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Keywords:

  • behaviour;
  • European corn borer;
  • odours;
  • orientation;
  • Ostrinia nubilalis

Abstract

European corn borer (ECB) neonate larvae are capable of orienting towards maize odours and of avoiding spinach odours. We previously reported that maize odours’ attraction was dependent on the stimulus regime. This led us to propose that maize odours could have a repellent or attractive effect depending on their concentration. In this work, we tested this hypothesis by evaluating attraction or avoidance of neonate ECB larvae to four concentrations of each of six single green leaf volatiles (GLVs); these are commonly found in maize and other plants. We found a dose-dependent effect for all of these GLVs with the exception of 1-hexyl acetate, which did not elicit any orientation behaviour over the range of concentrations tested. These five GLVs were repellent at high concentrations, while two of them were attractive at a lower concentration. These observations indicate for the first time that plant odours induce different behaviours in ECB neonate larvae depending not only on their chemical identity but also their concentration.