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Open AccessArticle

Electrophysiological Responses of Eighteen Species of Insects to Fire Ant Alarm Pheromone

National Biological Control Laboratory, Biological Control of Pests Research Unit, Agriculture Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, 59 Lee Road, Stoneville, MS 38776, USA
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Insects 2019, 10(11), 403; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10110403
Received: 12 September 2019 / Revised: 1 November 2019 / Accepted: 7 November 2019 / Published: 14 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Semiochemicals and Insect Behavior)
Olfaction plays a dominant role in insect communication. Alarm pheromones, which alert other insects of the same species of impending danger, are a major class of releaser pheromones. The major components of alarm pheromones in red imported fire ants, honeybees and aphids have been identified as 2-ethyl-3,6-dimethylpyrazine (2E-3,6-DP), isopentyl acetate (IPA), and E-β-farnesene (EβF), respectively. In this study, electroantennography (EAG) responses to EDP (a mixture of 2-ethyl-3,6-dimethylpyrazine and 2-ethyl-3,5-dimethylpyrazine), IPA and EβF were investigated in a wide range of insect species. Beside imported fire ants, the EDP (2-ethyl-3,6(5)-dimethylpyrazine) elicited significant EAG response from all other tested insects, including six ant species and one hybrid ant, honeybee, bagrada bug, lady beetle, housefly, small hive beetle, yellow fever mosquito, termite, bedbug, water hyacinth weevil, southern green stink bug and two aphid species. In contrast, IPA elicited significant EAG response only in the honeybee, red imported fire ant, an Aphaenogaster ant, and the water hyacinth weevil. The EβF only elicited EAG responses in two aphids, small hive beetle and housefly. The results clearly indicate that EDP can be detected by widespread insect species that did not coevolve with S. invicta and further suggested alkylpyrazine may activate multiple generally tuned olfactory receptors (ORs) across a wide number of insect species. View Full-Text
Keywords: Alarm pheromone; Solenopsis invicta; EAG; GC-EAD; semiochemical Alarm pheromone; Solenopsis invicta; EAG; GC-EAD; semiochemical
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Du, Y.; Grodowitz, M.J.; Chen, J. Electrophysiological Responses of Eighteen Species of Insects to Fire Ant Alarm Pheromone. Insects 2019, 10, 403.

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