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Volatile compounds in pine stands suffering from pine wilt disease: qualitative and quantitative evaluation

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For more content, see Nematologica.

Pine wilt disease causes ecological and economic damage in Japanese pine forests in spite of intensive effort to protect them from the pine wood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus. Pine trees infected with B. xylophilus emit a characteristic bouquet of volatile compounds bioactive to the vector beetle of the nematode, Monochamus alternatus, and potentially affecting symptom development inside the trees. To investigate the qualitative and quantitative properties of volatile compounds in the field, we profiled the volatile emissions in two Japanese black pine stands, one naturally suffering from pine wilt disease and the other artificially inoculated with B. xylophilus. In both pine stands, the emission of some terpenoids from the infected trees such as (−)-α-pinene, began to increase in summer, overlapping the oviposition season of the vector beetle, but peaked in the summer and autumn. These data suggest that the beetles may not necessarily depend on the tremendous quantity of volatiles alone when they search for suitable trees on which to oviposit.


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