Aphid alarm pheromone: An overview of current knowledge on biosynthesis and functions

Sophie Vandermoten, Mark C. Mescher, Frédéric Francis, Eric Haubruge, François J. Verheggen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


Aphids are important agricultural and forest pests that exhibit complex behaviors elicited by pheromonal signals. The aphid alarm pheromone - of which (E)-β-farnesene is the key (or only) component in most species - plays important roles in mediating interactions among individuals as well as multitrophic interactions among plants, aphids, and aphid natural enemies. Though many important questions remain to be answered, a large body of research has addressed various aspects of the biology, physiology, and ecology of aphid alarm pheromones. Here we review recent advances in our understanding of (a) the identity and composition of aphid alarm signals; (b) their biosynthesis and production; (c) their effects on conspecifics; (d) their role as cues for other insect species; and (e) their potential application for the management of pest organisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-163
Number of pages9
JournalInsect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science


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