Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #228130

Title: Plant derived compounds and extracts with potential as aphid repellents

item Vaughn, Steven

Submitted to: Annals of Applied Biology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/20/2008
Publication Date: 4/15/2009
Citation: Halbert, S.E., Corsini, D., Wiebe, M., Vaughn, S.F. 2009. Plant derived compounds and extracts with potential as aphid repellents. Annals of Applied Biology. 154:303-307.

Interpretive Summary: Viruses transmitted non-persistently by aphids cause major problems for many cultivated plants, particularly crops that rely on vegetative propagation such as potatoes. These viruses often are transmitted by aphids that do not colonize the affected crops, so insecticides are generally useless for controlling the spread of the viruses. Chemical repellents to protect potatoes from aphid attack would decrease virus incidence and would lead to substantial savings for seed potato growers. In this study, we assessed a variety of potential natural compounds as aphid repellents, and devised a convenient method to screen a large number of substances for potential aphid repellency. Of 55 chemicals tested, six showed promise as aphid repellents.

Technical Abstract: We devised a method for screening various substances for possible aphid repellency. Corn leaf aphids (Rhopalosiphum maidis) were released in an arena and allowed to select paired green tiles coated with petroleum jelly alone or petroleum jelly containing 1% of the substance being tested. Aphids adhering to tiles were counted 24 hours later. If significantly fewer aphids landed on treated tiles, the substance was considered to have potential for repelling aphids. Fifty-five substances were tested. Most showed no activity, but several, including ß-citronellol, farnesol, geraniol, linalool, oils distilled from several species of Artemisia and Achillea millefolia L. (yarrow) oil showed some promise.