Kauralexins and zealexins, members of a larger family of plant-defense compounds known as "terpenoid phytoalexins," are also partly triggered by insect chewing--with Ostrinia nubilalis, the European corn borer
, among species that find them distasteful.
Or perhaps the bacterial insecticide designed to kill the European corn borer
could poison other organisms, causing unknown effects on the ecosystem.
An ugly duckling of the corn family could hold secrets to save corn from its worst enemy-the European corn borer
The technology worked well in field tests against the European corn borer
and was licensed - but was never commercialized.
Indoor tests show engineered, Bt-containing microbes multiply in the sap of corn plants as the plants grow, killing European corn borers
that attempt to feed on the stalks.
DEKALBt's track record of protecting corn from yield loss caused by European corn borers
is attractive to growers.
The patent covers a method of protecting corn against insects, including European corn borers
, which are killed when they eat corn plants containing the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) protein.
Despite progress, European corn borers
still cause an estimated $400 million loss each year.
Mycogen's first seed product using that technology, a corn hybrid with Bt-based resistance to European corn borers
, is now being introduced for commercial planting.
The gene causes the plant to produce a protein which controls European corn borers
, but in its intended use is harmless to beneficial insects and other species, including humans.
Environmental Protection Agency approval to produce seeds for corn hybrids with Bt-based resistance to European corn borers
, which cost U.
One produces more and better silage for dairy and beef producers; the other has genetically enhanced natural resistance to European corn borers
, a major pest in U.