Volatile unsaturated hydrocarbons emitted by seedlings of Brassica species provide host location cues to Bagrada hilaris

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Bagrada hilaris Burmeister, is a stink bug native to Asia and Africa and invasive in the United States, Mexico, and more recently, South America. This species can cause serious damage to various vegetable crops in the genus Brassica, with seedlings being particularly susceptible to B. hilaris feeding activity. In this study, the role of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by seedlings of three Brassica species on the host preference of B. hilaris was evaluated. In dual choice arena and olfactometer bioassays, adult painted bugs preferred B. oleracea var. botrytis and B. napus over B. carinata. Volatiles from B. oleracea seedlings were collected and bioassayed with B. hilaris adults and late stage nymphs, using electroantennographic (EAG) and behavioral (olfactometer) techniques. When crude extracts of the VOCs from B. oleracea var. botrytis seedlings and liquid chromatography fractions thereof were bioassayed, B. hilaris adults and nymphs were attracted to the crude extract, and to a non-polar fraction containing hydrocarbons, whereas there were no responses to the more polar fractions. GC-MS analysis indicated that the main constituents of the non-polar fraction was an as yet unidentified diterpene hydrocarbon, with trace amounts of several other diterpene hydrocarbons. The major diterpene occurred in VOCs from both of the preferred host plants B. oleracea and B. napus, but not in VOCs of B. carinata. Our results suggest that this diterpene, alone or in combination with one or more of the minor compounds, is a key mediator in this insect-plant interaction, and could be a good candidate for use in lures for monitoring B. hilaris in the field.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalPLoS One
Publication statusPublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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