Friday, June 19, 2009

Jasmonic Acid Treatment on Seeds

The CleanTech Forum from Boston, Massachusetts recently reported on a new technology that may protect crops from pests. New UK Tech Protects Crops Without Genetic Modification, written by Emma Ritch reports that Becker Underwood has licensed a seed protection technology that involves dipping seeds in a substance called jasmonic acid. The article reports that :
The researchers found that dipping seeds in jasmonic acid would kickstart a plant's natural defenses against pests. Jasmonic acid, which is produced by plant leaves when attacked by insects, is known to help defend plants when it's sprayed on crops. However, spraying the acid tends to reduce plant growth, while dipping seeds in the acid doesn't create that side effect, the researchers said.
Early tests showed an 80 percent reduction in red spider mite attacks on tomato plants, 70 percent decrease in damage to sweet peppers by aphids, and 38 percent reduction in caterpillar attacks on maize. Becker then conducted large-scale trials in the U.S. that showed similar promise.
The technology is drawing attention in Europe in particular because it does not involve genetic modification.


Blogger Jim Chen said...

Interesting development! Jasmonic acid treatment would be unlikely to affect nontarget organisms, cause weediness in treated plants, or contaminate plant relatives. But like genetic modifications that direct plants to produce Bt, this technology will affect the evolution of target organisms. Targeted pest species are likely to develop resistance to jasmonic acid. All that said, this is true of all pesticides.

6/20/2009 1:04 AM  
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Anonymous IT said...

The JA doesn't affect the pests directly. It primes the seedlings' natural pest defense mechanisms.

2/22/2010 5:17 PM  

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