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Title: The attraction of the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum to common environmental volatile compounds and its application to the management of stored product pests
Author: Dooley, Matthew Ryan
ISNI:       0000 0004 9357 8433
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2020
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The red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum is an economically significant pest of stored products. New insights into the olfactory responses of this species could lead to the development of more effective lures to monitor this species and the development of new pest management strategies. A large scale electroantennography (EAG) screen, testing the responses of T. castaneum antennae to 66 wheat germ oil and fungal associated volatile organic compounds (VOCs), revealed that T. castaneum respond to a wide range of compounds from these sources. When the individual VOCs that gave the strongest EAG responses (and blends of these compounds) were tested using behavioural bioassays, several of them were found to be significantly attractive to T. castaneum. This suggests that VOCs from these sources could be used by T. castaneum to locate stored products. These novel attractive VOCs could be used to improve the effectiveness of pest management lures for use against T. castaneum and other stored product insects. The responses of T. castaneum to these VOCs were tested in two strains, an established laboratory strain and a recently caught wild population, and the responses of the two strains to the VOCs tested were found to be highly similar. This suggests that laboratory adaptation may not significantly affect the responses of T. castaneum to environmental VOCs. In the course of conducting these experiments different bioassays for testing the attractiveness of odour sources to T. castaneum were tested and the Ytube olfactometer bioassay was determined to be the most effective. The bioassays used in this thesis also have potential as methods of deorphaning T. castaneum olfactory receptors when used alongside RNAi knockdowns of olfactory genes. This methodology was validated by knocking down the T. castaneum Orco orthologue gene (Tc-or1) and demonstrating that the resulting behavioural changes could be detected by the behavioural bioassays.
Supervisor: Peel, Andrew ; Wakefield, Maureen Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available