Announcements

Job offersmore »





Tweeting Growers

Top 5 - yesterday

  • No news has been published yesterday.

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »




Thrips warn each other of danger chemically

How dangerous is the enemy coming your way? Some animals want to warn each other so that they can flee. An insect, the Californian thrip, which has caused damage in horticulture, can encrypt information about danger in a chemical alarm signal. From NWO research from PhD student Paulien de Bruijn (University of Amsterdam) it appears that the previously considered primitive insects have this skill that was formerly only associated with mammals.

Animals need to stay alert for predators. With these warning signals, animals don't have to use so much time staying alert for danger. It was already recognised that some mammals alter their alert signal depending on the type of danger. Blue monkeys have 3 different alarm sounds for different predators.


© Jan van Arkel - predatory bugs attack thrips


Are chemicals as effective as noise?
An alarm can take many forms, such as vocal, chemical, visual and mechanical. Vocal communication was previously thought to be the only way in which the level and nature of the danger could be communicated. But lots of insects use a chemical alarm signal (alarm pheromone). Ecologist Paulien de Bruijn therefore researched whether this pheromone release could be changed depending on the situation, by changing the component elements, for example.

Trips larvae
De Bruijn used thrips in her study and exposed the larvae to a relatively safe enemy (predatory mites) or a really dangerous enemy (predatory bugs).

The thrips seemed to change their alarm signal depending on the type of danger. Thrips produce alarm pheromone in dangerous situations. This is a mix of two materials: decyl acetaat and dodecyl acetaat. With an increasing level of danger, the amount of pheromone increased and also the mix was changed.

The variable alarm signal of thrips is far more complex and detailed that was previously thought. Presumably, such alarm signalling can also take place in a lot of other anthropods. The research from De Bruijn therefore asks new questions about the existence and evolution of alarm signals.

Presentation
Paulien de Bruijn is presenting her doctorate on Tuesday 23 June 2015 at the Instituut voor Biodiversiteit en Ecosysteem Dynamica (IBED) of the University of Amsterdam.
Mw. P.J.A. de Bruijn: Context-dependent Chemical Communication, Alarm Pheromones of Thrips Larvae. Promotors are prof. dr. M.W. Sabelis (Ü) and prof. dr. S.B.J. Menken. Copromotor is dr. C.J.M. Egas.

The research is financed by the Open Programma of NWO Aard- en Levenswetenschappen.

Source: NWO


Publication date: 6/22/2015

 


 

Other news in this sector:

6/23/2017 LSU AgCenter researchers receive USDA grant to study pollinator health
6/23/2017 Probiotics may help bees survive crop protection exposure
6/23/2017 What is a biopesticide?
6/23/2017 Costa Rica reduces agrochemicals use
6/23/2017 Which Biopesticides are available for use in U.S. greenhouses?
6/23/2017 Citrus greening spreads to Alabama, US
6/22/2017 US: Expanded approval for Abamex insecticide
6/22/2017 Koppert improves biological control of thrips
6/22/2017 Suppressing phytophthora root rot in northern highbush blueberry
6/21/2017 USDA gets serious about saving bees
6/21/2017 "Diagnostics and knowledge of bacteria needed to prevent spread of diseases"
6/20/2017 WUR research digs into management of greenhouse air fungi
6/20/2017 Why does bee health matter?
6/20/2017 Belgian universities to develop agricultural biologicals
6/20/2017 New AHDB RB209 Nutrient Management app available from Apple Store
6/19/2017 Monsanto and Atomwise collaborate on AI crop protection
6/16/2017 Isagro USA to market Vestaronís Spear-T
6/16/2017 Manage disease to help produce tomato fruit
6/16/2017 Effective pest control in tomato starts with effective monitoring
6/16/2017 "Biodiversity is the basis for Integrated Pest Management"