Phase II IUCRC at the University of Florida: Center for Arthropod Management Technologies

Grants and Contracts Details


ATTACHMENT 5 CONFIDENTIAL Full Proposal October 1st, 2021 Identifying pheromones and synergists as baits for fall armyworm management Zain Syed (PI) and Kenneth Haynes (co-PI), University of Kentucky Industrial Relevance and Appropriateness for the Center Fall armyworm (FAW; Spodoptera frugiperda) is a highly polyphagous pest that is rapidly expanding from its native Americas to different parts of the globe. Estimated losses of (US) $500 million in the USA, $600 million in Brazil, and $6.5 billion in 12 African countries are reported [1]. Therefore, development of novel tools and techniques such as pheromone-based monitoring and management are warranted [2]. The FAW pheromone system was originally identified in the 1980s as a blend of three major compounds (Z9-14:Ac, Z11-16:Ac and Z7-12:Ac) that were shown to be necessary and sufficient for field trapping [3]. However, effectiveness of the existing pheromone-based strategies is increasingly being challenged in this species [4, 5]. Early FAW genome [6] and chemosensory transcriptome studies [7] show promise for isolating and identifying molecular targets that enable high-throughput screening of potential pheromones and related attractants. These studies are contributing to a piecemeal understanding of FAW chemical ecology, molecular evolution, neurophysiology, and behavioral ecology. By integrating all these techniques under one roof, and combining the full expertise of the two PIs and their laboratories, we believe that we are well placed to contribute to develop critical tools and techniques in FAW research with potential deliverables. Background: Moths display robust olfactory behaviors. Pheromone communication has been extensively exploited with great success for control of agricultural pests [2, 8]. However, application of pheromone-based technologies like mating disruption or attract-and-kill in IPM in agricultural crops is limited by males’ multiple mating and by immigration of mated females into treated areas [2]. Therefore, attractants for both sexes, and particularly ovipositing females, would minimize these challenges [9], and maximize the effectiveness of population management [10, 11]. In this context, a comprehensive study of the olfaction in FAW is needed [12] to develop an eco- friendly, sustainable and effective management strategy that employs pheromones and plant volatiles as attractive baits [13, 14], and/or aids in developing field deployable repellents [15]. Project Objectives: 1). Isolation and identification of biologically active chemical constituents (from females and maize seedlings) using male and female FAW antennae, and differentially expressed ORs, as detectors/sensing element 2). Behavioral screening of the active chemicals and their appropriate blends as potential pheromones and kairomones baits. Proposed Team: ZS and KH have independently worked on moths, pheromones, and how plant volatiles synergize in sympatrically evolving moths. ZS’s laboratory routinely uses electrophysiology (stand-alone or coupled with chromatography), molecular phylogeny and transcriptomics, and deorphanization of odorant receptors. KH’s laboratory has performed work on the genetics and temporal dynamics of pheromones in moth, and KH is an authority in insect pheromone communication. KH has performed preliminary chromatography and wind tunnel behavioral analysis of FAW using Palli lab colonies. ZS’s lab has performed differential expression (DE) analysis in insects, cloning and expression of ORs and their deorphanization. ZS’s and KH’s laboratories have sufficient expertise and instrumentation to carryout the proposed work. 2021-12-12 1 Page 10 of 33 SUB00002963
Effective start/end date1/1/225/31/24


  • University of Florida: $80,000.00


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