Navigation Links
Scientists discover how to send insects off the scent of crops
Date:9/24/2009

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)-funded research, published this week in Chemical Communications, describes how scientists have discovered molecules that could confuse insects' ability to detect plants by interfering with their sense of smell. This could reduce damage to crops by insect pests and contribute to food security.

Lead researcher Dr Antony Hooper of Rothamsted Research, an institute of BBSRC said: "One way in which insects find each other and their hosts is by smell, or more accurately: the detection of chemical signals pheromones, for example. Insects smell chemicals with their antennae; the chemical actually gets into the antennae of the insect and then attaches to a protein called an odorant-binding protein, or OBP. This then leads to the insect changing its behaviour in some way in response to the smell e.g. flying towards a plant or congregating with other insects."

Studying an OBP found in the silkworm moth Bombyx mori, Dr Hooper and his team were able to look at how the OBP and a relevant pheromone interact. They also tested the interaction between OBP and other molecules that are similar to, but not the same as, the pheromone.

Dr Hooper continued: "As well as learning about the nature of this interaction we've actually found that there are other compounds that bind to the OBP much more strongly than the pheromone. We could potentially apply these compounds, or similar ones, in some way to block the insects' ability to detect chemical signals the smell would be overwhelmed by the one we introduce. We'd expect the insects to be less likely to orientate themselves towards the crop plants, or find mates in this case, and therefore could reduce the damage.

"There is a lot of work to do from this point. We want to test this idea with important crop pests we'll probably start with aphids because they are a serious pest and we have some idea of what the aphid OBPs are like from the genome sequence. We'd also hope to apply our knowledge to insects such as tsetse flies and mosquitoes that carry human diseases. And ultimately we'll look at developing ways to design suitable compounds to control these pests."

Professor Douglas Kell, BBSRC Chief Executive said: "Around a quarter of crops are lost to pests and diseases and so if we are to have enough food in the future it is not just a matter of increasing gross yield. To secure our future food supply we must look for new and innovative ways to prevent and control pests and diseases. This is an interesting finding that could be applied across a number of important insect pests and may have far reaching implications for preventing human disease as well."


'/>"/>

Contact: Nancy Mendoza
press.office@bbsrc.ac.uk
44-179-341-3355
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Duke biomedical scientists win 2 highly prized NIH Directors Awards
2. UNC scientists garner new NIH awards for high risk, transformative research
3. Scientists outline planetary boundaries: A safe operating space for humanity
4. Ocean observing scientists and marine industries teaming up to sustainably monitor the water column
5. University of Iowa scientists use blood-brain barrier as therapy delivery system
6. Scientists discover key factor in regulating placenta and fetal growth
7. Scientists find that individuals in vegetative states can learn
8. UCLA scientists make paralyzed rats walk again after spinal-cord injury
9. Scientists pinpoint protein link to fat storage
10. Impact of renewable energy on our oceans must be investigated, say scientists
11. UT scientists discover link between protein and lung disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... NEW YORK , April 5, 2017 ... security, is announcing that the server component of the ... is known for providing the end-to-end security architecture that ... customers. HYPR has already secured over 15 ... system makers including manufacturers of connected home product suites ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... ANGELES , March 30, 2017  On April ... Hack the Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s ... exciting two-day competition will focus on developing health and ... Hack the Genome is the ... been tremendous. The world,s largest companies in the genomics, ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... 28, 2017 The report "Video ... Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, VMS), and ... Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market ... is projected to reach USD 75.64 Billion by 2022, ... The base year considered for the study is 2016 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... 09, 2017 , ... The Giving Tree Wellness Center announces ... needs of consumers who are incorporating medical marijuana into their wellness and health ... As operators of two successful Valley dispensaries, The Giving Tree’s two founders, Lilach ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... for microscopy and surface analysis, Nanoscience Instruments is now expanding into Analytical ... broad range of contract analysis services for advanced applications. Services will leverage ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... , Oct. 6, 2017  The 2017 Nobel ... three scientists, Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank ... in cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) have helped ... the structural biology community. The winners worked with ... now routinely produce highly resolved, three-dimensional images of ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... On Tuesday, ... webinar on INSIGhT, the first-ever adaptive clinical trial for glioblastoma (GBM). The featured ... event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: