Chemical triggers that make plants defend themselves against insects could replace pesticides, causing less damage to the environment. New research published in Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters identifies five chemicals that trigger rice plants to fend off a common pest – the white-backed planthopper, Sogatella furcifera
Pesticides are used around the world to control insects that destroy crops. However, in recent years their use has been criticized, because of the detrimental effect they can have on ecosystems, ravaging food chains and damaging the environment. One of the problems with many pesticides is that they kill indiscriminately.
For rice plants, this means pesticides kill the natural enemies of one of their biggest pests, the white-backed planthopper Sogatella furcifera. This pest attacks rice, leading to yellowing or “hopper burn,” which causes the plants to wilt and can damage the grains. It also transmits a virus disease called, southern rice black-streaked dwarf virus, which stunts the plants’ growth and stops them from “heading,” which is when pollination occurs.
Left untreated, many of the insects’ eggs would be eaten, but when pesticides are used these hatch, leading to even more insects on the plants. What’s more, in some areas as many as a third of the planthoppers are resistant to pesticides.
“The extensive application of chemical insecticides not only causes severe environmental and farm produce pollution but also damages the ecosystem,” explained Dr. Jun Wu, one of the authors of the study and professor at Zhejiang University?in China. “Therefore, developing safe and effective methods to control insect pests is highly desired; this is why we decided to investigate these chemicals.”
Because of the problems of using pesticides, it’s vital to find new solutions to help protect rice plants from infestation.
Plants have natural self-defense mechanisms that kick in when they are infested with pests like the planthopper. This defense mechanism can be switched on using chemicals that do not harm the environment and are not toxic to the insects or their natural enemies.
In the new study, researchers from Zhejiang University? in China developed a new way of identifying these chemicals. Using a specially designed screening system, they determined to what extent different chemicals switched on the plants’ defense mechanism. The team designed and synthesized 29 phenoxyalkanoic acid derivatives. Of these, they identified five that could be effective at triggering the rice plants to defend themselves.
The researchers used bioassays to show that these chemicals could trigger the plant defense mechanism and repel the white-backed planthopper. This suggests that these chemicals have the potential to be used in insect pest management.
“We demonstrate for the first time that some phenoxyalkanoic acid derivatives have the potential to become such plant protection agents against the rice white-backed planthopper,” said Dr. Yonggen Lou, one of the authors of the study and professor at Zhejiang University?in China. “This new approach to pest management could help protect the ecosystem while defending important crops against attack.”
The Latest on: Chemicals That Make Plants Defend Themselves
via Google News
The Latest on: Chemicals That Make Plants Defend Themselves
- Christoph Benning on plant biochemistryon May 12, 2020 at 12:32 pm
"We have to show Mr. Benning how to purify chloroplasts. I think the purification wasn't quite right," mocked a fellow senior researcher as I stood on the podium. I had just finished a presentation at ...
- Israel Chemicals Ltd.'s (ICL) CEO Raviv Zoller on Q1 2020 Results - Earnings Call Transcripton May 12, 2020 at 11:40 am
Q1 2020 Results Earnings Conference Call May 12, 2020, 8:30 AM ET Company Participants Dudi Musler - Investor Relations, Manage ...
- Auto workers concerned about safety as plants prepare to openon May 8, 2020 at 3:40 pm
Thousands of workers who supply the auto industry or build our cars are getting word plants are reopening. Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced they and other manufacturers can resume production as ...
- Toxic gas leak at chemical plant in India kills at least 11on May 7, 2020 at 8:11 pm
At least 11 people have been confirmed dead and hundreds more have been hospitalized after the incident at an LG Polymers plant, which lies near a village of at least 3,000 people on the outskirts ...
- 11 killed, hundreds hospitalized in India after gas leak at chemical planton May 7, 2020 at 10:20 am
At least 11, including three children, died as a result of a toxic gas leak Thursday at an Indian chemical plant.
- Gas leak at India chemical plant kills 8, sickens hundredson May 7, 2020 at 6:02 am
At least eight people died and hundreds were hospitalized after toxic gas leaked from a chemical factory in southern India early Thursday, officials said.
- Gas leak at India chemical plant kills at least 8, sickens hundredson May 7, 2020 at 12:36 am
At least eight people were dead and hundreds were hospitalized after toxic gas leaked from a chemical factory in southern India early Thursday, officials said.
- WHAT'S UP DOC? Why do onions make you cry?on May 5, 2020 at 8:32 am
Q: Why does cutting onions make you cry? A: When you cut into or squish ... hydrogen cyanide compounds that are toxic, or by forming other chemicals, such as digitalis, that cause a heart attack.
- MN Senate Passes Bill Banning Toxic Chemical TCE, House To Vote Next Weekon May 2, 2020 at 7:06 pm
Neighbors who live near Water Gremlin in White Bear Township have been vocal since learning the manufacturing plant put their families at risk.
- Knowde could make billions building the digital marketplace for the $5 trillion chemicals industryon May 1, 2020 at 5:19 pm
Javaheri grew up in the chemicals business. Houston in the 80s was dominated by the petrochemicals industry and by the time the family later relocated to Washington State, Amin-Jahaveri was already ...
via Bing News