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Transgenic Tobacco Becomes Pheromone Factory to Control Pests
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: November 29, 2021 11:15AM

Scientists fromSpainwere successful in developing a model plant that can
release insect pheromones that affect pests of herbaceous plants. This
is an important step towards crop protection as it can help reduce the
need for chemical pesticides.

The scientists used genetically modified /Nicotiana benthamiana/as a
model plant to encode volatile compounds like moth pheromones to turn
them into a pheromone biofactory. Transgenic tobacco can produce two
volatile compounds present in many lepidopteran sex pheromone mixtures
as well as release them into the atmosphere. Thus, it has the potential
to create sexual confusion in male pest insects and cause difficulty in
finding females thereby leading to the prevention or delay of copulation
and reproduction of the pests. The likely effect is the gradual
reproduction of the pest population using a plant-based pest control
method as most pheromone-based control methods today are obtained by
chemical synthesis.

The scientists recommend further investigations to study how to increase
the emission capacity of the plants.

Production of Volatile Moth Sex Pheromones in Transgenic Nicotiana
benthamiana Plants (

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