Canadian Forest Service Publications

Ethyl m-digallate from red maple, Acer rubrum L., as the major resistance factor to forest tent caterpillar, Malacosoma disstria Hbn. 2001. Abou-Zaid, M.M.; Helson, B.V.; Nozzolillo, C.; Arnason, J.T. Journal of Chemical Ecology 27: 2517-2527.

Year: 2001

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 20519

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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An ethanolic extract of red maple (Acer rubrum L.) leaves (RME) applied to trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) leaves reduced feeding in choice test assays with forest tent caterpillar larvae (Malacosoma disstria Hbn.) (TC), whereas a trembling aspen foliage extract, similarly applied, stimulated feeding. Compounds isolated from the RME were gallic acid, methyl gallate, ethyl gallate, m-digallate, ethyl m-digallate, 1-O-galloyl-ß-D-glucose, 1-O-galloyl-a-L-rhamnose, kaempferol 3-O-ß-glucoside, kaempferol 3-O-ß-D-galactoside, kaempferol 3-O-ß-L-rhamnoside, kaempferol-3-O-rhamnoglucoside, quercetin 3-O-ß-D-glucoside, quercetin 3-O-ß-L-rhamnoside and quercetin 3-O-rhamnoglucoside, (--)-epicatechin, (+)-catechin and ellagic acid. All of the gallates, (--)-epicatechin, and kaempferol 3-O-ß-L-rhamnoside deterred feeding on trembling aspen leaf disks when applied at 0.28 mg/cm2. The two digallates deterred feeding by 90% and were the most effective. HPLC analysis indicated that ethyl m-digallate is present in amounts 10-100 X higher in RME (~2.5-250 mg/g) than any other compound. Thus, ethyl m-digallate appears to be the major compound protecting red maple from feeding by FTC, with a minor contribution from other gallates.