Author(s): Phelan PL, Lin H
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Abstract The chemical basis underlying orientation to fruit and fungal odors was investigated for the dried-fruit beetle,Carpophilus hemipterus (L.). In wind-tunnel bioassays of walking and flight response from 1.8 m, beetles were attracted to odors of the yeastSaccharomyces cerevisiae on agar, aseptic banana, or banana inoculated withS. cerevisiae, although both banana substrates elicited greater response than the yeast alone. When presented in a two-choice bioassay, the yeast-inoculated banana attracted approximately twice as many beetles as did the aseptic banana. GC-MS analysis of the headspace volatiles above these odor sources revealed a somewhat more complex and concentrated volatile profile for yeast-inoculated banana than for aseptic banana. The odor from yeast on agar had fewer components, and these were present at lower concentrations than the odors of either banana substrate. By blending mineral-oil or aqueous solutions of the 18 components of inoculated-banana odor in varying concentrations, it was possible to mimic closely the headspace profile of the natural odor. This synthetic odor also elicited beetle attraction in the wind tunnel at levels comparable to the inoculated banana. Through a series of bioassays in which individual components were subtracted from or added to a synthetic odor blend, it was determined that ethyl acetate, acetaldehyde, 2-pentanol, and 3-methylbutanol comprised the simplest blend of compounds evoking full behavioral response. However, 2-methylpropanol or butanol were apparently interchangeable with 3-methylbutanol in this blend, and comparable response could also be elicited by replacing acetaldehyde with a combination of both 2-pentanone and 3-hydroxy-2-butanone. Thus, our results suggest that this generalist insect herbivore locates its hosts by a long-range response to a variety of blends of common fruit volatiles, whose concentrations are enhanced by fungi.
This article was published in J Chem Ecol
and referenced in Journal of Pharmacovigilance