Variation in the Volatile Profiles of Black and Manchurian Ash in Relation to Emerald Ash Borer Oviposition Preferences

Chad M. Rigsby, Nathaniel B. McCartney, Daniel A. Herms, James H. Tumlinson, Don Cipollini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Emerald ash borer (EAB; Agrilus planipennis) is a devastating pest of ash (Fraxinus spp.) in its invaded range in North America. Its coevolved Asian hosts are more resistant and less preferred for oviposition than susceptible North American species. We compared EAB oviposition preferences and bark and canopy volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions of resistant Manchurian ash and susceptible black ash, and examined relationships between VOC profiles and oviposition. In the field, black ash was highly preferred for oviposition while no eggs were laid on Manchurian ash, and we found clear differences in the VOC profiles of Manchurian and black ash. We detected 78 compounds emitted from these species, including 16 compounds that elicited EAB antennal activity in prior studies. Four compounds were unique to black and 11 to Manchurian ash. Emission rates of 14 canopy and 19 bark volatiles varied among the two species, including four previously reported as antennally active. Specifically, 7-epi-sesquithujene (bark) emissions were greater from black ash, while β-caryophyllene (canopy), linalool (bark), and α-cubebene (bark) were emitted at higher rates by Manchurian ash. No relationships were found between the emission rate of any single compound or group of compounds (e.g. monoterpenes) suggesting that preference may be based on complex profile combinations. This is the first study to directly compare VOCs of black and Manchurian ash as well as the first to examine bark- and canopy-specific VOCs. The unique bark and canopy VOC profiles of these two species implicates potentially important variation in VOCs between a closely related resistant and susceptible species that provides a foundation for future studies of host preferences of EAB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)831-842
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Variation in the Volatile Profiles of Black and Manchurian Ash in Relation to Emerald Ash Borer Oviposition Preferences'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this