Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Apathetic Aphids with Attitude – Ignoring Science and Infuriating Farmers – Become Easier Prey for Ladybugs

09.08.2010
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.

The National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture funded the research.

Blaine Friedlander | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.cornell.edu

Further reports about: Apathetic Aphids Arabidopsis thaliana Attitude BTI Farmers Branch Infuriating crop plant

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Microjet generator for highly viscous fluids
13.02.2018 | Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology

nachricht Sweet route to greater yields
08.02.2018 | Rothamsted Research

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Japanese researchers develop ultrathin, highly elastic skin display

19.02.2018 | Information Technology

Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?

19.02.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Studying mitosis' structure to understand the inside of cancer cells

19.02.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>