Characterization of Male-Produced Aggregation Pheromone of the Bean Flower Thrips Megalurothrips sjostedti (Thysanoptera: Thripidae)

Saliou Niassy, Amanuel Tamiru, James G.C. Hamilton, William D.J. Kirk, R. Mumm, Cassie Sims, W.J. de Kogel, Sunday Ekesi, N.K. Maniania, Krishnakumari Bandi, Fraser Mitchell, Sevgan Subramanian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aggregation of the bean flower thrips, Megalurothrips sjostedti (Trybom) (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), has been observed on cowpea, Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp. To understand the mechanism underpinning this behavior, we studied
the responses of M. sjostedti to headspace volatiles from conspecifics in a four-arm olfactometer. Both male and female M. sjostedti were attracted to male, but not to female odor. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/
MS) analyses revealed the presence of two distinct compounds in male M. sjostedti headspace, namely (R)-lavandulyl 3-methylbutanoate (major compound) and (R)-lavandulol (minor compound); by contrast, both compounds were only present in trace amounts in female headspace collections. A behavioral assay using synthetic compounds showed that male M. sjostedti was attracted to both (R)-lavandulyl 3-methylbutanoate and (R)-lavandulol, while females responded only to (R)-lavandulyl 3-methylbutanoate. This is the first report of a male-produced aggregation pheromone in the genus Megalurothrips. The bean flower thrips is the primary pest of cowpea, which is widely grown in sub-Saharan Africa. The attraction of male and female M. sjostedti to these compounds offers an opportunity to develop ecologically sustainable management methods for M. sjostedti in Africa.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-355
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Volume45
Early online date9 Feb 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2019

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