Journal of Chemical Ecology (2013) 39, 364-376

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Melanie Unbehend, Sabine Hänniger, Robert L. Meagher, David G. Heckel and Astrid T. Groot (2013)
Pheromonal divergence between two strains of Spodoptera frugiperda
Journal of Chemical Ecology 39 (3), 364-376
Abstract: Spodoptera frugiperda consists of two genetically and behaviorally different strains, the corn- and the rice-strain, which seem to be in the process of sympatric speciation. We investigated the role of strain-specific sexual communication as a prezygotic mating barrier between both strains by analyzing strain-specific variation in female pheromone composition of laboratory and field strains, and also male attraction in wind tunnel and field experiments. Laboratory-reared and field-collected females from Florida exhibited strain-specific differences in their relative amount of (Z)-7-dodecenyl acetate (Z7-12:OAc) and (Z)-9-dodecenyl acetate (Z9-12:OAc). In wind tunnel assays, we did not find strain-specific attraction of males to females. However, in field experiments in Florida, we observed some differential attraction to synthetic pheromone blends. In a corn field, the corn-strain blend attracted more males of both strains than the rice-strain blend, but both blends were equally attractive in a grass field. Thus, habitat-specific volatiles seemed to influence male attraction to pheromones. In dose-response experiments, corn-strain males were more attracted to 2 % Z7-12:OAc than other doses tested, while rice-strain males were attracted to a broader range of Z7-12:OAc (2-10 %). The attraction of corn-strain males to the lowest dose of Z7-12:OAc corresponds to the production of this compound by females; corn-strain females produced significantly smaller amounts of Z7-12:OAc than rice-strain females. Although corn-strain individuals are more restricted in their production of and response to pheromones than rice-strain individuals, it seems that differences in sexual communication between corn- and rice-strain individuals are not strong enough to cause assortative mating.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Astrid T. Groot, Robert L. Meagher, David G. Heckel

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Spodoptera frugiperda Maize/corn (Zea mays) U.S.A. (SE)
Spodoptera frugiperda Rice (Oryza)