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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » Vegetable Crops Research » Research » Research Project #437471

Research Project: Developing an Attractant for Lygus Hesperus Derived from Host Plant Volatile Compounds

Location: Vegetable Crops Research

Project Number: 5090-21000-068-18-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2019
End Date: Aug 31, 2021

The primary goal of this project is to develop attractants for the alfalfa stink bug, Lygus hesperus, that represents a major pest in alfalfa seed production fields.

We will use dynamic headspace methods to collect volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of undamaged and damaged plants in situ. The headspace odors will be collected onto an adsorbent and eluted in an organic solvent and stored until use. The VOCs will be identified using gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Behavioral responses of Lygus hesperus to the plants and various combinations of their VOCs will be done in a greenhouse using choice test assays with Y-tubes and other methods appropriate for VOCs. Extracts that elicit behavioral response will be subjected to gas chromatography linked antennographic detection (GC-EAD) wherein biologically active ingredients from the extract will be isolated by using stink bug antennae as biological sensing element. Active constituent chemicals will be identified by GC-mass spectrometry and absolute identity will be established by injecting the synthetic standards back into the GC-EAD and confirming the induced biological response. Once an attractant has been developed for the stink bug, Lygus hesperus, it will be tested on pollinators, such as leafcutting bees and honey bees.