Olfactory cues explain differential attraction of the striped rice stem borer to different varieties of rice plant

Majid Ghaninia Tabarestani, M. Amooghli Tabari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In Iranian rice fields, different varieties of rice are cultivated which are differentially impacted by females of the rice stem borer, Chilo suppressalis. To elucidate the role odours may play in their host plant finding behaviour, female Ch. suppressalis were exposed to four varieties of rice plants and their volatiles in a four-arm olfactometer. In whole plant tests, Ch. suppressalis were significantly attracted to the variety previously characterized as most susceptible, least attracted to one characterized as semisusceptible, and showed no attraction to those varieties characterized as semi- and highly resistant. Tests using headspace volatile extracts yielded similar results in the case of the most susceptible variety, but showed no attraction to the semisusceptible and highly resistant varieties, and low attraction to the semiresistant variety. Subsequent analysis of the volatile composition identified a panel of 27 components, some of which were either unique to, or abundantly present in, particular varieties, and may explain the observed variation in their attractiveness. Our findings show that rice plant volatiles can play a role in the host selection behaviour of this pest species, and we suggest compounds which may be important to this process and the future application of volatiles in rice pest management programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)376-385
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Entomology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Chilo suppressalis
  • Host selection behaviour
  • Olfactometry
  • Oryza sativa
  • Variety
  • Volatiles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Insect Science


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