Identification and field evaluation of non-host volatiles disturbing host location by the tea geometrid, Ectropis obliqua.
Volatile organic compounds derived from non-host plants, Ocimum basilicum, Rosmarinus officinalis, Corymbia citriodora, and Ruta graveolens, can be used to mask host plant odors, and are repellent to the tea geometrid, Ectropis obliqua. Volatile compounds were collected by headspace absorption, and the components were identified and quantified by using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. The responses of antennae of female E. obliqua to the compounds were evaluated with gas chromatography/electroantennography detection. Qualitative and quantitative differences were found among the four odor profiles. Consistent electroantennographic activity was obtained for eight of the volatiles from the four plants: ?-myrcene, ?-terpinene, ?-terpinene, linalool, cis-verbenol, camphor, ?-terpineol, and verbenone. In a Y-tube bioassay, six chemicals, ?-myrcene, ?-terpinene, (R)-(-)-linalool, (S)-(-)-cis-verbenol, (R)-(+)-camphor, and (S)-(-)-verbenone, were the main compounds responsible for repelling E. obliqua. An eight-component mixture including all of the bioactive compounds (in a ratio of 13:2:13:8:1:24:6:17) from R. officinalis was significantly more effective at repelling the moths than any single compound or a mixture of equal amounts of the eight compounds. Field results demonstrated that intercropping tea plants with R. officinalis effectively suppressed E. obliqua infestations in a tea plantation. Our findings suggests that odor blends of R. officinalis play a role in disturbing host orientation behavior, and in repelling E. obliqua adults, and that R. officinalis should be considered when developing "push-pull" strategies aimed at optimizing the control of E. obliqua with semiochemicals.