Submitted to: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 18, 2003
Publication Date: October 1, 2003
Citation: James, D.G., Petroski, R.J., Cosse, A.A., Zilkowski, B.W., Bartelt, R.J. 2003. Bioactivity, synthesis, and chirality of the sex pheromone of current stem girdler, Janus integer. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 29(10):2189-2199. Interpretive Summary: The currant stem girdler is a devastating pest of currants and gooseberries in North America. Damage is caused by tunneling of larvae in canes and also by the girdling habit of the adult female, which results in the death of young shoots. We identified a sex pheromone and developed a chemical synthetic pathway to the substance. Availability of a sex pheromone for the currant stem girdler, in pheromone-baited traps, would substantially improve insecticide-spray management of this cryptic sawfly pest by providing growers an effective means of monitoring emergence, thereby warning growers just before crop damage occurs.
Technical Abstract: It was previously reported that only females of the currant stem girdler, Janus integer Norton, produce a compound (Z)-9-octadecen-4-olide (1), that is sensitively detected by the antennae of only males. These characteristics suggested a pheromonal function, and this has now been confirmed with behavioral tests. Field tests conducted during two seasons in a commercial red currant field in Washington State showed that synthetic racemic 1 is attractive to male J. integer under natural conditions. A clear dose-response was evident, with the greatest numbers of girdlers caught in sticky traps baited with 10 mg of the pheromone (in rubber septa) and least in traps baited with 1 mg or less. During May 2002, 10-, 5-, 3-, and 1- mg baited traps caught means of 41.4, 26.6, 6.7, and 2.7 males/trap/visit, respectively, with a maximum of 229 males caught in a single trap baited with 5 mg. A new synthetic method for racemic 1 is presented. The absolute configuration of natural 1 from the male sawflies was determined to be (R). The potential for using the sex pheromone of J. integer to improve management of this currant and gooseberry pest, is discussed.