Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Proteins in unroasted coffee beans may become next-generation insecticides

Date:
April 1, 2010
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Scientists in Brazil are reporting for the first time that coffee beans contain proteins that can kill insects and might be developed into new insecticides for protecting food crops against destructive pests. Their study suggests a new use for one of the most important tropical crops in the world.

Unroasted coffee beans.
Credit: iStockphoto/Stacy Able

Scientists in Brazil are reporting for the first time that coffee beans contain proteins that can kill insects and might be developed into new insecticides for protecting food crops against destructive pests.

Their study, which suggests a new use for one of the most important tropical crops in the world, appears in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a bi-weekly publication.

Peas, beans and some other plant seeds contain proteins, called globulins, which ward off insects. Coffee beans contain large amounts of globulins, and Paulo Mazzafera and colleagues wondered whether those coffee proteins might also have an insecticidal effect. The high heat of roasting destroys globulins, so that they do not appear in brewed coffee.

Their tests against cowpea weevil larva, insects used as models for studying the insecticidal activity of proteins, showed that tiny amounts of the coffee proteins quickly killed up to half of the insects. In the future, scientists could insert genes for these insect-killing proteins into important food crops, such as grains, so that plants produce their own insecticides, the researchers suggest. The proteins appear harmless to people.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mirela Batista Coelho, Maria Li%u0301gia Rodrigues Macedo, Se%u0301rgio Marangoni, Desiree Soares da Silva, Igor Cesarino, Paulo Mazzafera. Purification of Legumin-Like Proteins from Coffea arabica and Coffea racemosa Seeds and Their Insecticidal Properties toward Cowpea Weevil (Callosobruchus maculatus) (Coleoptera: Bruchidae). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2010; 58 (5): 3050 DOI: 10.1021/jf9037216

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Proteins in unroasted coffee beans may become next-generation insecticides." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100331122650.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2010, April 1). Proteins in unroasted coffee beans may become next-generation insecticides. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100331122650.htm
American Chemical Society. "Proteins in unroasted coffee beans may become next-generation insecticides." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100331122650.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — New conservation measures for shark fishing face an uphill PR battle in the fight to slow shark extinction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) — A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lion Cubs the Pride of San Diego Zoo

Lion Cubs the Pride of San Diego Zoo

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 13, 2014) — Roars of excitement as a proud lioness shows off her four cubs at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins