Navigation Links
Apathetic aphids with attitude become easier prey for ladybugs

ITHACA, N.Y. Apathetic aphids which become accustomed to ignoring genetically engineered chemical alarms in plants and alarms sent by fellow aphids become easy prey for ladybugs. That's good news for farmers, according to researchers at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research and Cornell University. (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Aug. 3, 2010.)

The study, "Alarm pheromone habituation in Myzus persicae has fitness consequences and causes extensive gene expression changes," was authored by Georg Jander, associate scientist at the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) located on the Cornell campus, and Robert Raguso, Cornell professor of neurobiology and behavior. Co-authors also include Martin de Vos, a former BTI post-doctoral researcher; Wing Yin Cheng, a former undergraduate researcher in Jander's lab; and Holly Summers, a graduate student in Raguso's lab.

Under normal circumstances, when a ladybug captures and bites into an aphid, the victim releases an alarm pheromone called beta-farnesene, prompting nearby aphids to walk away or drop off the plant. When aphids are raised on plants genetically engineered to emit beta-farnesene, they become accustomed to the chemical and no longer respond to it even when a predator is present making them easy prey.

Aphids reared continuously on genetically engineered Arabidopsis thaliana plants that produced beta-farnesene became habituated to the pheromone within three generations and no longer responded to the compound. In the absence of predators, the habituated aphids produce more progeny, likely because they expended less energy on running away and focus more on feeding compared to normal aphids. However, said Jander: "When we put ladybugs into the mix, the ones that are habituated to the alarm pheromone get eaten more." Anxious aphids those actually responding to pheromone alarms had a higher survival rate in the presence of predators.

Genetically engineered crop plants or those that naturally produce the aphid alarm pheromone, for instance some potato varieties, could be used to increase the effectiveness of aphid predators as part of future crop protection strategies.


Contact: Blaine Friedlander
Cornell University

Related biology news :

1. Aphids evolved special, surprising talents
2. Discovering soybean plants resistant to aphids and a new aphid
3. Epidemic played large role in shift of attitudes on abortion, author says
4. Fish with attitude: Some like it hot
5. Fish with attitude: Some like it hot
6. Attitudes towards assisted reproduction and preimplantation genetic diagnosis
7. Could genetic research awaken racist attitudes?
8. New insights into how stem cells determine what tissue to become
9. Sea snail saliva may become new treatment for most severe pain
10. Fungus among us could become non-food source for biodiesel production
11. Fish facing reflections become feisty but fearful
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/9/2015)... 09, 2015 ... the "Global Law Enforcement Biometrics Market ... --> ) has announced the ... Biometrics Market 2015-2019" report to their ... ( ) has announced the addition ...
(Date:10/29/2015)...   MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical ... research, is pleased to announce that it has been ... one of only three finalists for a 2015 ... Growing" category. The Tekne Awards honor Minnesota ... innovation and leadership. iMedNet™ eClinical ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015  Connected health pioneer, Joseph ... explosion of technology-enabled health and wellness, and the business ... The Internet of Healthy Things . ... smartphones even existed, Dr. Kvedar, vice president, Connected Health, ... care delivery, moving care from the hospital or doctor,s ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... --> --> ... by Transparency Market Research, the global non-invasive prenatal testing ... 17.5% during the period between 2014 and 2022. The ... Analysis, Size, Volume, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2014 ... to reach a valuation of US$2.38 bn by 2022. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... In harsh industrial ... points for in-line sensors can represent a weak spot where leaking process media ... of retractable sensor housings , which are designed to tolerate extreme process conditions. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... LOS ANGELES , Nov. 24, 2015 ... a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and ... Marban , Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, is scheduled to ... December 1, 2015 at 10:50 a.m. EST, at The ... York City . . ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... , ... Whitehouse Laboratories is pleased to announce that it has completed construction ... dedicated to basic USP 61, USP 62 and USP 51 testing specific to raw ... and micro testing performed by one supplier. Management has formally announced that ...
Breaking Biology Technology: