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Chemical and Canine Analysis as Complimentary Techniques for the Identification of Active Odors in an Invasive Agricultural Pest

Canine training aids for environmental detection are limited by several factors, including a lack of available mimic training aids, methods of acquiring species, and variation of volatiles due to the biological nature of the target. For these environmental searches, it is crucial that a safe, long lasting, reproducible aid be created for use by these canines. To address the lack of availability of these aids, a novel column vent method was designed using gas chromatography to separate fractions of an odor that can be collected, stored, and presented to canines for training in the field. This new method of aid creation was tested using the invasive and pathogenic fungus Raffaelea lauricola, which showed that canines could successfully select the fractions containing active odorants. In the future, this can be applied to many other environmental, forensic, and medical fields that require rapid detection but lack safe and reliable training aid mimics.

Authors: Alison G. Simon, DeEtta Mills, Kenneth G. Furton

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