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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Chemistry Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #376708

Research Project: Molecular and Biochemical Characterization of Biotic and Abiotic Stress on Plant Defense Responses in Maize

Location: Chemistry Research

Title: Plant defense chemicals against insect pests

item Yactayo Chang, Jessica
item Tang, Hoang
item Mendoza, Jorrel
item Christensen, Shawn
item Block, Anna

Submitted to: Agronomy
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/5/2020
Publication Date: 8/8/2020
Citation: Yactayo Chang, J.P.; Tang, H.V.; Mendoza, J.S.; Christensen, S.A.; Block, A.K. 2020. Plant defense chemicals against insect pests. Agronomy. 10:1156. 2020

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Insect pests cause significant agricultural damage globally and incur significant financial and environmental costs to limit their impact. Crops contain intrinsic defenses to protect themselves from such pests, including a wide array of specialized secondary metabolite-based chemical defenses. These chemicals can be induced upon attack (phytoalexins) or produced constitutively (phytoanticipins), and either directly impact the pests or impact them indirectly by attracting the pest’s natural enemies. They form part of a global arms race between crops and their insect pests, with the insects developing methods of suppression, avoidance, detoxification, or even capture of their hosts defensive chemicals. Harnessing and optimizing the chemical defense capabilities of crops has the potential to aid in the continuing struggle to enhance and improve agricultural pest management. Such strategies include breeding for the restoration of chemical defenses from ancestral varieties, or perhaps eventually cross-species transfer of defense metabolite production.