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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CHEMICAL SIGNALS FOR MANAGING INSECTS
2011 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
This is the final report for bridging project 1275-22000-259-00D, which replaced five year project 1275-22000-234-00D. Over the life of the project, research progress in the identification of insect chemical signals was made by the isolation and identification of semiochemicals for key insect pests. These pests included Colorado potato beetle, fruit flies, cocoa pod borer, dogwood borer, yellowjackets, and brown marmorated stink bug; predators such as green lacewings; and others.

Research progress was also made in using semiochemicals to manage targeted pests and their natural enemies through the identification of synthetic chemical lures (pheromones), repellents and other behavior-modifying compounds useful for directly monitoring and/or suppressing native and invasive insect pests. For example, research on the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) resulted in commercialization of lures and/or traps by at least three companies. In addition, attractants were developed for key predators and parasites that are potentially valuable tools to enhance the natural biological control of pests in an environmentally friendly way.


4.Accomplishments
1. Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is powerfully attracted to the pheromone of another stink bug. BMSB was shown to be attracted to methyl (E,E,Z)-2,4,6-decatrienoate (EEZ-MD), produced by a different stink bug. The research resulted in commercialization of this attractant by three U.S. companies, providing the only available lure and traps for monitoring and suppression of this devastating pest.

2. First pheromone (iridodial) from green lacewings identified. Green lacewings (Chrysopa spp.) are voracious predators of destructive aphids and other small, soft-bodied insects and mites. ARS scientists discovered that the lacewing (C. oculata) males, as larvae and/or adults, must feed on the pheromone-producing stage of aphids in order to produce their own pheromone, iridodial. Iridodial can then be used to as an attractant for other native predators to enhance biological pest control even more. Efforts are ongoing to develop a commercial product including the iridodial as part of a “super-lure” for attraction of multiple native predators that prey on destructive insects.

3. Aggregation pheromone for the Colorado potato beetle discovered. ARS scientists discovered an aggregation pheromone produced by a destructive insect of potatoes, the Colorado potato beetle (CPB). The pheromone is a chemical that, when produced, attracts other CPBs to the source so that they aggregate together. This pheromone can be used as a powerful tool to monitor the CPB populations, or in decisions as to how to manage CPB populations.


Review Publications
Jang, E.B., Siderhurst, M.S., Khrimian, A. 2011. Di- and Tri-flourinated analogs of methyl eugenol: attractiveness to and metabolism in the oriental fruit fly, bactrocera dorsalis (hendel). Journal of Chemical Ecology. 37:553-564.

Last Modified: 9/20/2014
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