, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 861-876

Isolation of pheromone synergists of bark beetle,Pityogenes chalcographus, from complex insect-plant odors by fractionation and subtractive-combination bioassay

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Capillary gas chromatography with columns of different polarity and two-dimensional fractionation of effluents were used with novel subtrac-tive-combination bioassays to rigorously isolate host- and insect-produced pheromone synergists of the bark beetlePityogenes chalcographus (Coleop-tera: Scolytidae). Methyl (E,Z)-2,4-decadienoate (E,Z-MD) and the previously identified chalcogran were found to be synergistically attractive to both sexes.E,Z-MD was produced sex-specifically in males, and only when they had fed on host-plant tissue. A Norway spruce monoterpene fraction (including α-pinene, β-pinene, and camphene) increased the attractive response to the pheromone components. Dose-response curves forE,Z-MD and chalcogran in the laboratory bioassay indicated the two components are highly synergistic. The isolation methods are important for further progress in identifying certain semiochemical synergists found in trace amounts in complex chemical mixtures, such as when insects must feed in host plants in order to produce pheromone.