Stefan Toepfer

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Plants under attack by arthropod herbivores often emit volatile compounds from their leaves that attract natural enemies of the herbivores. Here we report the first identification of an insect-induced belowground plant signal, (E)-beta-caryophyllene, which strongly attracts an entomopathogenic nematode. Maize roots release this sesquiterpene in response to(More)
The invasion of Europe by the western corn rootworm, North America's most destructive corn pest, is ongoing and represents a serious threat to European agriculture. Because this pest was initially introduced in Central Europe, it was believed that subsequent outbreaks in Western Europe originated from this area. Using model-based Bayesian analyses of the(More)
Mark-release-recapture experiments were undertaken in order to investigate the movement of adult Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte from accidental introduction points towards suitable habitats, such as its host plant, Zea mays L. In Hungary in 2003 and 2004, nine mark-release-recapture experiments were carried out in a grass steppe area and lucerne(More)
The efficacy of natural enemies as biological control agents against insect pests can theoretically be enhanced by artificial selection for high responsiveness to foraging cues. The recent discovery that maize roots damaged by the western corn rootworm (WCR) emit a key attractant for insect-killing nematodes has opened the way to explore whether a selection(More)
The western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), is one of the most destructive pests of corn in North America and is currently invading Europe. The two major invasive outbreaks of rootworm in Europe have occurred, in North-West Italy and in Central and South-Eastern Europe. These two outbreaks originated from(More)
Modelling population dynamics of the maize pest Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte (western corn rootworm; Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) requires knowledge on the growth rate (=net reproductive rate) of the species. We investigated the generational (=annual) growth rate of D. v. virgifera in isolated maize fields in southern Hungary and eastern Croatia(More)
After being used as a biocontrol agent against aphids for decades without harmful consequences, the Asian harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis has suddenly become an invasive pest on a worldwide scale. We investigate the impact of captive breeding on several traits of this ladybird such as genetic diversity, fecundity, survival and pathogen resistance. We(More)
As a first step towards the development of an ecologically rational control strategy against western corn rootworm (WCR; Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in Europe, we compared the susceptibility of the soil living larvae and pupae of this maize pest to infection by three entomopathogenic nematode (EPN) species. In(More)
Because the ferocious maize pest Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte can adapt to all currently used control strategies, focus has turned to the development of novel, more sustainable control methods, such as biological control using entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN). A good understanding of the biology and behaviour of these potential control agents is(More)
Europe is attempting to contain or, in some regions, to eradicate the invading and maize destroying western corn rootworm (WCR). Eradication and containment measures include crop rotation and insecticide treatments within different types of buffer zones surrounding new introduction points. However, quantitative estimates of the relationship between the(More)