Submitted to: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/5/2002
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Pea weevils can cause serious economic damage to fresh peas by inducing abnormal growth on edible pea pods. We recently isolated and identified several members of a new class of compounds that occur in certain weevils. These compounds are capable of initiating cell division in pods of susceptible peas, and thus constitute a new type of plant growth regulator. .We are continuing to investigate this phenomenon, which should lead to further understanding of basic plant growth processes and which we hope to exploit to discover new types of plant growth stimulants. This particular phase of the work defines the milecular parameters of synthetic analogs capable of initiating cell division. At this stage of the investigation the information is most likely to be used by plant physiologists and other scientists investigating basic processes of cell division.
Technical Abstract: Bruchins are 3-hydroxypropanoate esters of long-chain a,w-diols from pea weevils and cowpea weevils that have been shown to initiate callus formation on pods of susceptible peas at extremely low application rates. Synthetic analogs have been prepared and examined to evaluate structural requirements for inducing this unusual neoplastic response. Chain length (optimum length C22-C24) is important, whereas unsaturation within the cha is relatively unimportant. Difunctionality is required for maximum activity, but the a,w-diols themselves are inactive. Most critical is the ester portions(s) of the molecules; 3-hydroxypropanoate esters are far more active than any analogs examined.