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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Chemistry Research » Research » Research Project #430032

Research Project: Insect, Nematode, and Plant Semiochemical Communication Systems

Location: Chemistry Research

Project Number: 6036-22000-028-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Nov 24, 2015
End Date: Nov 23, 2020

Objective:
1. Develop new improved attractants for weevils (Anthonomus pepper and cranberry weevils and Sitophilus maize and rice weevils) based on combinations of host plant kairomones and/or aggregation pheromones. 2. Develop pheromones and kairomones to improve the efficacy of mass-reared entomophagous nematodes used in biocontrol. 3. Develop new technologies to detect and control invasive arthropod pests. 3A. Develop kairomone-based attractants and repellants to control arthropod pests of honey bees, including the Varroa mite and the small hive beetle. 3B. Identify microbe-generated semiochemicals that influence insects or microbes, for example nectar microbes that increase pollinator visits to flowering crops. 3C. Identify volatile biomarkers for insect-infested crop products, such as fruit fly infested tomatoes, bananas, and mangoes.

Approach:
Develop new and improved attractants for pest weevils based on combinations of host plant kairomones and/or aggregation pheromones. Develop pheromones and kairomones to improve the efficacy of mass-reared entomophagous nematodes used in biocontrol. Develop and test host plant volatile- and/or pheromone-based attractants and/or repellants to control arthropod pests of honey bees, including varroa mite and small hive beetle. Elucidate kairomone-based communication systems of tephritid fruit flies and the impact of kairmones on accelerated development of sexual signaling and reproductive maturity. This research will utilize numerous interactive laboratory- and field-based bioassays with insects, mites, nematodes, and plants, as well as purified biochemicals and other organisms. Isolation and identification of new bioactive chemicals that mediate arthropod and nematode behaviors and plant-arthropod/nematode interactions will be achieved using a combination of approaches including preparative GC, HPLC, preparative flash chromatography, GC-MS, FT0IR, NMR, micro-degradation, and synthesis where applicable. Major target insects for this research will include pest Coleoptera and Diptera that attack fruit and vegetable, Coleoptera and Acarina that impact honey bees, and Nematoda that control root insects. Other target insects may be selected as needed during progression of the project.