Location: Fruit and Vegetable Insect Research
2013 Annual Report
Objectives of this project were to develop an efficient monitoring tool for potato psyllid which can be used to replace or complement currently available tools. Several target chemicals extracted from the cuticles of female psyllids and potentially involved in sex attraction were tested in laboratory assays and in field trials. Assays were done in cooperation with scientists in Texas and a pheromone chemist with University of California. Compounds tested in assays were synthesized by the university cooperator. One compound showed significant biological activity in laboratory trials, and modest attractiveness in one field trial. Additional laboratory trials suggest that different populations of potato psyllid may differ in response to targeted compounds, and that chemicals extracted from psyllids of one population may be attractive to males of that genetic population but not to psyllids from other geographic regions. Studies are ongoing to identify other chemicals involved in attraction, with objectives to improve effectiveness of the original targeted compound under field conditions and to determine how geographic origin of the psyllid affects response to attractants. The end objective of having an efficient monitoring tool for potato psyllid which is based upon chemical attraction has been complicated by our behavioral assays showing that different populations of the psyllid respond unequally to our possible attractants.