Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 381–396

Isolation and identification of volatile kairomone that affects acarine predatorprey interactions Involvement of host plant in its production


  • M. Dicke
    • Department of EntomologyAgricultural University
  • T. A. Van Beek
    • Department of Organic ChemistryAgricultural University
  • M. A. Posthumus
    • Department of Organic ChemistryAgricultural University
  • N. Ben Dom
    • Department of Organic ChemistryAgricultural University
  • H. Van Bokhoven
    • Department of EntomologyAgricultural University
    • Department of Organic ChemistryAgricultural University
  • Ae. De Groot
    • Department of Organic ChemistryAgricultural University

DOI: 10.1007/BF01021772

Cite this article as:
Dicke, M., Van Beek, T.A., Posthumus, M.A. et al. J Chem Ecol (1990) 16: 381. doi:10.1007/BF01021772


A volatile kairomone emitted from lima bean plants (Phaseolus lunatus) infested with the spider miteTetranychus urticae, was collected on Tenax-TA and analyzed with GC-MS. Two components were identified as the methylene monoterpene (3E)-4,8-dimethyl-1,3,7-nonatriene and the methylene sesquiterpene (3E,7E)-4,8,12-dimethyl-1,3,7,11-tridecatetraene, respectively, after purification by preparative GC on a megabore column and recording of UV, IR, and [1H]NMR spectra. The response of two species of predatory mites towards the identified chemicals was tested in a Y-tube olfactometer. Four of the compounds tested, linalool (3,7-dimethyl-1,6-octadien-3-ol), (E)-β-ocimene [(3E)-3,7-dimethyl-1,3,6-octatriene], (3E)-4,8-dimethyI-1,3,7-nonatriene, and methyl salicylate attracted females ofPhytoseiulus persimilis. Linalool and methyl salicylate attracted females ofAmblyseius potentillae. The response ofA. potentillae to these two kairomone components was affected by the rearing diet of the predators in the same way as was reported for the response to the natural kairomone blend: when reared on a carotenoid-deficient diet, the predators responded to the volatile kairomone ofT. urticae, but when reared on a carotenoid-containing diet they did not. The identified kairomone components are all known from the plant kingdom. They are not known to be produced by animals de novo. In addition to biological evidence, this chemical evidence suggests that the plant is involved in production of the kairomone. Based on the present study and literature data on the response ofT. urticae to infochemicals, it is concluded that the kairomone component linalool is also a component of a volatile spider-mite dispersing pheromone.

Key words

Kairomonespider mitespredatory miteslima bean leavestritrophic systemmethylene monoterpenemethylene sesquiterpenerearing dietcaroteneidentification

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990