Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2004
Publication Date: 8/1/2004
Citation: Williams, L., III, C. Rodriguez-Saona, S. C. Castle, V. Manrique & J. S. Bernal. Exploitation of herbivore-induced plant volatiles for conservation biological control of Lygus species. Symposium: Biology and Management of Plant Bugs (Heteroptera: Miridae), 22nd International Congress of Entomology, Brisbane, Australia, August 2004.
Technical Abstract: Herbivory induces production and release of plant volatiles that attract natural enemies of the herbivores. Using plant volatiles to manipulate behavior of beneficial insects may be a powerful tool to enhance conservation biological control of crop pests. To provide a better understanding of this phenomenon and its potential for pest control, we have conducted a series of studies with Lygus Hesperus and an egg parasitoid, Anaphes iole. Our ultimate goal is to apply knowledge of plant volatile production toward biological control of Lygus. Initial studies using GC-MS demonstrated that plants damaged by Lygus feeding and oviposition emitted a complex mixture of volatile organic compounds that is released systemically throughout the plant. These results led to electroantennography studies that showed that A. iole perceived many of the plant volatiles released after Lygus damage. Heightened antennal sensitivity by female wasps to several induced volatiles suggests a role in host habitat location. Subsequent behavioral studies (olfactometer and flight cage) in the lab and greenhouse demonstrated that female A. iole were attracted to plants damaged by Lygus and to synthetic components of the plant volatile blend. Studies are currently underway to determine if synthetic components of Lygus-induced plant volatiles are attractive to A. iole under field conditions.