BASF and University of Göttingen scientists find new specific insecticide target protein
Scientists from BASF Crop Protection and the University of Göttingen in Germany have found a new insecticide target protein. The discovery marks the first identification of vanilloid receptors, the TRPV ion channels, as insecticide targets. The results were published in the scientific journal Neuron. They could help to better manage insecticide resistance and have implications for research and insecticide usage.
In their study, the scientists focused on the mode of action of the insecticides pymetrozine and pyrifluquinanzon. They identified a novel TRPV ion channel complex as the target protein of the two chemicals.
In insects, two TRPV channels exist, which occur together in certain stretch receptors that are present in joints, for example in the antennae and legs. By sensing mechanical stimuli, these stretch receptors provide insects with their senses of balance, hearing and coordination.
The two insecticides only act selectively on these stretch receptors because they activate an ion channel complex formed by the two TRPV channels. By activating this TRPV channel complex, the insecticides overstimulate the stretch receptors, disturbing insect locomotion and feeding. Substances with this mode of action are effective against many plant-sucking pests, particularly whiteflies and aphids.
By knowing the exact target of pymetrozine and pyrifluquinanzon, the industry can now provide better advice on spray programs to farmers. „For instance, we would not want to treat fields with these two substances one after the other. The more you attack one particluar site, the faster insects will become resistant. The findings help us to use insecticides more wisely and more sustainably,“ says Dr. Vincent Salgado, biologist at BASF Crop Protection.
„The fact that the two insecticides target a TRPV channel complex is particularly interesting,“ says the Göttingen neuroscientist Prof. Dr. Martin Göpfert. „For a long time we thought that the two insect TRPVs might form a complex in those stretch receptors, but only the insecticides allowed us to show that this is what they do.“
The study thus encompasses exciting biology: It identifies a novel ion channel complex that plays a key role in the detection of mechanical stimuli. Furthermore, the methods employed by the study can be applied to other insecticides, and they may help in the identification of new insecticides with similar modes of action.
Original publication: Alexandre Nesterov et al. TRP Channels in Insect Stretch Receptors as Insecticide Targets. Neuron 2015. Doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.04.001.
Prof. Dr. Martin Göpfert
University of Göttingen – Department of Cellular Neurobiology
Julia-Lermontowa-Weg 3, 37077 Göttingen
Phone +49 551 39-177955
BASF SE Crop protection
Phone +49 621 60-28182
Prof. Dr. Martin Göpfert | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden
The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet
22.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy