We review here research on semiochemicals for cotton pest management carried out in successive Cotton Co-operative Research Centres from 1998 to 2012. Australian cotton is now dominated by transgenic (Bt) varieties, which provide a strong platform for integrated pest management of key pests such as Helicoverpa spp., but new technologies are required to manage the development of resistance in Helicoverpa spp. to transgenic cotton and the problems posed by emerging and secondary pests, especially sucking insects. A long-range attractant for Helicoverpa moths, based on plant volatiles, has been commercialised as Magnet®. The product has substantial area-wide impacts on moth populations, and only limited effects on beneficial insects. Potential roles are being investigated for this product in resistance management of Helicoverpa spp. on transgenic cotton. Short-range, non-volatile compounds on organ surfaces of plants that do not support development of Helicoverpa spp. have been identified; these compounds deter feeding or oviposition, or are toxic to insect pests. One such product, Sero X®, is effective on Helicoverpa spp. and sucking pests such as whiteflies (Bemisia tabaci), green mirids (Creontiades dilutus), and other hemipteran insects, and is in the advanced stages of commercialisation.
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Vol. 64 • No. 8