Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. Ian Scott

2nd Supervisor

Dr. Jeremy McNeil



The cabbage looper moth (CLM), Trichoplusia ni (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is an agricultural pest that has developed resistance to many frequently used insecticides, so alternative methods are required to reduce greenhouse CLM populations. Host plant volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) are used by female CLMs as cues for host location and oviposition. I hypothesized that changes in host plant VOC production, through genetic modification, could alter host location behaviour by CLMs. These changes in VOCs have potential to give rise to highly attractive transgenic trap crops. Chemical analyses on genetically transformed tomato, Solanum lycopersicum L. plants provided evidence of different VOCs relative to wild-type (WT) tomatoes, but CLMs exhibited no preference for transgenic VOCs over WT when virgin or mated females were tested in olfactometer experiments. In conclusion, CLMs do not prefer transgenic tomato VOCs over WT, so the transgenic plants could not be used as effective greenhouse trap crops.

Included in

Entomology Commons