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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Mayer, Marion
item Mitchell, Everett

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Science and Health
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/26/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: It is claimed that the best control of moth populations by disrupting mating requires the complete mixture of the female sex signal. Often more than one compound can be found downwind of a female, but it can be difficult to determine which compounds in fact comprise the signal. Scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, FL, show how a minor component of the cabbage looper signal effects discrimination but another does not, although both compounds are detected by specialized antennal receptor cells. Discussed are difficulties apparently overlooked in the past determining which compounds actually comprise the signal. These difficulties point out that fresh approaches are needed both theoretically and practically to more efficiently disrupt mating in agricultural crops.

Technical Abstract: Males discriminate between the single most important individual component of the sex pheromone of the female cabbage looper, Trichoplusia ni (Hubner), (Z)-7-dodecenyl acetate (Z7-12:Ac) and a mixture containing Z7-12:Ac and the other five putative components. The manifestation of discrimination is not an enhancement of captures by the mixture, rather, it tis a reduction of captures in a paired trap baited with Z7-12:Ac by itself Previous experiments showed that either or both of (Z)-7-tetradecenyl acetate (Z7-14:Ac) and (Z)-9-tetradecenyl acetate (Z9-14:Ac) were responsible for this discrimination. This report provides evidence that Z7-14:Ac is the active component. The other component, Z9-14:Ac, appears to have no demonstrable effect on behavior. Two ancillary assays were performed, one provides evidence that the proximity of the paired traps affects the capability of demonstrating discrimination; the other showing there is no effect on captures by different natural rubber substrates. Th results are discussed with reference to the behavior that is effected by the above three components, the composition of the native sex pheromone and whether or not Z7-12:Ac might be a supernormal releaser of behavior.

Last Modified: 05/23/2017
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