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 (†) 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:

8/17/2017 US: Tough 5EC herbicide granted for emergency use in mint
8/17/2017 Marrone Bio Innovations expands into Africa
8/17/2017 Prevent tipburn on greenhouse lettuce
8/17/2017 Effects of uneven vertical distribution of soil salinity on blossom-end rot
8/17/2017 India: Workshops on proper use of agrochemicals
8/15/2017 US (NH): USDA grant to study effects of pesticide treatments on weeds
8/15/2017 AgroFresh introduces foggable fungicide platform
8/15/2017 Will these caterpillars become a new super pest?
8/15/2017 UK: New mating disruption technique offers hope for Tuta absoluta control
8/15/2017 International collaboration on crop protection
8/14/2017 "Monsanto barred university researchers from testing ‘drift’ of dicamba herbicide"
8/14/2017 Bayer and SICIT 2000 sign exclusive distribution agreement
8/14/2017 There are 1001 ways to use predatory mites!
8/14/2017 US (ID): Learn more about beneficial insects in Boise workshop
8/11/2017 Two Biotechnology Manufacturing Experts Join Inocucor Advisory Board
8/11/2017 Extended surveillance for incursions of TPP in eastern Australia
8/11/2017 Manufacturer fined for contaminated herbicide that destroyed Australian crops
8/10/2017 "Asian hornet could colonise in UK in 2 decades"
8/10/2017 Australia: "We're losing money at the moment, definitely losing"
8/9/2017 IOBC 2017 a not to miss event for global biocontrol industry