Skip to main content Accessibility help

Volatiles mediate host-selection in the corn hoppers Dalbulus maidis (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) and Peregrinus maidis (Hemiptera: Delphacidae)

  • M.V. Coll Aráoz (a1) (a2), V.G. Jacobi (a3) (a4), P.C. Fernandez (a4) (a5), E. Luft Albarracin (a1), E.G. Virla (a1) (a6), J.G. Hill (a1) and C.A.N. Catalán (a7)...


Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by plants are generally involved in host recognition and host selection for many phytophagous insects. However, for leafhoppers and planthoppers, host recognition is mainly thought to involve a phototactic response, but it is not clear if a host plant could be selected based on the volatile cues it emits. In this study we evaluated olfactory responses in dual choice tests of two Hemiptera species, Dalbulus maidis (De Long) (Cicadellidae) and Peregrinus maidis (Ashmead) (Delphacidae), vectors of maize-stunting diseases, to three maize (Zea mays L.) germplasms, a temperate and a tropical hybrid and a landrace. VOCs emitted by the germplasms were collected and identified using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The temperate hybrid released significantly more VOCs than the tropical hybrid and the landrace, and its volatile profile was dominated by (±)-linalool. D. maidis preferred odours emitted from the temperate hybrid, whereas P. maidis preferred odours from the tropical hybrid and the landrace over the temperate one. In order to test if linalool plays a role in the behavioural responses, we assayed this compound in combination with the tropical hybrid, to provide other contextual olfactory cues. D. maidis was attracted to the tropical hybrid plus a 0.0001% linalool solution, indicating that this compound could be part of a blend of attractants. Whereas addition of linalool resulted in a slight, though not significant, reduction in host VOC attractiveness for P. maidis. Both hopper species responded to olfactory cues in the absence of supplementary visual cues.


Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence Phone: +54 381 434 4888 Fax: +54 381 434 4887 E-mail:


