The Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, vectors Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (Las) and Candidatus Liberibacter americanus (Lam), the presumed causal agents of huanglongbing. D. citri generally rely on olfaction and vision for detection of host cues. Plant volatiles from Allium spp. (Alliaceae) are known to repel several arthropod species. We examined the effect of garlic chive (A. tuberosum Rottl.) and wild onion (A. canadense L.) volatiles on D. citri behaviour in a two-port divided T-olfactometer. Citrus leaf volatiles attracted significantly more D. citri adults than clean air. Volatiles from crushed garlic chive leaves, garlic chive essential oil, garlic chive plants, wild onion plants and crushed wild onion leaves all repelled D. citri adults when compared with clean air, with the first two being significantly more repellent than the others. However, when tested with citrus volatiles, only crushed garlic chive leaves and garlic chive essential oil were repellent, and crushed wild onions leaves were not.
Analysis of the headspace components of crushed garlic chive leaves and garlic chive essential oil by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry revealed that monosulfides, disulfides and trisulfides were the primary sulfur volatiles present. In general, trisulfides (dimethyl trisulfide) inhibited the response of D. citri to citrus volatiles more than disulfides (dimethyl disulfide, allyl methyl disulfide, allyl disulfide). Monosulfides did not affect the behaviour of D. citri adults. A blend of dimethyl trisulfide and dimethyl disulfide in 1:1 ratio showed an additive effect on inhibition of D. citri response to citrus volatiles. The plant volatiles from Allium spp. did not affect the behaviour of the D. citri ecto-parasitoid Tamarixia radiata (Waterston). Thus, Allium spp. or the tri- and di-sulphides could be integrated into management programmes for D. citri without affecting natural enemies.