Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Plants Control The Molting Of Insects

11.11.2002


A special place on the market of food supplements belongs to ecdysteroid-containing preparations that are helpful as a tonic for sportsmen during intensive training sessions, for people of various professions connected with physical and psychological stresses, and also for elderly people. Ecdysteroids heal wounds and burns.



A plant containing very high concentrations of ecdysteroids has been found by a team headed by Vladimir Volodin from the Institute of Biology in Syktyvkar. This is saw-wort (Serratula coronata). Its leaves contain more significant amounts of the active component than the roots of rhaponticum (Leuzea carthamoides) used as a medicinal plant in the former USSR. A saw-wort plantation is raised by the researchers in Syktyvkar; the plants have adapted to the northern conditions and successfully produce the active component.

The technology for ecdysteroid extraction from plant material is already designed and patented. In addition, a method for cultivating plant cells is known. Cell cultures that resemble white live clumps perfectly grow in laboratory and produce phytoecdysteroids in sufficient quantities. These cultures are added to the collection of the Institute of Plant Physiology of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow).


The effect of ecdysteroids is comparable to that of ginseng. The latter is the active component of preparations used as tonics in treating long-lasting infections and intoxications, neurasthenia, neuroses, and hypotonia. Ecdysteroids are officially permitted for sportsmen, as these are not stimulants, but adaptogens. High-class athletes use these substances during their pre-competition training sessions and never suffer any kind of side effects. Several foreign companies have already ordered the new food supplement from the Syktyvkar Institute of Biology.

Another plant, catchfly (Silene tatarica), attracted attention of the Syktyvkar scientists recently. It is rich in ecdysteroids too. The local population of the Komi Republic uses it as a traditional medicinal plant: the catchfly-water (an extract prepared by boiling) taken with milk and bread arouses physiological activity.

In essence, ecdysteroids are molting hormones of insects. They appear in the body of a caterpillar to let it pupate and successfully turn into a butterfly, but the dose should be appropriate. Plants that suffer every spring from attacks of hungry young caterpillars have "learned" to produce molting hormones to overdose and kill the insects. Prior to blooming, ecdysteroids are accumulated in high concentrations in leaves, and caterpillars, who eat those, soon become pupas, but never develop further - just die. So, the wise plants fabricate a natural pesticide controlling the number of insects of certain species.

However, the scientists believe that the pesticide production from ecdysteroids isolated from plants is unprofitable. Insects will soon get used to this poison, and its effect will disappear. Besides, some insects that can eat several plant species will switch from the poisonous plants to the others. The project manager, doctor of biological sciences Vladimir Volodin explains: "Presumably, nearly all plants have genes responsible for the synthesis of ecdysteroids, but they are active in only few species. If the dormant genes of, e.g., potato will be activated, then the potato will produce certain substances to kill Colorado beetle. The only problem lies in activating such genes. For its solution we propose to employ genetic engineering."

Tatiana Pitchugina | alfa
Further information:
http://www.informnauka.ru/eng/2002/2002-11-10-02_251_e.htm

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Chains of nanogold – forged with atomic precision
23.09.2016 | Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland)

nachricht Self-assembled nanostructures hit their target
23.09.2016 | King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: OLED microdisplays in data glasses for improved human-machine interaction

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.

“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...

Im Focus: Artificial Intelligence Helps in the Discovery of New Materials

With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...

Im Focus: Complex hardmetal tools out of the 3D printer

For the first time, Fraunhofer IKTS shows additively manufactured hardmetal tools at WorldPM 2016 in Hamburg. Mechanical, chemical as well as a high heat resistance and extreme hardness are required from tools that are used in mechanical and automotive engineering or in plastics and building materials industry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden managed the production of complex hardmetal tools via 3D printing in a quality that are in no way inferior to conventionally produced high-performance tools.

Fraunhofer IKTS counts decades of proven expertise in the development of hardmetals. To date, reliable cutting, drilling, pressing and stamping tools made of...

Im Focus: Launch of New Industry Working Group for Process Control in Laser Material Processing

At AKL’16, the International Laser Technology Congress held in May this year, interest in the topic of process control was greater than expected. Appropriately, the event was also used to launch the Industry Working Group for Process Control in Laser Material Processing. The group provides a forum for representatives from industry and research to initiate pre-competitive projects and discuss issues such as standards, potential cost savings and feasibility.

In the age of industry 4.0, laser technology is firmly established within manufacturing. A wide variety of laser techniques – from USP ablation and additive...

Im Focus: New laser joining technologies at ‘K 2016’ trade fair

Every three years, the plastics industry gathers at K, the international trade fair for plastics and rubber in Düsseldorf. The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will also be attending again and presenting many innovative technologies, such as for joining plastics and metals using ultrashort pulse lasers. From October 19 to 26, you can find the Fraunhofer ILT at the joint Fraunhofer booth SC01 in Hall 7.

K is the world’s largest trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry. As in previous years, the organizers are expecting 3,000 exhibitors and more than...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Experts from industry and academia discuss the future mobile telecommunications standard 5G

23.09.2016 | Event News

ICPE in Graz for the seventh time

20.09.2016 | Event News

Using mathematical models to understand our brain

16.09.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Chains of nanogold – forged with atomic precision

23.09.2016 | Life Sciences

New leukemia treatment offers hope

23.09.2016 | Health and Medicine

Self-assembled nanostructures hit their target

23.09.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>