Hide All
Adams, R.P. (2007) Identification of Essential Oil Components by Gas Chromatography/Quadrupole Mass Spectrometry. 4th edn. Carol Stream, Illinois, USA, Allured Publishing Corporation.
Argüello Caro, E.B., Maroniche, G.A., Analía, D., Sagadín, M.B., Del Vas, M. & Truol, G. (2013) High viral load in the planthopper vector Delphacodes kuscheli (Hemiptera: Delphacidae) is associated with successful transmission of Mal de Río Cuarto virus. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 106, 9399.
Arneodo, J.D., Guzmán, F.A., Conci, L.R., Laguna, I.G. & Truol, G.A. (2002) Transmission features of Mal de Río Cuarto virus in wheat by its planthopper vector Delphacodes kuscheli. Annals of Applied Biology 141, 195200.
Bento, J.M.S. (2008) Attraction of Bucephalogonia xanthophis (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) to volatiles of its natural host Vernonia condensata (Asteraceae). Scientia Agricola (Piracicaba, Braz.) 65, 634638.
Bullas-Appleton, E.S., Otis, G., Gillard, C. & Schaafsma, A.W. (2004) Potato leafhopper (Homoptera: Cicadellidae) varietal preferences in edible beans in relation to visual and olfactory cues. Environmental Entomology 33, 13811388.
Carloni, E., Carpane, P., Paradell, S., Laguna, I. & Gimenez Pecci, M.P. (2013) Presence of Dalbulus maidis (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) and of Spiroplasma kunkelii in the temperate region of Argentina. Journal of Economic Entomology 106, 15741581.
Carpane, P. & Ingrassia, H. (2012) Análisis del daño por Achaparramiento en híbridos de maíz. TCM. Internal communication MONSANTO ARGENTINA S.A.I.C.
Cook, A.G. & Denno, R.F. (1994) Planthopper–plant interactions: feeding behavior, plant nutrition, plant defense, and host plant specialization. pp. 114139 in Denno, R.F. & Perfect, T.J. (Eds) Planthoppers: Their Ecology and Management. , Boston, Springer.
Cook, S.M., Khan, Z.R. & Pickett, J.A. (2007) The use of push-pull strategies in integrated pest management. Annual Review of Entomology 52, 375400.
Compton, S.G. (2002) Sailing with the wind: dispersal by small flying insects. pp. 113133 in Bullock, J.M., Kenward, R.E. & Hails, R.S. (Eds) Dispersal Ecology. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Davila-Flores, A.M., DeWitt, T.J. & Bernal, J.S. (2013) Facilitated by nature and agriculture: performance of a specialist herbivore improves with host-plant life history evolution, domestication, and breeding. Oecologia 173, 14251437.
Diaz, C.N., Luft Albarracín, E. & Alderete, M. (2016) Preferencia de oviposición de Peregrinus maidis (Hemiptera: Delphacidae) en distintas plantas hospederas. Revista de la Sociedad Entomologica Argentina 75, 139146.
Fereres, A. & Moreno, A. (2009) Behavioural aspects influencing plant virus transmission by homopteran insects. Virus Research 141, 158168.
Gimenez Pecci, M.P., Laguna, I.G. & Lenardón, S. (2012) Enfermedades del maíz producidas por Virus y Mollicutes en Argentina. Ediciones INTA Buenos Aires, Argentina. ISBN 978-987-679-116-8.
Hassanali, A., Herren, H., Khan, Z.R., Pickett, J.A. & Woodcck, C.M. (2008) Integrated pest management: the push–pull approach for controlling insect pests and weeds of cereals, and its potential for other agricultural systems including animal husbandry. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B, Biological Sciences 363, 611621.
He, P., Zhang, J., Liu, N.Y., Zhang, Y.N., Yang, K. & Dong, S.L. (2011) Distinct expression profiles and different functions of odorant binding proteins in Nilaparvata lugens Stal. PLoS ONE 6(12), e28921.
He, M., Zhang, Y.N. & He, P. (2015) Molecular characterization and differential expression of an olfactory receptor gene family in the white-backed Planthopper Sogatella furcifera based on transcriptome analysis. PLoS ONE 10(11), e0140605.
Khan, Z.R. & Saxena, R.C. (1985) Effect of steam distillate extracts of a resistant rice variety on feeding behaviour of Nephotettix virescens (Homoptera: Cicadellidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 78, 562566.
Krokos, F.D., Konstantopoulou, M.A. & Mazomenos, B.E. (2002) Chemical characterisation of corn plant compounds by different extraction techniques and the role of potent chemicals in the reproductive behaviour of the corn stalk borer Sesamia nonagrioides. Use of pheromones and other semiochemicals in integrated production. IOBC-WPRS Bulletin 25, 19.
