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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CHEMICAL SIGNALS FOR MANAGING INSECTS
2006 Annual Report


1.What major problem or issue is being resolved and how are you resolving it (summarize project aims and objectives)? How serious is the problem? Why does it matter?
Pesticides aimed at destructive insect populations have the potential to decrease the quality of the environment, impair or destroy non-targeted species, such as beneficial pollinators, predators and parasitoids, and lead to resistance in targeted organisms. Chemical signals (semiochemicals), such as attractants, provide a means to intercept invading insect species, enhance biological pest control, and manage pests while minimizing contamination of the environment by pesticides. Our isolation and identification of these chemical signals for invasive and native pests, and their predators and parasitoids, will assist government action agencies and growers in monitoring and/or suppressing insect pests of agriculture. Results of our research will also be used by scientists and growers interested in biological control and organic farming, since it will reduce reliance on synthetic pesticides. This research is part of National Program 304 – Crop Protection and Quarantine, Research Component A – Insects and Mites, including problem areas: biology of pests and natural enemies; plant, pest, and natural enemy interactions and ecology; and pest control technologies.


2.List by year the currently approved milestones (indicators of research progress)
Year 1 (FY2005)

Mediterranean fruit fly - Formulations for Ceralure B1 complete and release rates determined.

Oriental fruit fly – Improved synthesis of fluorinated methyl eugenol attractant complete.

Red shouldered stink bug – Improved synthesis for pheromone complete.

Lacewing – Western U.S. lacewing species attracted to iridodial identified.

Tarnished plant bug – Anti-sex pheromone encapsulated for controlled release and field test for mating disruption complete.

Dogwood borer – Monitoring technologies developed using female-produced sex pheromone.

Pink hibiscus mealybug –Technologies for detection and monitoring developed and commercial partner identified.

Colorado potato beetle - Field tests to demonstrate attractiveness of pheromone isomers completed.

Brown marmorated stink bug – Field tests of synthetic attractant complete; captured parasitoids identified.

Red-shouldered stink bug – Improved pheromone lure for native stink bugs complete.

Gypsy moth – Natural plant products for virus potentiation in “bug-in-bag” studies evaluated.

Hemlock wooly adelgid – Hemlock nursery established.

Year 2 (FY2006)

Red-shouldered stink bug – Glandular source of pheromone components determined.

Colorado potato beetle –Methodology developed for coupled gas chromatography/ single cell recordings.

Lacewing – Pheromones for new spp. identified.

Tarnished plant bug – Lygus antennal protein (LAP) expressed in milligram amounts.

Colorado potato beetle - Behavior of adults and larvae to pheromone, plant attractants and repellents on servosphere characterized; full length sequence of sex-specific chemosensory protein determined.

Asian longhorned beetle – Trap developed.

Brown marmorated stink bug – Lures provided to state agencies to monitor BMS spread; commercial partner identified.

Gypsy moth – Promising virus/natural enhancer products in single tree tests with arborist equipment evaluated.

Year 3 (FY2007)

Colorado potato beetle - Catabolism by-products of pheromone characterized.

Colorado potato beetle – Behavior of adults and larvae to multimodal stimuli determined; chemoreceptor neurons on antennae and other appendages characterized for compounds determined in Objective 1.

Asian longhorned beetle – Lure developed.

Oriental fruit fly – Monitoring and mass trapping with fluorinated methyl eugenol attractant complete.

Colorado potato beetle – Tests using behavioral physiology for pheromone and plant attractant for management approaches complete.

Red-shouldered stink bug – Dispensers for monitoring or mass trapping developed.

Hemlock wooly adelgid – Settlement of hemlock wooly adelgid on plant growth regulator treated plants vs. control plants determined.

Year 4 (FY2008)

Colorado potato beetle – Sensitivity of chemoreceptors in adults for volatiles collected from all life stages of CPB and its host plants using coupled GC/SCR determined.

Tarnished plant bug (TPB) – Chromatographic strategies using LAP to screen potential ligands identified from aerations of TPB and/or host plants developed.

