, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 89–96 | Cite as

Production of semiochemical and allelobiotic agents as a consequence of aphid feeding

  • Sarah Y. Dewhirst
  • John A. PickettEmail author
Review Paper


Aphids have an extremely intimate relationship with their plant hosts. Although this might suggest that aphid infestation would be largely cryptic, there are a wide range of changes that can be detected behaviourally, chemically and also at the molecular genetic level. Colonisation by aphids can cause release of semiochemicals characteristic of the aphid species and besides reducing acceptability to incoming aphids; these can enable recruitment of specific parasitoids. Some semiochemicals involved in these processes can also influence the defence status of neighbouring intact plants through air or the rhizosphere. Electrophysiological and behavioural studies on the aphids, their parasitoids and other organisms facilitate the identification of compounds having direct effects on plant defence. New developments from work on semiochemicals such as (Z)-jasmone and 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one, and allelobiotic agents such as 6-hydroxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-β-carboline-3-carboxylic acid and 2,4-dihydroxy-7-methoxy-1,4-benzoxazin-3-one, as well as new work on these compounds and others as potential phytopheromones are discussed.


Allelopathy cis-Jasmone Induction Defence Control 



Rothamsted Research receives grant-aided support from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) of the United Kingdom. This work was supported by the UK Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel/Switzerland 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Sustainable Pest and Disease Management, Chemical Ecology Group, Biological Chemistry DepartmentRothamsted ResearchHarpendenUK

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