Composition of Strawberry Floral Volatiles and their Effects on Behavior of Strawberry Blossom Weevil, Anthonomus rubi
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of Chemical Ecology. 2020, 46 (11-12), 1069-1081. 10.1007/s10886-020-01221-2
The strawberry blossom weevil (SBW), Anthonomus rubi, is a major pest in strawberry fields throughout Europe. Traps baited with aggregation pheromone are used for pest monitoring. However, a more effective lure is needed. For a number of pests, it has been shown that the attractiveness of a pheromone can be enhanced by host plant volatiles. The goal of this study was to explore floral volatile blends of different strawberry species (Fragaria x ananassa and Fragaria vesca) to identify compounds that might be used to improve the attractiveness of existing lures for SBW. Floral emissions of F. x a. varieties Sonata, Beltran, Korona, and of F. vesca, were collected by both solid-phase microextraction (SPME) and dynamic headspace sampling on Tenax. Analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry showed the floral volatiles of F. x ananassa. and F. vesca were dominated by aromatic compounds and terpenoids, with 4-methoxybenzaldehyde (p-anisaldehyde) and α-muurolene the major compounds produced by the two species, respectively. Multi-dimensional scaling analyses separated the blends of the two species and explained differences between F. vesca genotypes and, to some degree, variation between F. x ananassa varieties In two-choice behavioral tests, SBW preferred odors of flowering strawberry plants to those of non-flowering plants, but weevils did not discriminate between odors from F. x ananassa and F. vesca flowering plants. Adding blends of six synthetic flower volatiles to non-flowering plants of both species increased the preference of SBW for these over the plants alone. When added individually to non-flowering plants, none of the components increased the preference of SBW, indicating a synergistic effect. However, SBW responded to 1,4-dimethoxybenzene, a major component of volatiles from F. viridis, previously found to synergize the attractiveness of the SBW aggregation pheromone in field studies.