T.V. PheroLure® : Volatile emission by semiochemical lures and the impact thereof on the volatile profile of a commercial tomato field
Keywords:Toxicity, South Africa, Insect monitoring, volatile organic compound, VOC
Pheromone-based or semiochemical lures for insect detection and monitoring in agriculture is common practice. Many countries exempt these devices from regulatory requirements, but not South Africa. The question arises whether the pheromone/semiochemical lures influence the naturally occurring compounds significantly, to justify concern for human toxicity and ecotoxicity. T.V. PheroLure® is a novel five-component lure developed by Insect Science (Pty) Ltd. used for monitoring African bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera (an important insect pest on tomatoes). T.V. PheroLure® is a volatile organic compound (VOC) blend impregnated in a polyethylene bulb. The influence of T.V. PheroLure® on the volatile profile of a tomato field was evaluated in a commercial growing area of South Africa. Tomato VOCs were collected before, during and after the application of six T.V. PheroLures® in yellow bucket funnel traps randomly distributed over 1 ha. VOCs were collected from planting until harvest (22 weeks) at five randomly selected sites. Collection also took place in adjacent tomato fields where no T.V. PheroLure® was applied. The constituents of T.V. PheroLure® had no significant influence on the naturally occurring VOCs observed in the tomato field. The results suggest that the concern for toxicity and ecotoxicity is unjustified when using semiochemical devices for monitoring purposes. The natural physiology of the plant, rather than T.V. PheroLure®, influenced the VOCs observed in a tomato field.
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