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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Miami, Florida » Subtropical Horticulture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #409438

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

Location: Subtropical Horticulture Research

Title: Male Mediterranean fruit fly attractants identified by high-performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC)

item VÁZQUEZ, AIMÉ - Oak Ridge Institute For Science And Education (ORISE)
item Tabanca, Nurhayat
item Yang, Xiangbing
item KENDRA, PAUL - Retired ARS Employee

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/8/2023
Publication Date: 7/31/2023
Citation: Vázquez, A., Tabanca, N., Yang, X., Kendra, P.E. 2023. Male Mediterranean fruit fly attractants identified by high-performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC). Annual Meeting of the Florida Entomological Society. Jupiter Beach, FL. July 29-August 2, 2023.

Interpretive Summary: Abstract only

Technical Abstract: Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), commonly known as Mediterranean fruit fly or Medfly, is a highly invasive and destructive pest that causes great damage to hundreds of fruits and vegetables worldwide. Currently, Medfly detection and monitoring relies on the parapheromone Trimedlure (TML), a male-specific attractant. However, the cost and limited availability of TML, has prompted a quest for the identification of alternative attractants to supplement management programs. Previous bioassays revealed that male Medflies are attracted to tea tree oil (TTO), an essential oil (EO) from Melaleuca alternifolia. Initial thin layer chromatography (TLC) separation generated five major fractions of TTO, two of which were attractive to male Medflies. Since TTO is available from multiple manufacturers, there is considerable variation in its chemical composition. In this study, we used high performance TLC (HPTLC) to evaluate variations in chemical composition of TTO from different sources that may affect the observed attraction, featuring the chemical complexity and quality issues of TTO. HPTLC protocols were developed to enhance the separation and isolation of individual TTO components. Results were compared to those obtained by GC-MS. This research will lead to the discovery of novel Medfly attractants with potential applications for the improvement of management programs for this devastating pest.