Colorado potato beetle - Sex-specific chemosensory protein in adults localized.

Dogwood borer – Mass trapping and mating disruption developed.

Pink hibiscus mealybug – Mass trapping and mating disruption developed.

Mediterranean fruit fly – Field tests with Ceralure B1 complete.

Oriental fruit fly - Commercial manufacturers for synthesis identified and under contract.

Red-shouldered stink bug – Field test complete; commercial partners identified.

Gypsy moth – Enhanced virus combined with other components evaluated in integrated pest management systems.

Lacewing – Field tests with new pheromones complete and commercial partners identified.

Year 5 (FY2009)

Colorado potato beetle (CPB) - Role of catabolites of pheromone in behavior of CPB and associated insects characterized.

Colorado potato beetle - Role of sex specific chemosensory protein in signal detection determined.

Asian longhorned beetle – Technologies for use of traps and lures.

Mediterranean fruit fly – Industry partner identified for commercialization of final Ceralure product.

Colorado potato beetle – Attractants and repellents commercialized.


4a.List the single most significant research accomplishment during FY 2006.
Stink Bug Attractant Lures are needed to monitor and manage stink bugs, including the newly invasive brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), because these insects are immune to genetically modified crops such as cotton. Methyl 2,4,6-decatrienoates were field-tested at BARC resulting in the first captures of adult and nymph BMSBs, and the unexpected finding that various isomers of methyl 2,4,6-decatrienoate attract certain native stink bugs. This discovery may lead to the development of lures useful in controlling stink bugs. This research is part of National Program 304 – Crop Protection and Quarantine, Research Component A – Insects and Mites, including problem areas: biology of pests and natural enemies, and pest control technologies.


4b.List other significant research accomplishment(s), if any.
Attractants for Western Lacewings Identified Lacewings are predaceous insects that feed on aphid pests and are therefore considered beneficial insects. Chemical signals such as a lacewing attractant could be used to enhance biocontrol efforts by attracting these predators into crop systems. In cooperation with Sterling International Inc., potential lacewing attractants were synthesized and tested in the western United States. Two species of lacewings, including the most abundant Chrysopa species (Chrysopa nigricornis) were captured in baited traps. This lacewing attractant could facilitate rearing of this important biocontrol agent and to the direct use of these predators against destructive aphid populations. This research is part of National Program 304 – Crop Protection and Quarantine, Research Component A – Insects and Mites, including problem areas: biology of pests and natural enemies; plant, pest, and natural enemy interactions and ecology; and pest control technologies.


4c.List significant activities that support special target populations.
None.


5.Describe the major accomplishments to date and their predicted or actual impact.
Long-established Invasive Species:

Colorado potato beetle (CPB): An aggregation pheromone and host-plant volatiles were identified for CPB, the most important pest of potato in the northern hemisphere; formulations of these attractants with insecticides (attracticides) are being commercialized for CPB detection and suppression around the world. This research is part of National Program 304 – Crop Protection and Quarantine, Research Component A – Insects and Mites, including problem areas: biology of pests and natural enemies; plant, pest, and natural enemy interactions and ecology; and pest control technologies.

Fruit fly pests: The particular isomer most attractive to the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceralure B1) was delineated from the gross blend of Ceralure isomers, and a commercially viable synthesis for it was developed. For the melon fly, a formate ester version of the existing lure (Cuelure) was synthesized and found to be superior to Cuelure. Efforts to commercialize these fruit fly lures for detection and management of these important pests are ongoing. This research is part of National Program 304 – Crop Protection and Quarantine, Research Component A – Insects and Mites, including problem areas: biology of pests and natural enemies, and pest control technologies.

Gypsy moth: Laboratory scientists devised the analytical methods for annual certification of commercial batches of the gypsy moth sex pheromone used in the “slow the spread” program of the U.S. Forest Service and, continue to cooperate with ARS and Forest Service colleagues on a long-term program to develop and improve Gypchek (a virus product registered for use against the gypsy moth). This research is part of National Program 304 – Crop Protection and Quarantine, Research Component A – Insects and Mites, including problem areas: biology of pests and natural enemies, and pest control technologies.

