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Penicillium expansum Volatiles Reduce Pine Weevil Attraction to Host Plants
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemistry, Organic Chemistry.
KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Environmental Microbiology (closed September 2009).
SLU, Uppsala.
SLU, Uppsala.
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2013 (English)In: Journal of Chemical Ecology, ISSN 0098-0331, E-ISSN 1573-1561, Vol. 39, no 1, 120-128 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The pine weevil Hylobius abietis (L.) is a severe pest of conifer seedlings in reforested areas of Europe and Asia. To identify minimally toxic and ecologically sustainable compounds for protecting newly planted seedlings, we evaluated the volatile metabolites produced by microbes isolated from H. abietis feces and frass. Female weevils deposit feces and chew bark at oviposition sites, presumably thus protecting eggs from feeding conspecifics. We hypothesize that microbes present in feces/frass are responsible for producing compounds that deter weevils. Here, we describe the isolation of a fungus from feces and frass of H. abietis and the biological activity of its volatile metabolites. The fungus was identified by morphological and molecular methods as Penicillium expansum Link ex. Thom. It was cultured on sterilized H. abietis frass medium in glass flasks, and volatiles were collected by SPME and analyzed by GC-MS. The major volatiles of the fungus were styrene and 3-methylanisole. The nutrient conditions for maximum production of styrene and 3-methylanisole were examined. Large quantities of styrene were produced when the fungus was cultured on grated pine bark with yeast extract. In a multi-choice arena test, styrene significantly reduced male and female pine weevils' attraction to cut pieces of Scots pine twigs, whereas 3-methylanisole only reduced male weevil attraction to pine twigs. These studies suggest that metabolites produced by microbes may be useful as compounds for controlling insects, and could serve as sustainable alternatives to synthetic insecticides.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 39, no 1, 120-128 p.
Keyword [en]
Penicillium expansum, Hylobius, Styrene, 3-Methylanisole, Frass, Feces, Fungal volatiles, "Green" chemistry
National Category
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Ecology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-119064DOI: 10.1007/s10886-012-0232-5ISI: 000314363000012ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84873525306OAI: diva2:609498

QC 20130306

Available from: 2013-03-06 Created: 2013-03-05 Last updated: 2013-08-21Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Microbes Associated with Hylobius abietis: A Chemical and Behavioral Study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Microbes Associated with Hylobius abietis: A Chemical and Behavioral Study
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis is based on three inter-related studies: the first part deals with the microbial consortium, the identification of microbes and their volatiles, the second part deals with the study of bio-chemical control methods of two conifer pests; the pine weevil Hylobius abietis (L.) and the root rot fungi Heterobasidion spp., and the third part describes the production of styrene by a fungus using forest waste.The large pine weevil (Hylobius abietis L.) is an economically important pest insect of conifers in reforestation areas of Europe and Asia. The female weevils protect their eggs from feeding conspecifics by adding frass (mixture of weevil feces and chewed bark) along with the eggs. In order to understand the mechanism behind frass deposition at the egg laying site and to find repellents/antifeedants for pine weevils, microbes were isolated from the aseptically collected pine weevil frass. Microbial produced volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were collected by solid phase micro extraction and analyzed by GC-MS after cultivating them on weevil frass broth. The major VOCs were tested against pine weevils using a multi-choice olfactometer. Ewingella sp., Mucor racemosus, Penicillium solitum, P. expansum, Ophiostoma piceae, O. pluriannulatum, Debaryomyces hansenii and Candida sequanensis were identified as abundant microbes. Styrene, 6-protoilludene, 1-octene-3-ol, 3-methylanisole, methyl salicylate, 2-methoxyphenol and 2-methoxy-4-vinylphenol were the VOCs of persistently isolated microbes. In behavioral bioassay, methyl salicylate, 3-methylanisole and styrene significantly reduced the attraction of pine weevils to their host plant volatiles. Heterobasidion spp. are severe pathogenic fungi of conifers that cause root and butt rot in plants. Bacterial isolates were tested for the antagonistic activity against fungi on potato dextrose agar. Bacillus subtilis strains significantly inhibited the growth of H. annosum and H. parviporum. Styrene is an industrial chemical used for making polymeric products, currently produced from fossil fuel. A strain of Penicillium expansum isolated from pine weevil frass was investigated for the production of styrene using forest waste. Grated pine stem bark and mature oak bark supplemented with yeast extract produced greater amounts of styrene compared to potato dextrose broth.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2013. 66 p.
Trita-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2013:23
Hylobius, Ewingella, Penicillium, Heterobasidion, Bacteria, Fungi, Bark, Forest waste, Metabolites, Styrene, Methyl salicylate.
National Category
Natural Sciences Organic Chemistry
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-121887 (URN)978-91-7501-727-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-05-30, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)

QC 20130507

Available from: 2013-05-07 Created: 2013-05-06 Last updated: 2013-05-07Bibliographically approved

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Azeem, MuhammadKuttuva Rajarao, GunaratnaBorg-Karlson, Anna Karin
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