Infestation by insects triggers notable changes in plant metabolism, resulting in the release of specific Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) known as Herbivore Induced Volatiles (HIPVs) or Oviposition Induced Plant Volatiles (OIPVs). These VOCs play a vital role in the defense strategies of plants, aiding them in countering herbivore attacks. Interestingly, HIPVs and OIPVs also serve as attractants for the natural enemies of herbivores, enabling them to locate their hosts or prey. This dual functionality of HIPVs and OIPVs makes them valuable synomones, benefiting both the plants and the biological control agents involved. Leveraging this attribute, integrating the detection of VOCs into a digital tool holds promise for achieving rapid and reliable detection of infested fruits.
Over the years, various electronic noses («e-noses») have been developed for a wide range of commercial applications. In the context of the FF IPM project, we have successfully identified the VOCs emitted by different fruit species upon infestation by Bactrocera dorsalis, B. zonata, or Ceratitis capitata. Leveraging the characteristic volatile profiles, we are currently «training» a commercially available e-nose to detect infested fruits caused by fruit flies.
This innovative approach holds great potential for enhancing pest management strategies and minimizing the impact of infestations on fruit crops. By utilizing VOC detection and e-nose technology, we aim to improve the efficiency and accuracy of detecting infested fruits, contributing to the development of more effective integrated pest management practices.
The FF IPM project continues to advance our understanding of plant-insect interactions and explores novel ways to leverage technology for sustainable and efficient pest management.
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14/7/2023 | 13.30 CET (14.30 Greece time)