Goelen, T, Vuts, J, Sobhy, IS, Wäckers, F, Caulfield, JC, Birkett, MA, Rediers, H, Jacquemyn, H and Lievens, B (2021) Identification and application of bacterial volatiles to attract a generalist aphid parasitoid: from laboratory to greenhouse assays. Pest Management Science, 77 (2). 930 - 938. ISSN 1526-498X

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Recent studies have shown that microorganisms emit volatile compounds that affect insect behaviour. However, it remains largely unclear whether microbes can be exploited as a source of attractants to improve biological control of insect pests. In this study, we used a combination of coupled gas chromatography‐electroantennography (GC–EAG) and Y‐tube olfactometer bioassays to identify attractive compounds in the volatile extracts of three bacterial strains that are associated with the habitat of the generalist aphid parasitoid Aphidius colemani, and to create mixtures of synthetic compounds to find attractive blends for A. colemani. Subsequently, the most attractive blend was evaluated in two‐choice cage experiments under greenhouse conditions.

GC–EAG analysis revealed 20 compounds that were linked to behaviourally attractive bacterial strains. A mixture of two EAG‐active compounds, styrene and benzaldehyde applied at a respective dose of 1 μg and 10 ng, was more attractive than the single compounds or the culture medium of the bacteria in Y‐tube olfactometer bioassays. Application of this synthetic mixture under greenhouse conditions resulted in significant attraction of the parasitoids, and outperformed application of the bacterial culture medium.

Compounds isolated from bacterial blends were capable of attracting parasitoids both in laboratory and greenhouse assays, indicating that microbial cultures are an effective source of insect attractants. This opens new opportunities to attract and retain natural enemies of pest species and to enhance biological pest control.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final version of this accepted manuscript and all relevant information related to it can be found online at; https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ps.6102
Uncontrolled Keywords: Aphidius colemani; Bacillus; electroantennogram; multitrophic interactions; natural enemy; VOCs
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QK Botany
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
S Agriculture > SB Plant culture
S Agriculture > SF Animal culture
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2021 15:33
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2021 01:30
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/9118

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