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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Miami, Florida » Subtropical Horticulture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #385197

Research Project: Mitigation of Invasive Pest Threats to U.S. Subtropical Agriculture

Location: Subtropical Horticulture Research

Title: Chemical composition of essential oils of Pulicaria species growing in Saudi Arabia and activity for Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata

item YUSUFOGLU, HASAN - Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University
item ALQARNI, MOHAMMED - Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University
item SALKINI, MOHAMMAD - Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University
item Tabanca, Nurhayat
item DEMIRCI, B - Anadolu Universtiy
item Kendra, Paul

Submitted to: Phytochemistry Letters
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/31/2021
Publication Date: 9/28/2021
Citation: Yusufoglu, H.S., Alqarni, M.H., Salkini, M.A., Tabanca, N., Demirci, B., Kendra, P.E. 2021. Chemical composition of essential oils of Pulicaria species growing in Saudi Arabia and activity for Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata. Phytochemistry Letters. 46:51-55.

Interpretive Summary: The Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly), Ceratitis capitata, is one of the most important agricultural pests worldwide, threatening fruit and vegetable production as well as global trade. New attractants could improve medfly detection, suppression, and eradication measures. Therefore, ARS scientists in Miami, FL, in collaboration with scientists at Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University (Al Kharj, Saudi Arabia) and Anadolu University (Eskisehir, Turkey) conducted research to identify potential new attractants from three species of Pulicaria (Asteraceae) native to Saudi Arabia. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of the essential oil (EO) isolated from P. arabica (PA), P. crispa (PC), and P. somalensis (PS) identified 28 to 44 constituents, belonging to the groups of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. The oxygenated sesquiterpenoids were the predominant class, comprising 51% to 65% of the total Pulicaria EOs. Overall, there were significant variations among plant species with respect to their EO components and percent composition. In short-range laboratory bioassays with male medflies, PAEO exhibited mild attractancy compared to tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), a known strong attractant for medfly, whereas PCEO and PSEO displayed no attractancy. Results indicated that P. arabica EO may be a source of new medfly kairomones with potential to improve detection of this serious economic pest.

Technical Abstract: The Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Tephritidae) is one of the most destructive agricultural pests in the world. New attractants are needed as a key strategy for detecting and suppressing insect pest densities. The aim of this study was to evaluate the attractiveness of essential oils isolated from the aerial parts of three Pulicaria species collected from the Al-kharj province of Saudi Arabia, targeting sterile medfly males. The volatile constituents of the aerial parts of P. arabica, P. crispa, and P. somalensis were characterized using gas chromatography-flame ionization detection and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. tau-Cadinol was found to be the major compound in the essential oils of P. arabica (38.6%) and P. crispa (53.5%), and intermedeol (15.9%), a-cadinol (9.7%), a-, b- (5.2% each), and g-eudesmol (9.1%) were the most abundant components in the essential oil of P. somalensis. Carvotanacetone (10.3%) was detected only in P. arabica. The essential oils from each of the three Pulicaria species were subjected to short-range attraction bioassays against the sterile male medfly C. capitata. The results were compared with the response to a known strong attractant, tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia); P. arabica exhibited mild attractancy, whereas neither P. crispa nor P. somalensis showed attractant activity.