Acta Entomologica Sinica ›› 2023, Vol. 66 ›› Issue (6): 849-858.doi: 10.16380/j.kcxb.2023.06.013

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Advances in research and application of sex pheromones of the tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae)

LIANG Yong-Xuan1,2, WANG Qi-Jing1, GUO Jian-Yang1, WANG Yu-Sheng1, ZHANG Yi-Bo1, YANG Nian-Wan1,3, ZHANG Gui-Fen1, ZHOU Qiong2,*, LIU Wan-Xue1,*   

  1. (1. State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100193, China; 2. Department of Life Sciences, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410081, China; 3. Western Agricultural Research Center, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Changji 831100, China)
  • Online:2023-06-20 Published:2023-08-02

Abstract: The tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta, is native to South America and a quarantine pest in the world nowadays, which can reduce the yield of the main host crop tomato by 80%-100% in severe cases. In over a decade, this insect pest has invaded and spread from its origin to almost the entire continent of Asia, Africa and Europe, becoming a major threat to the world tomato industry. T. absoluta was discovered in Ili, Xinjiang in 2017 and spread to Yunnan, Gansu and other regions in a short time, greatly threatening the healthy development of the tomato industry and other related agricultural industries in China. Internationally, sex pheromone-based monitoring, mass trapping and mating disruption control have become one of the important  measures to control T. absoluta. In order to study the efficient and environmentally friendly population dynamics monitoring and control technology of T. absoluta, we summarized the research and application status of the sex pheromone in mornitoring, early warning and control of T. absoluta in this article. The females of T. absoluta release sex pheromones to attract males to mate mainly in the morning, and adult mating reaches the peak at 7:00 a.m. In 1995 and 1996, the major and minor components of the sex pheromone released from T. absoluta and their synthetic methods were reported successively. The major and minor components of this sex pheromone are (3E, 8Z, 11Z)-tetradecatrienyl acetate (TDTA) and (3E, 8Z)-tetradecadienyl acetate (TDDA), respectively, which constitute the sex pheromone in a ratio of about 90∶10. Bioassay results revealed that TDTA had a strong attraction to males, which could be further enhanced when its mixture with TDDA was used. In recent years, more efficient and convenient synthetic methods of sex pheromone components have been developed, providing good conditions for their large-scale production and application. At present, the sex pheromone of T. absoluta has been widely used in the control of this insect pest in the world, and good results have been achieved. Among the reported sex pheromone traps commonly used for monitoring and mass trapping this insect pest, the water basin trap and triangle trap are more effective. The common doses of sex pheromone contained in commercial lure core are 0.5, 0.8 and 3.0 mg. For field application, the corresponding trap type and sex pheromone dose should be selected according to the actual situation of habitat and growth stage of crops, damage degree, local natural conditions, etc. In addition, the mating disruption by using sex pheromone is also common in the control of T. absoluta, and its successful application requires a highly enclosed environment. Because sex pheromone has the advantages of high efficiency, safety and environmental protection in the monitoring and control of T. absoluta, its related research results can provide important reference for the sustainable control strategies and measures of this insect pest in China.

Key words: Tuta absoluta, sex pheromone, bioactivity determination, monitoring, mass trapping, mating disruption