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      Evaluation and modeling of synergy to pheromone and plant kairomone in American palm weevil

      research-article
      1 , 2 , , 3
      Chemistry Central Journal
      BioMed Central

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          Abstract

          Background

          Many behavioral responses to odors are synergistic, particularly in insects. In beetles, synergy often involves a pheromone and a plant odor, and pest management relies on them for the use of combined lures. To investigate olfactory synergy mechanisms, we need to distinguish synergistic effects from additive ones, when all components of the mixture are active.

          Results

          As versatile tools and procedures were not available, we developed a bioassay, and a mathematical model to evaluate synergy between aggregation pheromone (P) and host plant odors (kairomone: K) in the American palm weevil, a pest insect showing enhanced responses to P+K mixtures. Responses to synthetic P and natural K were obtained using a 4-arm olfactometer coupled to a controlled volatile delivery system. We showed that: (1) Response thresholds were ca. 10 and 100 pg/s respectively for P and K. (2) Both stimuli induced similar maximum response. (3) Increasing the dose decreased the response for P to the point of repellence and maintained a maximum response for K. (4) P and K were synergistic over a 100-fold range of doses with experimental responses to P+K mixtures greater than the ones predicted assuming additive effects. Responses close to maximum were associated with the mixture amounts below the response threshold for both P and K.

          Conclusion

          These results confirm the role of olfactory synergy in optimizing active host-plant localization by phytophagous insects. Our evaluation procedure can be generalized to test synergistic or inhibitory integrated responses of various odor mixtures for various insects.

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          Most cited references45

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          Sex pheromones and their impact on pest management.

          The idea of using species-specific behavior-modifying chemicals for the management of noxious insects in agriculture, horticulture, forestry, stored products, and for insect vectors of diseases has been a driving ambition through five decades of pheromone research. Hundreds of pheromones and other semiochemicals have been discovered that are used to monitor the presence and abundance of insects and to protect plants and animals against insects. The estimated annual production of lures for monitoring and mass trapping is on the order of tens of millions, covering at least 10 million hectares. Insect populations are controlled by air permeation and attract-and-kill techniques on at least 1 million hectares. Here, we review the most important and widespread practical applications. Pheromones are increasingly efficient at low population densities, they do not adversely affect natural enemies, and they can, therefore, bring about a long-term reduction in insect populations that cannot be accomplished with conventional insecticides. A changing climate with higher growing season temperatures and altered rainfall patterns makes control of native and invasive insects an increasingly urgent challenge. Intensified insecticide use will not provide a solution, but pheromones and other semiochemicals instead can be implemented for sustainable area-wide management and will thus improve food security for a growing population. Given the scale of the challenges we face to mitigate the impacts of climate change, the time is right to intensify goal-oriented interdisciplinary research on semiochemicals, involving chemists, entomologists, and plant protection experts, in order to provide the urgently needed, and cost-effective technical solutions for sustainable insect management worldwide.
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            The problem of synergism and antagonism of combined drugs.

            S. Loewe (1953)
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              What is synergy?

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Chem Cent J
                Chemistry Central Journal
                BioMed Central
                1752-153X
                2011
                4 April 2011
                : 5
                : 14
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Unité de Biochimie Macromoléculaire et Génétique, Faculté des sciences de Gafsa, cité Zarroug, 2112 Gafsa, Université de Gafsa, Tunisia
                [2 ]Laboratory of Epidemiology and Ecology of Parasites, Institut Pasteur de Tunis, Tunis-Belvedère, 1002, Tunisia
                [3 ]UMR1272, Physiologie de l'Insecte: Signalisation et Communication, UPMC - INRA - AgroParisTech, R.D. 10, F-78026 Versailles cedex, France
                Article
                1752-153X-5-14
                10.1186/1752-153X-5-14
                3076224
                21463509
                6f95e94c-6d31-44f4-b633-0065379c7db4
                Copyright ©2011 Saïd et al
                History
                : 15 November 2010
                : 4 April 2011
                Categories
                Research Article

                Chemistry
                Chemistry

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