Electrophysiologically and behaviorally active volatiles of buffalo gourd root powder for corn rootworm beetles

Allard A. Cossé, Thomas Charles Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The dried, powdered roots of buffalo gourd, Cucurbita foetidissima, were tested in a cornfield and shown to attract adult northern and southern corn rootworm beetles. Coupled gas chromatography-electroantennography (GC-EAG) analyses of headspace samples of the root powder showed several GC-EAG- active compounds on the antennae of female northern, southern, and western corn rootworms. Among other techniques, solid-phase microextraction and GC- mass spectrometry identified the following GC-EAG-active compounds: hexanol, nonanal, 1-octen-3-ol, benzaldehyde, benzyl alcohol, (E)-3-octen-2-one, (E,E)-3,5-octadien-2-one, and (E,Z)-3,5-octadien-2-one. EAG dose-response studies of several of the identified root powder volatiles also were performed and compared with results from known attractants. Field tests of synthetic root powder volatiles in commercial cornfields showed that northern corn rootworm adults were attracted to (E,E)-3,5-octadien-2-one. The antennae of the Diabrotica species and the field tests showed specificity for different geometrical isomers of 3,5-octadien-2-one, with a behavioral preference for (E,E)-3,5-octadien-2-one. In addition, we have shown that the efficacy of buffalo gourd root powder as a feeding stimulant and arrestant can be enhanced for northern and western corn rootworm adults by augmenting buffalo gourd root powder with additional (E,E)-3,5-octadien-2-one.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-66
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry


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