Advertisement

Killing Pests by Disrupting Hibernation

New synthetic hormones can indirectly kill the corn earworm by disrupting its winter sleep habits.

By | September 30, 2011

CornAGRILIFETODAY, FLICKR

Researchers have developed synthetic hormones that disrupt the winter sleep of the corn earworm, an insect that ravages crops in the United States, according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The new technique could be used to control the agricultural pest without relying on traditional pesticides.

When it gets cold, the adult corn earworm typically burrows underground for an extended winter slumber called diapause, which enables them to survive the frosty weather. The new compounds mimic the hormones that control diapause, causing the insects to stay forever trapped in sleep, awaken prematurely in the dead of winter, or never enter it in the first place. As a result, they may be more vulnerable to frigid weather conditions and die off.

The new method could one day be used to control a wide range of pests. One possibility, the researchers note, is to create transgenic plants that express the synthetic hormones.

 

Advertisement

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You

You

Processing...
Processing...

Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Comments

Avatar of: Curculio

Anonymous

September 30, 2011

Any bets on how long it will take to build resistance?  Better come up with a plan first to keep some useful shelf-life.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 30, 2011

Any bets on how long it will take to build resistance?  Better come up with a plan first to keep some useful shelf-life.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 30, 2011

Any bets on how long it will take to build resistance?  Better come up with a plan first to keep some useful shelf-life.

Advertisement

Popular Now

  1. Most Earth-like Planet Found
  2. AAAAA Is for Arrested Translation
  3. Four-legged Snake Fossil Found
  4. The Sum of Our Parts
    Features The Sum of Our Parts

    Putting the microbiome front and center in health care, in preventive strategies, and in health-risk assessments could stem the epidemic of noncommunicable diseases.

Advertisement
Advertisement