Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Decipher Eggplant Pest's Chemical Call

Date:
October 18, 2006
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
A rude surprise could be in store for the eggplant flea beetle, bane of commercial growers and home gardeners alike. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have identified a blend of compounds produced by the pesky leaf eater that could usher in baited traps to lure it to its doom.

A rude surprise could be in store for the eggplant flea beetle, bane of commercial growers and home gardeners alike. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have identified a blend of compounds produced by the pesky leaf eater that could usher in baited traps to lure it to its doom.
Credit: Image courtesy of Debbie Roos, North Carolina Cooperative Extension

A rude surprise could be in store for the eggplant flea beetle, bane of commercial growers and home gardeners alike. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have identified a blend of compounds produced by the pesky leaf eater that could usher in baited traps to lure it to its doom.

Related Articles


The beetle, Epitrix fuscula, is most destructive in the spring, when eggplant seedlings are transplanted from the greenhouse to the field and are less tolerant of defoliation. It also attacks other solanaceous crops, like tomato. Insecticide spraying and cultural practices are the chief means of controlling the pest, which occurs throughout the United States but is most common in the South.

Traps or monitoring stations baited with synthetic versions of its aggregation pheromone--a kind of chemical call to gather for mating and feeding--could help growers better time their spraying, or even reduce their insecticide use, notes ARS entomologist Bruce Zilkowksi. Along with colleagues Bob Bartelt, Allard Cossé and Richard Petroski--all with the ARS National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR) in Peoria, Ill.--Zilkowski will describe the research in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Chemical Ecology.

In host-feeding studies at the center's Crops Bioprotection Research Unit, Zilkowski and research colleagues identified six volatile compounds that male E. fuscula beetles emit while feeding on eggplant leaves. They synthesized the compounds and monitored both male and female beetles' sensory responses using a technique called electro-antennographic detection. The most abundant compounds--(2E,4E,6Z)-2,4,6-nonatrienal and (2E,4E,6E)-2,4,6-nonatrienal--stimulated the greatest electrical response in the test insects' antennae.

In field studies with eggplant at the NCAUR and at an organic farm in spring 2005, traps containing synthetic forms of the two attractive compounds captured 500 percent more male and female beetles than unbaited controls. Zilkowski's team is now trying to fine-tune the ratio of the compounds for maximum performance. They're also examining the compounds' tendency to form isomers, and attempting to determine whether these structurally different variants will help or hinder the development of a commercial pheromone formulation.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Researchers Decipher Eggplant Pest's Chemical Call." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 October 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061017093310.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2006, October 18). Researchers Decipher Eggplant Pest's Chemical Call. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061017093310.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Researchers Decipher Eggplant Pest's Chemical Call." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061017093310.htm (accessed November 1, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Watch Baby Goose Survive A 400-Foot Cliff Dive

Watch Baby Goose Survive A 400-Foot Cliff Dive

Buzz60 (Oct. 31, 2014) — For its nature series Life Story, the BBC profiled the barnacle goose, whose chicks must make a daredevil 400-foot cliff dive from their nests to find food. Jen Markham has the astonishing video. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
World's Salamanders At Risk From Flesh-Eating Fungus

World's Salamanders At Risk From Flesh-Eating Fungus

Newsy (Oct. 31, 2014) — The import of salamanders around the globe is thought to be contributing to the spread of a deadly fungus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alcoholic Drinks In The E.U. Could Get Calorie Labels

Alcoholic Drinks In The E.U. Could Get Calorie Labels

Newsy (Oct. 31, 2014) — A health group in the United Kingdom has called for mandatory calorie labels on alcoholic beverages in the European Union. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Malaria Threat in Liberia as Fight Against Ebola Rages

Malaria Threat in Liberia as Fight Against Ebola Rages

AFP (Oct. 31, 2014) — Focus on treating the Ebola epidemic in Liberia means that treatment for malaria, itself a killer, is hard to come by. MSF are now undertaking the mass distribution of antimalarials in Monrovia. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins