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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGEMENT OF INVASIVE SCARABS, ROOT WEEVILS, AND OTHER BEETLES OF QUARANTINE SIGNIFICANCE IN HORTICULTURAL, TURF, AND NURSERY CROPS

Location: Application Technology Research Unit

Title: Ability of Stress-Related Volatiles to Attract and Induce Attacks by Xylosandrus Germanus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Scolytinae) and Other Ambrosia Beetles

Authors
item Ranger, Christopher
item Reding, Michael
item Persad, Anand -
item Herms, Daniel -

Submitted to: Agricultural and Forest Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 7, 2009
Publication Date: May 1, 2010
Repository URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10113/47314
Citation: Ranger, C.M., Reding, M.E., Persad, A.B., Herms, D.A. 2010. Ability of Stress-Related Volatiles to Attract and Induce Attacks by Xylosandrus Germanus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Scolytinae) and Other Ambrosia Beetles. Agricultural and Forest Entomology. 12:177-185.

Interpretive Summary: The ambrosia beetle, Xylosandrus germanus, is a serious pest of field-grown ornamental nursery trees. Studies were conducted to determine the attractiveness of volatiles commonly produced by stress trees to X. germanus. Volatile attractants were first tested by positioning traps baited with acetaldehyde, acetone, ethanol, and methanol in ornamental nurseries. Seasonal trap counts determined ethanol was the most attractive stress-related volatile to X. germanus. Methanol-baited traps were slightly attractive to X. germanus, while traps baited with acetaldehyde and acetone were not attractive to any ambrosia beetle. A series of tree injection experiments were also conducted to determine the ability of the aforementioned volatiles to induce attacks by ambrosia beetles under field conditions. Injection of ethanol into Magnolia virginiana induced the largest number of attacks, while injection of acetaldehyde induced more attacks than methanol or acetone. Xylosandrus germanus was the most predominant species emerging from M. virginiana injected with each of the stress-related volatiles. No attacks by wood-boring beetles were observed on water injected or uninjected control trees. Volatile collection and analysis confirmed the emission of acetaldehyde, acetone, ethanol, and methanol following their injection into M. virginiana. These results document Xylosandrus germanus prefers hosts emitting stress-related volatiles, particularly ethanol. Understanding the conditions and management practices triggering ethanol production by nursery stock will ultimately help to reduce ambrosia beetle attacks. In addition, injecting trees with ethanol shows promise as a trap tree strategy.

Technical Abstract: 1 Xylosandrus germanus typically colonizes physiologically-stressed deciduous hosts, but it is increasingly being recognized as a key pest of ornamental nursery stock. We tested the attractiveness of common plant stress-related volatiles to ambrosia beetles occupying the nursery agroecosystem, and their ability to induce attacks on select trees. 2 Stress volatile attractiveness was first assessed by positioning traps baited with acetaldehyde, acetone, ethanol, and methanol in ornamental nurseries. Cumulative trap counts confirmed ethanol was the most attractive stress-related volatile to X. germanus. Methanol-baited traps were slightly attractive to X. germanus, while traps baited with acetaldehyde and acetone were not attractive to any ambrosia beetle. 3 A series of tree injection experiments were also conducted to determine the ability of the aforementioned volatiles to induce attacks by ambrosia beetles under field conditions. Injection of ethanol into Magnolia virginiana induced the largest number of attacks, while injection of acetaldehyde induced more attacks than methanol or acetone. Xylosandrus germanus was the most predominant species emerging from M. virginiana injected with each of the stress-related volatiles. No attacks by wood-boring beetles were observed on water injected or uninjected control trees. 4 Solid-phase microextraction-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (SPME-GC-MS) confirmed the emission of acetaldehyde, acetone, ethanol, and methanol following their injection into M. virginiana. 5 Xylosandrus germanus has evolved an efficient olfactory-based mechanism for differentiating host quality. Injecting select trees with stress-related volatiles, particularly ethanol, shows promise as a sentinel trap tree strategy for X. germanus and other ambrosia beetles.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
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