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Abstract

Male Phyllotreta striolata (F.) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) produce an aggregation pheromone: Identification of male-specific compounds and interaction with host plant volatiles.

The chrysomelid beetle Phyllotreta striolata is an important pest of Brassicaceae in Southeast Asia and North America. Here, we identified the aggregation pheromone of a population of P. striolata from Taiwan, and host plant volatiles that interact with the pheromone. Volatiles emitted by feeding male P. striolata attracted males and females in the field. Headspace volatile analyses revealed that six sesquiterpenes were emitted specifically by feeding males. Only one of these, however, elicited an electrophysiological response from antennae of both sexes. A number of host plant volatiles, e.g., 1-hexanol, (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol, and the glucosinolate hydrolysis products allyl isothiocyanate (AITC), 3-butenyl isothiocyanate, and 4-pentenyl isothiocyanate also elicited clear responses from the antenna. The active male-specific compound was identified as (+)-(6R,7S)-himachala-9,11-diene by chiral stationary phase gas-chromatography with coupled mass spectrometry, and by comparison with reference samples from Abies nordmanniana, which is known to produce the corresponding enantiomer. The pheromone compound was synthesized starting from (–)-?-himachalene isolated from Cedrus atlantica. Under field conditions, the activity of the synthetic pheromone required concomitant presence of the host plant volatile allyl isothiocyanate. However, both synthetic (+)-(6R,7S)-himachala-9,11-diene alone and in combination with AITC were attractive in a two-choice laboratory assay devoid of other natural olfactory stimuli. We hypothesize that P. striolata adults respond to the pheromone only if specific host volatiles are present. In the same laboratory set up, more beetles were attracted by feeding males than by the synthetic stimuli. Thus, further research will be necessary to reveal the components of a more complex blend of host or male-produced semiochemicals that might enhance trap attractiveness in the field.



Beran, F.; Mewis, I.; Srinivasan, R.; Svoboda, J.; Vial, C.; Mosimann H.; Boland, W.; Büttner, C.; Ulrichs, CH.; Hansson, B.S.; Reinecke, A. 2011. Male Phyllotreta striolata (F.) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) produce an aggregation pheromone: Identification of male-specific compounds and interaction with host plant volatiles. Journal of Chemical Ecology 37 (1), 85-97.