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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Invasive Insect Biocontrol & Behavior Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #302600

Research Project: DISCOVERY AND DEVELOPMENT OF CHEMICALS FOR INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT OF BITING ARTHROPODS AND URBAN PESTS

Location: Invasive Insect Biocontrol & Behavior Laboratory

Title: Sex pheromone of the black citrus aphid, Toxoptera aurantii (Boyer de Fonscolombe)(Hemiptera: Aphididae)

Author
item Han, Bao-yu - China Jiliang University
item Wang, Meng-xin - China Jiliang University
item Zheng, Ying-cha - China Jiliang University
item Niu, Yu-qun - China Jiliang University
item Cheng, Pan - China Jiliang University
item Chauhan, Kamal
item Zhang, Qing-he - Sterling International, Inc.

Submitted to: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/24/2014
Publication Date: 7/17/2014
Citation: Han, B., Wang, M., Zheng, Y., Niu, Y., Cheng, P., Chauhan, K.R., Zhang, Q. 2014. Sex pheromone of the black citrus aphid, Toxoptera aurantii (Boyer de Fonscolombe)(Hemiptera: Aphididae). Journal of Chemical Ecology. 4(5):179-187.

Interpretive Summary: The soft bodied common sucking pest insect of tea plantations, also called the “tea aphid”, is one of the most destructive insects in commercial tea plantations in Southern China. The most practical way to monitor or control this insect is through its communication signals, called pheromones. Catnip, a member of the mint plant family, produces volatile chemicals which have been identified as common components of the aphid pheromone. We identified pheromone components of tea aphids. The mixture of isolated catnip component and its derivative exhibited strong attraction of tea aphids when applied to reproduce pheromone in the field studies. Identification of sex pheromone provides a new opportunity for developing a potential pheromone-based monitoring and management strategy for the sexual phase of the tea aphids. Farmers practicing integrated pest management may use this research.

Technical Abstract: The black citrus aphid, Toxoptera aurantii, also called the “tea aphid”, is one of the most destructive pest insects in the commercial tea plantations/gardens in Southern China. It has an autoecious holocyclic life cycle on the tea plants in the subtropical and temperate regions. In autumn, as day-length drops, winged sexuparae of T. aurantii emerge and produce both wingless oviparae and winged males, and the oviparae release sex pheromone to attract males for mating. Our GC-MS analysis of the aeration extract sample showed that T. aurantii oviparae produce and release (4aS,7S,7aR)-nepetalactone and (1R,4aS,7S,7aR)-nepetalactol at 4.3-4.9:1 ratio. Field trapping bioassays on different ratios/doses of these two synthetic candidates in individuals and binary blends confirmed their significant behavioral attractions to T. aurantii males (and sexuparae) as the two sex pheromone components. Identification of T. aurantii sex pheromone provides a new opportunity for developing a potential pheromone-based monitoring and management strategy for the sexual phase of the tea aphids and maybe even for the alate sexparous generation in late summer and fall.