Effect of Cameraria ohridella feeding on Aesculus hippocastanum photosynthesis.
The complex of invasive species of phytophagous insects that can adapt to novel living conditions is constantly increasing. The ecological effect of their vital activity in the new environment is almost impossible to predict. As a result, invasions undesirable in the economic sense are often observed. The horse-chestnut leaf miner (Cameraria ohridella Deschka & Dimič, 1986, Gracillariidae) is one of these problematic invader species in the introduced range of the horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum (Linnaeus, 1753), Sapindaceae). We studied the effect of C. ohridella on the state of the photosynthetic apparatus in Ae. hippocastanum leaves. Photosynthesis is the one of the processes most vulnerable to stress factors, so information about the state of photosynthetic apparatus in a plant under the influence of phytophage feeding obtained with fluorescence analysis can be significant. The feeding effect of C. ohridella caterpillars on the functional state and activity of Ae. hippocastanum photosynthetic apparatus was studied. We studied critical parameters of chlorophyll fluorescence induction reflecting the effect of a single C. ohridella generation (feeding the caterpillar for the five stages of this species' development) on the functional links of the photosystem II in Ae. hippocastanum leaves. The data obtained show a decrease in PS II quantum efficiency (inhibition of photosynthetic activity) in the leaves from different parts of the crown; it suggests the destructive effect of C. ohridella caterpillar feeding on Ae. hippocastanum photosynthetic apparatus. Values of all key parameters of chlorophyll fluorescence indication evidence inhibition of photophysical and photochemical processes of photosynthesis and impaired coherence of Calvin cycle reactions. Study of the feeding effect of C. ohridella caterpillars on the efficiency of the main enzyme in the Calvin cycle (which closely correlates with the coefficient of fluorescence induction that characterizes the efficiency of dark photosynthetic processes) showed a significant decrease in its activity in the leaves of both the illuminated and shaded parts of the crown. Our study has shown that the method of chlorophyll fluorescence induction allows one to determine the general state of a plant in an express regime by evaluating the main process of plant life as photosynthesis. Analysis of chlorophyll fluorescence parameters is a powerful and effective tool for determining the effect of phytophages on the plant body. The obtained data allow us to apply the method of analyzing chlorophyll fluorescence induction in practice to establish the physiological state of tree flora in forests and garden farms.