This question was already posed by the botanist and founder of Chemical Ecology, Ernst Stahl, at the end of the 19th century in Jena. More than a hundred years later chemists from Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena (Germany) found a possible answer: “Moss is capable of building up chemical compounds that protect them from enemies,” says Prof. Dr. Georg Pohnert of Jena University. Ernst Stahl had come to the same conclusion after tests.
Now the holder of the Chair of Instrumental analytics and his team succeeded in identifying these compounds and in proving their pest repellent properties beyond doubt. The chemists working with Prof. Pohnert published their research results in the latest edition of the german trade journal “Angewandte Chemie”.
What spoils the snails´ appetite for moss are so called oxylipins. “These are compounds which are formed from unsaturated fatty acids by pathways involving oxidation when the moss is being damaged,“ Prof. Pohnert explains. The Jena chemists analysed the moss “Dicranum scoparium”, also known as ordinary Broom Fork-moss that can be found in nearly all European woods. During their research the scientists found many formerly unknown compounds, among them new, very unusual oxylipins.
“Motivated by the observation that in other organisms, oxylipins often work directly as defence metabolites or are part of the regulation of defence mechanisms, we have analysed the impact of these compounds more accurately,” says Prof. Pohnert, who, along with his group, so far focused on the chemical defence strategies of marine organisms. To prove the retardant impact of oxylipins against snail damage, Jena scientists engaged two well known “experts” - the slugs “Arion lusitanicus” which were being offered two salad leaves. One leaf was treated with oxylipins that had been extracted from moss; the other salad leaf had only been sprayed with the solvent methanol. “Almost without exception the snails choose the leaves that didn’t contain oxylipins, even when we diluted the substances a thousand times in comparison to the concentration in moss,” reports Martin Rempt, a postgraduate in Pohnert´s team.
Prof. Pohnert thinks that these results could be used in the future to develop an organic repellent against slugs and other pests. That would be an ecological alternative to so-called “Schneckenkorn” (Snail Poison) that very often poses a potential danger not only for birds and other enemies of snails, but also for pets. The research will be extended to further moss species in the future.Original publication:
Marie Schneider | idw
Tag it EASI – a new method for accurate protein analysis
19.06.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie
How to track and trace a protein: Nanosensors monitor intracellular deliveries
19.06.2018 | Universität Basel
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...
Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.
From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
19.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
19.06.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.06.2018 | Health and Medicine