Location: Subtropical Horticulture Research
2012 Annual Report
2. Use synthetic host-based attractants to develop tools for detection and control of RAB for use by action agencies and avocado growers.
1. Chemical identification/separation of volatiles (GC, GC-MS, spinning band distillation).
2. Electrophysiology studies of RAB olfactory response (EAG and GC-EAD).
3. Lab bioassays of RAB behavioral response (Olfactometers, flight tunnels, video analysis) and
4. Field tests to confirm semiochemical efficacy, lure formulations, and field life.
Field and laboratory studies were conducted by ARS scientists (Miami, FL) to identify host-based attractants for the redbay ambrosia beetle (RAB), which vectors a lethal wilt disease of avocado and related trees in the plant family Lauraceae. A novel method was developed for capture of live host-seeking females in the field, and this has facilitated controlled laboratory bioassays and electrophysiology studies to confirm the chemicals used by RAB for host location. Field tests included (1) a comparison of RAB attraction to U.S. species of Lauraceae to determine host preferences, and (2) evaluations of several essential oils as alternative attractants to replace the currently-used manuka oil lure, which has a field life of only 2-3 wk in Florida. This information will facilitate development of improved lures for better detection/monitoring of RAB by action agencies (Florida DPI, CAPS).