Pheromones for applications in pest management

Insect pheromones belong to a category of organic compounds called semiochemicals. Insects use these natural substances to communicate with each other in many aspects of their life cycle, such as finding food, attracting mates or warning each other about predators. Several methods developed in pest management rely pheromones. Especially, sex pheromones that insects release to attract mates are of utmost importance for pest control. The insecticides based on sex pheromones are called attracticides and the developed strategy is known as the “attract and kill” method. Our laboratory’s research aims to produce synthetic pheromones for field-scale bioassays. Accordingly, large-scale synthetic sequences are carried out with as few stages as possible to produce gram quantities of insect pheromones in an economical, efficient and less time-consuming way. Notably, since the pheromone activity is closely related to its stereochemistry, we strive for the enantioselective synthesis of sex pheromones.

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