Young scientists of KFU are working on the creation of an insecticide to combat aphids
Scientists of the Crimean Federal University are conducting research on protecting plants from various pests. Experts are studying aphids, insects that usually infect agricultural and ornamental crops in large numbers, causing significant economic damage. On the basis of the youth laboratory of molecular genetics and biotechnology of the Crimean Federal University, created as part of the national project «Science and Universities», scientists are developing DNA insecticides to combat aphids.
The first successful experiments were obtained on chrysanthemum seedlings affected by aphids. With the help of bioinformatics tools, a DNA insecticide was developed for them, and then the first experiments were carried out. We noted the result already in the first experiment. Despite the fact that the insecticide based on a natural polymer is quickly destroyed by the enzymes of living organisms, in just a few hours it manages to have a significant effect on the insect. Within 7-14 days, the aphid population significantly decreased in numbers. This means that even a short time of exposure to aphids has a long-term insecticidal effect.— the press service of the university quotes Elizaveta Puzanov, junior researcher at the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology of the Crimean Federal University.
According to her, the substance consists of 11 nucleotides. A unique combination is first synthesized on a DNA synthesizer, then the mass spectrometer confirms its structure. After the resulting white crystalline substance is diluted with water. As a result, specialists receive an aqueous solution of DNA molecules, which is sprayed onto the affected plant using a spray gun or a cold fog generator.
Scientists of the Crimean Federal University continue to work on improving the composition of the DNA insecticide to combat aphids. In the near future, experts will study the use of other chemicals that will improve the penetration of the drug into insect cells, as well as make the future drug more resistant to adverse weather conditions.
photo: KFU press service
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