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Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 405, Issue 20, pp 6389–6403 | Cite as

On-site airborne pheromone sensing

  • Christoph Wehrenfennig
  • Matthias Schott
  • Tina Gasch
  • Rolf Alexander Düring
  • Andreas Vilcinskas
  • Claus-Dieter Kohl
Review

Abstract

Pheromones and other semiochemicals play an important role in the natural world by influencing the behavior of plants, mammals, and insects. In the latter case, species-dependent pheromone communication has numerous applications, including the detection, trapping, monitoring and guiding of insects, as well as pest management in agriculture. On-site sensors are desirable when volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are used as semiochemicals. Insects have evolved highly selective sensors for such compounds, so biosensors comprising complete insects, isolated organs or individual proteins can be highly effective. However, isolated insect organs have a limited lifetime as biosensor, so biomimetic approaches are needed for prolonged monitoring, novel applications, or measurements in challenging environments. We discuss the development of on-site biosensors and biomimetic approaches for airborne-pheromone sensing, together with biomimetic VOC sensor systems. Furthermore, the infochemical effect describing the anthropogenic contamination of the ecosystem through semiochemicals, will be considered in the context of novel on-site pheromone sensing-systems.

Keywords

Infochemical Semiochemical Pheromone sensing Biosensors Biomimetic chemical sensors 

Abbreviations

DRIFT

diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform

EAG

electroantennography

e-nose

electronic nose

FETs

field-effect transistors

IMS

ion mobility spectrometry

NTD

needle trap device

OBPs

odorant-binding proteins

QMBs

quartz-crystal microbalances

SAW

surface-acoustic-wave

SOMMSA

selective odorant measurement of a multi-sensor array

VOCs

Volatile organic compounds

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the state Hesse (Germany) within the joint-project “LOEWE-AmbiProbe – mass spectrometric in situ analysis in the sectors health, environment, climate, and safety.” The authors thank the members of the gas sensor group at the Institute of Applied Physics Giessen for valuable comments and Dr. Richard M. Twyman for editing the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christoph Wehrenfennig
    • 1
    • 2
  • Matthias Schott
    • 3
  • Tina Gasch
    • 3
  • Rolf Alexander Düring
    • 2
  • Andreas Vilcinskas
    • 3
    • 4
  • Claus-Dieter Kohl
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Applied PhysicsJLU GiessenGiessenGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Soil Science and Soil ConservationJLU GiessenGiessenGermany
  3. 3.Institute for Phytopathology and Applied ZoologyJLU GiessenGiessenGermany
  4. 4.Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IMEProject Group BioresourcesGiessenGermany

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