Differential Metabolic Responses Caused by the Most Important Insect Pest of Coffee Worldwide, the Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei).J Agric Food Chem. 2020 Feb 26; 68(8):2597-2605.JA
The world's coffee supply is threatened by the coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei, the most destructive pest affecting coffee production and quality. This study hypothesized that coffee berry borer infestation induces distinct metabolic responses in the green coffee seeds of Coffea arabica and Coffea canephora (robusta). A targeted metabolomics approach was conducted using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry to quantify intracellular metabolites in infested and uninfested arabica and robusta green seeds. In parallel, the seed biomass content and composition were assessed for the same conditions. Coffee berry borer attack induced increases in the levels of chlorogenic acids in arabica seeds, whereas organic acids and sugar alcohols were more abundant in infested robusta seeds. Most importantly, a set of compounds was identified as biomarkers differentiating the metabolic response of these taxa to the coffee berry borer.