Background: Plant volatiles have complex intra- and interspecific effects in the environment that include plant/herbivore interactions. Identifying the quantity and quality of volatiles produced by a plant is needed to aid the process of determining which chemicals are exerting what effects and then examining whether these effects can be manipulated to benefit society. The qualitative characterization of volatile compounds emitted by pecan, Carya illinoinensis (Wang.) K. Koch, was begun in order to establish a database for investigating how these volatiles affect Acrobasis nuxvorella Nuenzig, a monophagous pest of pecan. Headspace solid-phase microextraction combined with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was used for the analysis of the volatile constituents of pecan during three phenological stages (dormant buds, intact new shoot growth and intact nutlets) of the Western Schley and Wichita cultivars. Results: About 111 distinct compounds were identified from the two cultivars, accounting for ~99% of the headspace volatiles. The chromatographic profiles of both varieties revealed variations in the volatile composition and proportion between cultivars, with a predominance of terpene hydrocarbons, of the sesquiterpenes class, as well as monoterpenes. Conclusion: The significantly higher responsiveness recorded for the larvae of A. nuxvorella to C. illinoinensis shoots indicates that the larvae may be activated by terpenes emanating from the new shoot growth. This is the first study that has examined volatiles of pecan in Mexico.
- Biorational control
- Headspace solid-phase microextraction
- Western cultivar
- Wichita cultivar