The American grapevine leafhopper, Scaphoideus titanus Ball (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), is the vector of the phytoplasma that causes Flavescence dorée, one of the most threatening grapevine yellows disease. The role of olfaction in host plant detection of this species is still unknown. In this study, the attractiveness of a host plant, the grapevine rootstock Vitis riparia × rupestris 101/14, to nymphs was verified through behavioral bioassays in a vertical glass Y-olfactometer. Furthermore, the olfactory sensitivity to odors extracted from grapevine organs headspace and the external morphology of the antennae were studied by electroantennography (EAG) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), respectively. Headspace collections were made from fresh apical shoots and leaves. Concentrated extracts were analyzed by coupled gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to identify volatile compounds. In EAG experiments, weak responses to plant odors were recorded. SEM observations indicated the presence of few antennal sensilla, potentially associated with olfaction. Our results suggest that olfactory cues may play a role in the host plant detection of S. titanus nymphs.
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Vol. 102 • No. 3