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Chilean journal of agricultural research

On-line version ISSN 0718-5839


RIOJA, Tommy; CEBALLOS, Ricardo  and  HOLUIGUE, Loreto. Herbivore-induced plant volátiles emitted from avocado shoots infested by Oligonychus yothersi (Acari: Tetranychidae) increases the attraction of micro-coleopterans. Chil. j. agric. res. [online]. 2018, vol.78, n.3, pp.447-458. ISSN 0718-5839.

The avocado red mite, Oligonychus yothersi (McGregor) (Acari: Tetranychidae), is a polyphagous pest that causes damage to a wide range of plants. In Chile, is commonly found in avocado (Persea americana Mill.) orchards, and the plant damage is expressed as a reduction of photosynthetic activity in leaves, causing defoliation of trees under severe attack conditions. Oligotapygmaea (Solier) (Staphylinidae) and Parastethorus histrio (Chazeau) (Coccinellidae) micro-coleopteran predators are found on 'Hass' avocado orchards, infested by O. yothersi. This study investigated the role of volatile compounds released by avocado in response to O. yothersi infestation in the tritrophic interaction avocado-O. yothersi-O.pygmaea-P. histrio. Plant volatiles were collected from live plants by headspace technique on Porapak Q traps and analyzed by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS). In the chemical analysis, several chemical groups were identified including terpenes, aromatic compounds, and green leaf volatiles. Eight chemical compounds were detected only in the infested plants volatile profile, and differences were observed in the emission of 10 compounds between infested and uninfested plants (P < 0.05). The behavioral responses of the insects to plant volatiles were evaluated in a choice-test using a Y-tube as olfactometer. Uninfested plant volatiles were significantly attractive to O. yothersi, while infested plants volatile extract repelled the mites. Two compounds, i?-limonene and (-pinene, elicit an attractant behavioral response from O. yothersi. Oligota pygmaea and P. histrio females registered a strong attraction to volatiles from infested plants, and the compounds (Z)-(-ocimene and methyl salicylate detected only in infested plant also were attractive to predators.

Keywords : Avocado red mite; Coccinellidae; methyl salicylate; monoterpenes; olfactory responses; Persea americana; Staphylinidae..

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