Location: Vegetable Crops Research
Project Number: 5090-21220-004-12-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Oct 1, 2019
End Date: Feb 28, 2022
This work will investigate the defensive responses of the American cranberry, Vaccinium macrocarpon, to the pheromones of its most significant herbivorous insect associates. Objectives: 1. Measure plant responses to pheromones (acute and chronic exposure). 2. Measure impacts of the plant response on insect herbivores (pest species). 3. Report research findings to stakeholders.
For each objective, the general approach would be the following: 1. Acute and chronic exposure to insect pheromones. At large field-scales, expose cranberries to the sex pheromones of their most significant natural enemies: cranberry fruitworm (A. vaccinii), sparganothis fruitworm (S. sulfureana), and black-headed fireworm (R. naevana). Based on acute or chronic exposure, as well as pheromone concentration, investigate whether cranberries invoke a physiological response when exposed to such pheromones, measured in terms of jasmonic acid concentrations within insect-damaged tissues and uninjured tissues, and overall plant biomass. 2. Measure effects on herbivores. Observe levels of herbivory with and without exposure to sex pheromones, noting any reductions in herbivory attributable to the invoked defensive response. Note increases in plant biomass even in the absence of herbivores. 3. Report research findings through a wide variety of extension/outreach channels (local, regional, and national platforms).