Master of Science
Herbivorous insects are a constant problem for farmers and growers globally, who rely on insecticides to control pest populations. Alternative measures are required due to insects developing resistance to chemical insecticides, along with increasing pressure from consumers. Integrated pest management (IPM) programs are a popular alternative. IPM uses a multifaceted approach to reduce pest populations below economic injury thresholds. Many plant-insect interactions are modulated by plant volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. Manipulating this communication channel by producing transgenic plants with modified VOC emissions could provide another tool for use in IPM programs. I developed tomato Solanum lycopersicum (L.) plants expressing one of two chosen transgenes involved in VOC biosynthesis, which resulted in some changes to VOC emissions. When given the choice between transgenic and non-transgenic plants, greenhouse whitefly Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood) preferred non-transgenic plants for oviposition. This suggests that VOC manipulation should be explored further as a potential tool for pest management.
Hughes, Scott R., "Developing a Sustainable Insect Pest Management System by Manipulating Plant Volatile Emissions" (2018). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 5726.