Carp environmental attractants

Project Leader: Dr Simone Rochfort

Aim: To analyse the use of natural odours to direct carp behaviour and movements.

Projects:  4.f.13

Project summary

This project explores an important strategy for the control of invasive species, studying the use of natural odours to direct carp behaviour and movements.

The project aims to:

  • identify plants that are potential attractants through chemical screening and biological testing.
  • identify these chemicals by mass spectroscopy (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR).

Synthetic routes for synthesis of plant compounds for carp attraction were then identified and the most active were synthesised. phase 2 funding allows the continued supervision, operating costs and overheads for IA CRC PhD student, Aaron Elkins.

Key achievements

  • As part of this project, a literature review, Carp Chemical Sensing and the Potential of Natural Environmental Attractants for Control of Carp: A Review was completed, which critically examined the scientific literature around environmental chemo-attractants for fish in general, and carp in particular. The review, accepted for publication by the Journal of Environmental Chemistry, highlights the general paucity of research in this area. The olfactory system is the most sensitive receptor site and plays significant roles in behavioural processes. Carp appear predominantly attracted to amino acid combinations containing glycine and alanine (food related).
  • Chemical screening and biological testing is occurring of four plant species identified as sources of potential chemical attractants. Initial studies suggest that two of the collected plants have some attractant properties for juvenile carp.
  • These plant based attractants will be chemically isolated and identified by MS and NMR.
  • Synthetic routes for synthesis of plant compounds for carp attraction will then be identified and the most active will be synthesised.

Project team

Dr Russell Barrow, Aaron Elkins.

Project partners

IA CRC, Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Vic Department of Primary Industries, Australian National University.

Further information

Elkins A, Barrow R and Rochfort S (submitted Dec 2008, provisionally accepted Jul 09) Carp chemical sensing and the potential of natural environmental attractants for the control of carp: A Review. Environmental Chemistry.

For further information, contact us.