Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Advance promises to expand biological control of crop pests

Date:
February 13, 2013
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
A new discovery promises to allow expanded use of a mainstay biological pest control method, which avoids the health, environmental and pest-resistance concerns of traditional insecticides, scientists are reporting. This is an advance toward broadening applicability of the so-called sterile insect technique.

Diamondback moths damage crops, and a new genetic approach could control these and other pests without conventional pesticides.
Credit: Image courtesy of American Chemical Society

A new discovery promises to allow expanded use of a mainstay biological pest control method, which avoids the health, environmental and pest-resistance concerns of traditional insecticides, scientists are reporting. The advance toward broadening applicability of the so-called sterile insect technique (SIT) appears in the journal ACS Synthetic Biology.

Related Articles


Luke Alphey and colleagues explain that the Lepidoptera, a large family of insects with a caterpillar stage, cause widespread damage worldwide to cotton; apples, pears and other fruits; and vegetable crops like broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. Farmers usually battle these pests with traditional insects, with little use of SIT, despite its many advantages. SIT involves mass release of radiation-sterilized insects, which mate but produce no offspring, thus reducing the population of pests. Alphey's team focused on eliminating major drawbacks that discourage wider use of SIT: They include difficulty in producing male-only sterile insects without the use of radiation, which reduces their ability to compete with wild males for mates.

The scientists describe development of a synthetic genetic system that produces vigorous adult males with lethal information encoded in their sex-determination genes. The males mate, and all the female offspring die, thus reducing the pest populations. They developed the "lethal genetic sexing system" in two pests, the pink bollworm, which damages cotton crops, and the diamondback moth, which attacks broccoli, cabbage and other cruciferous vegetable crops. The approach could be used on other pests, as well, they state.


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. Li Jin, Adam S. Walker, Guoliang Fu, Timothy Harvey-Samuel, Tarig Dafa’alla, Andrea Miles, Thea Marubbi, Deborah Granville, Nerys Humphrey-Jones, Sinead O’Connell, Neil I. Morrison, Luke Alphey. Engineered Female-Specific Lethality for Control of Pest Lepidoptera. ACS Synthetic Biology, 2013; 130108140209004 DOI: 10.1021/sb300123m

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Advance promises to expand biological control of crop pests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130213114710.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2013, February 13). Advance promises to expand biological control of crop pests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130213114710.htm
American Chemical Society. "Advance promises to expand biological control of crop pests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130213114710.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) — The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) — For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Around the World Take Flight

Birds Around the World Take Flight

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 22, 2014) — An imperial eagle equipped with a camera spreads its wings over London. It's just one of the many birds making headlines in this week's "animal roundup". Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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