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Plant odors as fruit fly attractants

Quilici S., Atiama-Nurbel T., Brévault T.. 2014. In : Shelly, T.E. ; Epsky, N. ; Jang, E.B. ; Reyes-Flores, J. ; Vargas, R.I. (eds.). Trapping and the Detection, Control, and Regulation of Tephritid Fruit Flies. Dordrecht : Springer, p. 119-144.

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-017-9193-9_4

Plant odors consist of a mixture of volatile compounds that are conveyed by diffusion through air and may disperse over a long distance. They play a major role in mediating insect-plant relationships, particularly food location and selection of suitable sites for mating or oviposition. This chapter presents state-of-the-art research on the response of fruit flies (Diptera, Tephritidae) to plant odors and their potential for the development of trapping systems. Main research results from Tephritids of economic importance (i.e., Rhagoletis, Ceratitis, Bactrocera/Dacus, and Anastrepha) show evidence of response to (i) general plant volatiles from host or non-host plants, the so-called 'green leaf volatiles', (ii) essential oils from host or non-host plants, and (iii) fruit odors (whole fruit, wounded or crushed fruit, extracts, etc.). Synergies between plant odors and food odors or sex pheromones are also addressed. Factors including insect physiology (age, mating status, egg load, etc.), experience (learning), and genetic background can substantially modify the response pattern to plant odors. One of the main challenges of using plant odors as fruit fly attractant is to improve the technology for identification (analysis), synthesis and emission (dispensers) of key compounds that may compete with natural volatile blends in the field. Further research should include the role of microorganisms in host location and recognition by fruit flies. Synthetic plant odors could be used either as kairomones for trapping systems, as allomones to push flies away from the crop or to disrupt host location, or as synomones to attract natural enemies to the crop.

Mots-clés : odeur; plante; composition chimique; biochimie; huile essentielle; relation plante animal; tephritidae; lutte biologique; capture animale

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