Research report 2017 - Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology

The biosynthesis of terpene pheromones in leaf beetles

Authors
Köllner, Tobias G.; Beran, Franziska
Departments
Abteilung Biochemie
Unabhängige Arbeitsgruppe Sequestrierung und Detoxifizierung in Insekten
Summary
Many insect species emit aggregation pheromones to attract conspecifics to host plants. This can lead to rapid mass infestations and severe crop losses in agriculture. Recently, a novel family of terpene synthases was discovered in Phyllotreta flea beetles which are important pests of crucifer crops. One member of this enzyme family was shown to be responsible for the formation of the sesquiterpene aggregation pheromone of the pest species. This knowledge on insect pheromone biosynthesis may lead to new approaches in pest management.

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