Anti-insect wheat trials underway

Via Scoop.itVirology News

The first experiments with plants genetically-modified to repel aphids are under way in the UK.  Wheat has been engineered with a gene from a peppermint plant so that it emits a particular pheromone.

The smell is the alarm signal given off by aphids to warn of an attack by predators.

The researchers hope that this will act as a “no parking sign” to keep the pests at bay without needing insecticide.

This is the first trial of a plant deliberately modified to use pheromones to ward off pests.

The work is taking place at Rothamsted Research, the plant science centre in Hertfordshire


Nice place, Rothamsted: and aphids transmit viruses, so it’s right for this site.  Sort of.


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