Source: ARS

Crop pests, such as soybean cyst nematode, could become their own worst enemies, thanks to biochemical sabotage. Agricultural Research Service physiologist Edward Masler is developing this strategy at the agency's Nematology Laboratory in Beltsville, Md.

He's investigating molecules produced by the nematodes that could be used to subvert their feeding, mating or other behaviors.

Masler's research with biogenic amines and other biochemicals is part of a long-term effort to devise environmentally friendly alternatives to conventional pesticides, particularly the fumigant methyl bromide, which is restricted for all but critical uses because of its toxicity.

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