The preliminary results of field and laboratory tests of a new and safer pesticide are presented. The compound, L-methionine, is an essential amino acid that acts to interfere with important physiological functions within the digestive tract of insects while maintaining functions within other animals, including humans. Pest insect species Manduca sexta (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae), Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) and Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) were tested, with L-methionine showing a high degree of susceptibility in both laboratory and field settings using artificial and natural diets. Host plant effects also were tested using treated Solanum melongena (Eggplant) over a six week period; no statistically significant effects of the compound on yield (fruit production and mean weight per treatment) were observed. Preliminary results on non-target insects, future testing methods and benefits of the compound for control of other insect pests are also discussed.
Back to Student Competition Ten-Minute Papers, Section B. Physiology, Biochemistry, Toxicology and Molecular Biology
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Back to The 2002 ESA Annual Meeting and Exhibition