Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hebrew University researchers developing ‘breakfast of champions’

17.03.2010
An organic approach to pest control – releasing super-sexed (but sterile) male insects to mate with their lady friends

An improved method for sustainable pest control using “super-sexed” but sterile male insects to copulate with female ones is being developed by agricultural researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The scientists thus hope to offer yet another efficient and promising avenue for supplying produce to the market by eliminating pests without damage to the environment.

An assortment of chemicals, such as DDT, have been employed since early in the last century to control crop pests or carriers of diseases. However, this approach has led to the evolution of resistance to pesticides and has severely negative impact on human health and the environment.

As an alternative to the use of chemicals, Prof. Boaz Yuval at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is working on upgrading a veteran approach, known as the sterile insect technique. This method is currently employed against several dozen insect species. The principle is to rear millions of individuals of the species one seeks to control, separate the sexes, sterilize the males and release them into the field. It is expected that the sterile males will copulate with wild females, who will then be unable to lay fertile eggs, thus reducing the pest populations.

However, says Prof. Yuval, the process of rearing millions of male insects, sterilizing them and transporting them to the release site can severely affect their sexual competitiveness. The research in Yuval’s laboratory at the Department of Entomology focuses on improving this technique, as applied to fruit flies and mosquitoes.

Prof. Yuval has studied the behavioral and physiological elements that define the factors that contribute to male sexiness, and subsequently has devised ways to confer these characteristics on sterile males.

One of these factors is nutritional status. Yuval found that feeding males on high protein diets significantly improves their sexual performance. Recently (in collaboration with Hebrew University colleague Prof. Edouard Jurkevitch and graduate students Adi Behar, Miki Ben-Yosef, Sagi Gavriel and Eyal Ben Ami) Yuval also found that the bacteria residing in fruit flies are important, and that the factory reared flies lacked the bacteria found in wild insects.

With this information in hand, Yuval and his colleagues are formulating a high-protein, bacteria enhanced "breakfast of champions" which will be provided to males before their release, and significantly improve their sexual performance when released in the field. Their work is described in the ISME (International Society for Microbial Ecology) Journal.

Yuval believes that successful application of this approach can be applied to a variety of plant and animal pests, as well as to organisms that transmit human disease, thus making an important, organic and environmentally friendly approach to pest control.

Jerry Barach | Hebrew University
Further information:
http://www.huji.ac.il

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How gut bacteria can make us ill
18.01.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

nachricht Nanoparticle Exposure Can Awaken Dormant Viruses in the Lungs
16.01.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>