Navigation Links
Flower power puts a hurt on caterpillars
Date:8/16/2011

This release is available in Spanish.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists in Peoria, Ill., are investigating the pest-fighting potential of anthocyanins, healthful chemical compounds in the form of plant pigments that give blueberries, plums, grapes and flowers such as petunias their blue and purple color.

In experiments conducted at the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, operated in Peoria, Ill., by USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS), corn earworm caterpillars forced to feed on blue areas of petunia petals gained less weight than larvae that fed on white areas. ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency.

Additional experiments showed that anthocyanins isolated from the petunia petals also slowed the caterpillars' growth rate. Cabbage looper caterpillars were also evaluated. Those that ate the blue petal areas of a petunia cultivar used in the tests died at higher rates than larvae that ate the white areas.

Although it's unclear what petal compound or compounds were involved in the loopers' deaths, their toxicity was apparently increased by the anthocyanins' presence, according to Eric T. Johnson, a molecular biologist with the center's Crop Bioprotection Research Unit.

He and his colleagues also are interested in maize proteins that are produced during the crop's seedling stage. The seedlings are quite resistant to insects, and the researchers suspect this may be partly due to a combination of resistance biochemicals and proteins.

If the proteins' resistance role can be confirmed, then it may be possible to express the genes responsible for those proteins at a later stage in the plant's life cycle. However, this would be contingent upon expressing them at sufficient levels, adds Johnson.

Ultimately, studies of plant-produced substances like anthocyanins could give rise to new crop varieties that boast dual-use phytochemicals-fighting pests on the one hand and benefiting human health on the other.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jan Suszkiw
jan.suszkiw@ars.usda.gov
301-504-1630
United States Department of Agriculture - Research, Education and Economics
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Team led by IU biologists confirms sunflower domesticated in US, not Mexico
2. Pearl-flowered legume a surprise new find in the Cape Snowy Mountains, South Africa
3. Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia yield 18 new species of rare ferns and flowering plants
4. Extending the vase life of cut flowers: Pre-treatments and preservatives studied
5. Engineering blue-hued flowers
6. Where have all the flowers gone?
7. University of Tennessee scientist: Flowers rapid growth rate can be traced back 65 million years
8. Growers rally behind purple flowers to support TGen cancer research
9. New genetic study helps to solve Darwins mystery about the ancient evolution of flowering plants
10. A dose of safflower oil each day might help keep heart disease at bay
11. Pollen also appears outside flowering season
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... April 11, 2017 Crossmatch®, a globally-recognized ... solutions, today announced that it has been awarded ... Projects Activity (IARPA) to develop next-generation Presentation Attack ... "Innovation has been a driving force within ... will allow us to innovate and develop new ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ:   NXTD ... the appointment of independent Directors Mr. Robin D. Richards ... of Directors, furthering the company,s corporate governance and expertise. ... Gino Pereira , Chief ... to their guidance and benefiting from their considerable expertise as ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... YORK , April 5, 2017 Today ... is announcing that the server component of the HYPR ... known for providing the end-to-end security architecture that empowers ... HYPR has already secured over 15 million ... makers including manufacturers of connected home product suites and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/9/2017)... 9, 2017  BioTech Holdings announced today identification ... its ProCell stem cell therapy prevents limb loss ... Company, demonstrated that treatment with ProCell resulted in ... as compared to standard bone marrow stem cell ... in reduction of therapeutic effect.  ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... Phoenix, Arizona (PRWEB) , ... October 09, 2017 ... ... of Kindred, a four-tiered line of medical marijuana products targeting the needs of ... production and packaging of Kindred takes place in Phoenix, Arizona. , As operators ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... Hi-C-based genomic technologies, launched its ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenome deconvolution product, featuring the ... and accompanying cloud-based bioinformatics software to perform Hi-C metagenome deconvolution using their ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... , ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... a lunch discussion and webinar on INSIGhT, the first-ever adaptive clinical trial for ... Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The event is free and open to the public, but ...
Breaking Biology Technology: