U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


Main content area

Exploiting Thrips Aggregation Pheromones to Develop a Lure-and-Kill Strategy for the Management of the Bean Flower Thrips

David K. Mfuti, Amanuel Tamiru, William D. J. Kirk, Adeyemi O. Akinyemi, Heather Campbell, Matthew O’Brien, Falko P. Drijfhout, Tom W. Pope, Saliou Niassy, Sevgan Subramanian
Agronomy 2021 v.11 no.7 pp. -
Megalurothrips sjostedti, Metarhizium anisopliae, agronomy, antifungal properties, attractants, beans, biopesticides, conidia, dose response, entomopathogenic fungi, flowers, spot spraying, viability
The potential of semiochemicals to lure insect pests to a trap where they can be killed with biopesticides has been demonstrated as an eco-friendly pest management alternative. In this study, we tested two recently characterized male-produced aggregation pheromones of the bean flower thrips Megalurothrips sjostedti (Trybom), namely (R)-lavandulyl 3-methylbutanoate (major) and (R)-lavandulol (minor), for their field efficacy. Moreover, compatibility of these pheromones and two other thrips attractants, Lurem-TR and neryl (S)-2-methylbutanoate, with the entomopathogenic fungus (EPF) Metarhizium anisopliae ICIPE 69 has been determined. Our study revealed that the M. sjostedti aggregation pheromones have dose-dependent antifungal effects on the EPF viability, but showed no fungistatic effect at a field-realistic dose for attraction of thrips. (R)-lavandulyl 3-methylbutanoate had similar antifungal effects as neryl (S)-2-methylbutanoate 8 days after exposure; whereas, Lurem-TR had a stronger antifungal effect than other thrips attractants. In the semi-field experiments, all autoinoculation devices maintained at least 86% viability of M. anisopliae conidia after 12 days of exposure. Field trials demonstrated for the first time that (R)-lavandulyl 3-methylbutanoate increases trap catches. Our findings pave a way for designing a lure-and-kill thrips management strategy to control bean flower thrips using autoinoculation devices or spot spray application.