Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Predatory Bugs Can Save Cornfields

One of the worst pests of corn in the world, the corn rootworm, may owe its worldwide success partly to its larvae's nasty, sticky blood.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist Jonathan G. Lundgren and his colleagues discovered this recently, working with CABI researchers in Delémont, Switzerland, and Hódmezõvásárhely, Hungary. The discovery could lead to development of ways to overcome these defenses as part of sustainable, ecologically based pest management methods.

Lundgren works at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory in Brookings, S.D. ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency, and this research supports the USDA priority of promoting international food security. CABI is an international not-for-profit organization that researches natural ways of controlling pests, and they have been helping to lead the effort against corn rootworm's European invasion.

The experiments with CABI are the latest in Lundgren's research on corn rootworm predators. Although rootworms have been a major pest for 100 years, this is remarkably the first comprehensive research program on corn rootworm predators to be conducted.

In lab and field experiments in the United States and abroad, the rootworm larvae's sticky blood caused certain species of predators to quickly back off. The foul-tasting blood coagulated in the predators' mouths, temporarily gluing them shut. Predators repelled by the rootworm larvae's blood included ground beetles and ants.

Wolf spiders, on the other hand, had a hearty appetite for rootworms. When insects such as spiders suck fluids from prey rather than chewing their victims, they may be able to bypass the ability of the blood to stick and linger.

The experiments with CABI involved two years of lab and field experiments, begun in 2007, in the United States and Hungary. In the Brookings laboratory, Lundgren and colleagues offered hungry predators a smorgasbord of rootworm larvae and pupae. In all, they have tested 10 different predator species from Europe and North America.

The results have led Lundgren to research managing crop fields to encourage large and diverse predator populations.

Papers on this research have been published recently in Biocontrol Science and Technology, Ecological Applications, and the Journal of Applied Entomology. Also, a paper is scheduled for publication in Environmental Entomology.

Read more about the research in the November/December 2010 issue of Agricultural Research magazine, available online at:

Don Comis | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Forest Management Yields Higher Productivity through Biodiversity
14.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

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: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Gene therapy shows promise for treating Niemann-Pick disease type C1

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Solid progress in carbon capture

27.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>