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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.