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Identification of a Sex Attractant Pheromone for Male Winterform Pear Psylla, Cacopsylla pyricola

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Pear psylla, Cacopsylla pyricola (Förster) (Hemiptera: Psyllidae), a major economic pest of pears, uses a female-produced sex attractant pheromone. We compared the chemical profiles obtained from cuticular extracts of diapausing and post-diapause winterform males and females to isolate and identify the pheromone. Post-diapause females produced significantly more of the cuticular hydrocarbon, 13-methylheptacosane, than post-diapause males and diapausing females. In olfactometer assays, conspecific males were attracted to synthetic racemic 13-methylheptacosane, whereas females were not, indicating that the behavioral response to this chemical is sex-specific. Furthermore, 13-methylheptacosane was as attractive to males as a cuticular extract of females, suggesting that this chemical was largely responsible for the female attractiveness. A field study showed that males but not females were attracted to 13-methylheptacosane, confirming the olfactometer results. This study provides evidence that 13-methylheptacosane is a sex attractant pheromone for C. pyricola winterform males. This is the first identification of a sex pheromone in the Psylloidea. Our results open the path to developing monitoring tools and possibly new strategies for integrated pest management of this insect.
Guédot, Christelle , Millar, Jocelyn G. , Horton, David R. , Landolt, Peter J.
Includes references
Journal of chemical ecology 2009 Dec., v. 35, no. 12
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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