Synergism of pheromone and host-plant volatile blends in the attraction of Grapholita molesta males
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Control of Grapholita molesta (Busck) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), a major pest of stone and pome fruits, is successfully achieved by mating disruption. Under these conditions, tools other than conventional pheromone dispensers are needed for flight monitoring. The objective of the present work was to
determine whether plant volatiles synergizemale G. molesta attraction to a suboptimal dose of synthetic sex pheromone. The plant blend (referred to as 5VB), a mixture of three green leaf volatiles [(Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, (Z)-3-hexenol, and (E)-2-hexenal] and two aromatics [benzaldehyde (BZA) and benzonitrile (BZN)], was added to the suboptimal pheromone dose (2 ng on filter paper) in log steps (up to 10 000 x the pheromone dose) to test synergism of pheromone and plant blends. In addition, the effect of individual plant volatiles on male responses was investigated by adding to the suboptimal pheromone dose each of the four-compound plant-volatile blends, resulting from eliminating one volatile from the 5VB at a time, or each plant volatile alone. Flight behaviour and the time to reach the source were recorded. The 5VB alone was not attractive to G. molesta males, but at a ratio of 1: 1 000 (Ph:5VB) or higher, the attractiveness of the suboptimal pheromone dose increased, to a level similar to that of the optimal pheromone dose (10 ng). All tested plant volatiles, except BZA, synergized the response to the pheromone when added individually, but only (Z)-3-hexenol and BZN did so to a level not significantly different from the Ph: 5VB blend. Aromatics had a stronger effect than green leaf volatiles (GLVs), because their removal, but not the removal of GLVs, decreased landing responses. The addition of the 5VB decreased significantly the time males needed to reach the odour source. The observed enhanced male attraction to mixtures of pheromone and plant volatiles will facilitate the development of lures for G. molesta adult flight monitoring.