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Speakers - Pablo Guerenstein

Type of the Presentation: (Short lecture)

INSECT OLFACTORY NEUROETHOLOGY: BEHAVIOR AND BRAIN PHYSIOLOGY STUDIES IN VECTORS OF DISEASE AND CROP PESTS

Pablo Guerenstein*, Celina Bratovich, Irving May Concha, Lucia Ibarra Bouzada, Fabio Guidobaldi, M Gabriela Murua, Adriana Saluso, Mailen Garcia, Andres Perusset, Silvia Etcheverry, Nora Burroni, Carla Cecere, Julio Rojas Leon (CICyTTP-CONICET, INTA, EEAOC and National Universities of Buenos Aires, Entre Rios and Litoral, Argentina; ECOSUR, Mexico)

*Correspondence: pabloguerenstein@cicyttp.org.ar

Insects use their olfactory system to accomplish several tasks during their biological cycle, including finding a mate and a food source. Knowledge related to their olfactory behavior and to how the olfactory information is processed in their brain could be used to develop tools and strategies to manipulate their behavior and control them. We study the behavior and brain physiology of both disease vectors and pest insects. Thus, we are evaluating attractive odor mixtures that could be used as lures for trapping triatomines (kissing) bugs (vectors of Chagas disease) in the field. Moreover, we have just started to study the processing of odor information in the olfactory part of the triatomine brain. On the other hand, we study the attraction of male fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda, an important pest moth) towards the female sex pheromone in Argentinean populations, and how their behavior and brain physiology could be affected by the global climate change. Our results suggest that some synthetic host odor blends can be used as efficient lures to attract triatomines in the field. The antennal (olfactory) lobe of the brain of triatomines processes information about host odors, and these studies could speed up the improvement of the attractant. On the other hand, our results suggest that commercial sex pheromone formulations are not efficient enough to attract a significant number of fall armyworm males in the field. It can also be suggested that the global increase in ambient CO2 levels as a result of the global climate change will affect the olfactory behavior of the moth as well as their olfactory physiology.

Funding: ANPCyT (PICT 2015 N3260) and CONICET (PIP 2015-2017), Argentina