Differential Response of a Local Population of Entomopathogenic Nematodes to Non-Native Herbivore Induced Plant Volatiles (HIPV) in the Laboratory and Field


Recent work has shown the potential for enhanced efficacy of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) through their attraction to herbivore induced plant volatiles. However, there has been little investigation into the utilization of these attractants in systems other than in those in which they were identified. We compared (E)-β-caryophyllene and pregeijerene in the highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) agroecosystem in their ability to enhance the attraction of EPN to and efficacy against the system’s herbivore, oriental beetle (Anomala orientalis). The relative attractiveness of (E)-β-caryophyllene and pregeijerene to a local isolate of the EPN species Steinernema glaseri was tested in a six-arm olfactometer in the laboratory to gather baseline values of attraction to the chemicals alone in sand substrate before field tests. A similar arrangement was used in a V. corymbosum field by placing six cages with assigned treatments and insect larvae with and without compound into the soil around the base of 10 plants. The cages were removed after 72 h, and insect baits were retrieved and assessed for EPN infection. The lab results indicate that in sand alone (E)-β-caryophyllene is significantly more attractive than pregeijerene to the local S. glaseri isolate Conversely, there was no difference in attractiveness in the field study, but rather, native S. glaseri were more attracted to cages with G. mellonella larvae, no larvae, and cages with the blank control and G. mellonella larvae.

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We thank Eugene Fuzy, John Sanders, and Rich Keller for technical assistance. We would also like to thank Kaitlyn Mathis for identifying Solenopsis molesta for us.

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Correspondence to Monique J. Rivera.

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Rivera, M.J., Rodriguez-Saona, C., Alborn, H.T. et al. Differential Response of a Local Population of Entomopathogenic Nematodes to Non-Native Herbivore Induced Plant Volatiles (HIPV) in the Laboratory and Field. J Chem Ecol 42, 1259–1264 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10886-016-0789-5

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  • Entomopathogenic nematodes
  • Herbivore induced plant volatiles
  • (E)-β-caryophyllene
  • Pregeijerene
  • Vaccinium corymbosum