Electrophysiological and behavioural responses of the pollen beetle, Meligethes aeneus, to volatiles from a non-host plant, lavender, Lavandula angustifolia (Lamiaceae)
Mauchline, A., Birkett, M. A., Woodcock, C. M., Pickett, J. A., Osborne, J. L. and Powell, W. (2008) Electrophysiological and behavioural responses of the pollen beetle, Meligethes aeneus, to volatiles from a non-host plant, lavender, Lavandula angustifolia (Lamiaceae). Arthropod-Plant Interactions, 2 (2). pp. 109-115. ISSN 1872-8847
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1007/s11829-008-9038-3
A semiochemical based push-pull strategy for control of oilseed rape pests is being developed at Rothamsted Research. This strategy uses insect and plant derived semiochemicals to manipulate pests and their natural enemies. An important element within this strategy is an understanding of the importance of non-host plant cues for pest insects and how such signals could be used to manipulate their behaviour. Previous studies using a range of non-host plants have shown that, for the pollen beetle Meligethes aeneus (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae), the essential oil of lavender, Lavandula angustifolia (Lamiaceae), was the most repellent. The aim of this study was to identify the active components in L. angustifolia oil, and to investigate the behaviour of M. aeneus to these chemicals, to establish the most effective use of repellent stimuli to disrupt colonisation of oilseed rape crops. Coupled gas chromatography-electroantennography (GC-EAG) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) resulted in the identification of seven active compounds which were tested for behavioural activity using a 4-way olfactometer. Repellent responses were observed with (±)-linalool and (±)-linalyl acetate. The use of these chemicals within a push-pull pest control strategy is discussed.