Behavioral and Olfactory Responses of Rice Green Leaf Hopper, Nephottetix virescens (Distant) to Volatile Cues from Tagbak (Alpinia elegans (C. Presl) K. Schum)


Susan May F. Calumpang1, Gideon Aries S. Burgonio2,
Marcela M. Navasero1 and Mario V. Navasero1

1University Researchers and 2Project Staff, National Crop Protection Center-
Crop Protection Cluster, College of Agriculture, University of the Philippines
Los Baños, 4031, College, Laguna, Philippines
corresponding author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



The behavioral and olfactory responses of male and female rice green leafhopper, Nephotettix virescens (Distant), an important vector of tungro, was studied with a view to elucidate the mechanism for reduced green leaf hopper population in rice fields with tagbak (Alpinia elegans (C.Presl.) K. Schum) as practiced by farmers in Infanta, Quezon, Philippines. The effects of volatile organic chemicals released from leaf discs of tagbak were investigated using the Petri plate bioassay; and chemicals from tagbak headspace and essential oil were tested individually in Y-tube olfactometric bioassays. Our results demonstrated that N. virescens, regardless of sex, were apparently repelled by the odors released from the leaf discs of tagbak. The chemicals that repelled GLH were α-pinene, α-terpinene, ß-phellandrene, linalool, ß-pinene, p-cymene, camphene, 1,8 cineole, and citronellol. The mechanism of action of tagbak as an insect repellent was elucidated. The use of tagbak for insect pest management in rice production can be promoted in areas where this plant abounds to reduce dependence on synthetic insecticides. It can be a useful pest management strategy in organic and low-input rice production.



Many plants have natural defenses that repel pests. Plant chemistry is a very important source of information for insects which determine its oviposition behavior and its choice of a host plant. Acceptance or rejection of a plant is determined by the overall effect of the opposing positive and negative semiochemical cues that the insect receives from the environment (Dethier 1982). The identification of plants (crops or weeds) that provide semiochemicals beneficial to crops, such as repellents for the insect pests and/or attractants to parasitoids and other natural enemies, is important for pest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .





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