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Behavioral responses of Diabrotica adults to plant-derived semiochemicals encapsulated in a starch borate matrix

Weissling, Thomas J., Meinke, Lance J., Trimnell, Donald, Golden, Krista L.
Entomologia experimentalis et applicata 1989 v.53 no.3 pp. 219-228
Diabrotica, Zea mays, adults, attractants, beta-ionone, borates, chemical analysis, corn, encapsulation, eugenol, granules, methyl chavicol, phenylacetaldehyde, pollination, seasonal variation, semiochemicals, starch, traps
The concept of encapsulating semiochemicals into a starch matrix is being studied for potential use in corn rootworm (CRW) management programs. During 1987, experiments were conducted to determine: 1) If volatile plant-derived Diabrotica spp. attractants could be encapsulated in a starch borate matrix (SBM), and 2) If various SBM-semiochemical formulations would attract Diabrotica species over time in field corn. Chemical analyses of fresh SBM formulations indicated that indole, estragole, veratrole, phenylacetaldehyde, and trans-anethole were not retained during formulation but trans-cinnamaldehyde, Beta-ionone, 1,2,4,-trimethoxybenzene, eugenol and isœugenol were successfully encapsulated. Encapsulated semiochemical formulations were made into 20 mesh granules, placed in Pherocon ® 1C traps that were tied to corn plants, and sampled for CRW adults every 4 days from 11 July to 8 September. Field data indicated that encapsulated semiochemicals were retained in the SBM for varying lengths of time and were released at rates attractive to CRW adults. A two-component mixture of trans-cinnamaldehyde and 1,2,4-trimethoxybenzene was the most effective formulation tested; however, no formulation was effective during corn silking and pollination. Although seasonal variation in CRW response could limit the usefulness of some plant-derived semiochemicals, the starch matrix concept may be useful as a delivery system for semiochemicals and may have potential as a tool that could be used in the development of new more biorational CRW management programs.