Recent Invasive or Potentially Invasive Pests: Chemical signals were identified for the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB; contact sex pheromone, volatile aggregation pheromone, and host-tree volatiles) and the pink hibiscus mealybug (PHM; volatile sex pheromone). Pheromones for the potentially invasive forest pests, the Siberian moth and the rosy Russian gypsy moth, were identified, synthesized and provided to APHIS and the Russian Academy of Sciences for monitoring ports of entry into the U.S. and population levels, respectively. These attractants will be useful for detection and monitoring of these potentially devastating invasive species. This research is part of National Program 304 – Crop Protection and Quarantine, Research Component A – Insects and Mites, including problem areas: biology of pests and natural enemies, and pest control technologies.

Native Pests: Attractive pheromones were identified for the cranberry blossom worm (Epiglaea apiata), the blueberry leafminer (Caloptilia porphyretica), dogwood borer (Synanthedon scitula), the peach tree borer (Synanthedon exitiosa), a scarab beetle grub (Hoplia equina), and the cranberry root grub (Lichnanthe vulpine). Progress was made in elucidating minor components of indigenous Euschistus and Acrosternum stink bug pheromones that may improve an existing commercial lure for Euschistus spp. or lead to commercialization of a lure for the green stink bug, A. hilare. For plant bugs (Miridae), discovery of sex and anti-sex pheromones for Phytocoris spp. may lead to products useful against the most important plant bugs known as Lygus bugs. This research is part of National Program 304 – Crop Protection and Quarantine, Research Component A – Insects and Mites, including problem areas: biology of pests and natural enemies, and pest control technologies.

Native Beneficial Insects: The availability of an aggregation pheromone (identified prior to the present project by a Laboratory scientist) resulted in commercial availability of the synthetic pheromone and commercial production of the predators themselves. A pheromone for lacewings is likely to lead to commercial availability of a lure for these important predators of aphids and other small arthropod pests. The discovery by laboratory scientists and collaborators that some parasitoids of true bugs (Heteroptera) are attracted to pheromones of their hosts or associated chemicals indicates that these attractants may be used to enhance biological control. This research is part of National Program 304 – Crop Protection and Quarantine, Research Component A – Insects and Mites, including problem areas: biology of pests and natural enemies; plant, pest, and natural enemy interactions and ecology; and pest control technologies.


6.What science and/or technologies have been transferred and to whom? When is the science and/or technology likely to become available to the end-user (industry, farmer, other scientists)? What are the constraints, if known, to the adoption and durability of the technology products?
Synthesis of the brown marmorated stink bug pheromone was scaled-up. Dispensers were prepared and transferred to other scientists for monitoring the bug populations using different trap designs.

Isomers of a lacewing aggregation pheromone were synthesized and provided to other scientists in the western USA to determine effective attractants for lacewing species in this region.

Potential attractants for the invasive citrus root weevil, Diaprepes abbreviatus, were provided to other scientists in Florida to determine their attractiveness to the weevil in citrus groves.

Trapping devices and an attracticide developed by a CRADA partner in Australia were evaluated as potential tools for biorational management of Colorado potato beetle (CPB). This CRADA partner is developing a commercial synthesis for quantities of CPB aggregation pheromone needed for field use.

Results of field trials with the aggregation pheromone and plant attractants for the Colorado potato beetle were presented at a field day attended by producers and industry representatives in Virginia.

A CRADA was developed with industry to develop a trapping system for control of eastern yellowjacket.


7.List your most important publications in the popular press and presentations to organizations and articles written about your work. (NOTE: List your peer reviewed publications below).
Aldrich, J.R., Chauhan, K.R., Zhang, Q. H. 2005. Catnip, aphids and lacewing predators: Tritrophic coincidence or confusion? International Society of Chemical Ecology. p. 40.

