuring parasitism success on arthropod pests - but its variation within and among taxa is not yet understood. We have identified here the main venom proteins of two braconid wasps, Psyttalia lounsburyi (two strains from South Africa and Kenya) and P. concolor, olive fruit fly parasitoids that differ in host range. Among the shared abundant proteins, we found a GH1 β-glucosidase and a family of leucine-rich repeat (LRR) proteins. Olive is extremely rich in glycoside compounds that are hydrolyzed by β-glucosidases into defensive toxic products in response to phytophagous insect attacks. Assuming that Psyttalia host larvae sequester ingested glycosides, the injected venom GH1 β-glucosidase could induce the release of toxic compounds, thus participating in parasitism success by weakening the host. Venom LRR proteins are similar to truncated Toll-like receptors and may possibly scavenge the host immunity. The abundance of one of these LRR proteins in the venom of only one of the two P. lounsburyi strains evidences intraspecific variation in venom composition. Altogether, venom intra- and inter-specific variation in Psyttalia spp. were much lower than previously reported in the Leptopilina genus (Figitidae), suggesting it might depend upon the parasitoid taxa.

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