Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 42, Issue 12, pp 1265–1280 | Cite as

Emission of Volatile Compounds from Apple Plants Infested with Pandemis heparana Larvae, Antennal Response of Conspecific Adults, and Preliminary Field Trial

  • Valentino Giacomuzzi
  • Luca Cappellin
  • Iuliia Khomenko
  • Franco Biasioli
  • Stefan Schütz
  • Marco Tasin
  • Alan L. KnightEmail author
  • Sergio Angeli


This study investigated the volatile emission from apple (Malus x domestica Borkh., cv. Golden Delicious) foliage that was either intact, mechanically-damaged, or exposed to larval feeding by Pandemis heparana (Denis and Schiffermüller) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). Volatiles were collected by closed-loop-stripping-analysis and characterized by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry in three time periods: after 1 h and again 24 and 48 h later. Volatiles for all treatments also were monitored continuously over a 72-h period by the use of proton transfer reaction – time of flight-mass spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS). In addition, the volatile samples were analyzed by gas chromatography-electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD) using male and female antennae of P. heparana. Twelve compounds were detected from intact foliage compared with 23 from mechanically-damaged, and 30 from P. heparana-infested foliage. Interestingly, six compounds were released only by P. heparana-infested foliage. The emission dynamics of many compounds measured by PTR-ToF-MS showed striking differences according to the timing of herbivory and the circadian cycle. For example, the emission of green leaf volatiles began shortly after the start of herbivory, and increased over time independently from the light-dark cycle. Conversely, the emission of terpenes and aromatic compounds showed a several-hour delay in response to herbivory, and followed a diurnal rhythm. Methanol was the only identified volatile showing a nocturnal rhythm. Consistent GC-EAD responses were found for sixteen compounds, including five aromatic ones. A field trial in Sweden demonstrated that benzyl alcohol, 2-phenylethanol, phenylacetonitrile, and indole lures placed in traps were not attractive to Pandemis spp. adults, but 2-phenylethanol and phenylacetonitrile when used in combination with acetic acid were attractive to both sexes.


Malus x domestica Pandemis heparana Herbivore-induced volatiles CLSA-GC-MS PTR-ToF-MS Lepidoptera Tortricidae 



This project was co-funded by the Internal Research Funds of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy. Valentino Giacomuzzi acknowledges a Doctoral Fellowship from the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano. Luca Cappellin acknowledges funding from H2020-EU.1.3.2 (grant agreement n. 659315). We are grateful to the Laimburg Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry - Department of Entomology for providing the insects used in this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valentino Giacomuzzi
    • 1
  • Luca Cappellin
    • 2
    • 3
  • Iuliia Khomenko
    • 2
  • Franco Biasioli
    • 2
  • Stefan Schütz
    • 4
  • Marco Tasin
    • 5
  • Alan L. Knight
    • 6
    Email author
  • Sergio Angeli
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bozen-BolzanoPiazza Università 5BolzanoItaly
  2. 2.Research and Innovation CentreFondazione Edmund Mach (FEM)San Michele all’AdigeItaly
  3. 3.School of Engineering and Applied SciencesHarvard UniversityCambridge,USA
  4. 4.Büsgen-Institute, Department of Forest Zoology and Forest ConservationUniversity of GöttingenGöttingenGermany
  5. 5.Department of Plant Protection Biology, Unit of Integrated Plant ProtectionSwedish University of Agricultural ScienceAlnarpSweden
  6. 6.USDA, Agricultural Research ServiceWapatoUSA

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