Pest Management Science (2019) 75, 3392-3404

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Salim Khoja, Khalifa M. Eltayef, Ian Baxter, James C. Bull, Edric Joel Loveridge and Tariq Butt (2019)
Fungal volatile organic compounds show promise as potent molluscicides
Pest Management Science 75 (12), 3392-3404
Slugs and snails constitute major crop pests. Withdrawal of metaldehyde has prompted a search for more environmentally friendly yet fast acting molluscicides. This study investigated the response of representative molluscs to conidia and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of the insect pathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum Petch.
Conidia of M. brunneum had antifeedant/repellent properties with repellency being dependent upon the fungal strain and conidia concentration. Three commonly produced fungal VOCs, 1-octene, 3-octanone and 1-octen-3-ol, were repellent at low doses (1–5 μL) but could kill slugs and snails on contact or fumigation. At the highest dose tested (10 μL), 100% mortality was achieved for Cornu aspersum Muller (garden snail) and Deroceras reticulatum Muller (grey field slug) within 1 h post-treatment with the first deaths being recorded in <11 min. Aqueous formulations (20% v/v) of the most potent VOCs, 3-octanone and 1-octen-3-ol, could be sprayed onto plants to kill or drive the pest of the crop with no phytotoxic effects.
The sensitivity of terrestrial molluscs to 3-octanone and 1-octen-3-ol and the ephemeral nature of these compounds makes these excellent candidates for development as mollusc repellents or molluscicides.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
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Database assignments for author(s): Ian H. Baxter, Tariq M. Butt

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
control - general
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
general biology - morphology - evolution

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.
Cornu aspersum United Kingdom
Deroceras reticulatum United Kingdom
Metarhizium brunneum (entomopathogen)