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RESEARCH:  2. Host Finding by Beneficial Insects


Traps Baited with Host-Plant Predator Attractants


Beneficial insects such as natural enemies of herbivorous insects (predators and parasitoids) and pollinators use volatile cues from plants in host finding. These volatile cues are often induced by herbivore feeding. Herbivore-induced volatiles may provide highly detectable and reliable information to foraging natural enemies. Our group studies the specificity in the volatile response of plants to feeding by insects with different feeding habits and its consequences on insect foraging.

In the past, I investigated the influence of simultaneous feeding by multiple species of herbivores with different feeding habits on the induction of volatiles and its effects on herbivores and their natural enemies. Insects with different feeding habits are known to induce different, and often conflictive, defensive pathways in plants. These studies were conducted in cotton and tomato. Currently, we are studying the above- and below-ground volatile emissions in blueberry and cranberry plants and their effects on foraging natural enemies.

Recently, we initiated studies on the effects of plant volatiles on pollinators.

Current Collaborators

 - Albrecht Koppenhöfer (Rutgers University)
 - Ian Kaplan (Purdue University)
 - Livy Williams (USDA-ARS)
 - Rufus Isaacs (Michigan State University)

Relevant Publications

Rodriguez-Saona, C., Isaacs, R., and Blaauw, B. 2012. Manipulation of natural enemies in agroecosystems: habitat and semiochemicals for sustainable insect pest control. In: Integrated Pest Management and Pest Control, Current and Future Tactics. ISBN 978-953-307-926-4. S. Soloneski and M. L. Larramendy (Eds.). InTech (In Press)

Rodriguez-Saona, C. 2012. La ecología química de interacciones tri-tróficas. In: Temas selectos de ecología química. J. C. Rojas León and E. A. Malo Rivera (Eds.). Editorial Trillas (In Press)

Rodriguez-Saona, C., Kaplan, I., Braasch, J., Chinnasamy, D., and Williams, L. 2011. Field responses of predaceous arthropods to methyl salicylate: A meta-analysis and case study in cranberries. Biological Control 59: 294-303.

Rodriguez-Saona, C., Parra, L., Quiroz, A, and Isaacs, R. 2011. Variation in highbush blueberry floral volatile profiles as a function of pollination status, cultivar, time of day and flower part: implications for flower visitation by bees. Ann. Bot. 107: 1377-1390.

Stelinski, L.L., Rodriguez-Saona, C., and Meyer, W.L. 2009. Recognition of foreign oviposition-marking pheromone in a multi-trophic context. Naturwissenschaften 96: 585-592.

Williams, L. III, Rodriguez-Saona, C., Castle, S.C., and Zhu, S. 2008. EAG-active herbivore-induced plant volatiles modify behavioral responses and host attack by an egg parasitoid. J. Chem. Ecology. 34: 1190-1201.

Stelinski, L.L., Oakleaf, R., and Rodriguez-Saona, C. 2007. Oviposition-deterring pheromone deposited on blueberry fruit by the parasitic wasp, Diachasma alloeum. Behaviour 144: 429-445.

Rodriguez-Saona, C., Chalmers, J.A., Raj, S., and Thaler, J.S. 2005. Induced plant responses to multiple damagers: Differential effects on an herbivore and its parasitoid. Oecologia. 143: 566-577