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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Miami, Florida » Subtropical Horticulture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #403435

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

Location: Subtropical Horticulture Research

Title: Deciphering plant-insect-microorganism signals for sustainable crop production

item THOMAS, GARETH - Rothamsted Research
item RUSMAN, QUINT - University Of Zürich
item Morrison, William - Rob
item MAGALHAES, DIEGO - University Of São Paulo
item DOWELL, JORDAN - University Of California, Davis
item NGUMBI, ESTHER - University Of Illinois
item OSEI-OWUSU, JONATHAN - University Of Environment And Sustainable Development
item KANSMAN, JESSICA - Pennsylvania State University
item Gaffke, Alexander
item JAYANTHI, KAMALA - Icar - Indian Institute Of Horticultural Research
item Kim, Seong
item Tabanca, Nurhayat

Submitted to: Biomolecules EISSN 2218-273X
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/13/2023
Publication Date: 6/15/2023
Citation: Thomas, G., Rusman, Q., Morrison III, W.R., Magalhaes, D.M., Dowell, J.A., Ngumbi, E., Osei-Owusu, J., Kansman, J., Gaffke, A.M., Jayanthi, K., Kim, S., Tabanca, N. 2023. Deciphering plant-insect-microorganism signals for sustainable crop production. Biomolecules EISSN 2218-273X. 13(6):997.

Interpretive Summary: Semiochemicals are behaviour- or development-modifying chemical signals produced by organisms including plants, insects and microbes, which can play important roles in controlling pests and pathogens. The awareness of the harmful effects of pesticides to the environment and human health has guided research to harness semiochemicals as more sustainable alternatives to pesticides for crop protection. Hence, ARS scientists in Manhattan (Kansas), Tallahassee (Florida), Oxford (Mississippi) and Miami (Florida) in collaboration with scientists at Rothamsted Research (Harpenden, England), University of Zurich (Zurich, Switzerland), University of São Paulo (Piracicaba, Brazil), University of California (Davis, California), University of Illinois (Urbana, Illinois), University of Environment and Sustainable Development (Somanya, Ghana), Pennsylvania State University (University Park, Pennsylvania), and ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (Bangalore, India) participated in the “Early Career Symposium: Deciphering Plant-Insect-Microorganism Signals for Sustainable Crop Production” as part of the Agrochemicals Division (AGRO) technical program at the 264th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Chicago, Illinois, USA, on August 21-25, 2022. The symposium covered a broad range of current research topics including examples of how semiochemicals have been applied to agricultural systems. This review provides an overview of the symposium discussions and identifies the current and future research priorities to be considered for integrated pest management strategies to be credible alternatives to the application of synthetic pesticides.

Technical Abstract: Agricultural crop productivity relies on the application of chemical pesticides to reduce pest and pathogen damage. However, chemical pesticides also pose a range of ecological, environmental and economic issues. This includes the development of pesticide resistance by insect pests and pathogens, rendering pesticides less effective. Alternative sustainable crop protection tools should therefore be considered. Semiochemicals are signalling molecules produced by organisms including plants, microbes, and insects, which cause behavioural or developmental changes in receiving organisms. Manipulating semiochemicals could provide a more sustainable approach for the management of insect pests and pathogens across crops. Here, we review the role of semiochemicals in the interaction between plants, insects and microbes, including examples of how they have been applied to agricultural systems. We highlight future research priorities to be considered for semiochemicals to be credible alternatives to the application of chemical pesticides.