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By Gerardo R. Partido

HAGATNA, Guam (Marianas Variety, Dec. 3) – Professor Angel Guerrero, a chemical ecologist from Barcelona, Spain visited Guam and was hosted by Dr. G.V.P. Reddy of the University of Guam’s Western Pacific Tropical Research Center.

According to UOG, Reddy and Guerrero have been collaborating for some time on the use of insect pheromones in pest management and also the bio-control of noxious weeds.

Reddy has been working on the chemical ecology of the banana borer, an important banana pest on the island, conducting field tests using traps with farmers in Yigo.

According to UOG, the results of these tests will be the basis of a paper that he will co-write with Guerrero.

The two are also collaborating on an article for the journal Trends in Plant Science on "Exploiting Insect Pheromones in Noxious Weed Biocontrol" and also in Trends in Ecology and Evolution on "Ecologically based Interactions of Semiochemicals and Insect Natural Enemies."

Reddy and Guerrero are also in the process of preparing two grant proposals for NRI-USDA.

One proposal will concentrate on the possible use of antagonists of insect pheromones which cause a disruption of the chemical communication of the insects.

The second proposal will address the biocontrol of invasive weeds on the island by the use of pheromones to attract the weeds’ natural enemies and allow them to act more efficiently in destroying the target weed.

The two plan to include Dr. James P. Cuda of the University of Florida at Gainesville in this work as he is a well known expert on the biological control of weeds.

While on Guam, Guerrero also presented a seminar on "Pheromone Antagonists: Activity and Prospects for Possible Utilization in Pest Control" at the University of Guam.

Guerrero and Reddy have been working on this research for several years and the results have been published in renowned international journals.

According to UOG, Guerrero greatly enjoyed the hospitality of the island. "It has been an honor to visit Guam for the first time. This visit has been very fruitful and I hope the new proposals will be accepted and funded so that new visits can be arranged," he was quoted as saying.

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