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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

2010 Annual Report

1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Manage insect pests and beneficials through discovery and development of behaviorally active compounds including insect- and plant-produced attractants, feeding stimulants and deterrents. Enhance the effectiveness of beneficial insects, e.g. predators and parasitoids, with chemical signals.

1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Isolate chemical mixtures by aeration or direct extraction of insects and plants. Separate components of mixtures using chromatography and determine active compounds using coupled GC-electroantennogram detection and behavioral bioassays. Identify chemical structures using coupled chromatography-mass spectrometry and other spectral means. Verify identifications by synthesis or by comparison to commercial standards, and evaluate active chemicals in the laboratory and field. Characterize neural mechanisms used by targeted species to detect chemical signals. Determine processes regulating synthesis and release of insect and plant signals in order to improve their effectiveness and provide insight into novel approaches.

3.Progress Report
Synthetic chemical lures (pheromones), repellents and other behavior modifying compounds are useful for directly monitoring and/or suppressing native and invasive insect pests. In addition, attractants for key predators and parasites are potentially valuable tools to enhance the natural biological control of pests in an environmentally friendly way. The project’s objectives include the identification of these types of chemical signals (semiochemicals), investigation of the mechanisms for detection and orientation to semiochemicals, and development of techniques and strategies to use semiochemicals to manage targeted pests and natural enemies. Research conducted under this project has resulted in final or ongoing commercialization of lures for the following insect pests: brown marmorated stink bug, Asian longhorned beetle, pink hibiscus mealybug, dogwood borer, and Colorado potato beetle; and predators in the green lacewing group.

1. Lures to monitor and manage the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB). The BMSB, Halyomorpha halys (Pentatomidae), is a newly invasive species in the eastern U.S. that is rapidly expanding its range from the original point of establishment in Allentown, PA, and is now common in PA, NJ, DE, MD, VA, and WV, and is established in OR. Adults of this large stink bug commonly aggregate en masse in dwellings and, in some areas, the bug is causing catastrophic damage to mature fruit just prior to harvest when the crop cannot be rescued with insecticide treatment. In field tests at Beltsville and Allentown, IIBBL scientists verified earlier reports in the Japanese literature that BMSB is powerfully attracted to key the pheromone component of another stink bug: methyl (E,E,Z)-2,4,6-decatrienoate (EEZ-MD). The IIBBL chemist who developed the technology for production of EEZ-MD consulted with two companies (Creative Dynamics Inc. and ChemTica International, S. A.) regarding synthesis of EEZ-MD, and ChemTica is now selling slow-release lures containing the attractant much cheaper than the original Japanese producer (Shin-Etsu Corporation). At the recent BMSB Working Group meeting, organized by an ARS entomologist at the ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Station in Kearneysville, WV, participants from the affected states were informed of the commercial availability of EEZ-MD, and some have already purchased commercial lures for monitoring the spread and possible control (via mass trapping) of the pest.

2. Green lacewing pheromone biosynthesis and commercialization. In 2004, IIBBL scientists identified the first pheromone for green lacewings (Chrysopa spp.), which are voracious predators of aphids and other small, soft-bodied insects and mites. Recent research progress on this pheromone system has been achieved on two fronts: the mode of pheromone biosynthesis, and pheromone commercialization. While the key pheromone component, iridodial, can be detected from single field-collected goldeneyed lacewing (Chrysopa oculata) males, laboratory-reared males are completely devoid of iridodial. The only compound found to trigger iridodial production in laboratory-reared male lacewings is nepetalactol, which is one of the two pheromone components of many aphid species. Thus, it appears that C. oculata males, as larvae and/or adults, must feed on the pheromone-producing stage of aphids (i.e. oviparae) in order to produce iridodial. With regard to commercialization, a company (Sterling International Inc.) was granted an NSF/SBIR grant ($150K) in the winter of 2009 to develop “Beneficial insect attractants and dispensers for enhanced insect biological control in organic food production.” Phase I of this SBIR was completed June 30, 2010, during which time tests conducted at Beltsville, MD and Spokane, WA, demonstrated proof of the concept.

Review Publications
Aldrich, J.R., Zhang, Q., Torres, J., Winterton, S., Han, B., Miller, G.L., Chauhan, K.R. 2009. Prothoracic gland semiochemicals of green lacewings (neuroptera: chrysopidae). Journal of Chemical Ecology. 35(10):1181-1187.

Tillman, P.G., Aldrich, J.R., Khrimian, A., Cottrell, T.E. 2010. Pheromone attraction and cross-attraction of Nezara, Acrosternum, and Euschistus spp. stink bugs (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) in the field. Environmental Entomology. 39(2):610-617.

Khrimian, A., Lance, D.R., Mastro, V.C., Elkinton, J.S. 2010. Improved synthesis of (3E,6E,9Z)-1,3,6,9-nonadecatetraene, inhibitor of attraction of bruce spanworm, Operophtera bruceata, to pheromone traps for monitoring winter moth, Operophtera brumata. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 58(3):1828-1833.

Gonzalez-Gaona, E., Sanchez-Martinez, G., Zhang, A., Lozano-Gutierrez, J., Carmona-Sosa, F. 2010. Validation of two pheromonal compounds for monitoring pink hibiscus mealybug in Mexico. Agrociencia Magazine. 44:65-73.

Aldrich, J.R., Khrimian, A., Camp, M. 2009. Semiochemically based monitoring of the invasion of the brown marmorated stink bug and unexpected attraction of the native green stink bug (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) in Maryland. Florida Entomologist. 92:483-491.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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