Aggregation pheromone is considered to be the most critical factor of locust aggregation  and plagues. However, over the past 50 years, no compound could meet all the criteria of aggregation pheromone, especially  lack of field verification.

A study by the Institute of Zoology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) found that 4-vinylanisole (4VA), a compound with low release but high biological activity, is quite attractive to gregarious and solitary locusts in different developmental stages and sexes, and can respond to changes in their population density.

The CAS team’s study reveals the reason for locust aggregation. [IMAGE: INSTITUTE OF ZOOLOGY, CHINESE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES]

Through the olfactory receptor OR35 located in their basiconic sensilla, locusts quickly sense 4VA and then begin to  aggregate. The experiments show that 4VA is very attractive to both laboratory and field populations. This study not only revealed the mystery of locust aggregation but also made sustainable locust control possible.

Source: Institute of Zoology,

 Chinese Academy of Sciences

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