La Grange, M.R. (2016) Olfactory responses of the leafhopper vector, Mgenia fuscovaria Stål (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), to volatiles from aster yellows phytoplasma-infected and uninfected grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.). Dissertation, University of Pretoria.
La Grange, R., Schröder, M., Glinwood, R., Ignell, R. & Krüger, K. (2017) Leafhopper interactions with host plants – a role for volatile cues? IOBC-WPRS Bulletin 126, 2226.
Lenardon, S.L., March, G.J., Nome, S.F. & Ornaghi, J.A. (1998) Recent outbreak of ‘Mal de Rio Cuarto’ virus on corn in Argentina. Plant Disease 82, 448448.
Liu, G., Saxena, R.C. & Wilkins, R.M. (1994) Behavioral responses of the Whitebacked Planthopper Sogatella furcifera (Homoptera: Delphacidae) on rice plants whose odors have been masked. Journal of Insect Behavior 7, 343353.
Luft Albarracin, E., Paradell, S. & Virla, E. (2008) Cicadellidae (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha) associated to maize crops in north-western Argentina, influence of the sowing date and phenology on the abundance and diversity. Maydica 53, 289296.
Luft Albarracin, E., Triapitsyn, S.V. & Virla, E.G. (2017) Egg parasitoids of the corn leafhopper, Dalbulus maidis (Delong) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), in Argentina. Neotropical Entomology 46, 666677.
Marino de Remes Lenicov, A.M. & Paradell, S.L. (2012) Morfología y biología de especies vectoras de virus y mollicutes al maíz en la Argentina (Insecta-Hemiptera-Cicadomorpha-Fulgoromorpha). pp. 125152 in Giménez Pecci, M.P., Laguna, I.G. & Lenardón, S. (Eds), Enfermedades del maíz producidas por Virus y Mollicutes en Argentina. Argentina, Ediciones INTA Buenos Aires, ISBN 978-987-679-116-8.
Mazzoni, V., Ioriatti, C., Trona, F., Lucchi, A., De Cristofaro, A. & Anfora, G. (2009) Study on the role of olfaction in host plant detection of Scaphoideus titanus (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) Nymphs. Journal of Economic Entomology 102, 974980.
McKamey, S. (2002) Leafhoppers of the world database: progress report. p. 85 in Hoch, H., Asche, M., Homberg, C. & Kessling, P. (Eds) Proceedings of the 11th International Auchenorrhyncha Congress, 5–9 August 2002, Postdam, Berlin, Germany.
Molnár, B.P., Tóth, Z., Fejes-Tóth, A., Dekker, T. & Kárpáti, Z. (2015) Electrophysiologically-active maize volatiles attract gravid female European Corn Borer, Ostrinia nubilalis. Journal of Chemical Ecology 41, 9971005.
Nault, L.R. (1983) Origin of leafhopper vectors of maize pathogens in Mesoamerica. pp. 7578 in Proceedings of the International Maize Virus Diseases Colloquium and Workshop. Wooster, Ohio, USA, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.
Nault, L.R. & Rodríguez, J. (1985) The Leafhoppers and Planthoppers. New York, John Wiley & Sons Inc., p. 485.
Obata, T., Koh, H.S., Kim, M. & Fukami, H. (1981) Planthopper attractants in rice plant. Applied Entomology and Zoology 25, 4751.
Obata, T., Koh, H.S., Kim, M. & Fukami, H. (1983) Constituents of planthopper attractant in rice plant. Applied Entomology and Zoology 18, 161169.
Oliveira, C.M., Lopes, J.R.S. & Nault, L.R. (2013) Survival strategies of Dalbulus maidis during maize off-season in Brazil. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 147, 141153.
Oluwafemi, S., Bruce, T.J.A., Pickett, J.A., Ton, J. & Birkett, M.A. (2011) Behavioral responses of the leafhopper, Cicadulina storeyi China, a major vector of maize streak virus, to volatile cues from intact and leafhopper-damaged maize. Journal of Chemical Ecology 37, 4048.
Oluwafemi, S., Birkett, M.A., Caulfield, J. & Pickett, J.A. (2012) Variability of volatile organic compounds emitted by seedlings of seven African maize varieties when infested by adult Cicadulina storeyi China leafhopper vectors of maize streak virus. African Crop Science Journal 20, 117124.
Paradell, S.L., Virla, E.G. & Toledo, A. (2001) Leafhoppers species richness and abundance on corn crops in Argentina (Insecta-Hemiptera-Cicadellidae). Boletin Sanidad Vegetal Plagas 27, 465474.
