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Open AccessArticle

Does Ozone Alter the Attractiveness of Japanese White Birch Leaves to the Leaf Beetle Agelastica coerulea via Changes in Biogenic Volatile Organic Compounds (BVOCs): An Examination with the Y-Tube Test

1
Graduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-8589, Japan
2
School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Shizuoka, Shizuoka 422-8526, Japan
3
Research Faculty of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-8589, Japan
4
School of Applied Meteorology, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology (NUIST), Nanjing 210044, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(1), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11010058
Received: 25 November 2019 / Revised: 29 December 2019 / Accepted: 30 December 2019 / Published: 2 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Ozone on Forest Plants and Ecosystems)
Elevated ground-level ozone (O3) reduced C-based defense chemicals; however, severe grazing damages were found in leaves grown in the low O3 condition of a free air O3-concentration enrichment (O3-FACE) system. To explain this phenomenon, this study investigates the role of BVOCs (biogenic volatile organic compounds) as signaling compounds for insect herbivores. BVOCs act as scents for herbivore insects to locate host plants, while some BVOCs show high reactivity to O3, inducing changes in the composition of BVOCs in atmospheres with elevated O3. To assess the aforementioned phenomenon, profiles of BVOCs emitted from birch (Betula platyphylla var. japonica Hara) leaves were analyzed ex situ, and Y-tube insect preference tests were conducted in vitro to study the insect olfactory response. The assays were conducted in June and August or September, according to the life cycle of the adult alder leaf beetle Agelastica coerulea Baly (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). The Y-tube tests revealed that the leaf beetles were attracted to BVOCs, and O3 per se had neither an attractant nor a repellent effect. BVOCs became less attractant when mixed with highly concentrated O3 (>80 ppb). About 20% of the total BVOCs emitted were highly O3-reactive compounds, such as β-ocimene. The results suggest that BVOCs emitted from the birch leaves can be altered by elevated O3, thus potentially reducing the attractiveness of leaves to herbivorous insects searching for food. View Full-Text
Keywords: atmospheric lifetime; biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs); herbivorous insects; leaf beetle; olfactory response; ozone atmospheric lifetime; biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs); herbivorous insects; leaf beetle; olfactory response; ozone
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Masui, N.; Mochizuki, T.; Tani, A.; Matsuura, H.; Agathokleous, E.; Watanabe, T.; Koike, T. Does Ozone Alter the Attractiveness of Japanese White Birch Leaves to the Leaf Beetle Agelastica coerulea via Changes in Biogenic Volatile Organic Compounds (BVOCs): An Examination with the Y-Tube Test. Forests 2020, 11, 58.

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