UK scientists identify important biological marker to control insect pests

by Katie Pratt, University of Kentucky

A University of Kentucky research team led by entomologist Subba Reddy Palli discovered a protein that plays a critical role in the effectiveness of RNA interference in beetles. This finding could improve the efficiency of this pest control technology and help manage resistance.

RNA interference, RNAi, is a process where RNA molecules constrain gene expression. It is very efficient in insects belonging to the order Coleoptera, which includes a variety of major pests such as the corn rootworm, Colorado potato beetle, pine weevil, powderpost beetle, Asian longhorned beetle and emerald ash borer. However, it has varying levels of efficiency in other insects. Continue reading

Lady Beetle Diet Influences Its Effectiveness as Biocontrol Agent

By Sharon Durham
January 11, 2013

By examining what lady beetles eat, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists are learning more about the movement of these beneficial insects in farm fields—and whether they’ll actively feed on crop pests.

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Northeastern IPM Center news: eggplant pests and stink bugs

The Northeastern IPM Center has two new stories on their website:

Serving Up a Bitter End for Eggplant Pests
When researchers plant eggplant into crimson clover, they dish up trouble over and over for two unwanted beetles.
http://bit.ly/P7IibT

Scientists Draw Maps to Stop Stink Bug Pirates
An integrated pest management program running since the 1980s has led to fresh insights about a new invader. Scientists are deploying maps to aid the fight.
http://bit.ly/OFnKWA

CABI compiles list of worst plant pests threatening world crops

Agricultural pests have long been considered one of the greatest threats to food security. Insect pests and diseases cause about a 40% loss in global production each year. And scientists warn that the problem will probably get worse.

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