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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

Research Project: Improved Semiochemicals for Detection of Coffee Berry Borer for Detection and Control

Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research

2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1. Establish attraction behavior of coffee berry borer. 2. Identify behaviorally active compounds using GC-EAD and GC-MS. 3. Validate attraction using lab and field bioassay and develop formulations and traps.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Attraction studies - we proposed to develop information on potential attractants of CBB using proven techniques used against other pests. The first is a solid understanding of the pest behavior and ecology; especially as it related to host plants such as coffee. Due to the fact that the pest spends a significant part of its life cycle in the berry, it is unclear if conventional pheromones are important in the biology of this insect. However we suspect kairomones (plant derived volatile chemicals arising from the plant may serve as important behavior cues. Identification of these chemicals will be carried out using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). In order to determine if the chemicals are detected by the insect we will employ coupled gas chromatography-electroantennogram detection (GC-EAD) and even gustatory electrophysiology (taste recordings). Putative identified chemicals will be tested behaviorally in behavior arena such as olfactometers and a behavioral “servosphere” which allows us to measure precise distances and angles of insect that walk towards or from chemicals. Repellents - repellents will be identified using many of the procedures lists for research on attractants. Since both repellents and attracts can give similar electrophysiological signals, most of the discovery will be based on the “bioassay”, tests of the compound against the whole insect.

Field testing - Once putative semiochemicals are identified we plan to test these in the field to establish their efficacy under real-world situations. Formulations and/or dispensers for these new semiochemicals will be developed and tested in collaboration with private industry partners who can manufacture the semiochemicals and traps for purchase by the public. (Technology transfer)


3.Progress Report:

The goal of the Trust Agreement is improved semiochemicals for detection of coffee berry borer. The work being done contributes directly to objective 2 of the parent project to identify attractants from host and non-host plants and determine physiological and environmental factors affecting or modulating pest behavior.

Evaluations of lures and trap types were conducted in a Kona coffee farm on the island of Hawaii. Several release substrates for a known attractant (methanol:ethanol) were evaluated along with lower cost trap types. Identified coffee volatiles are currently being tested in the field for attraction of coffee berry borer. Combinations of volatiles are being tested together with a known attractant to improve and enhance trap captures of the coffee berry borer. Headspace volatile collections from coffee berries are ongoing through the coffee growing season. Results of tests showed that similar vane types of traps worked the best in the field. Pouch lures were also effective in capturing coffee berry borers for up to six weeks in the field. The addition of various combinations of identified coffee volatiles is showing an increase in trap capture of coffee berry borer. Further testing are ongoing.


Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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