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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Biology, Control, and Area-Wide Management of Fruit Flies and Other Quarantine Pests

Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research

Title: Green light synergistically enhances male sweetpotato weevil sex pheromone response

Author
item McQuate, Grant

Submitted to: Scientific Reports
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 3, 2014
Publication Date: March 28, 2014
Citation: Mcquate, G.T. 2014. Green light synergistically enhances male sweetpotato weevil sex pheromone response. Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/srep.2014-04499.

Interpretive Summary: Sweetpotato, based on total production, is the 7th most important staple crop in the world. It is commercially grown in over 100 countries, and has been relied on, in many countries, to provide food security. Sweetpotato weevil is a major pest of sweetpotato in most areas of cultivation, the feeding of which induces production in the sweetpotato root of extremely bitter tasting and toxic sesquiterpenes which can render the sweetpotato unfit for consumption. A female-produced sex pheromone, to which males are highly attracted, has been identified for sweetpotato weevil and is valuable for use in managing sweetpotato weevil populations so as to minimize root damage. Reported here are results of research that documents over 5-fold increase in male sweetpotato weevil catch in traps baited with this pheromone when the pheromone is presented in traps that also include a green light provided by a solar-powered, light-emitting diode (LED). The combination of olfactory and night-visible visual cues significantly enhance trap effectiveness for this nighttime-active insect species. These results provide promise for improved sweetpotato weevil detection and suppression in mass trapping programs.

Technical Abstract: Sweetpotato, Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lamarck, commercially grown in over 100 countries, is the 7th most important staple crop in the world. Sweetpotato weevil is a major pest of sweetpotato in most areas of cultivation, the feeding of which induces production in the sweetpotato root of extremely bitter tasting and toxic sesquiterpenes which can render the sweetpotato unfit for consumption. A significant step towards improved management of this weevil species was the identification of a female-produced sex pheromone [(Z)-3-dodecenyl (E)-2-butenoate] to which males are highly attracted. Reported here are results of research that documents over 5-fold increase in male sweetpotato weevil catch in traps baited with this pheromone and a green light provided by a solar-powered, light-emitting diode (LED). The combination of olfactory and night-visible visual cues significantly enhanced trap effectiveness for this nighttime-active insect species. These results provide promise for improved sweetpotato weevil detection and suppression in mass trapping programs.

Last Modified: 11/28/2014
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