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Caltech researchers find dual-use sexual attraction and population-control chemicals in nematodes
Date:7/31/2008

which attacks the roots of soybean plants, causes half a billion dollars worth of crop loss each year in the United States alone.

By decoding some of the signals that nematodes use to communicate, scientists may be able to offer new strategies to control the pests. One option could be to create chemical attractants derived from pheromones, similar to the pheromone-based substances that now are used to lure fruit flies and other bugs into traps. Alternatively, Sternberg says, compounds could be developed "that interfere with the chemical signaling involved in the reproductive process," thereby preventing the organism from multiplying.


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Contact: Kathy Svitil
ksvitil@caltech.edu
626-395-8022
California Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

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