Zhang, Q.H, Schneidmiller, R.G., Hoover, D.R., Young, K.M., Chauhan, K.R., Aldrich, J.R. 2005. Aggregation pheromone of the green lacewing, Chrysopa nigricornis: a powerful attractant for beneficial insects [abstract]. Entomological Society of America. Paper No. 0073.


Review Publications
Dickens, J.C. 2006. Sexual response to plant volatiles moderates aggregation pheromone in colorado potato beetle.. Journal of Applied Entomology. 130(1):26-31.

Hirose, E., De Souza, J.T., Panizzi, A.R., Cattelan, A.J., Aldrich, J.R. 2006. Bacteria in the gut of the southern green stink bug nezara viridula l. (heteroptera: pentatomidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 98(6):91-95.

Kuhar, T.L., Mori, K., Dickens, J.C. 2006. Potential of a synthetic aggregation pheromone for integrated management of colorado potato beetle.. Agricultural and Forest Entomology. 8(1):77-81.

Leskey, T.C., Bergh, J., Walgenbach, J.F., Zhang, A. 2006. Improved attractiveness and specificity of pheromone-baited traps for male dogwood borer, synanthedon scitula harris (lepidoptera: sesiidae). Environmental Entomology. V35 p. 268-275.

Leskey, T.C., Zhang, A., Herzog, M. 2005. Non-fruiting host tree volatile blends: novel attractants for the plum curculio (coleoptera: curculionidae). Environmental Entomology. Env. Ent. Vol 34, Pg 785-793 (2005).

Zhang, A., Amalin, D. 2005. Sex pheromone of the female pink hibiscus mealybug, maconellicoccus hirsutus: biological activity evaluation.. Environmental Entomology. 34(2):264-270.

Zhang, A., Hartung, J.S. 2005. Phenylacetaldehyde o-methyloxime: a volatile compound from plants infected with citrus canker pathogenic bacterium, xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri.. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 53:5134-5137.

Zhang, A., Nie, J. 2005. Enantioselective synthesis of the female sex pheromone of the pink hibiscus mealybug, maconellicoccus hirsutus.. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 53(7):2451-2455.

Bergh, J., Leskey, T.C., Sousa, J., Zhang, A. 2006. Diel periodicity of emergence and pre-mating reproductive behaviors of adult dogwood borer (lepidoptera: sesiidae). Environmental Entomology 35(2):435-442.

Khrimian, A., Jang, E.B., Nagata, J., Carvalho, L. 2006. Consumption and metabolism of 1,2-dimethoxy-4-(3-fluoro-2-propenyl)benzene, a fluorine analog of methyl eugenol, in the oriental fruit fly, bactrocera dorsalis (hendel). Journal of Chemical Ecology. 32(7):1513-1526.

Koppenhofer, A., Polavarapu, S., Fuzy, M., Zhang, A., Ketner, K., Larsen, T. 2005. Mating disruption of oriental beetle (coleoptera: scarabaeidae) in turfgrass using microencapsulated formulations of sex pheromone components. Environmental Entomology. 34(6)1408-1417.

Webb, R.E., White, G.B., Podgwaite, J., D'Amico, V., Slavicek, J., Swearingen, J., Onken, B., Thorpe, K. 2005. Aerially-applied baculovirus and naturally-occurring entomophaga maimaiga provide outstanding control of gypsy moth (lepidoptera: lymantriidae). Journal of Entomological Science. 40(3):446-460.

Zhang, A., Leskey, T.C., Bergh, J.C., Walgenbach, J. 2005. Sex pheromone of the dogwood borer (dwb), synanthedon scitula. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 31(10):2463-2479.

Zhu, J., Zhang, A., Park, K., Baker, T., Lang, B., Jurenka, R., Lang, B., Obrycki, J.J., Graves, W.R., Pickett, J. 2006. Sex pheromone of the soybean aphid, aphis glycines matsumura, and its potential use in semiochemical-based control. Environmental Entomology. 35(2):249-257.

Last Modified: 7/24/2014
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