Mutant corn could yield new ways to curb 'billion-dollar bug'
A combination of structural and biochemical changes in the mutant leaves make them particularly vulnerable to attack. The cellular lobes that interlock to provide structural strength are smaller and weaker in the mutant leaves. The leaves also have substantially reduced levels of hydroxycinnmates and lignin, compounds that are responsible for cross-linking microfibers in cell walls.
Further research is being done on the possibility of using the mutant in pest control strategies and identifying the genetic pathway in normal corn plants that prevents Western corn rootworm beetles from consuming their leaves. The genes could be used to make corn plants more pest-resistant, Johal said.
The paper was published online in PLoS ONE and is available at http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0071296;jsessionid=127B91804B4E522B97208869322F0D7B
Funding for the research was provided by Pioneer, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station.
- Summit on herbicide resistance now available online
- Honey Bee Health Coalition releases “Bee Healthy” roadmap
- Phomopsis stem canker in sunflowers
- Conference to help companies take next steps in eBusiness
- Energy for growing crops is large part of farm operating costs
- Moves in livestock futures bracketed those of the crop markets
- How much corn can the ethanol industry use?
- USDA releases 2012 cash rents data report
- Commentary: Government wants farmers to quit farming
- Economist: Taxing P could reduce risk of algal blooms
- White House issues veto threat on bill to block WOTUS rule
- Resistant weeds not controlled by fall residuals