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

Weissling, T.J., Meinke, L.J., Trimnell, D., Golden, K.L.
Entomologia experimentalis et applicata 1989 v.53 no.3 pp. 219
Diabrotica, behavior, baits, insect attractants, insect traps, plant products, starch, United States
The concept of encapsulating semiochemicals into a starch matrix is being studied for potential use in management programmes for Diabrotica spp. on maize. During 1987, experiments were conducted in Illinois to determine whether volatile plant-derived Diabrotica spp. attractants could be encapsulated in a starch borate matrix (SBM), and whether various SBM-semiochemical formulations would attract Diabrotica spp. over time in field maize. 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 isoeugenol were successfully encapsulated. Encapsulated semiochemical formulations were made into 20 mesh granules, placed in Pherocon 1C traps that were tied to maize plants, and sampled for Diabrotica 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 adults. A 2-component mixture of trans-cinnamaldehyde and 1,2,4-trimethoxybenzene was the most effective formulation tested; however, no formulation was effective during maize silking and pollination. Although seasonal variation in pest 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, management programmes for Diabrotica.