Professor Frank Rossi will present
Toward a species-specific, eco-rational control of the invasive insect Cactoblastis cactorum
Tuesday, November 5th 12:10 pm in CNS 333
Pizza and Beverages Provided
It is estimated that insects destroy up to one fifth of agricultural output. Species-specific control of harmful insect populations is an environmentally sensitive way to increase food production. The cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum, is native to South America where its larvae feed on the pads of the prickly pear cactus Opuntia. The moth is presently an invasive species in the Southeastern United States and has the potential to threaten native and commercial stands of prickly pear in Mexico. Cactoblastis cactorum larvae have specialized mandibular glands that produce an oily substance that elicits trail following behavior in Cactoblastis larvae. As part of an effort to develop controls for populations of this invasive species, the major components of the mandibular gland secretion were isolated and their structures were determined. To provide material for further biological studies, biologically active components of the mixture were chemically synthesized.
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