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Speakers - Jocelyn G. Millar

Type of the Presentation: (Plenary Lecture)

 

HIGHLY CONSERVED AND HIGHLY VARIABLE PHEROMONE STRUCTURES IN CERAMBYCID BEETLES

 

Jocelyn G. Millar1, Weliton Dias da Silva2, Yunfan Zou1, Jose Mauricio S. Bento2, and Lawrence M. Hanks3

 

1  Dept. of Entomology, University of California, Riverside CA 92521

2  Department of Entomology and Acarology, University of São Paulo, Piracicaba, SP, Brazil

3  Department of Entomology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA

*  Correspondence: millar@ucr.edu

 

Cerambycid beetles are a large insect family with about 35,000 described species.  Many species provide valuable ecosystem services by initiating the breakdown of fallen trees and other woody biomass, but can seriously damage and kill living trees.  There are especially important as invasive species, because they are easily transported by global commerce, and in the new countries, they are freed from their coevolved natural enemies, and so can become major pests.  Prior to 2005, less than 10 attractant pheromones had been identified from cerambycids, and the general consensus was that volatile pheromones did not play a major role in cerambycid reproductive behaviors.  In contrast, since that time, volatile pheromones have been identified from >>100 species, and have been shown to play a major role as mediators of cerambycid behaviors.  The empirical evidence from the identification of these pheromones suggested that pheromone structures were generally highly conserved within related taxonomic groups (genera and tribes), for example, with a single structure serving as a pheromone for numerous species.  However, more recent results suggest that although some structures are highly conserved across a variety of species, other species appear to have diverged from the norm, and have evolved pheromones that are somewhat to entirely different from the more generic pheromone structures.  The identification, synthesis, and field testing of selected examples of the entire spectrum of pheromones, from highly conserved among numerous species, to possibly unique to a single species, will be described.