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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Insect pest management with sex pheromone precursors from engineered oilseed plants

Wang, Hong-Lei; Ding, Bao-Jian; Dai, Jian-Qing; Nazarenus, Tara J.; Borges, Rafael; Mafra-Neto, Agenor; Cahoon, Edgar B.; Hofvander, Per; Stymne, Sten; Lofstedt, Christer


Pheromones have become an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional insecticides for pest control. Most current pheromone-based pest control products target lepidopteran pests of high-value crops, as today's manufacturing processes cannot yet produce pheromones at low enough costs to enable their use for lower-value crops, especially commodity crops. Camelina sativa seeds genetically modified to express (Z)-11-hexadecenoic acid, a sex pheromone precursor of several moth species, provided the oil from which the precursor was isolated, purified and transformed into the final pheromone. Trap lures containing this pheromone were then assessed for their capacity to manage moth pests in the field. Plant-derived pheromone lures proved equally effective as synthetic pheromone lures in monitoring the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, in cabbage and disrupting mating of cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera, in common bean fields. Our study demonstrates the biological efficacy and economic feasibility of pheromone production in plant factories by metabolic engineering of an oilseed crop.

Published in

Nature sustainability
2022, volume: 5, number: 11, pages: 981-990

Authors' information

Wang, Hong-Lei
Lund University
Ding, Bao-Jian
Lund University
Dai, Jian-Qing
Guandong Academy of Sciences (GDAAS)
Nazarenus, Tara J.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Borges, Rafael
ISCA Tecnol Ltd
Mafra-Neto, Agenor
ISCA Technologies Inc
Cahoon, Edgar B.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Breeding
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Breeding
Löfstedt, Christer
Lund University

Associated SLU-program

SLU Plant Protection Network

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science

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