Date of Graduation

Summer 2014


Master of Natural and Applied Science in Agriculture


College of Agriculture

Committee Chair

Maciej Pszczolkowski


Codling moth (Cydia pomonella) is a major pest of apples in both North America and Europe, capable of causing up to 40 billion dollars in crop damage each year. Control of this pest through traditional chemical means has proven difficult, as the neonates are only exposed to spray residues for a very brief period. In the lab I have been studying an alternative fruit protection strategy, using botanical feeding deterrents. Here, I concentrated on feeding deterrent effects of crude extracts from various species of wormwood. The extract isolated from Artemisia arborescens L."Powis Castle" prevented fruit infestation by 22 of 24 codling moth neonates, while no other species showed any significant action. In order to test the plant material for its active chemical constituent, a system was devised on the principles of planar chromatography. A chamber was constructed in which to catalog and analyze these samples by using a commercially available camera, ultraviolet light and freely available public software. Results of this analysis suggested the presence of alpha-thujone only in A. arborescens. Further experiments showed that isolated alpha-thujone indeed prevents fruit infestation by codling moth neonates in a concentration dependent manner (concentrations of 10, 30 and 100 mg/ml were effective). However, analysis of feeding deterrent activity showed that crude extracts of A. arborescens were effective at concentrations as low as 1 mg/ml, demonstrating that alpha-thujone is not the only deterrent constituent.


IPM, codling moth, thin-layer chromatography, HPTLC, digital densitometry, Cydia pomonella, wormwood, apple, fruit feeding, botanical insecticide

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