Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers discover key gene involved in bark beetle pheromone production

29.06.2005


Findings may lead to new methods to control beetles, which have decimated Lake Tahoe and Western forests



University of Nevada, Reno scientists have ended a decade-long controversy over the process by which bark beetles make pheromones: they manufacture their own monoterpenes – the fragrant substances plants produce and which are often used in perfumes. It had been thought that insects and other animals were incapable of making these substances.
"The goal of our research is ultimately to control pheromone production," said Gary Blomquist, professor and chair of biochemistry and molecular biology, who co-authored with several members of his department an article that will be published this week(June 27 – July 1) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Bark beetles plague pine forests, especially when the trees are stressed. The Lake Tahoe basin lost 30 percent of its pines to bark beetle infestation during the 1986-1994 drought, according to Blomquist.



There are several hundred species of bark beetles, which are in the insect family Scolytidae. These beetles are difficult to control via insecticides because they live almost all of their lives, from eggs to adults, burrowed under thick bark where they are protected. Only for a few hours do they fly from one tree to another to join other bark beetles, mate and start a new life cycle.

But other bark beetles know where to locate mates because they are responding to an "aggregation" pheromone. If this pheromone could be disrupted, the beetles wouldn’t be able to organize a "mass attack" to successfully colonize a tree, and they would die.

University researchers have characterized the key gene in the beetles’ monoterpene biosynthesis, which will allow further research into ways to disrupt the production of aggregation pheromone.

In addition to Blomquist, Anna Gilg, Jeremy Bearfield, Claus Tittiger and William Welch co-authored the article, "Isolation and functional expression of an animal geranyl diphosphate synthase and its role in bark beetle pheromone biosynthesis."

Melanie Robbins | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.unr.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells
22.02.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

nachricht New insights into the information processing of motor neurons
22.02.2017 | Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microhotplates for a smart gas sensor

22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells

22.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars

22.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>