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Speakers - Rodrigo Facchini Magnani

Type of the Presentation: (Short lecture)

 

VOLATILE REPELLENTS EMITTED BY PLANTS AS A SUSTAINABLE STRATEGY TO MANAGE AND CONTROL DIAPHORINA CITRI, INSECT VECTOR OF THE CITRUS DISEASES HLB ("GREENING")

 

Rodrigo Facchini Magnani

 

1  Laboratório de Biotecnologia Vegetal. Pesquisa & Desenvolvimento. Fundo de Defesa da Citricultura (Fundecitrus). Araraquara, São Paulo, Brasil

*  Correspondence: rodrigo.magnani@fundecitrus.com.br

 

Among the main diseases that affect the citriculture, huanglongbing (HLB) or "Greening" is the most destructive one and it severely affects the citrus production. It is estimated that more than 40 million plants have been eliminated in São Paulo State. In Brazil HLB is caused by two species of phloem-limited bacteria, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus and Ca. L. americanus, which are restricted to the phloem and transmitted from infected to healthy trees by the psyllid insect vector, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Liviidae). Among the efforts to contain the spread of the disease are eliminating all infected trees within an area, replanting with HLB-free material and using intensive insecticide pulverizations against the insect vector. Despite all the efforts to control the disease there is no effective strategy for its sustainable control. However, it has been shown that the volatiles emitted by guavas are repellent to D. citri. By analyzing the volatiles emitted from guavas we identified that (E)-β-caryophyllene, at certain doses, repels D. citri. For the first time, it was demonstrated that Arabidopsis thaliana modified for (E)-β-caryophyllene over-expression was able to repel adults of D. citri. Therefore, this model demonstrates the potential of using volatile repellents emitted by plants as a strategy to manage the insect vector of HLB. Thus, we believe that the combination of traditional integrated pest and disease management programs, chemical manipulation of volatile organic compounds of host plants and alteration of the chemical ecology involved in insect behavioral response may be an important tool for establishing effective and sustainable strategies to manage and control citrus diseases.