Could plant hormones provide a reliable tool for early detection of Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) infested palms?
Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is one of the most important pest of palms worldwide. A serious management problem is the difficulty of detecting early infestation stages, which is critical for successful control. Our main objective has been to characterize the metabolic response of Phoenix canariensis hort. ex Chabaud to R. ferrugineus injury to identify candidate biomarkers for early detection. Mechanical wounding and R. ferrugineus infestation resulted in different patterns of plant hormone and secondary metabolite production: SA and caffeic acid concentrations increased by several orders of magnitude following R. ferrugineus development within the palm 7 days after infestation. These compounds did not change in mechanically wounded palms. Therefore, these substances could be further exploited as early warning signs of infestation.
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