Location: Chemistry Research2016 Annual Report
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. Objective 2. Develop pheromones and kairomones to improve the efficacy of mass-reared entomophagous nematodes used in biocontrol. Objective 3. Develop kairomone-based attractants and repellants to control arthropod pests of honey bees, including the Varroa mite and the small hive beetle. Objective 4. Elucidate kairomone-based communication systems of tephritid fruit flies (Anastrepha and Bactrocera spp.) and the impact of kairomones on accelerated development of sexual signaling and reproductive maturity.
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.
Considerable progress has been made by Gainesville, Florida, ARS scientists to address the major goals of 6036-22000-028-00D. For the first objective a major component pheromone blend for the cranberry weevil has been optimized to allow for population monitoring and thus reduce the need for labor-intensive manual cranberry weevil capture. Additionally, a feeding damage-induced sesquiterpene was identified from the fruiting pepper plant. This compound strongly attracted mated female pepper weevil females. Attempts to isolate the pure sesquiterpene attractant revealed a labile compound, thus necessitating the use of a crude plant extract containing the sesquiterpene attractant during insect bioassays. For the second objective Gainesville, Florida, ARS scientists currently have scaled-up and simplified the isolation of a plant-produced kairomone (nematode attractant) to greater than 95% purity. This kairomone has been used for associated Gainesville ARS nematode research as well as utilized by several other research groups on related research. A procedure to isolate nematode produced pheromones was scaled up to provide a standardized crude preparation containing known, as well as anticipated but yet unknown pheromones. In objective 3, ARS researchers in Gainesville, Florida, have discovered an aggregation pheromone for the small hive beetle for use in a pheromone-based trapping system. The target strategy of this system is directed at attraction and capturing small hive beetle adults upon emergence from the soil before they enter the hive. The pheromone has been synthesized and used in conjunction with a blend of fruit volatiles and placed in a trap. The pheromone currently has a patent pending. The components of this attractant are highly attractive and extremely successful in trapping the small hive beetle. This discovery has the potential to control an invasive species that is effecting honey bee survival worldwide.
1. Attractant for the small hive beetle. The small hive beetle, Aethina tumida is a European honey bee pest that is destructive to honey bee colonies, causing damage to comb, stored honey and pollen. ARS researchers at Gainesville, Florida, have discovered an aggregation pheromone for the small hive beetle for use in a pheromone-based trapping system. The target strategy of this system is directed at attraction and capturing small hive beetle adults upon emergence from the soil before they enter the hive. The components of this attractant are highly attractive and extremely successful in trapping the small hive beetle. This discovery has the potential to control an invasive species that is severely negatively affecting honey bee survival worldwide, thus increasing honey bee health and productivity.
Amsalem, A., Teal, P.E., Grozinger, C.M., Hefetz, A. 2014. Precocene-I inhibits juvenile hormone biosynthesis, ovarian activation, aggression and alters sterility signal production in bumble bee (Bombus terrestris) workers. Journal of Experimental Biology Online. 217:3178-3185.
Nyasembe, V.O., Cheseto, X., Kaplan, F., Foster, W.A., Teal, P.E., Tumlinson, J.H., Borgemeister, C., Torto, B. 2015. The invasive American weed parthenium hysterophorus can negatively impact malaria control in Africa. PLoS One. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0137836.
Amsalem, E., Galbraith, D.A., Cnaani, J., Teal, P.E., Grozinger, C.M. 2015. Conservation and modification of genetic and physiological toolkits underpinning diapause in bumble bee queens. Molecular Ecology. 24:5596-5615.
Alvarenga, C.D., Diaz, V., Stuhl, C.J., Sivinski, J.M. 2015. Contrasting brood-sex ratio flexibility in two opiine (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) parasitoids of tephritid (Diptera) fruit files. Journal of Insect Behavior. 29(1):25-36.
Beck, J.J., Higbee, B.S. 2015. Plant or fungal-produced conophthorin as an important component of host plant volatile-based attractants for agricultural lepidopteran insect pests. In: Maienfisch, P., Stevenson, T., editors. Discovery and Synthesis of Crop Protection Products. Washington, DC: Oxford University Press. p. 111-127.