The role of volatile semiochemicals in mediating host location and selection by nuisance and disease-transmitting cattle flies

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Birkett, M. A., Agelopoulos, N. G., Jensen, K-M. V., Jespersen, J. B., Pickett, J. A., Prijs, H. J., Thomas, G-, Trapman, J. J., Wadhams, L. J. and Woodcock, C. M. 2004. The role of volatile semiochemicals in mediating host location and selection by nuisance and disease-transmitting cattle flies. Medical and Veterinary Entomology. 18 (4), pp. 313-322.

AuthorsBirkett, M. A., Agelopoulos, N. G., Jensen, K-M. V., Jespersen, J. B., Pickett, J. A., Prijs, H. J., Thomas, G-, Trapman, J. J., Wadhams, L. J. and Woodcock, C. M.
Abstract

The role of volatile semiochemicals in mediating the location and selection within herds of Holstein-Friesian heifers by nuisance and disease-transmitting cattle flies was investigated using coupled gas chromatography-electrophysiology (GC-EAG), coupled gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), electrophysiology (EAG), laboratory behaviour and field studies. Using volatile extracts collected by air entrainment from heifers in the Netherlands, a number of active peaks were located by coupled GC-EAG for Musca autumnalis (de Geer) (Diptera: Muscidae) and Haematobia irritans (L.) (Diptera: Muscidae). Volatile samples were also collected from two heifers in Denmark shown in previous counting experiments to differ significantly in their fly loads. Coupled GC-EAG using Ha. irritans antennae revealed differences in the EAG response to the samples, with additional EAG activity in the sample collected from the heifer with the lower fly load. To identify more EAG active compounds, volatiles were also collected from 48-h-old urine by air entrainment. In total, 23 compounds were located and identified by coupled GC-EAG and GC-MS. Further electrophysiological testing of these compounds with five fly species [M. autumnalis, Ha. irritans, Hydrotaea irritans (L.) (Diptera: Muscidae), Stomoxys calcitrans (L.) (Diptera: Musicidae) and Wohlfahrtia magnifica (Schiner) (Diptera: Sarcophagidae)] showed that only some of the compounds were physiologically active across the range of flies tested. These included 1-octen-3-ol, 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one, (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol, naphthalene, and all EAG active compounds identified from urine. Compounds showing significant EAG activity were tested for behavioural activity using a wind-tunnel designed for measuring upwind night behaviour. At certain concentrations, 1-octen-3-ol, 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one and 3-octanol increased upwind flight, whereas naphthalene, propyl butanoate and linalool reduced upwind flight. In field studies using small herds of heifers ranked according to their fly load, individual slow-release formulations of 1-octen-3-ol and 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one, when applied to low and high fly loading heifers, reduced fly loads on these individuals. This study provides evidence for the hypothesis that the natural differential attractiveness within herds of Holstein-Freisian heifers, i.e. a single host species, for cattle flies is partly due to differences in volatile semiochemicals emitted from the host. It is suggested that this phenomenon applies to other vertebrate host species and their associated insect pests.

KeywordsEntomology; Veterinary Sciences
Year of Publication2004
JournalMedical and Veterinary Entomology
Journal citation18 (4), pp. 313-322
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1111/j.0269-283X.2004.00528.x
PubMed ID15641996
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Funder project or code514
437
ISSN0269283X
PublisherWiley

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