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Do Synthetic Herbivore-Induced Plant Volatiles Enhance Biological Control by Mirid Predators in Greenhouses?

Grant number: 18/25151-5
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2019
Effective date (End): February 29, 2020
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Plant Health
Principal Investigator:José Maurício Simões Bento
Grantee:Diego Bastos Silva
Supervisor abroad: Alberto Urbaneja Gacia
Home Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Agrarias (IVIA), Spain  
Associated to the scholarship:16/12771-0 - Use of mirids predators for biological control of pests, BP.PD

Abstract

Biological pest control in greenhouse crops is usually based on periodical releases of mass-produced natural enemies. However, in some cases there are shortcomings in pest control efficacy, which often can be attributed to the poor establishment of natural enemies. Their establishment and population numbers can be enhanced through semiochemical attractants. Herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) are effective attractants for natural enemies and researchers have demonstrated that synthetic HIPVs can be used to attract those beneficial insects into crops. Our and Urbaneja's group previous studies have shown an attraction of mirid predators to volatiles of tomato plant infested by Tuta absoluta; such volatiles compounds were identified and quantified. Nevertheless, information on synthetic-mediated behavioral mechanisms of mirid predators is limited. Thus, due to such a lack of data, we aim to investigate the potential of synthetic HIPVs as a cultural tool to enhance biological control by mirid predators through answering the follow questions: (1) Which compound presents stronger Y-tube response to three mirid predators: Nesidiocoris tenuis, Macrolophus pygmaeus and Dicyphus bolivari?; (2) Do the selected compounds based on the Y-tube behavioral responses attract and retain those mirid predators in the greenhouse baited area? And; (3) Do the attracted mirid predators decrease the target pest? This new challenge will decipher another stage of the complex network of semiochemical-mediated pest-predator interaction, by revealing important compounds for the development of semiochemical-based strategies to enhance T. absoluta control.