Submitted to: BARC Poster Day
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 10, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The Colorado potato beetle (CPB) is a major pest of potato throughout the world. Adaptability of CPB and heavy use of synthetic pesticides for control has led to the development of insecticide resistance, and a shifting focus towards alternative controls. Glycoalkaloids in potato were implicated as resistance factors against the CPB, though the mechanism for their detection has remained unclear. We have now identified taste neurons in adult CPB which respond to the glycoalkaloid leptineI from Solanum chacoense. Stimulation of neurons within sensilla on the mouthparts with leptineI resulted in high frequency, dose dependent responses from a single, identifiable neuron. Solanine and tomatine, glycoalkaloids present in cultivated potato and tomato respectively, elicited irregular firing and bursting activity by multiple neurons within the same sensilla. Discovery of an identifiable receptor neuron for leptineI provides a mechanism by which potato glycoalkaloids are detected by CPB, and may be used to discover and evaluate potential feeding deterrents. Deterrent chemistry could be used as a component of biorational control methods for CPB such as "push-pull" strategies, where insects are repelled by resistant or deterrent plants in combination with attracticide bait formulations.