Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Towards a new moth scent

Date:
February 19, 2013
Source:
Lund University
Summary:
A single mutation in a moth gene has been shown to be able to produce an entirely new scent. In the long run, the researchers say that the results could contribute to tailored production of pheromones for pest control.

A single mutation in a moth gene has been shown to be able to produce an entirely new scent. This has been shown in a new study led by researchers from Lund University in Sweden. In the long run, the researchers say that the results could contribute to tailored production of pheromones for pest control.

Male moths can pick up the scent of a female moth from a distance of several hundred metres. The females produce sexual pheromones -- scent substances that guide the males to them. There are around 180 000 species of moth and butterfly in the world, and most of them communicate using pheromones. Small differences between the different scents enable the males to find females of their own species.

Researchers at Lund University have previously shown that new species of moth can evolve as a result of changes in the female moths' scent. Now the researchers have published a study on how these changes come about at genetic level.

"Our results show that a single mutation, which leads to the substitution of a critical amino acid, is sufficient to create a new pheromone blend," says Professor Christer Lφfstedt from the Department of Biology at Lund University.

The study has been carried out together with researchers in Japan and focuses on a moth genus called Ostrinia. The researchers have studied one of the genes that control the production of pheromones. It is in this context that the mutation and the substituted amino acid in an enzyme have shown to result in a new scent substance. The enzyme is active in the process that converts fatty acids into alcohols, which constitute the ingredients in many moth scents.

"Pheromones are already one of the most frequently used methods for environmentally friendly pest control," says Christer Lφfstedt. "With this knowledge, we hope in the future to be able to tailor the production of pheromones in yeast cells and plants to develop a cheap and environmentally friendly production process."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. J.-M. Lassance, M. A. Lienard, B. Antony, S. Qian, T. Fujii, J. Tabata, Y. Ishikawa, C. Lofstedt. Functional consequences of sequence variation in the pheromone biosynthetic gene pgFAR for Ostrinia moths. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1208706110

Cite This Page:

Lund University. "Towards a new moth scent." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130219090751.htm>.
Lund University. (2013, February 19). Towards a new moth scent. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130219090751.htm
Lund University. "Towards a new moth scent." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130219090751.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) — An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

Reuters - US Online Video (July 21, 2014) — An endangered black rhino baby is the newest resident at the San Diego Zoo. Sasha Salama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) — A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) — Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. 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:
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