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Identification of kairomones of second instar nymphs of the variegated coffee bug Antestiopsis thunbergii (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae)

Njihia T., Torto B., Murungi L.K., Irungu J., Mwenda D., Babin R.. 2017. Chemoecology, 27 (6) : p. 239-248.

The variegated coffee bug Antestiopsis thunbergii Gmelin is a key pest of Coffea arabica in East Africa. Although the bug feeds on various parts of the coffee plant, it has a strong preference for mature green berries which are essential for the bug to complete its life cycle, reproduce and enhance its longevity. To locate mature green coffee berries, we hypothesized that second instar nymphs, which are the most mobile and active feeding immature stage of the bug, must rely on key volatile compounds emitted by the host for recognition. We tested this hypothesis using behavioral and electrophysiological assays and chemical analysis. In olfactometer assays, the second instar nymphs were strongly attracted to volatiles emitted from mature green berries but avoided those from ripe coffee berries of C. arabica. Coupled gas chromatography¿electroantennographic detection (GC/EAD) isolated five antenally active components from mature green berries volatiles, four of which were identified by coupled GC¿mass spectrometry as toluene, anisole, methyl 3-ethyl-4-methylpentanoate and (5S,7S)-conophthorin. In concentration assays, in which second instar nymphs did not respond to toluene, they were strongly attracted to anisole, methyl 3-ethyl-4-methylpentanoate and (5S,7S)-conophthorin, and a blend from the three compounds at concentrations lower or equivalent to the natural volatile extract. Our results suggest that the blend from these three compounds allows host recognition in second instar nymphs of the variegated coffee bug and is a candidate kairomone for monitoring the pest in coffee plantations. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : spectrométrie de masse; chromatographie en phase gazeuse; maturité; attractif; composé de la flaveur; composé volatil; relation hôte parasite; pentatomidae; kairomones; coffea arabica; kenya; antestiopsis orbitalis

Thématique : Ravageurs des plantes; Méthodes de relevé

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