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Volume 2012, Article ID 236762, 9 pages
Research Article

Temporal Dynamics and Electronic Nose Detection of Stink Bug-Induced Volatile Emissions from Cotton Bolls

School of Agricultural, Forest, and Environmental Sciences, Edisto Research and Education Center, Clemson University, 64 Research Road, Blackville, SC 29817, USA

Received 16 September 2011; Revised 9 January 2012; Accepted 12 January 2012

Academic Editor: Mark M. Feldlaufer

Copyright © 2012 David C. Degenhardt et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Management decisions for stink bugs (Pentatomidae) in Bt cotton are complicated by time-consuming sampling methods, and there is a need for more efficient detection tools. Volatile compounds are released from cotton bolls in response to feeding by stink bugs, and electronic nose (E-nose) technology may be useful for detecting boll damage. In this study, we investigated the temporal dynamics of volatile emissions in response to feeding by stink bugs and tested the ability of E-nose to discriminate between odors from healthy and injured bolls. Feeding by stink bugs led to an approximate 2.4-fold increase in volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. Principal components analysis of E-nose sensor data showed distinct (100%) separation between stink bug-injured and healthy bolls after two days of feeding. However, when E-nose was used to randomly identify samples, results were less accurate (80–90%). These results suggest that E-nose is a promising technology for rapid detection of stink bug injury to cotton.