Testing attraction and repulsion of Drosophila suzukii to chemical stimuli
LE3 .A278 2016
Bachelor of Science
Drosophila suzukii Matsumura (Diptera: Drosophilidae) is an invasive pest species that has vastly expanded its range in recent years, reaching Nova Scotia, Canada in 2011. The resulting damage from oviposition and larval feeding of crops results in significant economic loss each year. Current trapping methods include a modified Havilland trap using an apple cider vinegar bait. These traps are inadequate in detecting the presence of D. suzukii and produce a high amount of bycatch as misidentification is common . The objective of this study was to test a series of volatile compounds which have been shown to have behavioral relevance to Drosophila suzukii. The goal is to determine the odor valence of these compounds as being either attractive, repellent or neutral. Ultimately this may improve monitoring methods to both reduce bycatch and provide an earlier detection of D. suzukii arrival and population increases. Using a modified Flywalk bioassay, Ctrax and a two-way ANOVA it was found that (+/-)-geosmin was statistically significant; repulsive to both males and females, while the response to methyl hexanoate was significantly different between the sexes (females were attracted while males were repulsed). Finally, females were significantly more attracted to hexane than males. Data also revealed that there may be difference between the sexes in attraction to acetoin, benzyl acetate, benzyl alcohol, and ethyl acetate although not significantly so . Overall, the Flywalk behavioural assay proved to be an effective means to assess the attraction and repulsion of D. suzukii to various chemical stimuli while the The Caltech Multiple Fly Tracker Ctrax® Version 0.5.5 proved to be a time consuming and difficult means of tracking D. suzukii movement. These results suggest that another program might be appropriate in future studies
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