Insect attraction to synthetic herbivore-induced plant volatile-treated field crops

Marja Simpson, Geoffrey Gurr, Aaron Simmons, Steve Wratten, David G. James, Gary Leeson, Helen Nicol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Plants produce natural enemy-attracting semiochemicals known as herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPV) in response to herbivore damage. Deployment of synthetic HIPV in crops could enhance the biological control of pests. To test this, six HIPV [methyl salicylate (MeSA), methyl anthranilate (MeA), methyl jasmonate (MeJA), benzaldehyde (Be), cis-3-hexenyl acetate (HA), cis-hexen-1-ol (He)] in three concentrations (0.5%, 1.0% and 2.0% v/v) mixed with a vegetable oil adjuvant, Synertrol (R) (Organic Crop Protectants Pty Ltd, Australia), were sprayed onto winegrape, broccoli and sweet corn plants.The relative abundance of insects within treated plots was assessed with non-attracting, transparent sticky traps at varying time intervals up to 22 days after spraying.In the vineyard experiment, Trichogrammatidae responded to Be and MeA (0.5%) and Be (1.0%); Encyrtidae and Bethylidae responded to MeA (1.0%); Scelionidae responded to all compounds at 1.0% and 2.0%; and predatory insects responded to MeA. In sweet corn, parasitoids as a group and Encyrtidae responded to MeA (0.5%); Braconidae responded to all compounds at 0.5% and Synertrol-only; thrips responded to all compounds at 0.5% and 1.0%; while all parasitoids responded to all compounds at 0.5% and 1.0% and Synertrol-only. In broccoli, parasitoids as a group and Scelionidae responded to Be, HA, He and Synertrol-only; Trichogrammatidae responded to Be (0.5%), He (0.5% and 1.0%), MeJA (1.0%) and MeSA (0.5%); and thrips responded to all compounds at to 0.5% and 1.0%.Significant attraction of insects occurred up to 6 days after the HIPV application, suggesting that plants may have been induced to produce endogenous volatiles that attracted insects over an extended period.The results obtained are discussed in relation to the potential utility of synthetic HIPV to enhance the biological control of pests.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-57
Number of pages13
JournalAgricultural and Forest Entomology
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011

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