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EARI14-016: Development and Testing of Pheromone-Based Monitoring System for Blueberry Flea Beetle

Applicant: David MacKinnon

Project Lead: Kirk Hillier

Project Year(s): 2014 -      Status: Complete

Funding Source: Canada/New Brunswick Growing Forward 2 (Non-Business Risk Management Programs)

Funding Program: Enabling Agricultural Research and Innovation

Objective: Previous studies work by Wan and Harris (1996) have demonstrated that other Altica species exhibit strong odour-based responses to plant and conspecific odours. This provides strong evidence that host volatiles and fecal odour are active attractants for this closely related species and increases the likelihood that A. sylvia uses similar methods of chemical communications which we want to manipulate for the development of management tools for this pest.

Deliverables: Analysis of the sensitivity of adult and larval A. sylvia to putative aggregation pheromone compunds (Himachalenes) via electroantennography. Determine the behavioural attraction of A. sylvia to these compounds using lab assays; and test the efficacy of these compounds to trap A. sylvia in the field using baited traps. The goal of this study is to complete testing of these compounds as potential monitoring tools by laboratory bioassay, and field trapping experiments. The overall goal is the development of new monitoring tools, and progress to a more comprehensive method to forecast infestations and thresholds for control measures.

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