What is in this article?:
- Deceitful sex pheromones could reduce almond pests
- Primary almond pest: NOW
- A discovery that male navel orangeworms respond more readily to artificial or “deceitful” female sex pheromones than to natural sex pheromones could lead to a better mating disruption approach.
Chemical ecologist Walter Leal studies moth pheromones. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Primary almond pest: NOW
The navel orangeworm (NOW) is the primary pest of California's 800,000 acres of almonds, reducing yield and increasing processing costs. NOW females lay their eggs in the mummified nuts. The larvae consume most of the nut meats and produce large amounts of webbing and frass.
The research team included Pingxi Xu, Elizabeth Atungulu, Zain Syed, Young-Moo Choo, Diogo Vidal Caio Zitelli and Leal from the UC Davis lab, and Stephen Garczynski of the Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory in Wapato, Wash, an ARS/USDA lab. Syed is now with the University of Notre Dame.
Their work drew grant support from the National Science Foundation; National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA; National Institutes of Health; and the Washington Tree Fruit Commission In addition, two of the researchers, Vidal and Zitelli, from Brazil, gained financial support from CAPES undergraduate scholarships. CAPES ( Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior) is an organization within the Ministry of Education in Brazil.