The researchers, led by Dr
The scientists used genetic transformation to investigate if restoring E-beta-caryophyllene emission would protect maize plants against corn rootworms. After introducing a gene from oregano, the transformed maize plants released E- beta-caryophyllene constantly. As a result, these plants attracted more nematodes and suffered less damage from an infestation of Western Corn Rootworms.
"Plant defences can be direct, such as the production of toxins, or indirect, using volatile substances that attract the natural enemies of the herbivores" says lead scientist, Dr
These results show how knowledge of natural plant defences can be practically applied in agricultural systems. "We are studying the wild ancestor of maize (teosinte) to find out which other chemical defences may have been lost during domestication of maize" Dr Turlings added. "These lost defences might then be reintroduced into modern cultivars".
Keywords for this news article include: Chemicals, Chemistry,
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