Monochamus galloprovincials and the pine wilt disease
The nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus (Nematoda: Aphelenchoididae) is causal agent for the pine wilt disease (PWD). Native in North America the nematode spread to China, Korea and Taiwan in the mid to late 1980s. In 1999, B. xylophilus was found in Portugal on Pinus pinaster. In the meantime the whole territory of continental Portugal is classified as infested area and a first outbreak in Spain was reported in the year 2008. The damage potential of B. xylophilus on European Pinus species is very high.
In Europe, Monochamus galloprovincialis (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) is known as the most important vector of the pine wood nematode. Transmission of the nematode by the beetle can occur during maturation feeding (on stressed or healthy trees) as well as during oviposition (on stressed trees).
Analysis of volatiles from infested and healthy pine trees and electrophysiological experiments with M. galloprovincialis will be used to find out if the longhorn beetle uses infestation-induced volatiles for orientation and host selection. First results prove that infested trees emit volatiles that are different from healthy trees. The next step will be to distinguish between different kinds of stress in order to find out if the detected stress markers are specific for infestation with B. xylophilus. The role of the detected volatiles for host selction of M. galloprovincialis has to be analysed with behavioural tests.
Dr. Thomas Schröder
Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants – Julius Kühn-Institute