Patt, J.M. & Setamou, M. (2007) Olfactory and visual stimuli affecting host plant detection in Homalodisca coagulata (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae). Environmental Entomology 36, 142150.
Potter, T.L., Olson, D.M., Ni, X. & Rains, G.C. (2015) A re-examination of corn (Zea mays L.) ear volatiles. Phytochemistry Letters 14, 280286.
Ranger, C.M., Winter, R.E.K., Backus, E.A., Rottinghaus, G.E., Ellersieck, M.R. & Johnson, D.W. (2005) Discrimination by potato leafhopper (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) of host volatiles from resistant and susceptible alfalfa, Medicago sativa L. Environmental Entomology 34, 271280.
Robert, C.A.M., Erb, M., Hiltpold, I., Hibbard, B.E., Gaillard, M.D.P., Bilat, J., Degenhardt, J., Cambet-Petit-Jean, X., Turlings, T.C.J. & Zwahlen, C. (2013) Genetically engineered maize plants reveal distinct costs and benefits of constitutive volatile emissions in the field. Plant Biotechnology Journal 1, 112.
Saxena, K.N. & Saxena, R.C. (1974) Patterns of relationships between certain leafhoppers and plants, part II. Role of sensory stimuli in orientation and feeding. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 17, 493503.
Singh, B.U. & Seetharama, N. (2008) Host plant interactions of the corn planthopper, Peregrinus maidis Ashm. (Homoptera: Delphacidae) in maize and sorghum agroecosystems. Arthropod Plant Interactions 2, 163196.
Theodorou, V., Skobridis, K., Tzakos, A.G. & Ragoussis, V. (2007) A simple method for the alkaline hydrolysis of esters. Tetrahedron Letters 48, 82308233.
Tsai, J.H. (1996) The development and oviposition of Peregrinus maidis (Ashmead) (Homoptera: Delphacidae) on various host plants. Florida Entomologist 79, 1926.
Todd, J.L., Phelan, P.L. & Nault, L.R. (1990) Interaction between visual and olfactory stimuli during host-finding by leafhopper, Dalbulus maidis (Homoptera: Cicadellidae). Journal of Chemical Ecology 16, 21212133.
Virla, E., Díaz, C., Carpane, P., Laguna, I., Ramallo, J., Gómez, L. & Giménez Pecci, M.P. (2004 a) Evaluación preliminar de la disminución en la producción de maíz causada por el ‘Corn Stunt Spiroplasma’ (CSS) en Tucumán, Argentina. Boletin Sanidad Vegetal Plagas 30, 403413.
Virla, E., Miotti, I., Giménez Pecci, M.P., Carpane, P. & Laguna, G. (2004 b). Peregrinus maidis (Hemiptera: Delphacidae), new experimental vector of the ‘Mal de Río Cuarto’ disease to corn. Biocell 28, 54.
Virla, E.M., Casuso, M. & Frias, E. (2010) A preliminary study on the effects of a transgenic corn event on the non-target pest Dalbulus maidis (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae). Crop Protection 29, 635638.
Virla, E.G., Moya Raygoza, G. & Luft Albarracin, E. (2013) Egg parasitoids of the corn leafhopper, Dalbulus maidis, in the southernmost area of its distribution range. Journal of Insect Science 13, 17.
Wang, B., Zhou, G., Xin, Z., Ji, R. & Lou, Y. (2015) (Z)-3-Hexenal, one of the green leaf volatiles, increases susceptibility of rice to the white-backed Planthopper Sogatella furcifera. Plant Molecular Biology Reporter 33, 377387.
Youn, Y. (2002) Electroantennogram responses of Nilaparvata lugens (Homoptera: Delphacidae) to plant volatile compounds. Journal of Economic Entomology 95, 269277.
Zhang, X., Pengsakul, T., Tukayo, M., Yu, L., Fang, W. & Luo, D. (2017) Host-location behavior of the tea green leafhopper Empoasca vitis Göthe (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae): olfactory and visual effects on their orientation. Bulletin of Entomological Research 25, 111.


Type Description Title
Supplementary materials

Coll Aráoz et al. supplementary material
Coll Aráoz et al. supplementary material 1

 Unknown (58 KB)
58 KB
Supplementary materials

Coll Aráoz et al. supplementary material
Coll Aráoz et al. supplementary material 2

 Unknown (2.1 MB)
2.1 MB
Supplementary materials

Coll Aráoz et al. supplementary material
Coll Aráoz et al. supplementary material 3

 Unknown (175 KB)
175 KB

Volatiles mediate host-selection in the corn hoppers Dalbulus maidis (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) and Peregrinus maidis (Hemiptera: Delphacidae)

  • M.V. Coll Aráoz (a1) (a2), V.G. Jacobi (a3) (a4), P.C. Fernandez (a4) (a5), E. Luft Albarracin (a1), E.G. Virla (a1) (a6), J.G. Hill (a1) and C.A.N. Catalán (a7)...


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed