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 New eDNA technology used to quickly assess coral reefs
18.04.2019 | University of Hawaii at Manoa

nachricht New automated biological-sample analysis systems to accelerate disease detection
18.04.2019 | Polytechnique Montréal

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

Im Focus: Researchers 3D print metamaterials with novel optical properties

Engineers create novel optical devices, including a moth eye-inspired omnidirectional microwave antenna

A team of engineers at Tufts University has developed a series of 3D printed metamaterials with unique microwave or optical properties that go beyond what is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

New automated biological-sample analysis systems to accelerate disease detection

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

18.04.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New eDNA technology used to quickly assess coral reefs

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>