Evaluation and modeling of synergy to pheromone and plant kairomone in American palm weevil.

Abstract : UNLABELLED: ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Many behavioral responses to odors are synergistic, particularly in insects. In beetles, synergy often involves a pheromone and a plant odor, and pest management relies on them for the use of combined lures. To investigate olfactory synergy mechanisms, we need to distinguish synergistic effects from additive ones, when all components of the mixture are active. RESULTS: As versatile tools and procedures were not available, we developed a bioassay, and a mathematical model to evaluate synergy between aggregation pheromone (P) and host plant odors (kairomone: K) in the American palm weevil, a pest insect showing enhanced responses to P+K mixtures. Responses to synthetic P and natural K were obtained using a 4-arm olfactometer coupled to a controlled volatile delivery system. We showed that: (1) Response thresholds were ca. 10 and 100 pg/s respectively for P and K. (2) Both stimuli induced similar maximum response. (3) Increasing the dose decreased the response for P to the point of repellence and maintained a maximum response for K. (4) P and K were synergistic over a 100-fold range of doses with experimental responses to P+K mixtures greater than the ones predicted assuming additive effects. Responses close to maximum were associated with the mixture amounts below the response threshold for both P and K. CONCLUSION: These results confirm the role of olfactory synergy in optimizing active host-plant localization by phytophagous insects. Our evaluation procedure can be generalized to test synergistic or inhibitory integrated responses of various odor mixtures for various insects.
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Imen Saïd, Belhassen Kaabi, Didier Rochat. Evaluation and modeling of synergy to pheromone and plant kairomone in American palm weevil.. Chemistry Central Journal, Chemistry Central, 2011, 5 (1), pp.14. ⟨10.1186/1752-153X-5-14⟩. ⟨pasteur-00606445⟩

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