Insect Feeding Stimulants from the Leaf Surface of Populus

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Leaf surface chemicals from a beetle-preferred poplar clone, Eugenei (Populus deltoides × Populus nigra), induce feeding in adult cottonwood leaf beetles, Chrysomela scripta. The feeding stimulants were isolated and identified as n-beheryl alcohol (C22), n-lignoceryl alcohol (C24), n-hexacosanol (C26), n-octacosanol (C28), n-triacontanol (C30), and α-tocopherylquinone [2-(3-hydroxy-3,7,11,15-tetramethyl-hexadecyl)-3,5,6-trimethyl-2,5 cyclo-hexadiene-1,4-dione] (α-TQ). It is the first time that α-TQ has been reported as a feeding stimulant for an insect. Fatty alcohols or α-TQ alone do not induce beetle feeding significantly, but a mixture of alcohols and α-TQ synergistically stimulates beetle feeding. The role of these feeding stimulants in insect feeding behaviors and possible use in a pest management program is discussed.

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