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J Chem Ecol. 2004 May;30(5):977-90.

Volatiles associated with preferred and nonpreferred hosts of the Nantucket pine tip moth, Rhyacionia frustrana.

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Department of Entomology, University of Georgia, 413 Biological Sciences, Athens, Georgia 30602, USA.


Ovipositing female Nantucket pine tip moth, Rhyacionia frustrana, prefer loblolly pine, Pinus taeda L., to slash pine, Pinus elliottii Engelm, except during the first spring following planting of seedlings. Host discrimination by R. frustrana increases as seedlings develop, suggesting that changes in the chemical composition of seedlings may mediate the moth's host preferences. Volatile compounds from slash and loblolly pine seedlings were collected using solid-phase microextraction (SPME) during the first year following planting. Four collection periods coincided with adult emergence and oviposition during each of four annual generations of R. frustrana in the Georgia Coastal Plain. Infestation of slash pine peaked during the second tip moth generation and was similar to the loblolly pine infestation level. By the fourth tip moth generation, slash pine infestation levels had declined and diverged considerably from those of loblolly pine. Significant differences in relative quantities of beta-pinene, alpha-phellandrene, limonene, beta-phellandrene, bornyl acetate, beta-caryophyllene, and an unidentified sesquiterpene occurred between slash and loblolly pine during the fourth generation. However, no strong correlation was observed between any individual compound and host damage that could readily explain the temporal changes in R. frustrana host preference. Gas chromatographic-electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD) analyses of standards identified 19 different seedling-associated compounds that elicited antennal responses from R. frustrana females, indicating that a blend of terpenoids may mediate host discrimination.

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