Release of sex pheromone and its precursors in the pine sawfly Diprion pini (Hym., Diprionidae)
The first identification of a sex pheromone of a pine sawfly (Hymenoptera, Diprionidae) dates back almost thirty years. Since then, female-produced pheromones of over twenty diprionid species have been investigated by solvent extraction followed by separation and identification. However, no study has shown what the females actually release. Collection of airborne compounds using absorbtion on charcoal filter as well as solid phase microextraction (SPME) followed by analysis employing gas chromatography combined with mass spectrometry (GC-MS), revealed an unusual system in Diprion pini, in which the pheromone precursor alcohol, 3,7-dimethyl-2-tridecanol, is released together with acetic, propionic, butyric and isobutyric acids. The corresponding acetate, propionate and butyrate esters of 3,7-dimethyl-2-tridecanol were also found in the samples. All esters were electrophysiologically active, and the propionate and isobutyrate were attractive in trapping experiments. Based on these and earlier reported results, it seems that at least in part of its range, the pheromone response of D. pini is not very specific with regard to the functional group, as long as this is an ester.
Key words.Hymenoptera Diprionidae Diprion pini SPME GC-MS EAG 3,7-dimethyl-2-tridecanol
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