Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and University of California-Riverside (UCR) scientists have jointly identified a key component of the female psylla’s chemical sex attractant, or pheromone, which could set the stage for luring amorous males to their doom.
Entomologists Christelle Guédot, Dave Horton and Peter Landolt at the ARS Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory in Wapato, Wash., discovered the compound, 13 methyl heptacosane (13-MeC27), in collaboration with Jocelyn Millar, a professor of entomology at UCR’s College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.
Besides luring male psylla onto sticky traps, the compound’s discovery could give rise to lures for either monitoring the pest or disrupting its mating. Both approaches could diminish the reliance on insecticides—saving growers money, sparing beneficial insects, and forestalling the pest’s development of insecticide resistance.
Pear psylla’s most damaging stage is the nymph. The flat, red-eyed nymphal stage causes reductions in fruit quality as its honeydew drips onto and marks developing fruit. Heavy infestations cause premature leaf fall and loss of yield.
Researchers performed chemical analyses and behavioral assays to isolate and then identify the volatile chemicals extracted from female pear psylla that were most attractive to males. The team’s studies showed that 13-MeC27 was the most attractive of several chemicals evaluated. Laboratory assays were then done which confirmed that the attractiveness of the compound to males was equivalent to male response to females. Experiments in pear orchards confirmed that the compound is attractive to males and can be used to bait traps to capture pear psylla.
Under a patent application filed in September 2009 by ARS on behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the scientists intend to combine 13-MeC27 with other attractants to produce blends for use in pheromone dispensers, bait stations or traps.
The team published its findings in the Journal of Chemical Ecology.
ARS is USDA’s principal intramural scientific research agency. The research supports the USDA priority of promoting international food security.
Jan Suszkiw | EurekAlert!
Kakao in Monokultur verträgt Trockenheit besser als Kakao in Mischsystemen
18.09.2017 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Ultrasound sensors make forage harvesters more reliable
28.08.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy