Behavioral monitoring of trained insects for chemical detection

Glen C. Rains, Samuel L. Utley, W. Joe Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A portable, handheld volatile odor detector ("Wasp Hound") that utilizes a computer vision system and Microplitis croceipes (Cresson) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), a parasitoid wasp, as the chemical sensor was created. Five wasps were placed in a test cartridge and placed inside the device. Wasps were either untrained or trained by associative learning to detect 3-octanone, a common fungal volatile chemical. The Wasp Hound sampled air from the headspace of corn samples prepared within the lab and, coupled with Visual Cortex, a software program developed using the LabView graphical programming language, monitored and analyzed wasp behavior. The Wasp Hound, with conditioned wasps, was able to detect 0.5 mg of 3-octanone within a 240 mL glass container filled with feed corn (≈2.6 × 10-5 mol/L). The Wasp Hound response to the control (corn alone) and a different chemical placed in the corn (0.5 mg of myrcene) was significantly different than the response to the 3-octanone. Wasp Hound results from untrained wasps were significantly different from trained wasps when comparing the responses to 3-octanone. The Wasp Hound may provide a unique method for monitoring grains, peanuts, and tree nuts for fungal growth associated with toxin production, as well as detecting chemicals associated with forensic investigations and plant/animal disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-8
Number of pages7
JournalBiotechnology Progress
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

hounds
Wasps
Insects
insects
monitoring
corn
Zea mays
Microplitis croceipes
myrcene
computer vision
animal diseases
Braconidae
nuts
headspace analysis
volatile compounds
detectors
sensors (equipment)
peanuts
microbial growth
containers

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Biotechnology
  • Microbiology

Cite this

Behavioral monitoring of trained insects for chemical detection. / Rains, Glen C.; Utley, Samuel L.; Lewis, W. Joe.

In: Biotechnology Progress, Vol. 22, No. 1, 01.2006, p. 2-8.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rains, Glen C. ; Utley, Samuel L. ; Lewis, W. Joe. / Behavioral monitoring of trained insects for chemical detection. In: Biotechnology Progress. 2006 ; Vol. 22, No. 1. pp. 2-8.
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